Pats Fans: No Need To Be Classy About A Super Bowl Win

A Goodbye of Sorts – It’s with some sadness I’m here to report that this will likely be my last blog post maybe ever… Maybe. I’ve accepted a new job and without getting into details I’ve decided to walk away from the blog because of it. I’m proud to go out on a high note and report that my 31 Reasons To Get Off Your High Horse, NFL piece had over 100,000 views and counting. Not bad for a homer hack that lacks the lush credentials of a Skip Bayless or a Joe Buck. Thank you incredibly to everyone who took the time to read it, share it, comment, all that. And thank you to everyone who followed the Facebook page week after week up through the undisputed most exciting Super Bowl of all time. I’ll probably still update the Facebook, but my days of long winded exposes of why your favorite sports writers are full of crap are likely over. Again… maybe. A quick thank you to my long time readers and frequent contributors: Dan White, Rusty, Staples, Janssen Railroad Tycoon McCormick, Jim, Chris Nothing, Fraser, everyone.

However there is one final misconception I want to clear up before we go. If you’re a true Patriots fan that stuck by your team when they needed it most, heard the same criticism every day, read the conspiracy theories, took a needling from your friends and co-workers that worshipped inferior football teams, and still put on your red white and blue every Sunday like a good solider believe me when I say this… We’re the champs, and there’s no need to be classy about it.

Let’s get the heavy stuff out of the way. My respect for the Seattle Seahawks organization is paramount. They did to Denver what the 2001 Patriots did to St. Louis and they did it better. They rolled over a big fancy store bought team with a bunch of guys that everyone who thought they knew better called “nobodies.” Even with a Super Bowl loss the Pete Carroll Hawks are amazing, and will be just as great next year. I’m comfortable saying that there are at least 25 franchises that are an affront to football pretending to even play in the same league as Seattle. They’re that good and I’d be lying if I said otherwise. With all the gum flapping they did they certainly deserve a least a little humiliation, but they played the game hard and should take no shame in a loss. I won’t even take a dig at their jabroni wagoneer fanbase even though they’re Oregon Trailing hard and we all know it. Everyone over 30 remembers how hard it was to root for those crappy late 80’s Patriots teams so let’s not throw (too many) stones. The Hawks, and the Since-The-2012th Man are cool with me.

That being said… fuck everyone else. Pats Nation shines its rings with your feeble tears. Take a picture. Write it down. We’re fucking in. You’re fucking out.

But, oh no! We’ve besmirched the lily white sensibilities of the NFL watching public. Goodness gracious, the same people that were calling Brady homophobic slurs, and cheered when the G.O.A.T. tore his ACL, and had nothing but the same corny Spygate jokes for 8 years dared to call us classless. How ever shall we recover? Considering Belichick was called classless every time he sneezed for the last decade this is another day at the office for Pats fans. Only this time we’ve got a 4th trophy to keep us company while you’re snuggling up to used “18-1″ joke wondering who your favorite team is going to waste money on this year to keep up with the champs. Calling someone “classless” after a game like that is the most transparently butthurt thing anyone can come up with. Are you upset about the loss or the fact that we rightfully spiked this win in America’s face? To these Princess & the Pea basket cases that can dish it out but can’t take it, I just have to ask: since when was football about class?

There was no class, no restraint, no professionalism, reason, logic, due diligence or intelligence displayed in the years leading up to ring #4 where our beloved Patriots were called cheaters, losers and whatever else came to the minds of gullible fans and press members. If the rest of the world expected this to be a classy affair they should have thought about it during the week to week conspiracy theory baiting and mean girls gossiping that passes for sports writing and discussion. For everyone who said Brady sucked, or Belichick couldn’t beat anyone without video tapes, or Bob Kraft bribed his way to whatever you deserve to watch the Patriots win the highest rated Super Bowl ever in the greatest finish ever. You ignored facts and reality in favor of your own jealously and willful ignorance and you deserve to have this Super Bowl win smacked in your face hard. Pats Nation, be classy if you want. Maybe you’re a better person than me. It wouldn’t be the first time. Be the bigger person if that’s how you live your life. There is, however, no precedent here for taking the high road and in this football fan’s humble opinion no need to take it. Salty peon football fans, defenders of domestic abusers and tax cheat owners, throwaway on-air personalities desperate for a spotlight, ignorant servile laundry worshiping scum: you set the ground rules. You deal with the consequences. We’re the G.O.A.T. It’s time to gloat. Kiss the rings.

Here’s a quick list of people who deserve to get it. Comment with more if you’re so inclined

Donovan McNabb – Check it out Donovan, you’re finally first at something. “Tom Brady was benched” says a guy who was booed by his own fans from the minute he was drafted to the minute he got nudged out of the way of the Christian Ponder era in Minnesota. You’d think a guy who played the position would have some perspective to share on Brady’s early struggles but playing a bitter old washout just seems to pay the bills better. Even when you look like a moron in hindsight.

Anyone Who Still Pretends To Not Know the Difference Between Pounds and PSI – The original ESPN report on Deflategate was that the balls were found to be “2 pounds” under the allowable limit. That would be pretty startling if it were even remotely true (more on that later). Air pressure isn’t measured in pounds, it’s measured in Pounds Per Square Inch… P.S.I. That thing everyone keeps saying. Finkle is Einhorn. Einhorn is Finkle. Is this sinking in yet? No? Go out to your car or your bicycle. Look at the numbers on your tire. Those are PSI numbers. Now let 2 PSI worth of air out of your tires. Did your car just lose two pounds? Of course it didn’t. Give your tire a squeeze. Can you tell the difference between 40 PSI and 38 PSI just by squeezing your tire? Of course you can’t. Why would air pressure in a football be measured by weight? Why would an official squeeze a football to see how much it weighs? You’re an adult. Take off the velcro shoes and learn some adult things.

Michael Wilbon & Tony Kornheiser – Anyone who follows the Patskrieg Twitter knows how many times I’ve said this… Pardon the Interruption and Around the Horn are fucking torture: a clown car of screaming assholes crammed Brady Bunch style onto a cramped little space between text scrolling in every direction and not a single original thought comes out of it. The prolonged success of these programs is a shame on the human race as a whole. You’re talking about the two least interesting, least likable personalities with nothing interesting to say screaming at eachother for an hour a day. The fact that Wilbon said the Patriots should be disqualified from the Super Bowl for a 2 PSI aberration in a football tells you they have no interest whatsoever in sports. And of course everyone gets riled up by watching this crap: everyone is screaming. When Wilbon’s diabetic ass finally keels over on air the nation will be free of it’s curse. Here lies what’s his name. Contributed nothing. Mourned by none.

Trent Dilfer – Dilfer, to me was always a lovable ESPN B-teamer who had the decency to preface every single thing he says with a reminder of how bad he was as a player. But /r/Patriots would riot if I didn’t include him for being one of the first to read the Patriots their last rites. Well Dilfer redeemed himself a lot in the Super Bowl post game shutting down his gossipy co-hosts on a couple of occasions. Way late in the night game he even took on Chris Carter who toed the usual head in the sand line of “I don’t know other teams are bending the rules.” Sorry Chris, we all forgot that you were high on coke when all that stuff went down around you in your playing days. Like I said, Dilfer is alright by me but I had to put him here.

Every WEEI or SportsHub caller EverUp next is Mitch in Leominster, Mitch what’ve you got for us? Hey fellas, first time long time. Listen when are they gonna finally can that bum Belichick? He can’t do nothin without Chaaa’lie Weiss khed. Lettin Ben Wawtson go was a worse crime than Zayres gettin bought out by TJ Maxx. I ain’t had a pair ah overalls that fit right since. He shoulda drafted a fast tall guy and get a quartaahback that can run the ball. Brady’s still playin like he’s got a leatha’ helmet, khed ya hear me? Say what ya want about that alta’ boy Tebow but he just wins, guy. Tha kid just wins! You people are shit and make the world a worse place for everyone every minute you’re alive.

Michael Rosenberg & Sports Illustrated – Enjoy your defamation lawsuit you Building 19 fire sale hack. You got scooped by a guy who used to cover the Keene High Blackbirds. Even after the entire internet came down the laughing stock of Sports Illustrated for both his factually incorrect assessment of low contact on QBs rule that had nothing to do with Tom Brady, and his completely insane story of a secret TV monitor, nothing changed. Rosenberg cleaned up a couple typos and still left a series of libelous and just wrong statements in his article. He doesn’t know any better because he’s a cream puff baseball hack and doesn’t watch football. Seriously, one of the best sports publications of all time laid an egg when it came to both Deflategate and the Super Bowl. Don Banks actually suggested that the NFL would have been better off putting the Seahawks over as a Patriots win hurts fan interest in the NFL by way of making Deflategate worse. This was said after the highest rated television broadcast of all time. Get a clue crybaby, the product is already sold. SI’s disconnect with the sport of football is laughable and fast becoming insurmountable.

