Tuesday, October 9, 2007

how the hell did the patriots get this reputation?

a semi-outrageous blurb from a dumb AP article about a "controversial" non-story that happened in sunday's patriots/browns game involving a late, low hit by new england LB mike vrabel:

Whether Vrabel's move on Thomas was intentional or not, to Steinbach, it's yet another spot on the Patriots' once-impeccable image, which seems to be getting more tarnished as the months pass.

let me clarify that this isn't yet another of my "god i hate the red sox/patriots soooooo much!!!!1111" tirades. although i do enjoy writing those... expect one as soon as bill simmons releases his inevitable "HA HA RED SOX WON YANKEES LOST TAKE THAT YANKEE FANS" article later this week. anyways, there's no negativity for the patriots themselves here. i'm just pissed about the way the media portrays them. the way i've always understood it, the reason they're widely regarded as a model NFL franchise is because they consistently make great player personnel decisions and have won 3 super bowls in the last 6 years. that's all and that's it. they spend their money wisely, draft well, and win a lot. what other team wouldn't want to emulate them in this regard?

so here's the rub- how did they somehow along the way add a "they're the classiest, nicest, swellest team in the league too!" component to this rep? since when did they also become known as pinnacles of character? when the whole camera controversy thing happened back in september, i couldn't help but wonder why so much attention was being paid to the possible "damage" this would do to the patriots' legacy. what legacy? the one in which they won a lot? i realize that was cheating, but the way i heard things pretty much every team in the league was doing the exact same thing up until this year. it was far from out of the ordinary. the patriots kept doing it into 2007, got caught, and got penalized. that was a mildly interesting story, especially because i hate them. but again, i really didn't (and still don't) understand why everyone is acting like this hurts their reputation as a collective bunch of goody two shoes. as far as i knew, they had a reputation for being really good at football and that's about it.

so getting to the dumb little story that prompted this post, why is one questionable late and low hit all of a sudden doing even more harm in the exact same way? i don't get it. i looked around and couldn't find any penalty statistics from previous years, but i'm going to go way out on a limb and guess that the patriots have committed their fair share during the construction of this mini-dynasty they have going. including some late hits and other personal fouls! oh my heavens! and then when it comes to off the field stuff, their coach tried to steal a guy's wife! (i can't believe how many football fan friends of mine hadn't heard of this before i told them about it. sorry the link isn't great, but the story is right there.) their golden boy QB just had a kid out of wedlock! (probably don't need a link for that one.)

now, don't get me wrong- i'm not criticizing the patriots for this kind of stuff. on the field, tons of players all over the league play dirty each and every sunday. off it, plenty of athletes and coaches have shady lives. larry eustachy, anyone? but apparently, according to this writer (and many many more just like him/her...trust me, it's an epidemic) prior to this season the new england patriots had never done anything wrong or dirty. ever. it confuses the hell out of me. maybe i'm just out of touch; have they actually legitimately developed a reputation of classiness along with their reputation for making good player decisions and winning? or is the former just a function of the latter- as in, everyone just assumes that because they win a lot and they don't have any ray lewis/chris henry type convicts on their team, they must be nice guys as well? i'm frustrated and pissed about this. and furthermore i'm now pissed that this is a rambling post in which i'm kind of sort of defending a boston sports team. i think i'm just going to cut my losses, but please, leave me your thoughts- is this "classy reputation" thing a bunch of crap or what?


Chris W said...

ever since bruschi had that stroke and then came back they have started getting this "nice guys" reputation

i'm dead serious...i'm not making fun of bruschi for having a stroke...this is legitimately the way i see the media perception of the patriots

eriz said...

no it started way before that. Remember ESPN sucking Brady's cock for winning with class and being a great sport? And how they always played as a team and everybody stepped it up because they had respect for the game and blah blah blah

And then last season when they lost to the colts, Brady threw a tantrum like a spoiled little shit. It's easy to have good "sportsmanship" when you never lose.

Larry I totally agree with you, I'd love to have a team like that: one that makes smart moves, and wins a bunch of games. But honestly, other than the perpetual winning and smart managment/coaching, they are like every other football team. Football players are football players everywhere you go.