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24 Jan 2008

The Week in Quotes: January 24, 2008

compiled by Ben Riley

SEYMOUR BUTTS?

"There are 10 [bleeping] good players on that team. But Richard Seymour is a dirty, cheap, little pompous [expletive that rhymes with witch]."

-- Chargers center Nick Hardwick, complaining about Patriots defensive end Richard Seymour after the Chargers lost to the Patriots last Sunday. During a radio interview on Tuesday, Hardwick also accused Seymour of head-butting a Chargers assistant coach (a YouTube clip that may or may not show the alleged head butt is available on profootballtalk.com)

"He's cheap and dirty and the head man just let him get away with it the whole time. They've got 10 great players on that team and when Jarvis Green comes on the field, they've got 11 great players who compete how you're supposed to play. But Richard Seymour is the biggest [b****] I've ever played."

-- Hardwick

"Head slapping, foot stomping in the pile, running by and throwing punches in your back. He's a [b****]."

-- Hardwick

"There's a field goal where he was stomping feet. Who stomps feet?"

-- Hardwick

"He plays like a punk."

-- Hardwick

"Everyone seems to think we're soft -- that we're Southern Cal boys and we're not going to play hard and we're soft and we're quitters. We're just as dirty, if not dirtier than anyone else in the league, so we like that."

-- Hardwick, in early December, after the Chargers played the Titans (Boston Herald)

"I thought it was classless, but I also understand he was hurt and frustrated. He's a grown man, and grown men usually try to own up to what happened and not rub it in, taking a loss like a man."

-- Richard Seymour, responding to Hardwick's criticisms

"We were into it the whole game. I just wasn't taking any stuff. All of it came between the whistles. Me, I'm not going to go to the media and talk bad about someone. I take pride in not crying to the media about what goes on in the line of play. If I want to say something about that, I'm going to handle it on the field."

-- Seymour

"There's no battle of words, but you can't attack my character."

-- Seymour

"I guess what I would say is that I don't expect any Christmas cards from him."

-- Seymour

"Whatever I did, it was between the whistles. Of course there is some pushing and shoving; it's a physical game. That's the way I play the game. There was nothing after the whistle, but it's a violent game and I play the game violently."

-- Seymour

"My thing is that if you're going to speak, please speak the truth. The film, if you look at the copy of the game that teams get, you can see what they were doing to me -- pushing me over the pile, and all that stuff in the trenches. You can see it yourself."

-- Seymour

"So for me, the proof is in the pudding. You judge a tree by its fruit."

-- Seymour, who did not elaborate on whether the proof-providing pudding is made from the tree-judging fruit

"I was surprised. That's the last thing I would say about Richard."

-- Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, reacting to Hardwick's allegations about Seymour's sinister tactics (Boston Globe)

"The extracurricular stuff is just unnecessary. I mean, he does stuff way after the play."

-- Hardwick, two days later during a radio interview

"No no no. No clue about that."

-- Hardwick, when asked if knew that Seymour's father was imprisoned for murder when he alleged that Seymour's dirty play was the result of his "upbringing"

"Oh yeah, totally. Well, part of it was."

-- Hardwick, when asked if his comment was meant as a joke

"I said it, whatever, I'm moving on. I mean, it'll probably get brought up next year. What's he going to do, play harder?"

-- Hardwick

"He doesn't head butt you after the play. Head butt your coach before the game. Things like that."

-- Hardwick, explaining why he feels Seymour is a dirtier player that Titans defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth (who, it must be said again, stomped on a guy's bare head with his cleat) (XX Sports Radio)

AH, THIS IS LIVIN' / SO MUCH I'VE BEEN GIVEN / FOR A BARBER WHO'S DRIVEN / TO BE THE BEST!

"I'm not, dude. I really am not."

-- Former Giants running back Tiki Barber, when asked if he was sad that he retired now that the Giants are in the Super Bowl

"It's interesting. My wife asked me that exact question. Ginny asked, 'So you have to feel, even just a little bit of remorse that you left early.' I said 'Honey, I'm trying to make myself think that and wish I was still there.' But I'm not."

-- Barber

"My life, personally and professionally, has gone a different way. My passion is elsewhere."

-- Barber

"That being said, I'm ecstatic for those guys ... I'm happy for them. I really am."

-- Barber

"I said what I said about the New York Giants because it's my job. But that doesn't mean that I'm not a supporter of New York Giants. People think I'm a Giant-hater. I'm not. I went down Tampa to watch [Ronde] play. I wasn't rooting for [Ronde]. I was rooting for the Giants."

-- Barber, implicitly suggesting that while he allegedly loves the Giants, he hates his brother (we're just kidding, Barber-inos!) (NY Daily News)

ALSO, IF THE GIANTS WIN THE SUPER BOWL, ELI COULD POSSIBLY GO TO DISNEYLAND

"He has his team in the position right now, if they win today they could possibly go on to the Super Bowl, and make an appearance there."

-- ESPN commentator Emmitt Smith, describing how Giants quarterback Eli Manning led the Giants to a position where, if they won the NFC Championship Game last Sunday against the Packers, they could possibly make an appearance in the Super Bowl. And yes, this is a Quote-of-the-Year Nominee. (AOL Fanhouse)

THE TIMES ARE TOUGH NOW, JUST GETTING TOUGHER / THIS OLD WORLD IS ROUGH, ITS JUST GETTING ROUGHER

"He can't cover me!"

-- Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress, taunting the Packers' bench and mocking the inability of Packers cornerback Al Harris to cover him during last Sunday's NFC Championship Game. Burress finished with 11 catches for 151 yards.

"I would say I lost my individual battle, which I haven't done in a while."

-- Al Harris, admitting that he was taken to school by Burress

"Not at all; you can't. He caught, what, six passes, five passes? He had a good day. A couple throws were really nice throws."

-- Harris, when asked if he blamed himself for the Packers loss

"If that will make it better, that I say, 'OK, it's on me,' then I'm cool with that."

-- Harris

"A pass is a pass, but it doesn't equal up to points. They were more drive-sustaining catches, which sucks."

-- Harris (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

HE MAY BE A PUNK, BUT HE'S A TOUGH PUNK

"The ACL is gone."

-- Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, revealing after the Chargers-Patriots game that he played the entire game without the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee (San Diego Union-Tribune)

THE REST

"I don't have any idea. I was stunned. He just said he was going in a different direction."

-- Former Chargers wide receiver coach James Lofton, when asked if he could explain why he was recently fired by Chargers head coach Norv Turner (San Diego Union-Tribune)

"Like meeting Neil Armstrong on the moon. You know a guy is from a different generation when he stands up to shake hands with people ... I see one guy with a Starr jersey lift his eggs to his mouth, look over, see Starr, and the eggs just fell off his fork, he was so shocked."

-- Brian Hyland, producer of HBO's Inside the NFL , describing what it was like when he recently saw former Packers quarterback Bart Starr eating breakfast and signing autographs (Sports Illustrated)

"I don't think it's any secret that our quarterback situation hasn't been settled. So, yes, we're looking at all the quarterbacks here."

-- Bears head coach Lovie Smith, admitting that he was evaluating quarterbacks at the Senior Bowl

"Down the line, we're just looking at those decisions about who's going to be back and who we may have to look to replace. I don't want to sound evasive about extending him. That's not the case."

-- Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, sounding very evasive about whether he'll be willing to offer a contract extension to Terrell Owens (FOX Sports.com)

"That makes me feel like a real sissy."

-- FOX announcer Troy Aikman, offering his thoughts as FOX went to a commercial break showing the Packers Bikini Girls during last Sunday's subzero Packers'-Giants contest at Lambeau Field (grainy footage of the Packers Bikini Girls -- Jen, Ashley and Liz -- available here)

"Whichever team wins it, I'm going to suffer."

-- Ira Lieberfarb, a 53-year-old auto-parts wholesaler and die-hard Jets fan from Staten Island, N.Y., describing his lack of enthusiasm for the upcoming Patriots-Giants Super Bowl (NY Daily News)

Next week -- The Year in Quotes! Send in your favorites (including those you think we may have missed) to quotes-at-footballoutsiders.com, and please remember to include a link to your source.

Posted by: Ben Riley on 24 Jan 2008

99 comments, Last at 01 Feb 2008, 6:31pm by Cyrus

Comments

1
by James, London (not verified) :: Thu, 01/24/2008 - 11:32am

Two consecutive weeks without Herm? I'm Jonesing :(

And Emmitt, ya think?

2
by Travis (not verified) :: Thu, 01/24/2008 - 11:42am

When Jarvis Green comes on the field, they’ve got 11 great players who compete how you’re supposed to play.

Nick Hardwick must not be familiar with Vince Wilfork or Rodney Harrison.

3
by Joe T. (not verified) :: Thu, 01/24/2008 - 11:49am

Norv fired James Lofton? A different direction? I suppose his receivers were playing at too high a level recently to fit into the Norv Turner attack.

Philip Rivers may have been missing his ACL for the game but his passion bucket was filled to the brim.

4
by Kneel Before Zod! (not verified) :: Thu, 01/24/2008 - 12:50pm

After being forced to give Rivers grudging respect and feel genuine sympathy for BLT it's nice to see another Charger step up to the baby seat and sweeten the victory with a crybaby rant.

5
by starzero (not verified) :: Thu, 01/24/2008 - 1:04pm

for some reason, i keep thinking the senior bowl is a game for retired pros. that would make lovie look even more desperate. seriously, how hard is it to make better decisions than rex grossman?

6
by thestar5 (not verified) :: Thu, 01/24/2008 - 1:05pm

2,

Or Mike Vrabel. Link in my name.

7
by slo-mo-joe (not verified) :: Thu, 01/24/2008 - 1:47pm

Meanies, all of them. They make the angels cry.

8
by Malene, cph, dk (not verified) :: Thu, 01/24/2008 - 1:53pm

Oh my word, there are NFL players who commit fouls during the game? You're saying there are illegal hits in the NFL?

That's shocking. SHOCKING, I say.

9
by slo-mo-joe (not verified) :: Thu, 01/24/2008 - 2:02pm

By the way, it looks like Umenyora now is saying that Light (who practically shut him down in December) is a big fat meanie too - see link.

10
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Thu, 01/24/2008 - 2:04pm

My favorite after the whistle along the line of scrimmage story is from a game when the '70s Steelers were playing a team I've forgotten. Joe Greene starts complaining to the ref about being held, and telling the guy who was doing it to stop. Halfway through the 2nd quarter, Greene has had enough, and drops the guy with a single uppercut to the jaw, avoiding the facemask, and is unseen by the ref. He then walks deliberately towards the opposing sideline, as the guys lays on the ground semi-concious, stops about five yards away, and addresses his opponents, "I......(EFFING)......TOLD HIM....TO STOP.....HOLDING ME!!!!!!!"

The guy who I heard tell the story was on the opposition sideline, and maintains that nobody from the bench so much as uttered a peep, as Greene turned and strolled back to the defensive huddle.

11
by Karl Cuba (not verified) :: Thu, 01/24/2008 - 2:31pm

“So for me, the proof is in the pudding. You judge a tree by its fruit.”

So what does this say about Richard Seymour's plums?

12
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Thu, 01/24/2008 - 2:39pm

I thought it was interesting that he called Seymour "pompous". I mean, what did Seymour do before smacking the guy, say, "I am pleased to inform you that the shot I am about to deliver is the product of many, many, hours of the finest physical training that anyone in our chosen endeavor pursues, my good man!"

13
by Baltimark (not verified) :: Thu, 01/24/2008 - 2:47pm

I think that Brian Hyland is confusing a Bart Starr sighting and the Walter Ray Williams commercial for Denny's.

14
by Eddo (not verified) :: Thu, 01/24/2008 - 2:59pm

This is very much off-topic, but did I miss the voting for the Annual FO Awards? If so, where should I have been looking?

15
by Tom D (not verified) :: Thu, 01/24/2008 - 3:27pm

Re 5:

Name 5 quarterbacks who are obviously better than Grossman, and available for less than 3 first round picks. Just name 2, and I'm sure the Bears will be all over it.

16
by MJK (not verified) :: Thu, 01/24/2008 - 3:32pm

Name 5 quarterbacks who are obviously better than Grossman, and available for less than 3 first round picks. Just name 2, and I’m sure the Bears will be all over it.

You could probably pry Derek Anderson away from the Browns for less than 3 first round picks (assuming that Brady Quinn has looked good in practice). And you could certainly acquire J.P. Losman away from the Bills for less than 3 first rounders. I would say both of those guys are better than Grossman. You might be able to get a hold of Kurt Warner or Matt Lienhart from the Cardinals, as well...

17
by Tundrapat (not verified) :: Thu, 01/24/2008 - 3:40pm

“Not at all; you can’t. He caught, what, six passes, five passes? He had a good day. A couple throws were really nice throws.”

Al Harris has a good head for math. Maybe Harris was talking about Burress' sequential catches. Six, then five. For a total of eleven.

And then he implies that, since only a couple (2 of 11) were 'really nice throws', that Harris let Burress get hold of 9 crappy tosses.

18
by bsr (not verified) :: Thu, 01/24/2008 - 3:42pm

"it’s a violent game and I play the game violently.”

That's a great quote. Anyone else suprised that there has been no video of Seymour's supposed dirty play? Nope? Me neither.

19
by perplexed (not verified) :: Thu, 01/24/2008 - 3:45pm

Patriot fans won't hear this, but the Patriots are a dirty, cheap-shot team. Watch any Patriot game and every time a player is tackled, count one Mississippi, and like magic, there is Tedy Breuschi coming in with a helmet or shoulderpad into the prone player.

It's interesting that we hear the same two defenses simultaneously that we hear every single time; "The Patriots never cheap-shot anyone" and "Everyone does it."

Well, which is it? It's one of the reasons why everyone loathes the Patriots outside of the little sliver of the Northeast. I was at a family sports restaurant for the playoffs recently. The place was filled with Green Bay fans, Dallas fans, Giants fans, pretty much everyone. Yet during the Patriot game they were all united in cheering loudly and aggressively against the Patriots. I doubt Batman boxing Osama would have evoked that much emotion.

20
by Bill (not verified) :: Thu, 01/24/2008 - 3:49pm

I think Emmitt is overestimating Eli’s ability to go to the superbowl and make an appearance there. It’s a bold prediction, if you ask me.

