Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Spygate over for those of us looking forward to kickoff

Like I said in my last post about this matter, those who live in a fantasy world will continue to claim the Patriots did something that no other team in the history of professional football has ever done. All the while, we have plenty of reports from other team employees and entire organizations (including the rival Colts) which feel the Patriots did nothing wrong, and the little they did do to bend the rules was met with harsh enough punishment.

Now that this story has met its end, we can say with certainty that the most recent developments include:

  • Matt Walsh kept a tape of a San Diego cheerleader and little else
  • The Boston Herald admitted that it published a false story with zero credibility two days before the second-most watched TV program in history (oops!!!)
  • Roger Goodell came out in defense of the Patriots by stating that the Patriots were not punished for taping any signals, but rather for doing it from the sideline - the only question here was the location of the camera, not the actual taping of signals.

Suddenly, all of the maniacal anti-Patriots ranting has ceased on most of the message boards out there. The Patriots are a team that, since 2001, has brought its fans an unparalleled amount of classic moments (as well as some heartache - see the Colts game from January 2007 and of course, Super Bowl XLII). They are without a doubt the team of the decade, and as was the case with the Yankees of the late-1990s, people look for excuses as to why the Yankees are so good and their teams cannot succeed at the same level. Of course, in Major League Baseball, an entire team worth of all-stars can be purchased, and when an ownership group from a division rival allows a team like the Yankees to buy their best players or trade for their best minor leaguers, the owners throw their hands up and say, "we're doing the best with what we've got!" All the while, the accountants in the back room are figuring out just how much they need to spend to keep asses in the seats. And yes, I do realize that the Red Sox are pretty much doing the same thing these days.

In the National Football League, there's a fairly hard cap such that any expenditure over the cap results in severe luxury taxes and penalties. The reason for success here is slightly different from the Yankees as they have been operating at about the same salary level as all other 31 NFL teams. So when Brady finally gets decent receivers - despite winning three Super Bowls without an all-star receiving corps - and puts up tons of points, people forget that Peyton Manning has been doing the same thing for years, as did Kurt Warner during his time in the limelight a few years back. The Patriots were just that good, that well-prepared, and that hard-working during the 2007 season (and most of the other seasons from 2001 onward).

All the passive-aggressive internet Pats haters can go back to their Mom's basement now and wait for their own teams' training camps to begin.

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