Chris Mortensen – One of the most well respected football journalists in the world laid down the most negligent lazy story of 2014 and no one batted an eye. Mort told the world with a straight face that he had an inside source in the Patriots (a team that gives up zero information) that everyone was done with Brady and “sooner or later” he was on the way out. Funny thing about sooner or later… it means whatever you want. Specifically here “later” meant standing behind Brady, reworking his contract to cover him into his 40’s without losing a dime and watching the GOAT with a 4th Super Bowl. As the Patriots started to pick up steam Mort went back and edited his already non-committal piece to be even more vague and meaningless, citing his own story as proof he didn’t make up the thing he just reported. With the clout Mort carries in the industry no one will ever challenge him on it either. He’ll likely goto his grave without ever having to admit he never had anything. What a fun system of checks and balances. Mort was also responsible for falsely reporting that “11 of the Patriots footballs used in Sunday’s AFC title game were under-inflated by 2 lbs each.”

Wrong on two levels. As discussed above #1 It’s not pounds. It’s Pounds Per Square Inch. That’s what PSI stands for: the force applied by the air to an area of one square inch. Air pressure in a finite space is measured in PSI. Not pounds. #2 when the NFL released some real live actual information on the aberration in PSI only 1 of the balls was found to be missing 2 PSI. The rest were just barely below the allowable limit: apparently imperceptible to a squeeze with the hands. Again, Mort picked up a microscopic detail from a source somewhere and filled in the rest with whatever would make for a more interesting Tweet. Mortensen never admitted any fault, or apologized for sloppy reporting of false information. He’ll maintain his plush cushy job pretending to be an insider, likely breaking another dumb gossip story months from now that everyone will swallow up all over again like nothing ever happened. Typical ESPN modus operandi: it’s not a mistake if you don’t apologize for it.

Roger Goodell – It’s been a rough year for the Commish, some of it is his fault, and some of it was inheriting a league full of demented assholes that no one could ever control. However, he went from “doin my best here” to the Mr. Bean of sports admins in a period of about three months and sunk himself with the total lack of control he had on Deflategate. Considering Robert Kraft was the lone owner to stand up for Goodell I have no idea what Goodell was thinking letting a microscopic PSI aberration turn into a household scandal. He has no winning move here. The poor doe eyed fans want a massive penalty and some kind of pat on the back assurance that they don’t have to bow down to the Pats. They won’t get it because it’s obvious by now that the NFL has no case and never did. The only rationale I have is that it was just enough of a distraction to keep gullible cro magnon fans from finding out about yet another head trauma scandal in former Patriot great Mosi Tatupu, who doctors believe ruined his marriage and mental state because of significant CTE found in his brain. Here’s a tip, Roger… most football fans still have no idea what CTE is. Despite years of startling studies and evidence about the irreversible effects of head trauma caused by professional football your average fan is still riding the “BUT IT’S FOOTBALL, GUY” wagon and using words like “wussification” and “sissification” like they’re actual things, with no concern for anyone but themselves. “I love this football guy but I don’t care if he can tie his shoes without blacking out 5 years from now” is the legacy contemporary football fans will leave on the sport. That’s your audience, Rog: fucking morons.

Phil Simms – Scott Norwood missed a field goal 24 years ago and the NFL has been cursed with Giants tagalong Phil Simms hanging around the broadcast like the neighborhood divorced dad lugging a box of Jenga door to door. Simms is consistently the worst broadcaster on television. He covers maybe 12 Patriots games a year and week to week acts like he’s never heard of anyone. I suppose that’s nothing considering he’s spent 30 something years in the league and still has no idea what the rules are. I almost never buy into the homer fantasy that the announcers hate your team. They’re paid to talk about the game, and talking up the opponents is part of their job. But for a guy who owes Bill Belichick his entire career he absolutely hates the Patriots and it shows. He covers what, like 12 Patriots games a year and still can’t pronounce half their names. It’s like if Fifty First Dates was about the Patriots depth chart. And the lying… Simms is dead set on trying to convince everyone he’s House, and that no detail gets past him. Every time he pulls out one of his “When that happened I immediately noticed…” moments where he tries to tell you he picked up on some miniscule detail no one could have seen in real time, he’s always wrong. You did not notice that there was exactly 1 second left on the clock after Matt Schaub called a timeout. It takes more time than that just to turn your head and find the game clock. It makes me wish LT wasn’t in jail so I could maybe hear from someone that actually did something in to win the Giants their Super Bowls.

Chris Simms – So check it. Baby Simms bottoms out in the NFL. He sits around for two whole years then gets hired out of nowhere to be Brady’s quarterback coach in 2012. It really made no sense because for years before that the OC doubled as the quarterback coach, Brady has his own QB adviser and Simms had zero coaching experience since being removed from football. But whatever it’s a total cush job letting Brady just do his thing and taking credit. Right? I guess not. A year later Simms was gone. No one ever gave up details why but name the last time the Patriots cut bait on a coach after 1 year. You can’t. Bush League Chris was out of coaching entirely and reduced to writing slide shows for Bleacher Report for intern credit and all of a sudden wants to start a PR war with Tom Brady. What a shocker, the guy who blew a gravy train job coaching the greatest quarterback of all time has a cleat up his butt about it. Of all the D list freeze dried pubes that get hired on TV after their careers are over Melissa Rivers Simms could only land a web job. Like most things he did, no one paid attention. Can’t play football. Can’t coach football. Can’t write about football. Chris Simms, everyone.

The New York Post – Photoshop for Dickheads Daily went out with one final sour grape. Dead format from the grossest state in the union.

Anyone Still Crediting Adam Vinatieri for the First 3 Rings“Hey fahkin first time long time here, khed, listen, ya know everybody’s jumpin all over Brady this an’ Brady that. But ya know… if ya think about it… fahkin Let’s naawt fah’get guy, they only won them first three Soopa Bowls cuza Vinatieri, the kicka there. Brady coulda scawed them touchdowns but he didn’t. He needed Vinatieri ta bail him out. How does this mindset still exist? How do you show your face at Dunkin Donuts knowing this kind of bullshit goes through your head? Vinatieri is a legend but exactly how many 99 yard field goals do you think he kicked? Three Super Bowls that needed a field goal to win, Brady delivers clutch drives on all three on the biggest stage in sports and some guy who eats at The 99 is unimpressed by it. Talk about a spoiled asshole. The faux football historian “look wut I discova’d khed” is the icing on the cake. Congratulations, you figured out how to read a box score years after the rest of us witnessed classic football from the undisputed GOAT. Sorry you missed it.

Tim Hasselbeck – Shhh! Everyone, Tito Hasselbeck has perspective to share. It’s funny, when the relevant Hasselbeck brother, who actually played in the AFCCG, came out and said that he was shocked Deflategate was a controversy because everyone knew it bore no impact whatsoever on anything I cracked a joke to a friend that I would reserve my opinions until Tim Hasselbeck weighed in. Surprise surprise he had something shocking and dumb to say. Look at the facts guys, Tim is 3 years younger than his brother and is somehow already out of the league. He threw a single pass or more in only 7 games in his entire career and the Redskins lost 6 of them. With the exponentially growing crowded stable of ESPN on air personalities there is no need for Tim Hasselbeck to be on ESPN. Quite honestly there never was.

Jon Tomase – I don’t know how Tomase keeps landing jobs in Boston any more than I get how he walks down the street without getting his face punched in. Lying greaseball load that should have been run out of town years ago. There are plenty of people in this world that I’ve rooted against, given the finger to on TV, or trashed over social media that I still think I’d be able to shake their hand and treat them with general human dignity if I ever met them. I can honestly say I’d rather die than shake Jon Tomase’s hand.

The Boston Herald – “TEBOW TIME”. Front page. Never forget.