21
by bsr (not verified) :: Thu, 01/24/2008 - 3:57pm

Who is Tedy Breuschi?

22
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Thu, 01/24/2008 - 3:59pm

"Al Harris has a good head for math. Maybe Harris was talking about Burress’ sequential catches. Six, then five. For a total of eleven."

Well, Harris didn't cover Burress every play, so he MAY have only had 5 or 6 while actually being covered by Harris

23
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Thu, 01/24/2008 - 4:01pm

"Well, which is it? It’s one of the reasons why everyone loathes the Patriots outside of the little sliver of the Northeast. I"

Thats because the Patriots have won superbowls, and crushed your team. Its got nothing to do with morals, cheap shots, or otherwise. You can keep trying to convince yourself otherwise, but the truth is, you don't like the Patriots because they're better than your team.

Its the same reason Red Sox fans have always hated the Yankees: Because the yankees have always (excepting the last 5 years or so) been the better team.

24
by pcs (not verified) :: Thu, 01/24/2008 - 4:03pm

I'm pretty sure it was Troy Aikman who said the bikini girls made him feel like a sissy.

I think they asked Tiki Barber the wrong question. Instead of asking whether he regrets having retired the year before the Giants went to the Super Bowl, perhaps they should ask him whether he thinks it's just coincidence that the Giants went to the Super Bowl right after he retired.

25
by slo-mo-joe (not verified) :: Thu, 01/24/2008 - 4:11pm

19:
I forgot, Tedy Bruschi is a meanie too.

Seriously, apart from Rodney's well-known and rightly chastised propensity for late hits, one hardly heard any complaint about the Patriots being a particularly dirty team until this year. Now, all of a sudden, every player on their roster is apparently a thug.

Somehow, I think this has more to do with bruised egos than bruised bodies.

26
by bsr (not verified) :: Thu, 01/24/2008 - 4:14pm

#23 - Its not just against the Patriots. It seems like more and more players come out to whine lately. Hardwick whines about the Pats. The Titans whine about Hardwick. The Packers whine about the Giants. Osi whines about Light. The beat goes on and on and on. Seriously, didn't these guys used to be tougher than this?

27
by Independent George (not verified) :: Thu, 01/24/2008 - 4:18pm

#12 - If he actually did that, and wore a mic when it happened, it would be the most awesome thing ever. It would root even make me root for the Pats.

28
by Tom D (not verified) :: Thu, 01/24/2008 - 4:34pm

Re 16:

I'm pretty sure Anderson is excatly the same player as Grossman, with a far superior supporting cast.

While Losman could be had, I don't he is worth giving up anything to get.

I guess I should have phrased me question differently. I should have said name 2 quarterbacks that can be had for equal or less value than the draft picks would add to the Bears. Improving the offensive line will help the offense way more than any journeyman qb can.

29
by Herm? (not verified) :: Thu, 01/24/2008 - 4:52pm

Meh, I don't know why non-Pats fans are up in arms about piling on and late hits. For all the out-of-bounds / late hits / celebration shenanigans, it's the other team that gets the 15 yards and automatic 1st down, not the Pats. In my accounts, I've seen Rodney piling on and hitting his own teammate more than he hits an opposing player.

Stop crying to the media and talk to the rules and competition committees...just be careful what you wish for, because then the 15 free yards and automatic first downs go away. And I guess that would be a bad thing, I hear this Pats team is pretty good.

30
by Scott (not verified) :: Thu, 01/24/2008 - 5:00pm

Re: 24

I've certainly noticed an uptick in callous, dubious and sometimes uproarious quotes from players about dirty play and referees.

I'm hoping to write a column about this but what surprises me is the Commissioner hasn't gotten more heat for this. Personally, I find his performance this year remarkably weak.

He's good being Wyatt Earp with Adam Jones and Michael Vick. But he's been terrible with difficult management problems. In the middle of the season I noticed a series of players leveling serious accusations about refs and the league fixing games, refs making racist remarks, and a general challenging of the credibility of the league. (Note this is not limited to the Pats-Ravens contest, though that was certainly a startling series of comments from the Ravens players).

Sure, Goodell fined them but that's a reasonably impotent response to someone you employ essentially challenging the veracity of your product.

Where was the Wyatt Earp routine when it mattered? Where was the leadership? Why didn't Goodell come out and say, firmly, "Cut it out! This is unacceptable behavior!" Even this week, with one of the biggest games coming up, he's got players accusing each other of head butting coaches, and being thugs because of their upbringing (which could be construed as racist).

Tagliabue was by no means perfect and one could argue that situations like Adam Jones' were allowed to go on under his regime. But at the same time, he was much more deft about squashing credibility smashing speculation. Nothing was sleazier than the Jets-Patriots border war and he actually managed that situation as well as it could be managed from a PR perspective.

Goodell on the other hand has shown a real inability to lead. Why hasn't Goodell taken the reins of the spygate situation and rid the world of the constant speculation about what was on the tapes (research) and why he destroyed them (why keep them?). He seems to have taken a perverse pleasure in letting a coach and a team twist in the wind, almost as if it's part of the punishment, when in reality all he's done is extend speculation about his leagues lack of credibility, and allow talking heads to bring up any manner of past transgressions to compare this one to.

This is awful, weak leadership. I'm surprised at the free pass he gets. Jones, Vick et. al. are fish in a barrel. It didn't take Churchillian leadership to take the drastic steps Goodell took with them.

But in the more difficult situations, he's performed more like Selig than Churchill.

31
by Scott (not verified) :: Thu, 01/24/2008 - 5:04pm

Sorry, what I mean to say at the end was, he has a negative DVOA for the Commissioner Position.

32
by Parker (not verified) :: Thu, 01/24/2008 - 5:35pm

I'm not suggesting that Vrabel is a dirty player, but on the Rivers interception, didn't he try to leg whip him? There was a good 'behind the QB' shot of the play and I think it is clear that as Vrabel is falling down on Rivers right, he shoots his leg out in an attempt to trip or kick Rivers.

I thought a penalty could have been called on that.

Whatever.

33
by slo-mo-joe (not verified) :: Thu, 01/24/2008 - 5:43pm

#27:
If anything gets discussed/changed by the Comp Com, I am pretty sure it won't further limit defenses. If anything, I would expect a relaxation of the IC/interference emphasis or, more likely, a change in the extent of penalties for OPI (15 yards/half the distance?). That is, of course, unless Harrison retires and the Colts lure Moss away from the Pats ;-) .

#30:
That was a penalty, I agree.

34
by slo-mo-joe (not verified) :: Thu, 01/24/2008 - 6:47pm

Bah, the comments linked in my previous post are now 29 and 32.

Hey, can the FO honchos proclaim a SuperBowl amnesty and get Rich off probation? This comment-shifting thing is a drag.

35
by The McNabb Bowl Game Anomaly (not verified) :: Thu, 01/24/2008 - 7:14pm

Re: 19

Patriot fans won’t hear this, but the Patriots are a dirty, cheap-shot team. Watch any Patriot game and every time a player is tackled, count one Mississippi, and like magic, there is Tedy Breuschi coming in with a helmet or shoulderpad into the prone player.

Bruschi isn't dirty, he's just slow.

