I was going to write a little bipolar, happy/angry ditty about how great my impending $600 'economic stimulus package' is, juxtaposed with how utterly horrible it is to be a single, kid-less taxpayer in this country. That gem is probably best saved for that potentially life-ending moment in which I find out what the actual damage is on tax day.
Instead, I just want to lay out a few quick things about this article.
In the interest of disclosure, I'll state up front that I am a staunch Patriots fan. Use this to assume whatever you want about me; about half of it is probably true, anyway. I make no apologies for liking my own second-favorite team and being pleased with their success this season. While I'm not the trendy, sycophantic, bandwagon-fan that you'd probably like to label me as, I am also not one of those spineless, cocksucking twits that pulls the whole 'All other Pats fans are jerks, and I am ashamed of them; but I'm not like that!' routine on the message boards.
With that said, I'm well within my rights to treat this whole Don Shula/Mercury Morris shit talking cavalcade as an affront to my beloved Pats (how dare I be happy for them, by the way?) and lash out at said asshats accordingly. Instead, as a fan of the NFL and lover of all things good and decent, I'll take the high road on this one and issue the following request: Mr. Shula, Mr. Morris, Mr. Kuechenberg, and all other New England Haters: Please, I beseech you, enough with the shrill, baseless, and absolutely moronic 'criticism' of the best team in NFL history. Particularly in the cases of Shula and Morris, who seem to be intelligent, virtuous people in all other regards, I suggest that you change into a fresh pair of diapers and endeavor to retain whatever dignity you have left after all of this drama has subsided. Don Shula has, until now, come across as a generous, wise, old sage. And Mercury Morris would probably be someone that I would really admire were it not for all of this senility-induced drivel.
Is it really that difficult for all of the Pats' detractors out there (and they have been legion) to just sack up, show a little class, and tip your hat to one of the best performances hitherto witnessed in American sports? The sad, hateful, and now entirely indefensible head-burying display being put forth by the anti-Patriots movement is no longer amusing or relevant. To hear the phrase 'Patriots suck' is to hear a cry for help. And I just dare someone to bring up Spygate.
This doesn't mean that there aren't other legitimate claims to the 'Best-Season-Ever' crown. Some have brought up the '85 Bears. OK. Others have, a bit less convincingly, nebulously mentioned 'those early nineties 49ers teams'. Perhaps. But one thing is made pretty clear in Kriegel's article: it sure as hell ain't the '72 Dolphins.
Which brings me to the reason that I brought the topic up on this blog to begin with: Is there any stat/metric/method extant for comparing teams through the eras that aren't just a collage of faint, childhood impressions? I know that VORP, OPS+-!^2%$#, and park-factors are popular grist on this blog, and I am curious to see if any such logic, or a species thereof, may be helpful in a sport that doesn't make me fall asleep faster than a bottle of NyQuil. It will probably be the only real productive thing to come out of a post that will likely cause me to be flamed harder than a Birmingham church.
Oh well, we all have our crosses to bear.