Bob Kravitz – Career small timer and local TV sports anchor Bob Kravitz earned the ire of Patriots fans when he accurately broke the story that Deflategate was a thing. Really that’s no reason to jump on Chump Change Kravitz. However, when the New York Daily News broke a story that D’Qwell Jackson was the one that first discovered that something was up with the game ball Kravitz was finally in a unique position to be a real journalist. He was a phone call away from getting an admission from the Colts organization itself. It was the smoking gun, or it was a new chapter in a quickly developing story. The report, however, turned out to be completely false. Jackson never found anything wrong with the ball. Kravitz could have easily called the Colts and gotten a yes or no out of Jackson before he wrote his own piece. He didn’t. Bobby Smalltime did what he’s known best for: took a nap and phoned it in. It wouldn’t have even been a long distance charge for Kravitz but it was still too much effort to behave like a professional. As CBS Boston Michael Hurley pointed out (in a must read article) Kravitz was also asleep at the wheel when Colts owner Jim Irsay went on his Fear and Loathing joy ride high on OC’s that thankfully didn’t kill anyone. If anyone should be kicked out of the league like the eternally amateur hour, Playskool, hairbrush microphone in the mirror let’s play reporter man Indianapolis media cried for, it should maybe be their own repeat offender alcoholic owner. All of a sudden the integrity of the game just didn’t mean quite as much. And the whole time Kravitz went on his mini media tour, just like a real reporter, all he could do was moan about the Patriots fans drilling him over being a slouch. “I have pretty thick skin but wah wahh wahh hear me cry.” No ya don’t. Kravitz deserves all the criticism he’s received and is thoroughly exposed as being one step removed from being a weather man.

Update!
Gregg Doyel – You might recognize Indianapolis Star writer Gregg Doyel as one of what seems like a million generic sports pundits that try to play Mr. Edgy on TV and radio. It’s about as authentic as the “I’m not bald I shaved my head” character Doyel plays in real life. Cranky Gregg waited until 3 weeks after the Super Bowl to pen a piece called Everyone Lost Deflategate… where he proposes that not only does he look bad, the Colts look bad, the NFL look bad, but the Patriots and their fans lose because “perception is reality” and the Pats will always be cheaters. Hey Pats Nation… do you feel like losers right now? I just watched the best Super Bowl of my lifetime. Then I watched a shitfaced Julian Edelman clothesline a poster of Richard Sherman on top of a duckboat in Government Center. Then I went on every social media platform on earth and slam dunked ring #4 in everyone’s face and watched the haters slink away in shame. I’m having the best time ever so there’s your perception and your reality right there. Doyel pulled this straight out of Losing Arguments for Dummies, the old “let’s just agree we’re both wrong.” Better idea Gregg… Let’s agree that Deflategate is falling apart faster than the MBTA. Let’s agree that the Colts front office and the NFL look about as innocent as Marvin Harrisson the time his gun mysteriously tried to kill someone without him (*SIP* but that’s none of my business). Let’s agree that perception and reality clashed here because you and fellow soft bake Bob Kravitz skewed the details of the story by leaving out facts that didn’t suit your agenda. What the hell do I care what some football part-timer from another timezone thinks? No one can ever take this victory away from Pats Nation. Ever. And speaking of perception versus reality Doyel insists that the Boston media made up the idea that the Colts tampered with the game ball. Wrong and you know it, poser. This exciting possibility was presented to us by actual journalist Adam Schefter who made this known on Dennis & Callahan.

So, perception is reality… wrong. The Boston media are framing the Colts… wrong. Usual par the course allergic to facts Indianapolis journalism. Grumpy Gregg also repeatedly declares that he’d “love to see the Patriots vacate the title, but that’s never gonna happen.” You’d love to see a thing that doesn’t deserve to happen happen? Nice credibility. I can’t even call this guy a homer because he’s not even remotely from Indianapolis. He was born in Hawaii, grew up in Mississippi, went to school in Florida, wrote a couple random college basketball books and didn’t hold a single job inside the state of Indiana until he wrote for the Star. His homerism is fake. His commitment to the sport is fake. His astro turfed edgy rage is fake. Annnnd his marriage was fake. This is the last gasp of a useless fake journalist trying to score web traffic before this all goes away. Everyone lost… except the side that won their FOURTH Super Bowl. That’s us. Perceive that reality while you get your shinebox.

CNN’s John Berman – Hot take from CNN’s Not-Anderson Cooper: “shame on me for liking the cheater Patriots” says John Berman. Berman wasn’t alone in this sentiment. In the early stages of PSIgate there were more than a few false Pats fans that took to social media to let the world know that they were just as smh as the rest of the world. Fuck these people. “I am not going to dwell on the specifics of the accusations,” Berman says “or the physics of what advantage you get from deflated footballs.” Probably because you’re a lazy fence sitting asshole who didn’t actually follow the story and has no idea what the implications are. What kind of a soft baked jabroni do you have to grow up to be that you’re scared someone will dislike you because of the football team you root for? That you’d be so scared of losing the approval of a stranger for a split second you’re willing to deny your own team? Sports are not meant for spineless beige alert bullshit like this. I’ll make your shame issues real easy for you: Pats Nation card revoked, poser.

Ben Rohrbach and Yahoo Sports – Boston native Ben Rohrbach miraculously got the idea to publish a list of the other 31 NFL teams cheating 4 days after mine went viral. I certainly can’t accuse anyone of plagiarizing as all this information is public, and I do appreciate that someone in the national media did what was right. But his list was mostly a really lame glance at PED suspensions and missed a chance to spotlight the true underbelly of the league. Do you know why my list was better than Yahoo’s? Because I fucking Googled it.

Mike Klis – Two years from now the only search results you’ll find for Denver journalist Mike Klis will be my long dead blog posts making fun of him. The Bronco’s resurgence over the windfall of landing Peyton Manning was the only thing keeping Klis on the Denver Post payroll. You could pay a 19 year old intern to do everything Klis doesn’t do: research stories, cite facts, and maybe form an opinion that isn’t from the point of view of a pink/orange hat homer that blows a kiss to John Elway’s Starting Lineup figure every night. Klis will be the first one there to take a stand when a team fairly and legally gets an upper hand on Uncle Johnny’s Broncos. Out of market stations are calling him for interviews and he get to sit there against a fake Denver skyline backdrop in a satellite studio somewhere and play Mr. Important Journalist to the world for 5 minutes. Ask him to report on the coverup of John Elway III’s domestic violence incident and he’s got better things to do. Both TMZ and a guy from the Denver Post named Rich Tosches (author of such articles as A Racoon Selfie What Could Go Wrong?) stepped up and did Klis’ job for him. This was the guy who called McDaniels classless for taking a job as a Patriots offensive assistant after the regular season. Goodbye Mike. It’s been a real pleasure watching you stuff your spine with Shannon Sharpe jerseys.

Football Traditionalists – People who still think that the Cowboys, Steelers, and Packers are the only teams with any business winning a Super Bowl need to crawl in a tar pit and die with the rest of the dinosaurs. Wow what a treat Super Bowl XXX was. Real hard nosed prestigious football is definitely watching Neil O’Donnell throw interceptions like he had no idea what planet he was on. Oh god the indignity of watching two 40-50 year old expansion teams armed to the teeth grind out a spectacular last second finish that no one could have ever predicted. If Tom Landry doesn’t take a Gatorade bath in the 3rd quarter then why bother right? I actually heard a Sports Hub call the day after the Super Bowl whining that the game was okay but it lacked the prestige of a Cowboys Steelers old tyme duel. What an exciting life you must live that (again) the most watched television broadcast of all time doesn’t do it for you. Let me put this in perspective for you, out of 49 Super Bowls only 16 were settled by fewer than 10 points. The Patriots played in 6 of them and won 4. Most of these “classic” matchups that people allude to are more hearsay and exaggeration than anything. Traditionally speaking, Super Bowls were almost always blowouts for big chunks of the NFL timeline. Hell the Packers blew out the Chiefs by 25 in the first Super Bowl ever. I remember watching the 2nd half of Super Bowl XXIV and wondering just what the hell the big deal was because the Broncos were down by 40 and couldn’t do anything against the 49ers. It wasn’t until a year later when the Super Bowl came down to the last drive that I actually got hooked on football. When people talk about prestigious franchises they’re telling you they only care about the Hardees NFL mugs they drank their Juicy Juice out of as a kid. You can hate the lowly Patriots for not having Dandy Don Meredith in their history or whatever feels cool and nostalgic for you but the fact is the Brady era Pats make for good Super Bowls. Cry away.

Jackie Macmullan – The basketball writer who made it her business to push for the Patriots to sign Eric Decker despite all common sense. The difference between Decker and Brandon LaFell eventually turned out to be 9 yards and $27 million. Decker was the wrong move and it was obvious. Planting the seed in public perception that Decker was somehow that answer for a team that just lost an AFCCG because they didn’t have the cornerback depth was an obnoxious pain in the ass for sane fans to have to deal with all offseason. We, the fans, really could have used a reasonable voice to talk us down from the hopes of landing an overrated name with a big price tag. Instead we got yet another writer using the biggest entity in sports to beg for attention.

Mark Brunell – By the time you’re finished reading this Mark Brunell will have been sued for defaulting on another loan.