36
by RickD (not verified) :: Thu, 01/24/2008 - 7:14pm

re: the Wilfork video. What I see is a guy rushing the passer who throws the ball away just as the rusher is being knocked down by the lineman he just got past. I suppose Wilfork was supposed to avoid the laws of physics and not hit Losman.

Here's what Bills GM Marv Levy said: (follow the link on my name)

"When I saw what happened, I was irate," said Levy. "But I've looked at the film countless times to see if there was propulsion from another player that sent him into that position at that speed. It's hard to tell. I'm not going to throw forth an accusation. I can't say it was an obvious dirty play."

And some numbskull last week claimed that this was done intentionally at Belichick's behest. This is biased idiocy at its best.

37
by Quentin (not verified) :: Thu, 01/24/2008 - 8:05pm

Browns WR Braylon Edwards, appearing as a guest on FSN's "Best Damn Sports Show Period," on Brady Quinn's Subway commercial: "During the commercial, there's a part where he's throwing the sub and the guy says, 'We can do this on Sunday.' And Brady says, 'Nah, I'm kind of busy.' I looked at him and said, 'Are you really?'" -- Best Damn Sports Show Period

38
by Hemlock (not verified) :: Thu, 01/24/2008 - 8:08pm

NFL football = professional wrestling. Meet your heels, the New England Patriots.

39
by im_no_playa (not verified) :: Thu, 01/24/2008 - 8:26pm

the Patriots being a particularly dirty team until this year. Now, all of a sudden, every player on their roster is apparently a thug.

Hmm .. maybe the Bengals are actually headed in the right direction....

40
by The Broilermaster (not verified) :: Thu, 01/24/2008 - 8:45pm

@31: I think you mean DPAR, not DVOA. =P

But I completely agree with you, Goodell has done roughly nothing meaningful as commisioner.

41
by Harris (not verified) :: Thu, 01/24/2008 - 9:03pm

#10 That kind of reminds me of a story about Howie Long. There was a timeout during a game against the Seahakws and the Raider waterboys were late getting on the field. Long, who'd been abusing the Seattle line as was his custom, stomped into the huddle and said something like, "Gimme that damn water. They haven't done anything to deserve it." None of the Seahawks challenged him.

42
by Charlie (not verified) :: Thu, 01/24/2008 - 9:06pm

Re:12

I actually lol'd at that.

43
by thestar5 (not verified) :: Thu, 01/24/2008 - 9:52pm

23,

No Rich, you're just making yourself look ignorant. You're dead wrong, dead wrong. Why does hardly anybody hate the Colts, the Spurs, or the Cowboys (just kidding on the last one)? Thats just what a biased Pats fan like you want to believe. And is another perfect example of why people hate the Pats. Your fans (or many of them) are insufferable, your coach cheats, your players are dirty (which is okay to admit by the way, I'm a cowboy fan and I freely admit Row Williams is a dirty punk. Somehow Pats fans can't admit the same) and we have to hear about your team like its its own sport on ESPN. Winning is but one small factor, don't let your arrogance blind you.

7,

Nope, just Pats. ;)

44
by Scott C. (not verified) :: Thu, 01/24/2008 - 11:18pm

On whining and why are there so many whining players today compared to [insert favorite era before 1990 or so]:

There aren't more whiners, there's more microphones. More media attention. More interviews.

45
by Waverly (not verified) :: Thu, 01/24/2008 - 11:58pm

More internet.

46
by slo-mo-joe (not verified) :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 12:08am

43:
Bad examples. People don't hate the Colts because, for the most part, their image is not that of winners, but of losers, at least when it matters. People don't hate the Spurs because few care that much about basketball anyway. Most baseball fans definitely hate the Yankees, and hated them even more when they were winning all the time, certainly as much as most football fans now hate the Pats. No one hated the Red Sox 4 years ago (apart from Yankess fans), but many are starting to do so now.

47
by Herm? (not verified) :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 12:19am

43
I have to stop you right there. You make your point, it has validity mixed in there. I don't know if I've heard anyone deny the Rodney Harrison stuff. And no rational Pats fan is going to bother posting things like "Yes, Richard Seymour is a (witch)", or "I agree 100%Wilfork should die a slow painful death." It just aint happening.

So what's left over - you're reading all the antiPatriots fan comments and picking the irrational responses that are wrong and crown this attitude as the identity of the entire Patriots fan base.

If you were a fan of the 90's Cowboys, who do you most associate that team with? What are you most proud of? Troy & Emmit (pre announcing days) and the other "good guys", or Leon Lett and Michael Irvin? What if all that happened in 2008, in the time of everyone of all ages being able to use a computer without a license. You must know what it's like to be part of a hated fan base. Multiply it by 100%

I'm not sure why I bother anymore. Defending the team and fans that preside within the same locale as me, over the internet against the 31:1 ratio is a no win situation. Even if I were 100% right it can't be "won".
My main focus lately has been to enjoy the games (I have) and try to ignore the other stuff (not quite there yet).

Also, basketball is not nearly popular enough to hold a fraction candle to the NFL. And you CAN NOT put the Colts in the same category. At least not yet. They're still on the other side of that line because they can't win championshipS. Jeez, even I like the Colts, but its almost out of sympathy. They took so much time to finally get the ring, and now they have to spend another year fighting a one and done identity.

48
by rashreflection (not verified) :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 12:32am

All I'm going to say is that Scott C. in #44 gets it right. I would add that sports have increasingly merged with the celebrity culture over time, which has led to them being covered in a similar way and created an audience for the whining.

Bryant Gumbel just talked about this for a bit on Real Sports, actually. The NFL has replaced the WWE as the leading soap opera for men, and you're all just playing their game...

-Josh

49
by Nicky P (not verified) :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 1:14am

Boo hoo, the Pats are dirty, somebody needs to stop these awful men.

Give me a break.

Part of the reason people think the Pats are dirty is because their games are viewed and scrutinized by more people than any other team. I'm quite certain that if some other random team was constantly in the headlines, we'd be looking at every single play under the microscope like we do these Pats (and the networks, websites, talking heads, bloggers, FO, etc. would be sure to jam every last "controversial" play down our throats).

Nobody knows if the Lions have dirty players because, well, nobody cares.

Another reason everybody is piling on these dirty Pats is due to SMM - Soccer Mom Mentality. There are no winners, no losers, everyone gets a trophy, and nobody knows who's done well and who's done poorly because everyone is just running around in a circle. For lack of a better term - man up!

Back in the day - tough guys were glorified. The 70s Steelers will be forever known for their toughness. And we all know they NEVER played dirty! Right? Riiiiiiiite.

Imagine if we actually had the video technology back then that we have now? Imagine if we could get every single questionable "cheap" play caught on tape and put online two seconds later for the whole world to see. I wonder if these tough teams of old would have been considered tough, hard-nosed football players or dirty and cheap?

I believe it was Joe Jacoby on those old Redskins teams that used to wear unnecessary casts on his arms just to bash opponents in the head. If a current day Patriot did something like that - well, watch out ClubGate, or CastGate, or whatever.

Our society is soft and I'm willing to bet if you asked any of these old school players about the Patriots being cheap or dirty, they'd laugh in your face.

Just stop. It's football. These guys are warriors. They will police themselves between the lines.

