Friday, January 25, 2008

Mr. Morris, I implore you.....

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.


Pepe said...

I know Patriots Nation and the sports media at large view this as a minor technicality, and I really hate to be such a stickler for details, but it's worth mentioning that the Patriots haven't won the Super Bowl yet. Is it so much to ask that we delay the coronation for another nine days?

And, apropos of nothing, the Pats are your second-favorite team? Seriously? The phrase "second-favorite team" is an oxymoron. I've never understood this second-team BS. The only people I've ever heard it from grew up in LA or AZ, so maybe it's what you do when you don't have a football team nearby.

I don't know your personal situation, but I'll just say what I always say regarding the Pats bandwagon: I spent a decent amount of time in New England prior to the Pats' ascent, and I can count on one hand the number of diehard Pats fans I met prior to six years ago. They just didn't exist. That's why I'll probably have to do the unthinkable and root for the Giants -- say what you want about their fans (I have), but they show up through good and bad.

It almost makes me glad the Eagles have never won a title, because I don't have to deal with frontrunners. Only psychopaths and pederasts.

Big C said...

Wow. I have underestimated you. An Eagles fan rooting for the G-men seems like the sports equivalent of sleeping with the enemy. The enemy, of course, being a large, greasy, pizza-loving grunt with a fetish for prophallactics resembling a sahuaro cactus. Looks like the fight for north Jersey has already been lost, my friend.

I'm from Phoenix; does anyone really expect me to support the Cards?

But, worry not, I'll make the Eagles my third-favorite team next season. BFF.

Big C said...

@Big C:

*Prophylactic, retard.

Anonymous said...

The 18-0 (*) record is so very truly impressive.

*-designates at least one win obtained through cheating.

larry b said...

Let me weigh in as an avid Pats hater. I'll keep things to bullet points, because I am too lazy to construct a narrative.

1) The anonymous guy above and others like him piss me off big time. People like that make creative Pats haters like me look both dumb and immature, when in fact we are just immature.

2) That article you linked is awesome. Almost makes me feel ok with the prospect of a Patriots victory in "The Big Game." Honestly, would the '72 Dolphins just die already? I know that sounds mean, but... well yeah. I wish they would go away. And dying is one pretty simple way they could do so.

3) What you ask for here is perfectly reasonable.

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?

Just this one time, please allow me to do exactly that. This team is fucking incredible. They might be the best of all time. I'm fully ready to admit this. So I'm willing to submit to your request. But see, then you take it too far:

To hear the phrase 'Patriots suck' is to hear a cry for help.

Really? Seriously? Defensive much? Being on top is so tough, isn't it. Earth to Big C, easily one of the most intelligent bloggers I read on a consistent basis (well, your only real competition is Kissing Suzy Kolber, so you don't have a lot of competition, but I digress), when you're the best at what you do everyone is going to get sick of the media constantly fellating you. The easiest way to express that frustration is to say [team] sucks. Is this new to you? That's why the Patriots do indeed suck. And the Yankees, and Notre Dame, and UCLA basketball, and the Lakers, etc. Don't act like you're unfamiliar with this phenomenon. It's not a cry for help. It's a cry for an underdog, any underdog, to dethrone this champ who we're all tired of hearing about.

There's a second angle, too, which you shouldn't have any trouble admitting is also significant. Let's just say New England fans are not known for their humility or kindness of late. I'm from Colorado and am a huge Rockies fan. I wasn't able to get to any of this year's World Series games, but the horror stories I heard from friends who were able to make it to Coors Field for games 3 or 4 were numerous. Does this kind of thing happen all the time, between fans of any two given teams? Sure. But by all accounts, this was an entirely different level. Maybe Red Sox fans and Patriots fans don't overlap much. But I doubt it. And this is something I've heard dozens of times over from fans of a variety of teams, both on blogs and via word of mouth. It's hard to be humble when you're winning all the time, I know, but it seems like fans of Boston area teams are just really big assholes these days. For every person who either writes a comment or simply says out loud "PATREEOTS R GAY, TEHY SUCK, UR CHEATERS AND UR BAD" there's some douchebag who says "UR FAVRITE TEAM IS TEH SUCK, U WISH U WERE COOL ENOUGH TO LIKE THE PATTIES/SAWKS, 19-0". It's a game of give and take. Complaining about haters like me is basically equivalent to complaining about cheering for a winner. Come on. Be serious. And on a side note, I know Bill Simmons doesn't speak for all New England fans, but I sure hope most of you don't actually consider yourself smarter or better informed than fans of other teams like he always implies. That assertion almost pisses me off more than run-of-the-mill douchebaggery like the imaginary comment I just wrote or some asshole laughing at me in a bar for wearing a Rockies shirt because "They're naht even a real fahkin' team." Man, this bullet point really rambled. I should have used some sub-bullet points or something. Whatever.

4) Just to clear up a little matter that you initially addressed-

And I just dare someone to bring up Spygate.

I'll take that dare. Don't get me wrong; it has absolutely nothing to do with how good a team they are. I'm not going to sit here and put an asterisk on their 24 point shellacking of the Jets, as if it would have been any different were they not stealing signs. But it certainly does have something to do with making them even more unlikable. Roger Goddell made a rule. Bill Belichick said "Mumble grumble, I don't really feel like following that, robble." That's annoying and pisses me off. Granted, it doesn't piss me off as much as their fans, Rodney Harrison, Richard Seymour, Mike Vrabel, the way the media covers Tom Brady, or the way the media covers BRUSCHI. But it's still a strike against them when it comes to likability.

5) I'll wrap things up by summing everything up in 2 sentences: The Patriots are amazing. But fuck 'em anyways, along with their fans.

Pepe said...

Speaking of grumbling and whining! Big C's written two posts, and he's already one of the most intelligent sports bloggers out there?

Man, I re-quit.

larry b said...

I should have clarified- he's a writer at one of the most intelligent sports blogs I read on a regular basis.

Pepe said...

Yeah, Larry, I was just giving you a hard time. Thanks for reading, and for the comments.

Big C said...

@ Anonymous Suave:

If you ain't cheatin', you ain't tryin'! And don't tell me nobody loves a cheater; Bill Clinton is practically a god in some circles.
Perhaps the She-Hawks should try some of this 'cheating', no?

@ Larry B:

I just really like to whine, and now seems to be the best opportunity for me to do so. My Patriots fanship has not been without its labours; the hideous logos, the horrendous seasons, and the presence of so many New York [insert team name here] fans that Phoenix should seriously be considered the sixth bourough. On top of that, I've developed an inferiority complex derived from a friend (Diesel) who physically beats me every time I break out the Katzenmoyer jersey. My roomate (a Raiders fan) screams "Tuck Rule!!!" every time Tom Brady shows up on the television screen. And my old Meggett jersey is too small and makes my tits look big. OK, that last one has nothing to do with the Hatriots.

I'll never really get the chance for this manner righteous indignation again. My #1 first totally favorite team in the NFLs is the Detroit Lions. So there.