Jerry Rice – The all time double threat greatest and most annoying wide receiver to ever casually cheat at the game. Randy Moss broke his touchdown record and Rice whined, begging for an asterisk because Rice played in the 12 game era, refusing to give a fellow phenom athlete an ounce of credit. Okay Jerry, asterisk. Wes Welker drew comparisons to Rice for his freakish production, up pops Jerry Rice to recoil in disgust at being compared to a short white guy who only took about 100 times the hits that Rice ever did in half the time. Fine Jerry, we won’t compare you to a short guy. Surprise surprise, the Patriots show up in Glendale with a chance to match San Francisco’s Super Bowl titles and Rice cries for another asterisk this time for a paper thin accusation that appeals to only egomaniacal crybabies like Rice who can’t deal with any team but their own succeeding. This is the same guy who tells you that Van Heusen dress shirts don’t make you look like you’re interviewing for a job at a Weymouth Dollar Tree. Do yourself a favor. Dress yourself like an adult and take your advice from anyone but Jerry Rice. Even when Rice was caught bragging about his own cheating he still wouldn’t humble himself enough to give a real apology for being a hypocrite. What a sad way for a sad old man to fade away.

Marshall Faulk – The biggest turd on turf. Faulk offers zero to football broadcasting. 364 days a year Faulk is a cue card reading cardboard cutout somewhere between less helpful than a box score and more interesting than the Weather Channel. But for one day a year the Super Bowl talk is too much for San Diego State’s biggest crybaby and he throws a tantrum about the Patriots stealing a Super Bowl from him. “But how could a team full nobodies beat the greatest show on turf?” Nobodies, Marshall? Teddy Bruschi, Willie McGinest, Ty Law, Lawyer Milloy, Richard Seymour? These are nobodies? This isn’t 2001 anymore. These are potential Hall of Famers. Insult to injury: Bruschi has a primetime spot on ESPN while Faulk is the NFL Network’s substitute heath teacher. How’s that for a nobody? I’m sorry Marshall. I’m sorry you ate so many hits to the head that you still think anyone but you cost you a Super Bowl.

Kurt Warner – Marshall Faulk’s mopey counterpart. Warner was never quite as vocal as Faulk when it came to prolonged crying about Super Bowl XXXVI but he’s just as pathetic when he wanted to be. His constant background drumming of “Well ya know… it makes ya think there…” anytime something came up with the Patriots made a formerly B+ quarterback into a total sad sack gimp. Never stopping to blame himself for over throws and terrible interceptions, Warner tried his hardest to keep the fire alive that maybe it was someone’s fault but his. Thanks for presenting the Lombardi, Warner. Ty Law and James Harrison know that it wasn’t the first time you handed someone else a Super Bowl trophy over.

Marty Hurney – What a smart guy. He knew for a fact that his team cheated in Super Bowl XXXVIII so it stands to reason that maybe the other team cheated too. No wonder he’s the GM. Make no mistake, Hurney knew all about the steroids going on in the Panthers locker room. Players don’t magically get hooked up with super secret steroid doctors from the Yellow Pages. Are we idiots, Marty? Is Google not a thing? Is it that hard for anyone to look up the fact that your team was on steroids and still lost the Super Bowl?

Tony Massarotti – The worst radio host in Boston, and somehow Andy Gresh is the one stepping down? Puke. Mazz is one of many Boston radio guys who year in and year out talk about this team like they’re finishing 2-14, but Mazz has to be the worst. Back in September I listened to Massarotti and his co-host Mike Felger go on for about an hour about how Belichick was sabotaging Brady on purpose to squeeze him in 2015 to restructure his contract. The two of them went on and on about how it was supposedly a known fact around the league (known somehow only by them) that Belichick would siphon players snaps to keep their contracts down at the expense of winning. Well here’s a fact for you. Vince Wilfork made every single one of his performance bonuses from his restructured deal. One of the biggest bonuses hinged on 75 playing a certain percentage of the overall snaps, a percentage that could have easily been cut short had Belichick benched Wilfork in week 17 (a game they were clearly prepared to lose anyways). Vince got his snaps, and his money. Brady got every cent of his money in a newly restructured deal, and the Pats got a 4th Lombardi. How’s that for a known fact? I really only listen to Mazz if I’m stuck in rush hour traffic with a dead iPod, but I don’t think I’ve heard him once in the last 3 years where he didn’t bend the conversation way out of shape to tell you that Andrew Luck is better than Tom Brady. I don’t know what his obsession with Luck is, but this is the first year in his career where Luck was actually statistically superior to Brady and Luck still lost to the Patriots miserably twice. You call him up and tell him what a jackass he is and 2 minutes later it’s like it never happened. Felger & Mazz are maybe the only two unanimously hated radio hosts in Boston and they have a drive time show that feels like it lasts about 17 hours a day every day. At some point we have to ask WHY?

Anyone Who Sided Against Vince Wilfork – This one got me in a big way. Vince had a spat with Belichick early in the offseason over a contract dispute we all saw coming. Vince was asked to take, what we believe, was a significant pay cut after a major injury, Vince took offense threw a locker room fit and the pink hats revolted. The same people who screamed at Belichick and Kraft for being “too cheap” all of a sudden wrote off Vince Wilfork for wanting the amount of money that was already in his contract. Which is it? First of all the too cheap argument makes no sense. Belichick has a relative cap bubble that he sticks to just about every year. The Redskins and Buccaneers had two of the highest salaries in the league in 2014 and finished with 6 wins between them. Vince has been the backbone of this team for years, a huge philanthropist constantly giving to charities and the less fortunate and one of the best defensive players in the game. You give someone like that the benefit of the doubt or you don’t dare call yourself a Patriots fan. That means you Ajay Vieria and Richie Evans.

No idea who either of these assclowns are but this was the kind of thing that people pretending to be Patriots fans came up with. It obviously hurt Vince, who a number of times throughout the season brought up that bandwagon fans and doubters had no place following the team on their road to glory. If you sided against Big Vince this Super Bowl is not yours. Plain and simple.

Ron Borges – Mr. Borges you’re a veteran of the industry, and everything that makes that same industry pointless and obsolete. Stupid contrarian boilerplate devoid of any real insight into the sport or the business that lives to see the home team fail. Cover him in wax and wheel his tired old bullshit to a museum next to Dan Shaughnessy so kids can come see what the world looked like when they couldn’t just DVR the game and watch it for themselves so you don’t have listen to as asshole’s impression of what happened.

Cary Williams Wow, tell us again about that preseason pick six and everything it’s done for you.

Every Ray Rice Apologist Ever – If watching women get knocked around is no big deal, like so many people commented to tell me when I pointed out how many teams were stashing domestic abusers on their rosters with little to no consequence… Please… by all means… send me your home address so I can send Greg Hardy over to punch your mother. “I’m sure there’s probably two sides to the story, bro.”

The Miami Dolphins – The “top 5 defense” and the supposedly most statistically impressive team to never win a single game of consequence. Broadcasters peppered us all year long with the myth that Miami was this statistically amazing team that was just waiting to strike. Well the truth, for anyone who actually looked it up, was that Miami had an average defense (14th in yards allowed), a “franchise” quarterback who in his best year as a pro still threw as many picks as Teddy Bridgewater, and had a middle of the road give/take differential right in between Carolina and Minnesota. This was supposed to be the year they finally turn it all around which coincidentally is the 1 year anniversary of the last time they had it all figured out, and about 10 years in a row before that. The Dolphins suck and everyone knows it.

The Buffalo Bills – Tell us again about your stunning week 17 win against the practice squad. Well the Bills beat the Patriots, and the Patriots won the Super Bowl, so naturally the Bills must be on the verge of winning a Super Bowl. Nevermind that they still have no quarterback, no chance of drafting a better quarterback, Mario Williams just turned 30, the coach that got them playing their best football in years quit on the team to get away from their inept front office, or that the Jets went 8-8 last year and it didn’t help them at all. Please tell us about “history” being made and we’ll console ourselves with the highest rated TV broadcast ever and a 4th Super Bowl trophy. #BillsMafia

The New Jersey Jets – I can’t thank the Jets enough for finally getting rid of the one coach that actually gave Belichick a run for his money. We could talk about how bad the Jets suck all day but the heart of the matter is thus… The Jets are a team that by accident of birth is sitting on the biggest market in the country and for the life of them they can’t do anything to deserve it beyond telling everyone how big their market is and how much attention they should get. Just let Donald Trump buy the damn team already and let the joke have its punchline. New York sucks. Everyone in New York sucks. Everyone who cares about New York sucks. Everyone who thinks Rutherford, New Jersey is Manhattan sucks. Try putting asses in the seats the old fashioned way: winning.