50
by patriotsgirl (not verified) :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 1:52am

I agree with 44 and 45. Not to mention that, during the same time, there has been simultaneous consolidation of media, along with (related to 45) an increase in internet journalism and 24-hour journalism, where speed and the quick headline (rather than substance) rule the day.

It seems like the attention span of the mass market is limited, or at least perceived as such, and everyone jumps over themselves to focus on the same controversial stories.

The difference since even 2003 is pronounced - remember when Zach Piller commented that the Pats didn't outplay the Titans and he was generally a footnote in the story? Compare that to Hardwick's comments this week.

43. So, why do so many people despise the Cowboys? Fan perceptions are, of course, entirely rational - so, it must mean that Romo et al are eeevol...:)

51
by Ben Riley :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 2:01am

#24

I thought for sure it was Buck, but multiple websites agree with you that is was Aikman, so I'll fix the quote. Question: is the quote funnier from Buck or Aikman? I say Aikman but it's a judgment call.

52
by Nicky P (not verified) :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 2:26am

50

I made a similar post in another thread - I'm too lazy to go look for it.

I believe the internet is the A1 reason why we're in the midst of a Hatriot Nation.

The net has never been so readily available. Combine that with lightning-quick surfing, and people are now more willing, and more able, to log on.

This particular medium has exploded over the last 5 years.

The exposure is endless. Not only that, but there are debate forums for one and all. These range from people debating the minutiae in an intellegent fashion on certain sites, to talkin smack on your typical mainstream sites, to just plain shooting the bull with some coworkers and friends.

And then after the game, the emotionally charged, yet not-thought-out comments come flying from the just-beaten team. And local and national cameras and microphones capture the words. And those words are pumped into sports shows and web sites in a hot minute.

The Patriots are the first dynasty of the internet era.

If dynasties of the past were hated, when the not-as-popular NFL began to grow in a time in which there was much less technology and exposure, imagine what non Pats fans feel today.

53
by Nicky P (not verified) :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 2:29am

BTW Patsgirl,

I thought I was the only one who remembered the Piller comment.

54
by Bobman (not verified) :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 4:32am

Every once in a while the reader comments are better than the quotes (Emmitt Smith's excepted--even Will's "Richard Seymour channellng Shakespeare" can't top that).

I have to refute the "everybody hates the Yankees" theme. (I am a former season ticket holder who moved from NYC to Seattle 12 years ago--so there's some bias.) I see more random NYY hats in Seattle than I used to see in NYC. Granted they bit the big one in the pre-Torre 90s, but still had 22 WS wins stockpiled for fan goodwill. I won't deny the Yankee-hatred, but the hatred is anything but universal.

As a Colts fan, you'd think I'd hate the Pats. I don't love them, but I do mostly admire them. It's really the rank and file New England fans who ruin it for the 42+/- states not considered New England. People love to see records broken, except this year. Why is that?

And I am not naive enough to think the sames rules don't apply to the Yankees--a lot of tools out there "chanting 27 world series, baby!" (I have no idea what the right number is). And while it's nice to harken back to the days of Ruth or Mantle, it doesn't advance the issue of whose 2008 team will be better. Yet the tools will keep chanting the refrain. I think part of the Pats hatred is linked with another item mentioned frequently above--the media/Internet explosion (damn you, Al Gore!). Honestly--who could have named more than one HOF voter 20 years ago? But now, if you read widely enough, you can probably name 5-10, because we read their musings on it, and then start arguing our own positions. People didn't used to talk HOF until a guy retired and now it's brought up annually after his 5th or 6th season. We are ALL suffering from information overload, and we crave more all the time. The ugly side (Pats-hatred, blog-flaming, trolls) is far outweighed by the good (being able to instantly check the hourly weather forecast for away games, cheap airfare sites, p@rn...). Okay, forget that last one.

55
by Tom D (not verified) :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 5:11am

Re 54:

The ugly side (Pats-hatred, blog-flaming, trolls) is far outweighed by the good (being able to instantly check the hourly weather forecast for away games, cheap airfare sites, p@rn…). Okay, forget that last one.

Do you really believe that? I mean I think if deep down you did, you wouldn't frequent a website like FO. Or you would bother with the comments. The internet has given everyone a voice. Yes, we don't want to hear 80% of the voices, but I still think the 20% we do want to hear outweigh them.

56
by Independent George (not verified) :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 8:13am

#54: The ugly side (Pats-hatred, blog-flaming, trolls) is far outweighed by the good (being able to instantly check the hourly weather forecast for away games, cheap airfare sites, p@rn…). Okay, forget that last one

Forget it? That's the best part!

57
by Lagfish (not verified) :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 9:27am

Hatriot Nation started earlier in the season when BB/TB was running up the score on a lot of teams that are not "natural" rivals ie: 'skins, 'boys etc. We fans with teams in the AFC east have hated them for years like all the other teams in east except our own which is the way it should be. Things come around, different teams will rise up and the pats will fall. BB/TB will pay for running the score up in the coming seasons you can guarantee, payback will linger longer than usual because they won't play some of those teams for a few seasons. Enjoy it while it lasts...I would.

58
by zip (not verified) :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 11:20am

#57

Yes, please, let's have another running up the score debate. I'm sure when the Pats plays the Skins in 4 years, when 50% of the roster on each team is different, there will be brutal payback. :eyeroll:

The Patriots crushed my team twice this season. The fact that the margin of victory was 40 instead of 20 doesn't mean anything -- it was a beat down either way.

59
by lagfish (not verified) :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 11:41am

58
Not trying to start a debate, just giving my opinion as to why there is all this hatred around the country against the pats as opposed to just other afc east teams fans. I think teams will be scoring "eff you" TD's against them for the next fews years. Hey call me a dreamer.

60
by dryheat (not verified) :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 12:00pm

My Lord....we can actually have a Week-in-comments-responding-to-week-in-quotes item. I offer my praise and thanks to:

I thought it was interesting that he called Seymour “pompous”. I mean, what did Seymour do before smacking the guy, say, “I am pleased to inform you that the shot I am about to deliver is the product of many, many, hours of the finest physical training that anyone in our chosen endeavor pursues, my good man!”

:: Will Allen — 1/24/2008 @ 12:39 pm

Sorry, what I mean to say at the end was, he has a negative DVOA for the Commissioner Position.

:: Scott — 1/24/2008 @ 3:04 pm

Bruschi isn’t dirty, he’s just slow.

:: The McNabb Bowl Game Anomaly — 1/24/2008 @ 5:14 pm

61
by Herm? (not verified) :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 12:21pm

How about the week in no quotes?
Think there's a reporter in the world who received good insight into Tom Brady's ankle injury?

Belichick (from Boston.com, linked):
"I don't have any comment on it," Belichick said.
Asked if Brady would have a full workload in practice, Belichick said: "We'll go out there and I don't know. The injury report will be out next Wednesday, and we're excited to give that to you. I can't wait to give that to everybody."

The only thing worth repeating was Richard Seymour (from Boston.com, linked):

"Every channel I turned to, there it was, magnifying in on the boot," Seymour said. "To me, the good part was the flowers. I wasn't in on the boot."
Seymour joked that he came home with flowers for his wife after seeing photos of Brady.

