Sunday, September 16, 2007

Counterargument #1

The NFL's greatest dynasty.

Whoa, Big Daddy Kane, busting out the big guns for our initial debate, huh? Kicking things off with an argument I can't win? With an argument that can't be won. I see how it is, and I will return the favor. As for now? Here goes nothing...

You think those rings are tainted? Don't respect the Pats anymore? Why not? Doesn't "Cameragate" go in line with everything else we've seen from Belichick's 21st century dynasty? I mean, they do everything better than everyone else. Just look at the way he manages money, players, and team morale. Notice how the Patriots, after narrowly losing to Indy in the AFC title game last year, were still far enough under the cap that they were able to add Donte' Stallworth, Wes Welker, and Adalius Thomas this past offseason. The way he's been able to eschew great players who were key to the reign like Vinatieri, McGinest, Milloy, and Law and still remain in the mix. Look at the way he's built an environment of selflessness and dedication to the team goal, convincing his players to forget individual incentives and instead focus, entirely and wholeheartedly, on hoisting the Lombardi each February. In New England, that is the ultimate reward; not money, not commercials, not Pro Bowl spots. Those who won't stay with the program, like former Super Bowl MVP Deion Branch, get shipped out. They still go 12-4. Other than You-Know-Who, no one is indispensible in Boston, only interchangable. When you have a 53-man roster in which there are no below-average players, it's like that.

And the prospect of winning is what drove a career loser like Corey Dillon to New England and. It's what got Randy Moss to agree to a $6 million paycut. He wanted to catch passes from Tom Brady, an extension of Belichick who agreed to take less money than he was worth so that more could be used on the team. At the time he signed his last contract, he had three more Super Bowl rings than Peyton Manning and two more Big Game MVP's; he still took $4 million less per year. To hell with the check; he wants the jewelry. When your leader on the field takes on that attitude, it spreads to the rest of the club.

As far as coaching goes, just know that Belicheck won two Super Bowls as Tuna defensive coordinator in New York, and that they finished 6th in points allowed in 2001, 1st in 2003, and 2nd in 2004. And that as far as we know, they don't steal offensive signs. This is and has been a great defensive football team. Also, they beat Carolina in Super Bowl XXXVIII, but didn't play them during the regular season that year; ditto for Philly in XXXIX. So we can't say they knew they're signals coming in. They simply were better than their opponents in performing in intense, high-pressure situation.

And that last fact, not the one that they used video technology to steal offensive signals, is what we should remember thirty years from now when we think of the greatest dynasty in pro football history.

*Takes huge sigh of relief* I'm glad that's over with. That was even harder than I thought it would be. I wonder if anybody's actually gonna buy this nonsense?

(Post-post correction: I sincerely apologize for spelling Belichick "Belicheck" and leaving it like that for eight hours. I have righted this wrong.)

(Post-post clarification: I didn't make this clear: The point I was trying to make is that we shouldn't be surprised that the Patriots were able to get away with the spying for so long. They're more efficient than the other 31 teams at every other aspect of the business; cheating is just one more area. Of course, that's a B.S. argument, but we've already established that there's no defending the Pats on this issue. Oh, well, vote for me anyway!)

2 comments:

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