Greg Garber – Author of the Brady to the Texans trade proposal that ESPN published to let you know that they just don’t care anymore. “It actually makes too much sense” says a fictitious general manager. I wouldn’t have cared so much about ESPN’s completely stupid made up rumor that Brady was on the trading block, but making up a conversation with a GM should have been your reason for finding a new site for stats.

That’s it for me. I might be back. I might not. All I know is that the struggle was real. The payoff was real. Huff and puff and hold your breath all you want delicate little NFL princesses. The Patriots are four time Super Bowl Champions. Eat it.

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31 Reasons To Get Off Your High Horse, NFL


I can’t tell you how angry and depressed it makes me to not be able to talk about maybe the greatest Super Bowl matchup this century. No one wants to talk about it because we’re all talking about air in a goddamn football. Air… in a goddamn football: the most boring scandal in football history. The only thing gained from this is a quick payday for baseball and tennis writers to vacation into football journalism for a week and write whatever inflammatory B.S. they want. I should be witnessing one of the great back and forth press battles of our time. I should be watching Richard Sherman cut a Road Warriors promo to the press right now. I should be watching Belichick silently seethe in response while you know he’s hatching the the most vicious gameplan of his career in revenge. I should be talking about the Super Bowl but I’m talking about AIR IN A GODDAMN FOOTBALL.

You know what really burns me up about every Patriots controversy? It’s that 31 other teams, teams that hire criminals, run by tax cheating assholes, that cut corners and cheat in the background, all line up to play innocent. Well not all of us are football tourists. Some of us have been following this game every day for years and know that there’s enough dirty laundry on all 32 franchises right out there in the open. Well here’s a quick list, most of which was compiled off the top of my head (and cited for accuracy). If your response is “Yeah but the Patriots…” the Pats get theirs 24/7 on every news outlet there is. This is about sharing the love. If your response is “You sound like a whiny bitch” then congratulations: you know what it’s like for me to listen to you cry and cry when your favorite team bottoms out again and again. Here it is, a quick and friendly list of reasons all 31 other franchises and their fans don’t have the shining ethical resume they think they do.

UPDATE: The response from football fans both inside and outside of Patriots Nation has been overwhelming. Thank you everyone who has read this with an open mind, shared it, or posted suggestions. I’m still entertaining comments about how I’m making all this up (nope), or that I’m a hypocrite (the first 2 paragraphs recognize that the Patriots have also been disciplined for illegal behavior) or that this has nothing to do with PSIgate. All 32 teams have a black mark on their record,and have no superior ground to stand on. That’s the crux of my argument. Stamp your feet and cry all you want. These are things that happened. Also please stop posting analogies to Obama or dumb Teaparty rhetoric. I’m not interested.

UPDATE #2: So sick of having the same argument. The point I’m trying to make is that the Patriots have been accused of unethical behavior on and off the field as if the rest of the league has zero skeletons in their closet or a virtuous right to thumb their noses at others. This is a detailed cited list of reasons why they don’t. If you’re here to tell me that decades of documented unethical, violent, destructive, deceptive, or criminal behavior aren’t relevant to my argument then I’m just going to delete your comment. If you’re too illiterate or lazy to respond the argument at hand then I will no longer pay you the same courtesy. Thanks.


The Miami Dolphins

  • Reinvented bullying and homophobia for the modern day NFL. Physically and mentally harassed one of their own players into a mental institution.
  • Accidentally revealed that Mike Pouncey’s house was the chill spot for the team to do drugs..
  • Cheated to sign former coach Don Shula by tampering with the then Baltimore Colts employee. Found guilty of tampering and stripped of a first round pick.
  • The organization’s public unwillingness to follow tampering rules was the impetus for free agent reform. In 2008 the Phins signed guard Justin Smiley, contract written, detailed, printed and signed just 17 minutes after midnight.
  • Center Mike Pouncey endorsed a murderer cut by the Patriots.


The New Jersey Jets


Buffalo Bills


Baltimore Ravens

  • Hot Off the Presses! Ravens Terrence Cody under investigation for animal cruelty.
  • Gave fiance-puncher Ray Rice the most minimal punishment possible for punching said fiance, hoping the whole thing would go away. Only cut the despicable RB when the video of the domestic violence incident went viral and essentially forced the team’s hand. Remains one of the most disgraceful incidents in league history and a black eye on the league for life.
  • Employs repeat domestic abuser Terrell Suggs with little to no repercussions.
  • Accidentally let it slip that the team used bounties, specifically with Steelers WR Hines Ward.
  • Ray Lewis never murdered anyone. I refuse to perpetuate this myth. His cowardice in refusing to identify a murderer to the police is another story.


Pittsburgh Steelers


Cincinnati Bengals

  • Hot Off the Presses! Former QB Jeff Blake (who also played for the Jets, Saints, Cardinals, Ravens and Bears) admitted to deflating footballs throughout his entire career and divulged that “every team does it, every game, it has been since I played.” For reference sake, Blake’s career record was 39-61, again proving that air in a football is just about meaningless terms of in winning or losing a game.
  • Accused by the Steelers of intentionally injuring Steelers RB LeVeon Bell before the 2014 playoffs. Reggie Nelson is an excellent safety, and I’d like to give him the benefit of the doubt but the hit was low, and happened to be on the Steelers top offensive weapon.
  • A former Bengals cheerleader pleaded guilty to statutory rape after having sex with one of her 17 year old English students.
  • LB Vontaze Burfict was fined $25,000 for a pair of shots on Carolina Panthers players in 2014 including wrenching Cam Newton’s surgically repaired ankle.
  • FOURTEEN arrests since 2009. The charges for only 2 of them were dropped. More than one incident belonged to Pacman Jones, and the best involved OT Andre Smith attempting to bring a loaded gun on a plane.


Cleveland Browns


Indianapolis Colts


Houston Texans


Tennessee Titans


Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Former first round pick Matt Jones charged with felony cocaine possession.
  • Adopted the “Keep Chopping Wood” mantra under coach Jack Del Rio that eventually got punter Chris Hansen chopped in the leg with an axe.
  • Thought by many in the league to be purposely running the most incompetent anemic football team possible that never spends money on useful free agents or shows any scouting ability whatsoever in an effort to sink the team and move it to anywhere else but Jacksonville, Florida.


Denver Broncos


San Diego Chargers


Kansas City Chiefs


Oakland Raiders

  • Accused by all-time Raiders great Tim Brown of sabotaging their own team in Super Bowl XXXVII. It’s cheating in reverse, so of course the Raiders pioneered it.
  • Former owner Al Davis cost both the team and the NFL millions years of frivolous lawsuits.
  • Linebacker and confirmed steroid user Bill Romanowski attacked a teammate in practice: an act speculated to be the result of “roid rage.” His teammate was injured so badly he was forced to retire.
  • In a preseason game against the Patriots in 1977 safety Jack Tatum delivered a vicious hit to the head of Daryl Stingley that left him paralyzed for life. Tatum was said to have refused to apologize for the hit up until Stingley’s death in 2007.


Dallas Cowboys


Washington Redskins


New York Giants

  • Caught cheating and epitomized the fake injury scandal by accidentally having two players fake injuries at the same time to gain extra timeouts.

  • Accused of cheating against the Vikings in 2001 with somehow knowing the Vikings offensive plays in a 41-0 victory. Completely unsubstantiated and untrue, but hey so was the allegedly taped Super Bowl walkthrough that the media pretends to forget never actually happened.
  • I won’t even mention Plaxico Burress getting shot by a pair of sweatpants. How about instead safety Will Hill who had to be taken to court over $9,000 in owed child support (at the time Hill had a base salary of almost $400,000 with the Giants).
  • All time Giants great Lawrence Taylor (also of crack cocaine and rape of a 16 year old prostitute) admitted to colorfully cheating by sending prostitutes to opposing players hotel rooms the night before games to tire them out. That’s some admirable low-tech old school cheating.
  • Signed convicted sex offender Christian Peter after he was cut by the Patriots due to previously undisclosed rape accusations. Two women claimed to have been raped by Peters, one of which was bought off for $50,000 by the University of Nebraska. The remaining victim approached Myra Kraft with her story, and the Patriots cut him before even putting him on the field.