62
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 12:23pm

"No Rich, you’re just making yourself look ignorant. You’re dead wrong, dead wrong. Why does hardly anybody hate the Colts, the Spurs, or the Cowboys ("

Plenty of people hate the Colts.... Like Patriots, Steelers, Titans, etc, fans. Plenty of people hate the 49ers (from the 90s) Plenty of people hate the cowboys.

Nobody hates the spurs because no one gives a damn about basketball.

63
by Herm? (not verified) :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 12:43pm

What are the odds we can get Aikman, Emmit, Moose Johnston, Michael Irvin, and Jimmy Johnson onto the same panel? Add Deion Sanders for bonus. Would you change the channel, or is this a train wreck that no one could look away from?

64
by patriotsgirl (not verified) :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 3:00pm

59: Eh, I don't know. I think that the Patriots are a more extreme version of what's happened numerous times in football history. I think football fans are prone to fool themselves periodically into thinking that whatever the top team at that moment does is more amazing or eeevol and has never been done before.

In the early nineties, I certainly convinced myself that the 1992-93 Cowboys were unprecedented evil - they were dirty, got all the calls, and had too many criminals on their team. (And, as a Pats fan, it's not like there's any kind of regional or conference rivalry there.)

But I'm sure lots of people felt the same about the 70s Cowboys or the Bradshaw Steelers or the 80s 49ers or the Lombardi Packers, even.

What's different now is that the internet (and need for the 24-hour headline) has created not only nonstop coverage, but an echo-chamber effect, where message boards attract people with the same opinions; rather than having to debate the weak sides of your opinion, your opinions often go completely unchallenged and are reinforced. And, meanwhile, the media is massively concentrated and relies heavily on the wire services, which further shapes public opinion along a few uniform lines.

And 55, I think there are very good things about the internet. The reason I read this website is because my opinions will be challenged - I like to see zip's perspective as a Bills fan or Bobman and Purds' thoughts as Colts fans, or Dales' thoughts as a NYG fan (although we are enemies this week) or to read the game-charters' thoughts on why the Niners suck.

And hey, even if it's true that everyone hates the Pats (which I doubt), I've never been one to go with the crowd anyway. :)

65
by Daniel (not verified) :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 3:42pm

I can't (or won't) speak for everyone who dislikes the Patriots, but i think it goes beyond just the average 'I hate this team because they win' mentality. As a Steelers fan I loved their dominance of the 70s, and in turn, I disliked the 49ers of the 80s, the Cowboys of the 90s, and any team that played against the Steelers. But there is something about this particular Patriots team that really bugs me. They cheated. And apparently they have been cheating for years. I'm not so naive to think that every other team doesn't do everything they can to get every advantage they can. I know a significant number of players in the league probably use performance enhancers, and I know that several of the Steelers from those great 70s teams have died because of the drugs they took to get bigger and stronger. The spygate mess and other things just gives me the feeling that there is a lot more going on with this team than anyone knows. Patriot fans should enjoy their time in the sun. I don't think history will be kind to this team, no matter what their final record is.

66
by dryheat (not verified) :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 5:12pm

#65, you certainly have a valid opinion. But I just have a hard time calling the Patriots an organization of "cheaters", based on the seizing of a videotape that obviously didn't help them go 18-0 thus far. Brash? Yes. Arrogant? Yes, unfortunately. Cheaters? I guess it depends on your definition of cheating. Personally, I have a hard time calling videotaping hand signals "cheating" when it could be done with a videotape from another angle, or a guy with binoculars and a notebook, and be within the rules. If you (not you personally) think that the videotaping incident is an indication that they cheat in other ways, then that's a large leap. Maybe it was because it wasn't discovered until after the fact, but wasn't the Broncos salary cap shenanigans a much worse form of cheating? Where was the uproar? Why isn't the organization (which I believe to be one of the classiest in the NFL) labelled as a bunch of cheaters, whose Super Bowls should be asterisked? Why were they only (I think) docked a third round pick?

My guess is that the internet/idiot sportstalk TV and radio/Skip Paige and Woody Bayless is the difference.

67
by Herm? (not verified) :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 5:50pm

don't forget the ufo's and the 2nd gunman

68
by Herm? (not verified) :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 5:58pm

oops, meant to add a smiley face, intended to be a silly comment, and not to be a jerk and discredit Daniel's or dryheat's posts.

So here you go :)
have a nice day!

69
by thestar5 (not verified) :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 9:05pm

A lot of good comments here. I agree other teams are hated but I don't think it is nearly the level of the Pats, except maybe the Yankees (but look at how much they spend, its not just the winning!). A lot of Pats fans made comments that seem pretty reasonable. I mostly just think its naive to think the only reason the Pats are hated i because they win (although thats certainly a part of it).

47,

To tell you the truth I wasn't a fan back then, I'm only 18 and I didn't even hardly watch football when i was young. I've never seen the Cowboys have much success at all.

50,
I think they're hated because they won a lot, some people called them America's team, we have a lot of bad fans (bandwagoners, obnoxoius idiots, like the Pats), and now we have TO (self-explainable), and Romo (pretty much the same as Brady, pretty boy image that bugs people; as opposed to Farve). I don't know maybe there's other reasons but I wasn't really watching when they were really good so I'm not sure. I certainly wouldn't say its just because they were good though.

70
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 10:33pm

How about maybe, just maybe, a FEW people (not nearly the amount claimed here) "hating" the Pats because ESPN shoves them down our throats 24/7 whether we want them to or not?

But I forgot, it's all *our* fault because of the "internet". Which has only been widely available for about 15 years now.

Personally I see many more people defending the Pats than hating them, bioth here and everywhere else. There was far more Pats hatred last year after the Chargers game. This year there is a backlash *against* Pats hated, an anti-anti Pats mindset if you will. People just sit there and don't even get mad if the Pats run up the socre on their own teams. I personally find it sickening.

The bottom line is: people in America will think whatever the media wants them to think. The media wants them to love the Pats so they are. Last year this wasn't the case, the Pats were painted as villains and meanies who would dare deny the Colts and Peyton just one little Super Bowl. They're no less villainous today (in fact even more so) but now the media has decided to fellate them, and so everyone else must as well.

71
by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 10:38pm

#65: Unfortunately I have to strongly disagree. History will be *extremely* kind to this team, if the modern-day media is any indication. Far kinder than it has been to the '72 Fins, who are all portrayed as a collective bunch of AntiChrists despite not having ever cheated and not ever having been half as arrogant as the Pats. The media literally have been lusting for somebody, ANYBODY, to go 19-0 for years just so they could bury the '72 Fins. I'm afraid we will all have to listen to nonstop Pats praise 24/7 for the rest of our lives and if you think that's far-fetched consider how much everyone is talking about the '72 Fins 35 years later. For the rest of our lives, they'll be saying that any team that wins a Super Bowl "aren't the 2008 Patriots".

Might as well just re-name it the PFL, since every other team has now become completely and permanently irrelevant.

72
by slo-mo-joe (not verified) :: Sat, 01/26/2008 - 12:00am

#70:
Far kinder than it has been to the ‘72 Fins, who are all portrayed as a collective bunch of AntiChrists

That's just bizarre. Antichrist? Are you serious? (Ironically, the only NFL personality that has been publicly compared to Belzebuub is, to my knowledge, Belichick.)

