Tuesday, December 14, 2010

We're All So Damn Afraid


I mean, I may not want to write about it, but there's really only one thing that's happening in the league right now, or at least one thing with regard to victory in the present (watch those Bills and Browns, though). We all need to be watching and appreciating what Belichick, Brady, and the Patriots are doing to the league right now. In two consecutive weeks, they've played teams that have the offensive talent to overpower their young, often shaky defense and the defensive talent to harass Brady, and the results have been season altering embarrassments for both teams. And while I stand by what I've said earlier about my disdain for certain aspects of "The Patriot Way" and the fake indignation that has become synonymous with it, it's hard not to respect the results of that indignation on the field. Because while the composition of the team may scream "THIS IS THE RIGHT WAY TO LIVE", the execution on the field is almost delightfully "F*** YOUR COUCH."

I, for one, am grateful. Yes, watching my team of choice get their doors blown out was painful, but at least it happened in a way that should have taught them a lesson: Hanging around until the end is not a game plan worth respecting (the fact that they didn't learn this the next week is on the Jets, not on the Patriots). The same thing held true for the Bears, who decided they were going to use the weather and home turf to hold the Patriots within shooting distance, only to have the Pats come out burning the boats of "keep it close", and breaking their spirit at the end of the first half (seriously, how is it that only the coach I hate understands that not always trying to score with over a minute left in the half is shameful?). The B&B connection has embraced the reality that their surrounding talent does not stack up conventionally against other teams, and as a result have executed a game plan built to shock teams into submission. It's the "FIGHT" in "fight or flight" as played out by a team that is too dedicated to winning to ever consider playing anything other than a fearless game plan.

That none of their opponents have dared to take the fight to them is shameful, particularly when you consider that neither the Bears nor the Jets have any real "dignity" to which they should be clinging. Does nobody else think that Braylon, Santonio, and Keller should KILL this Patriots secondary, or that Jay Cutler has the arm to punish them down the field and a sold out pass rush from Peppers could shake Brady to the core, or that either team's "creative" offensive guru couldn't construct a rush game built to confuse an inexperienced linebacker corps? Instead, both challengers brought chess sets to gunfights. Am I the only one who has watched enough horror movies to understand that you don't get to walk away alive unless you KILL the monster?

All of this makes me reconsider where my head has been at on New England this year. I still think they did Moss wrong (whatever the mainstream says, this should have been his championship team), and I can't stand the "nobody believes in us" lie that was shed a decade ago, but I'll be damned if I haven't found myself in awe of the killer instinct that both of these things have created in this team. At least, I'm as much in awe of them as I am disappointed that none of their opponents, many of whom built talented rosters specifically to seize their thrown (LOOKING AT YOU JETS), feel the sense of urgency that must necessarily accompany power being seized. Instead, they carry themselves with what they mistake for dignity, but is the game planning equivalent of the emperor's new clothes.

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