Philadelphia Eagles

  • Responsible for bringing dog killing sociopath Michael Vick back into the league after minimum jail time and zero expressed remorse for torturing and killing animals. The team promoted the false notion that having a good season somehow meant that he had become a better person.
  • Caught cheating in 1989 as head coach Buddy Ryan promoted a bounty system against the division rival Dallas Cowboys, coaching his players to purposely injure key opponents. Ryan was let go by the team a year later and has generally been known as a living joke in the NFL.
  • Got a helping hand from PA Senator Arlen Specter in 2008 who went on a crusade to legislate against the Patriots for an unsubstantiated cheating claim in Super Bowl XXXIX. The effort soon fell apart and earned the disdain of Pennsylvania residents when the whole thing turned out to be Specter lobbying in favor of Comcast (involved in a dispute with the NFL at the time, and had paid hundreds of thousands in campaign donations to Specter), costing tax payers untold amounts on money.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers


Carolina Panthers


Atlanta Falcons


New Orleans Saints

  • BOUNTY GATE. BOUNTY GATE. BOUNTY GATE.
  • I don’t hate the Saints, and rooted for them in the Super Bowl. However, I don’t care what any blogger or clearance rack athlete turned “broadcaster” says the intent to injure (not hurt, injure) a fellow athlete, to cost them the right to earn a living by destroying their knees or head is the lowest thing an athlete can do. Stealing signals or messing with a football isn’t even in the same galaxy. Even the big mouth asshole from the Cobra Kai broke down and apologized when he went low on Daniel-Son. These are things so ingrained in our collective humanity that they need no further explanation. There is NO comparison between letting air out of a gameball and costing a fellow player his career. None.


Green Bay Packers


Chicago Bears


Minnesota Vikings

  • Caught cheating in 2014 by tampering with game balls, heating them on the sidelines. In yet ANOTHER example of how little this matters the league didn’t even punish or fine them for it.
  • The Viking Sex Boat Scandal, which is exactly what it sounds like. In 2005 a bunch of players rented a party boat full of strippers/prostitutes. The evening culminated in OT Bryant McKinnie allegedly eating out a stripper/prostitute in front of his teammmates.
  • Employs homophobe special teams coach Mike Priefer, quoted as saying “We should round up all the gays, send them to an island, and then nuke it until it glows” as part of an insane quest to blacklist the franchise’s all time leading punter.
  • During a search of his bags at the airport in 2005 Vikings RB Onterrio Smith was found with several vials of dried urine in a device known as The Whizzinator. The device was designed to be able to beat drug tests. Smith already had two strikes against him for substance abuse policy violations, and later failed another drug test in spite of the Whizzinator, ending his time in the NFL.
  • Say what you want about Adrian Peterson’s choice to discipline his children. But only a year ago another man beat Peterson’s other two year old son to death. If that doesn’t alter your opinion of laying your hands on a child at least a little then there’s something wrong with you.


Detroit Lions


Arizona Cardinals


St. Louis Rams

  • Former Ram Leonard Little was convicted of manslaughter after a drunk driving accident killed a woman in St. Louis.
  • Graduated RB Marshall Faulk who you would never know actually won a Super Bowl because he won’t shut the hell up about the Super Bowl he lost. Still accuses the Patriots of cheating based off a red zone series that never actually happened. Super Bowl XXXVI is available on youtube in it’s entirety if you want to see how sloppy play against a devastating defense lost the game for St. Louis.


San Francisco 49ers

  • Hot Off the Presses! NFL legend Jerry Rice, one of the most outspoken critics of the Patriots and their legacy, admitted to cheating by using illegal stickum on his gloves to get a better grip on the ball. Just one day before the Deflategate story broke Rice discussed the evolution of the receiver glove on ESPN and laughed about his own willing circumvention of the rules. Rice was one of my favorite players of all time but has carried himself as a disgraceful crybaby the past few weeks and really any time anyone has come close to his former achievements. You can put him down as a hypocrite now too.
  • Violated salary cap rules in the late 90’s. Finally busted for it in 2000 (well after all the Super Bowls had been won) and fined a collective $300,000 and loss of two mid-round picks over 2 drafts.
  • Former owner Eddie DeBartolo was banned from active control of the franchise for a year in his involvement in an extortion scandal. He plead guilty and was fined $1 million.
  • Were accused of cheating throughout their dominant run in the 1980’s.
  • Forced to apologize for homophobe Chris Culliver’s idiotic comments. No apology yet for his awful play in the Super Bowl.
  • Lost Aldon Smith (who could be the best defensive player in the league if he got it together) for lengthy parts of 2013 & 2014 for substance abuse treatment, a series of drug and alcohol related arrests and nearly being charged with a felony for claiming to have a bomb in an airport.
  • So inept at negotiating Michael Crabtree’s rookie contract that a month into the 2009 season, with Crabtree still unsigned 80’s pop start M.C. Hammer had to be brought in to delegate the final details of the contract. You cannot make this shit up. Many would argue that Crabs has not been worth the trouble.


Seattle Seahawks

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How Sports Illustrated Basically Lied About The Patriots

When Peter King speaks, you might not always agree with what he has to say, but we listen. That’s the kind of clout King has, and he’s the reason Sports Illustrated is what it is. Then along comes Michael Rosenberg, a Detroit Tigers journalist by trade who decided earlier this week that he was tired of the other writers wiping their buttholes on his SI football phone, and had to write the best story ever. Naturally he went for the low hanging fruit of a Patriots cheating story leading up to the Super Bowl. But what can you say about the Patriots that hasn’t been said? Another microwaved Spygate story, reheated and plated for the millionth time over EIGHT YEARS? Too easy. Too droll. Instead, how about an eye popping sci-fi tale of a Bond-Villain-esque fortress of espionage and treachery right before out eyes in Gillette Stadium? For several hundred words, Rosenberg gets down on his knees and begs the internet to read his work with the only tactic he seems to know: lying. Outright shameless lying that took minutes to shut down.

I’ve already gone over the reality that the Patriots have taken the fall for Indianapolis and other organizations’ outright public cheating over the years (and been called the hard-F plenty of times for it, thanks trolls), so I won’t rehash it here. So let’s stick to the cold hard facts that Rosenberg rolls over like you can’t just look them up on the internet.

UPDATE Rosenberg defended his article on Dennis & Callahan. By defended I mean that he basically admitted he had no source and this was all meant to be hypothetical. His only response to being told outright that the secret monitor was a lie was “Yeah… I guess.” Listen to the interview yourself and tell me if that sounds like a man confident in his work. He also edited his article to try and fix the typos on the 2006 rule change and STILL got the facts wrong. The man is awful.

Let’s start with this: Rosenberg’s point blank assertion that the Patriots altered the NFL rules for Tom Brady. In his own words…

NOPE. Brady never said “They made that fucking rule for me” (un-sourced quote) because it wasn’t made for Brady. Real actual big boy sports journalists know this. Rosenberg doesn’t even have his years right. Brady’s ACL injury was in 2008. The rules for low hits on quarterbacks went into place before the 2006 season. If anything it was a response to Carson Palmer’s nearly career ending knee injury in the 05-06 playoffs. Again: Palmer. Not Brady. These are not typos. Rosenberg clearly does not know when these rules happened, why they happened, or have an adult grasp on football going back to even the mid-2000’s. You’re reading the ramblings of a lost baseball jabroni in way over his head trying to recall something anyone can look up on Wikipedia in 12 seconds.

Then there’s Rosenberg’s ripping yarn of the mystery “TV” (in the industry we say “monitor,” a giant LCD screen hanging in the sky is not a TV, you cannot tune it to Bonanza, grow up) that only the Patriots sideline can see that they use unfairly for replay challenges. Disregarding the fact that each team has a guy in a booth with a monitor (…or “TV”) right in front of him for exactly this purpose… this tall tale took exactly one photograph of someone actually in the stadium to completely debunk. Observe:

This was thanks to Jon Pelland, a local sports writer whose work includes the Keene Sentinel, who crushed a senior accredited Sports Illustrated writer like Larry Bird face palming Bill Laimbeer. So now we know that not only does Rosenberg not actually watch the Patriots… or the NFL, but he’s never actually been on the Patriots sideline or spent any significant time at Gillette. The dressing down of Rosenberg’s credibility is so air tight I won’t even mention how stupid it would be to rely on a monitor half a mile away for replays might be.

Knowing this, we can pretty much treat the rest of the article like the bus driver in Billy Madison. No ya don’t. No they didn’t. Just get lost.

For example.

Smart opposing coaches put locks on every entryway to the locker room, so nobody from the Patriots can walk in, “accidentally” grab a play sheet or two and “inadvertently” bring it back to the New England coaches.

Name one. Name a source. Name anything that proves you didn’t make this up.

This put Vinovich in the difficult position of deciding, with no notice, if he should tell the great Bill Belichick he was trying something illegal.

Nope. No it didn’t. It was a legal play. The league had a whole week to review it. Belichick came out and did the exact same thing against Indianapolis, and got away with it, because it’s legal. In fact the only time they were flagged was for just what Rosenberg is crying about: snapping the ball before the play was set. So look… justice was done after all.