The only thing that is said about the 72 Dolphins, besides the fact that their achievement automatically enlists them among the very top teams in history, is that some of their players have since behaved like grumpy curmudgeons, and sometimes poor sports, whenever another team has come close to accomplish a similar feat. Some of their comments with respect to this year's Pats have just reinforced this impression. I for one hope that none of the Pats current players, assuming they will win next week, will follow in the same vein in the future, but who knows.

73
by Hemlock (not verified) :: Sat, 01/26/2008 - 1:27am

haha dolfan sucks to be in the ACF east.

74
by BDC (not verified) :: Sat, 01/26/2008 - 4:31am

72:

"The only thing that is said about the 72 Dolphins, besides the fact that their achievement automatically enlists them among the very top teams in history, is that some of their players have since behaved like grumpy curmudgeons, and sometimes poor sports, whenever another team has come close to accomplish a similar feat. Some of their comments with respect to this year’s Pats have just reinforced this impression. I for one hope that none of the Pats current players, assuming they will win next week, will follow in the same vein in the future, but who knows."

Doesn't this somewhat prove Dolfan's point? The media wanted a particular angle on this story (that the 72 Phins are poor sports about anyone breaking their record) and so that is the story they have presented. One needs to look no further then the much overblown "champagne drinking" that supposedly goes on every year when the last unbeaten team is defeated.

As far as what they have said, what of it? Let's face it, no one wants their records broken. You think for instance that Brady would be happy if Manning threw 51 TDs next year, with 24 of them to Harrison? We know he wouldn't be happy, so why would we expect him to lie and say that he doesn't care?

75
by Jerry (not verified) :: Sat, 01/26/2008 - 1:29pm

Re #72:

That’s just bizarre. Antichrist? Are you serious? (Ironically, the only NFL personality that has been publicly compared to Belzebuub is, to my knowledge, Belichick.)

I guess you weren't around for the Raiders' heyday, when Al Davis embraced the negative image his team and organization had. Now, of course, he still wants to be the outlaw "genius", but he just comes across as pathetic.

76
by Daniel (not verified) :: Sat, 01/26/2008 - 1:59pm

It's not a matter of what rule they broke, or how much it helped them. Belicheck violated the ethical standards of his profession. How much that did or didn't hurt his team shouldn't matter. If the Patriots, as an organization, had any sense of professional ethics they would have suspended Belicheck or fined him. The fact that they did nothing, affirms that they had no problem with his conduct. How many people would not be reprimanded in their profession if they made a 'lapse in judgement' or 'misinterpreted a rule' that caused their employer to be fined several hundred thousand dollars and lose a valuable asset (in this case a first round pick)? Let me clarify what I meant by history not being kind to this team: Every time this team comes up in a discussion about the greatest team ever, someone will say, 'Yeash, but.... They were caught cheating." And now, because of spygate, and the accusations of dirty play, and Harrison's HGH suspension, this team has a bullseye on it's back. I doubt we will be seeing many more books extolling the virtues of this team or it's genius head coach. Now we will start to see the ugly stuff, that professional reporters will dedicate time and resources to digging up. How many players on the Patriots have used performance enhancers? or illegal narcotics? Probably no more than any other team in the league. But the other teams haven't gone undefeated and they don't have an army of national press trying to convince everyone that this is the greatest team ever.

77
by Nicky P (not verified) :: Sat, 01/26/2008 - 2:26pm

74 - While it's true that the media paints the 72 Dolphins as a group of grumpy old men, there are a few members of that team that do themselves no favors in the court of public opinion. With antics like Coach Shula openly rooting against the Patriots in the MNF booth, and Merc Morris writing his own raps and singing them on ESPN - they are helping perpetuate their reputation as crotchety, bitter men.

76 - "Belichick violated the ethical standards of his profession."

I'm not exactly sure how ethical the profession is. How many coaches look the other way when it comes to performance enhancers, pain injections, or letting players take the field with concussions or severe injuries? How ethical is the profession when certain coaches rip up newly signed contracts to head for greener pastures? How ethical is it when teams send advance scouts to sit in the stands with binoculars and a notebook to try and decipher opponents' signals (Shanahan even admitted this, on record, a few years back)?

As for allegations of dirty play, I find it interesting that the media looks the other way when the Patriots speak up about their opponents' own dirty play. Harrison suffered a season-ending knee injury when a Titans WR took out his leg last year. Where was the uproar? Even a few weeks back, Harrison was upset about members of the Giants WR crew doing the same and going for his knee. Why wasn't this played up more?

"But the other teams haven’t gone undefeated and they don’t have an army of national press trying to convince everyone that this is the greatest team ever."

Sounds like you're basically admitting that the Patriots are being unfairly singled out due to their success on the football field. If you're agreeing that the Pats use questionable tactics "probably no more than any other team in the league," isn't that a bit of a double standard?

78
by slo-mo-joe (not verified) :: Sat, 01/26/2008 - 2:37pm

It’s not a matter of what rule they broke, or how much it helped them. Belicheck violated the ethical standards of his profession.

Oh please, this has been discussed ad nauseam already. Did BB violate these "ethical standards" more or less than Gruden, who candidly admitted breaking the injury report rules? More or less than the Packers players (and probably, the Patriots too) who broke the "bounty rule"? More or less than Hines Ward, who pulled another player's facemask to induce the refs to call PI? More or less than all the WR, QBs and kickers who simulate/accentuate late hits? More or less than all the linemen who intentionally hold their opponents on a regular basis?

What are these "ethical standards" anyway? In the NFL there are written rules. Anything that goes against the rules is a violation, and punishable by fines/penalties etc, and anything compatible with them is allowed. All it takes for these supposedly sacred "ethical standards" to change, is for the NFL to change the rules.

79
by Daniel (not verified) :: Sat, 01/26/2008 - 7:09pm

Re: 78
If Belicheck's actions were not that big of a deal then why did the commissioner levy the largest fine in league history against the team? Where is the long line of colleagues speaking out in his defense? Even coaches thought to be on friendly terms with Belicheck were silent in his defense. Where's Romeo Crennel, or Charlie Weis, or Bill Parcells?
The ethical standard isn't the rule itself, but adhering to the rule in order to maintain a level, fair competition. The question posed was 'why does there seem to be such a high level of dislike for this Patriots team?' The answer, I believe, is that there seems to be an institutionalized disregard for ethical practices in the organization. People resent the fact that the successes of the Patriots may have been the result of them breaking league rules. I understand that every organization probably does similar things to gain competitive edges, but the Patriots got caught. And at a time when they should have been contrite, they were unrepentant. The result is that now, every fault is magnified. You would have thought that Mike Vrabel invented the leg whip from some of the posts I read. It's not going to go away. Spygate and the all the crap that has followed it will stick to this team forever.

80
by Nicky P (not verified) :: Sat, 01/26/2008 - 7:37pm

79 "People resent the fact that the successes of the Patriots may have been the result of them breaking league rules."

Ok, but where was the resentment towards the Denver Broncos, who circumvented the salary cap during their SB years?

They got caught too. Where was the hate?

