In modern society, we love our heroes to fall, so we can feel better about our miserable lives - why should this or that guy succeed, just because he can throw/coach/hit well? So it was no surprise that everyone was reveling in the Patriots' failure to capture a fourth Vince Lombardi trophy in seven seasons, after a monumental regular-season build-up.
The Patriots are run by a man who feels he has no responsibility to be courteous to the media, so the media fills in the blanks with how he's "cocky", "mean", "arrogant"; any kind of adjective that, in today's society, are used to describe a hard-working individual who has the courage of his convictions behind him and little else. This is a man who has been working for forty-plus years of his fifty-five years at a certain sport, and has excelled to the top of his game (no pun intended). One can imagine what this individual - Bill Belichick - could have accomplished had he set his sights on politics, much like the creative forces behind Google. In any case, each game is a battle, and so he's fine with admitting that the final responsibility for wins and losses rests on his shoulders - but of course, the media spins this, too, into something entirely different, for the entertainment of the idiot masses. He is a hard but fair man, and loves his organization more than his own bank account or reputation.
Many Patriots fans are unable to get past Super Bowl 42 even two months later, but I, for one, have made my peace with it. Firstly, we're talking about a business; football is pure entertainment. However, once in a lifetime, a very special combination of an extremely intelligent player and the best coach in the league will come together and accomplish amazing things that transcend the business nature of the sport. Tom Brady himself took much less money than he could have received to stay with the Patriots; we saw Mike Lowell do the same thing this off season to stay with the Red Sox. In a parity-driven league designed so that owners cannot exceed certain spending limits, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick rise above and work harder than anyone else. Since these two individuals can't do everything alone, they will not win every game, every year - but they have come pretty damn close during most seasons.
Given the expected quality of competition on the below schedule, the Patriots may have a chance to attain perfection again this season. Sixteen-and-oh regular season or not, they certainly look like the favorite to win it all yet again. We can only hope they capture that Lombardi trophy again this season to take the sting out of the disappointing Super Bowl loss last season.
Here's the 2008 schedule:
Week 1: Kansas City Chiefs (1PM) - Sept 7th
Week 2: at New York Jets (4:15PM) - Sept 14th
Week 3: Miami Dolphins (1PM) - Sept 21st
Week 4: Bye week
Week 5: at San Francisco (4:15PM) - Oct 5th
Week 6: at San Diego Chargers (8:15PM) - Oct 12th
Week 7: Denver Broncos (8:30PM, Monday Night Football - Oct 20th
Week 8: St. Louis Rams (1PM) - Oct 26th
Week 9: at Indianapolis Colts (8:15PM) - Nov 2nd
Week 10: Buffalo Bills (1PM) - Nov 9th
Week 11: New York Jets (8:15PM) - Thursday - Nov 13th
Week 12: at Miami Dolphins (1PM) - Nov 23rd
Week 13: Pittsburgh Steelers (4:15PM) - Nov 30th
Week 14: at Seattle Seahawks (8:15PM) - Dec 7th
Week 15: at Oakland Raiders (4:15PM) - Dec 14th
Week 16: Arizona Cardinals (1PM) - Dec 21st
Week 17: at Buffalo Bills (1PM) - Dec 28th