Technically, what Belichick suggested is legal. Vinovich OK’d it. But the key to the plan was what Belichick did not say. He did not say he would hurry up his offense when he declared certain receivers ineligible, giving the Ravens no time to adjust to the tactic. The Ravens barely had time to see who was eligible before the ball was snapped.

The league office. The press. The organization have ALL been over this ad nauseum. It is not Belichick’s responsibility to wait for the Ravens to digest the situation. It’s not illegal because Jon Harbaugh doesn’t like it. It certainly isn’t illegal because some F- jobber journalist doesn’t like it.

Finally, I’ll rest on the part that really boils my blood because I just can’t stand it when people go after Bob Kraft over nothing.

Kraft is a close confidant and protector of commissioner Roger Goodell; in September, when the Ray Rice punch video leaked, and Goodell went into public relations overdrive, Kraft defended him on national television … on CBS, naturally. Cross Belichick and you cross Kraft. Cross Kraft and you risk the wrath of Goodell.

Notice the black hole of integrity in Rosenberg’s approach: subtlety linking Bob Kraft to Ray Rice as if the two were actually connected. The Rice mess was between Baltimore and the league office. They both deserve a lot of criticism. But how does Kraft end up taking the blame by merely standing up for the commissioner? Whether you agree or disagree with how Goodell handled it, Kraft stuck his neck out for a business partner who needed a positive voice in his corner and merely said that the right thing eventually got done, and Rice would never play in the NFL again. These are things Bob Kraft can say because of how much time he’s personally dedicated to making the league a better place instead of bribing portly governors on national television.

Kraft is a special owner in the eyes of Goodell, and you can hate that all you want. Do you know what else Bob Kraft is? He’s the guy who finally stepped in and bridged the gap that ended the 2011 NFL lockout. If it weren’t for Kraft that situation would have been left up to billionaire lunatics like Panthers owner Jerry Richardson who openly antagonized the players during the deliberations and made the situation worse day by day. Bob Kraft is also one of the few owners to set hard precedents on rape and domestic violence with his players, cutting a fifth round draft pick accused of domestic assault and rape before he even got on the field. This was years before Ray Rice actually showed the world what domestic violence looked like, and is NEVER mentioned by the media. Look it up for once.

These are things Rosenberg can’t tell you about because HE DOESN’T ACTUALLY FOLLOW FOOTBALL.

I might be biased, and I might be some pissant blogger that no one will read. But I don’t write anything I can’t stand behind. I’m not a value-less poser so desperate for web traffic that I lie to the world and hope they’re too stupid to figure out Google. If I was Peter King I’d have this guy’s desk moved to a compost heap on the far end of the SI parking lot so he can dig his UM diploma out of a pile of rotten coffee grounds and think about the black eye he just gave a once reputable publication.

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Why Did Official Not Hand the Jets Another Free Field Goal?

My congratulations to NJ.com’s Dom Cosentino, a Jet’s “beat writer” who found a way to get himself a nice chunk of web traffic for a story that will be forgotten by the end of the day since it was debunked before noon. Don’t hate the player, hate the game. Cosentino made a nice score for NJ.com (which I’m assuming is a site intended to house FAQs for “What’s that smell?” and “Can I mix coffee milk and whey protein?”) and did his job observing something most people didn’t. He also covered his bases by correctly observing that the Jets didn’t play well enough to win… because they didn’t. I’m not here to vilify Cosentino, I’m more out to counter troll. The Jets fanbase looking for a controversy is looking for nothing more than sympathy for not being granted another teeball do-over to celebrate on their way to another failed season missing the playoffs.

For anyone looking for a rebuttal to the Patriots hater on your Facebook wall sharing this bunk without reading it consider the following.

  • IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME. Officials re-adjust players on the field constantly. As cited above the NFL has accurately recognized that this is standard procedure. If you are arguing otherwise you are either brand new to football or you are roleplaying D&D NFL Conspiracy Edition. We’ve all seen this happen before and no one raised an eyebrow before a slow news day on a Friday with Jets fans looking for sympathy. Receivers check in with the side judges who nudge them into formation. DB’s check in with officials who warn them about holding penalties before they’re called. If you claim you’ve never seen this before you are lying.
  • The Jets got a gimmie win in their annual October Super Bowl last year at the hands of Jerome Boger, a Foot Locker aficionado universally recognized as one of the 3 worst officials in the NFL. You all know the situation. Boger broke out a rule that no one had ever heard of and that was never enforced again in the total 256 games played in the season across the NFL or since then. The only we learned from this debacle is not to mess with whatever loan shark that Boger is presumably still mixed up with that has him tanking games on purpose to keep his thumbs from getting Soprano-ed. You got your free win, Jets fans. Don’t be greedy. If you’re wondering why the officials did what they did what you’re really wondering is why they didn’t roll out the red carpet and give the Jets the Stonecutters “Another Strike for the Chosen One!” treatment… AGAIN. This game was on the level. You lost. Just face it.
  • It’s a moot point entirely because the LB wouldn’t have even been there for the snap. Hightower would have cleared out as soon as the tackles shifted inside… the thing that they planned for the sake of blocking the field goal… which worked. If Hightower had been standing there not only would it have been good for a flag, but he also would have been in the way of Chris Jones the guy who actually blocked the field goal. Profootballtalk even recognized this in it’s usual backhanded way.
  • If I’m a Jets fan I’d probably be wondering why a 58 yard field goal had a trajectory low enough that 6’1″ 309 lb Chris Jones was able to block it? If you look at the replay he didn’t get an especially amazing push inside, and was even on the decent from his jump when the ball hit his hand. Nothing against Jones but he’s not Manute Bol.
  • Geno Smith played a gutsy game, and gained a morsel of respect from Patriots fans for getting up and finishing the game after a knee injury in the 3rd. Realistically, he exploited a Patriots defense that was unprepared on a short week for Marty Mornhinweg’s goofball offense. The linebackers struggled to stay disciplined and shade outside on the read option and the Jets capitalized. Smith straight up missed the throw to Jace Amaro on the 2 point conversion though. They drew coverage against Patrick Chung who just physically cannot cover linebackers. Teams that “deserve to win” don’t blow 2 point conversions with the game on the line. It’s that simple.
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Reasonable Vs. Unreasonable Fixes for the Patriots

Something has to give. The modern day Patriots are a notoriously slow starting bunch. I’ve been willing to give them the benefit of the doubt in previous years but I think we can all agree that this feels less like the beginning of Major League and a lot more like the beginning of World War Z, as in it sucks from the get go but you still have no idea what you’re in for. This kind of uncertain climate brings out a certain side in New Englanders… a stupid one. A really really you can’t believe you’re hearing it and you’re worried for your own sanity by being around it stupid kind of attitude. Well for all you Chicken Littles blowing angry bubbles in your iced Dunkins here’s a breakdown of what is and isn’t reasonable to demand out of the Patriots right here and now.

UNREASONABLE: BENCH BRADY AND “Fahkin Staaah’t Garaaappolo!!”

Just fuck you. Tom F. Brady has given 13 years of legendary football to this franchise, and you know this. I will spot him a slow start and a bad game, and you will too you fucking mouth breather pink hat mongoloid. I don’t care if I sound like a Brady apologist. The fucking T-1000 couldn’t stay cool long enough to make accurate throws consistently with the way this offensive line is laying down and dying. The speed at which the casual Patriots fan goes from throwing rose pedals at Brady’s feet during the good times and calling for his head when he falters makes me want to puke on myself and eat it. I would take the calls for Brady to step down a lot more seriously if this hadn’t been going on for YEARS now. Since returning from his ACL injury in 2009 the local talk radio switch boards have lit up daily with fairweather drama queens begging for Brady to be replaced by a cavalcade of jabronies: Tim Tebow, Ryan Mallet, Cam Newton, Johnny Manziel, the wildcat offense to name just a few. In that time, with all that bitching and moaning in the background Brady has only managed a measley 2 AFC Offensive Player of the Years, 5 Pro Bowl selections, 3 Conference Championship appearances, 1 AFC Championship, and 1 NFL MVP. But who’s counting? Exactly how does being a Patriot fan involve the incessant thirst for the demise of the greatest Patriot of all time (that’s right Geno Cappeletti fanboys, I said it) instead of standing by him when he needs the support? I love Jimmy G.. His time will come. It’s not today. Goto hell and die twice if you don’t like it.

REASONABLE: BENCH SHANE VEREEEN

UPDATE (10/6/14): Vereen played hard straight ahead football last night against the Bengals and had no problem dropping the shoulder to get the extra yard. Well done.