The Patriots were caught 8 minutes into the 2007 season with the videotape. Their response to the allegations that their previous SBs were tainted or should be accompanied with a "black mark?" They haven't lost since.

Think about that for a second. Pretty remarkable.

They've responded as champions should - on the field, not in the media.

81
by dryheat (not verified) :: Sat, 01/26/2008 - 8:52pm

How many people would not be reprimanded in their profession if they made a ‘lapse in judgement’ or ‘misinterpreted a rule’ that caused their employer to be fined several hundred thousand dollars and lose a valuable asset (in this case a first round pick)?

Now, you see, I'd call a $500,000 fine a "reprimand" of some substance. Are you suggesting Kraft should have disciplined him on top of that? It's entirely possible he did. They're very good about keeping things in-house -- note nobody knows how long Belichick's contract runs. A lot of media seemed to think it ended after the last two seasons.

Okay, /flogging Barbaro

82
by mush (not verified) :: Sat, 01/26/2008 - 11:59pm

Is that "name that rhymes with witch" really an expletive? Maybe it's not the nicest thing to call someone, but I'm surprised it's being kept out of print here. I'm not suggesting the language here becomes vulgar, but I can't help but wonder, did the website go Rated-G while I was out of town?

83
by JMM (not verified) :: Sun, 01/27/2008 - 5:04pm

"The Patriots were caught 8 minutes into the 2007 season with the videotape."

Hmmm....So the prior years when they were taping and building up a knowledge base isn't part of the calculus? They were caught because Mangini know of the practice from his time there.

They were forced to turn in the tapes. Were they also told to forget any conclusions or knowledge gained from the practice? Not so easy to do.

84
by slo-mo-joe (not verified) :: Sun, 01/27/2008 - 5:24pm

They were forced to turn in the tapes. Were they also told to forget any conclusions or knowledge gained from the practice? Not so easy to do.
You are right. I am sure they committed to memory every defensive signal they ever taped from every team they played against. I hear they hired a platoon of idiot savants for the job.

85
by Nicky P (not verified) :: Sun, 01/27/2008 - 6:35pm

Not to mention the fact that most teams have three coaches on the sidelines relaying different signals. Also, it is standard practice for teams to rotate signals from week to week.

86
by B (not verified) :: Mon, 01/28/2008 - 1:46pm

84: The Giants plan to move Wapner from 3:00 to 3:30 reportedly will send the Patriots coaching staff into disarray.

87
by MJK (not verified) :: Mon, 01/28/2008 - 2:07pm

How many people would not be reprimanded in their profession if they made a ‘lapse in judgement’ or ‘misinterpreted a rule’ that caused their employer to be fined several hundred thousand dollars and lose a valuable asset (in this case a first round pick)?

As you pointed out, Belichick WAS reprimanded, by the league--the largest HC fine in NFL history (probaby more because Goddell think's Belichick's a jerk rather than because of anything the Patriots actually did, but that's been debated to death).

As far as Kraft reprimanding Belichick on top of that...as others have pointed out, he may have.

But to answer your question, in most professions, if someone managed to bring their organization as much success as Belichick has brought the Patriots the last eight years, a comparitively minor punishment in response to his idiosyncracies (obsessively filming other coaches from the sidelines) is probably not enough to produce significant in-house punishment. You don't fire a highly successful investment banker because he got a few speeding tickets.

In other words, I think most, if not all NFL owners, would trade a little negative PR, a 1st round pick, and $250,000 for six division championships and three (and potentially four) SB wins in eight years. In fact, I'm certain of it.

And if you think otherwise, you're probably one of the most idealistic, naieve people out there...

88
by slo-mo-joe (not verified) :: Mon, 01/28/2008 - 3:12pm

86: The Giants plan to move Wapner from 3:00 to 3:30 reportedly will send the Patriots coaching staff into disarray.

I hear that a shady, deep-pocketed Giants fans conglomerate has bought out the entire month's supply of tapioca pudding for the State of Arizona. Will they stop at nothing???

89
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Mon, 01/28/2008 - 3:23pm

"If Belicheck’s actions were not that big of a deal then why did the commissioner levy the largest fine in league history against the team?"

Because the media backlash demanded it. Perception is more important than reality, unfortunately.

90
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Mon, 01/28/2008 - 3:24pm

"I understand that every organization probably does similar things to gain competitive edges, but the Patriots got caught."

As did the Broncos. As did the Packers (THIS YEAR!) as did the Bucs, as did the 70s dolphins (tampering).

And yet the patriots get singled out...

91
by Thomas Payne (not verified) :: Mon, 01/28/2008 - 6:46pm

"Because the media backlash demanded it. Perception is more important than reality, unfortunately"

I used to wonder how in the world people could lose all touch with reality and follow men like James Jones and Marshall Applewhite...then I met Rich Conley and it all became very clear.

92
by Nicky P (not verified) :: Tue, 01/29/2008 - 1:44am

One can only wonder if the old commissioner would have levied such a harsh punishment. Remember, Goodell was/is the new sheriff in town, trying to prove to everyone that he is a no-nonsense kind of guy.

93
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Tue, 01/29/2008 - 11:50am

91.

Do you really, honestly, believe, that the media backlash had nothing to do with the penalty?

If not, please explain to me why no penalty was levied when the Packers were caught cheating this year.

94
by Jordy (not verified) :: Tue, 01/29/2008 - 2:54pm

93 - Are you referring to the Packers players offering each other $500 to hold Adrian Peterson under 100 yards, or was there another Green Bay cheating incident I've forgotten about?

If you're referring to that, there's simply no relation between that and videotaping another team. The lack of any similarity would explain why the league penalized one and not the other. I couldn't care less about the whole Spygate deal, but there's no need to invent an absurd "media backlash" conspiracy theory if you're not even comparing apples to apples.

95
by Sid (not verified) :: Tue, 01/29/2008 - 2:56pm

RE: 14

You didn't miss them. Maybe we'll get the chance to once again vote that Tomlinson be called LdT, not LT. We voted for it last year and it didn't work. ;)

96
by slo-mo-joe (not verified) :: Tue, 01/29/2008 - 5:07pm

I think we already have a strong candidate for next week's best quote. Brady was apparently asked what his purpose in life is. His answer: "I throw a football."

97
by circusboy (not verified) :: Tue, 01/29/2008 - 8:34pm

#79
the fine was large because it was that commisioner's first big managerial decision. he knew all teams were doing it, and rather than investigate and fine every coach/team that took part, he set a rather large example of the obvious culprit.

bearing in mind that the rule forbade video taping for use *in that game*, not for library use. the interpretation that it wasn't against the rules for him to have a record of opposing coaches actions for future reference is not invalid.

98
by circusboy (not verified) :: Tue, 01/29/2008 - 8:37pm

#83

it wasn't against the rules then. whether they did it or not.

99
by Cyrus (not verified) :: Fri, 02/01/2008 - 6:31pm

Quote from Goodell:

"The reason I destroyed the tapes is they were totally consistent with what the team told me," Goodell said during his State of the NFL speech. "It was the appropriate thing to do and I think it sent a message.

"The actual effectiveness of taping and taking of signals from opponents -- it is something done widely in many sports. I think it probably had limited, if any effect, on the outcome of games.

"That doesn't change my perspectve on violating rules and the need to be punished."