People aren’t going to like this, but someone needs to go under the bus and believe me that Vereen deserves it. You’ve probably in denial, and it probably has something to do with the former Cal RB stashed on your fantasy bench waiting for a breakout game. And why not? The 3rd year RB is lightning fast and had over 600 all purpose yards last season. He’s awesome right? Well, he’s had a whole offseason of people telling him he’s the second coming of Larry Centers and forgot how to play Patriots football.

Long story short: Vereen blew 3 separate potential first downs Monday night in Kansas City by inexplicably stopping his motion dead with the line to gain in sight just to make an extra juke move he didn’t need. It’s like he thought the imaginary first down line on TV was covered in barbed wire ebola fire ants and had to do whatever he could to not get there. Couple that with the alligator arm effort that got him benched during the Miami game, and you’ve got a pattern. The Patriots have converted just 21 of 58 third downs and 4 of them belong directly to Vereen. He’s also twice choked on easy passes out of the backfield by failing to turn around and see the ball… and it certainly wasn’t because he was busy blocking.

For all the parallels drawn between Vereen and Kevin Faulk could you EVER imagine Faulk not selling out for a must-convert 3rd down? Faulk might have fumbled it… let’s be real, but he knew where the line to gain was when he walked onto the field and if it took diving or dropping the shoulder to run through somebody he made every effort to get it. That was Kevin Faulk. That’s Patriots football. Think of the effort and sacrifice still being made by guys like Julian Edelman, Vince Wilfork, Matthew Slater and even Stevan Ridley (who is running hard regardless of how little help he’s getting up front) the taxes their putting on their bodies to try and turn this team around. Do you really think it’s right that Vereen should be on the field with the offense hinging on his lackluster efforts? Play rookie RB James White, who is finally healthy, and give Vereen some time to think about how important first downs are from the bench.

UNREASONABLE: FIRE MCDANIELS – HIRE CHARLIE WEISS

I can’t believe I’m hearing this but I am. Really guys? The same Charlie Weiss that just went 6-22 in just over two years as the head coach in at the University of Kansas? Good one. Thanks for calling though. If you’re not satisfied with that consider the fact that NBC Sports ran an hour long feature titled Notre Dame Reborn, which gives you an idea of exactly what the Charlie Weiss years did to the program (they had to die first to be reborn get it?) and how hard they had to work just to recover from his tidal wave of failure.

REASONABLE TIGHTEN THE LEASH ON JOSH MCDANIELS

McD, we love you. 2007, the memories, the glory, the FU touchdowns. We’ll never forget it… but all that is over. Literally. Seven years have passed. Peyton Manning owns all those records now, and this offense sucks… SUCKS.

I don’t know what goes on in the offensive meetings, or the game planning. But watching these games it really seems like the Pats consistently spend the first 2 and a half quarters stubbornly working through a narrow game plan that just doesn’t stand a chance. Why even say “seems like?” That’s exactly what is happening. Case in point the Patriots ran Vereen out of the shotgun on a draw to the right side 3 times in the first half Monday night for a net gain of 2 yards. It doesn’t work. Run someone else somewhere else. I don’t even know how to explain it. The offense just seems dead set on going every which direction but down the field…. Draw. Screen. Slant. PUNT. Draw. Slant. Screen. PUNT. Slant. Draw. Nonsensical 30 yard pass to Edelman in triple coverage. PUNT. Turn the page already.

This isn’t news either. This has been going on consistently since McDaniels was re-hired as offensive coordinator in 2012. That year they started the season 3-3 with a humiliating loss to Arizona. They struggled out of the gate again in 2013, ending Brady’s 52 game touchdown streak in a pointless 13-6 loss to Cincinnati. It took 3 quarters of the 2013 season to get LaGarrette Blount going. The play calling game after game insisted that Blount HAD to run between the tackles: something he had struggled with consistently throughout his career. At this point if McDaniels showed up Sunday night in a tweed blazer and straw hat with a fumblerooski scrawled on a tiny chalkboard I’d have to struggle to feign surprise.

What happened to Danny Amendola running the Welker routes over the middle of the field? What happened to those unstoppable Gronkowski routes down the seam with only some hapless DB waiting to get trucked? What happened to Kenbrell Thompkins, who was a healthy scratch for absolutely no reason, and the back shoulder throw he and Brady spent all last season getting down to a science? Thompkins had 21 first downs with Brady last season. What happened to ALL the red zone plays this team used to thrive off of? Here is a look at where the Patriots have ranked scoring TD’s in the red zone with McDaniels (source: TeamRankings.com):

2012 2013 2014
TD Percentage 67.50% 58.11% 54.55%
NFL Ranking 3rd 8th 18th

There is nothing in the current conceivable Patriots playbook that resembles anything they’ve had success with or should scare anyone. Belichick has cracked the whip on his coordinators before with Eric Mangini (who had play calling privileges completely removed at one point) and Bill O’Brien. Both times it landed the Patriots in a conference championship and both coaches took credit for the Hoodie’s hard work and parlayed it into multiple head coaching positions. Tighten it up. Less experimenting. More consistency. Please.

UNREASONABLE: “BLAH BLAH BLAH, THE DRAFT”

The draft is seven months away. This season is now. I can nitpick Belichick’s draft history all day, and I have, but it means nothing right now. Name a team that you think has the draft figured out and can draft a dominant wide receiver without screwing up something else.

  • AJ Green in Cincinnati? Their playoff record is what?
  • Julio Jones in Atlanta? The team that won 4 games a year ago?
  • Dez Bryant in Dallas? The team that’s gone 8-8 three years in a row?
  • Jordy Nelson in Green Bay? That’s the only position the Packers can draft for. Their offensive line is almost worse than ours.
  • Calvin Johnson in Detroit? Those were “HIRE Matt Millen” banners everywhere that were just typo-ed, right?
  • 8th Overall Pick Tavon Austin in St. Louis? The blockbuster slot receiver statistically inferior in every way to Tiquan Underwood playing for the perennial last place Rams?Maybe the lone exception to the rule is Demaryius Thomas in Denver and that was after 2 years of being treated as a bust with our own Josh McDaniels at the helm. Thomas and the Broncos didn’t really become a legit team until Peyton Manning fell into their laps via a freak occurrence aka Jim Irsay’s impulsive stupidity. The draft is a two way street for everybody. Even the returning Super Bowl champion (and still the most dominant team in the league) Seahawks did most of their best work with Percy Harvin on the sidelines. Get over it.REASONABLE GET TIM WRIGHT ON THE FIELD ALREADY

    Am I going insane? Are we all going insane together? Did the Patriots not trade away the centerpiece of their offensive line for an insignificant draft pick and a desperately needed pass catching tight end? Rutgers alumn Tim Wright has been literally, figuratively and existentially non-existent as a Patriot. Look at his snap count over the first 4 games. Can you even figure out if he’s gaining ground or losing it?

    I get it. It’s a complicated magical offense. It’s hard to learn. However, we’re four weeks deep into the season and I’m still expected to believe that either Tim Wright doesn’t know the offense or that the Patriots are somehow better off without him. Do you know how long Hershel Walker was a Viking before he made debut? One practice. He knew 12 plays and still ran for 148 yards. I know Wright isn’t an ideal blocker, and it’s somehow really important to establish a 1940’s power running game but did I miss something about Aaron Hernandez’s blocking aptitude? Attleboro’s most Wanted wasn’t exactly the hispanic Daniel Graham on the line of scrimmage, but he did what he did and made up for it by catching passes. A lot of them. This WAS the offense that made the two TE set the wave of the future. It made being a tight end cool again. Did you catch that bubble screen Kansas City ran with two TE’s out wide and Charles in the middle? Did it look familiar? That’s because the Patriots invented that play. They ran the same thing with Gronkowski and Hernandez with the screen to Welker against Miami. It was an unstoppable piece of magic that *GASP* worked to the strengths of the personnel on the roster instead of forcing something that isn’t there.

    UNREASONABLE: CALL A PLAYERS ONLY MEETING TO GIVE DAVE DEGUGLIELMO A FULL METAL JACKET SOAP BEATING

    Hey… I said it’s unreasonable. I didn’t say it was impossible, or for that matter unwarranted… or that I wouldn’t enjoy it. There is no excuse for this offensive line sucking as bad as it does. I don’t care if there are rookies in the middle of the line. A quick skim of the depth charts around the league and I count 8 teams with rookies listed as starting offensive linemen. Is there an obnoxious round table discussion going on somewhere with Steven A. Smith and some jobber third rate NFL retiree turned “broadcaster” talking about why eight different teams’ offensive lines are falling apart before our eyes? No, they’re talking about one team. This team. Rookies and 2nd years don’t explain why all of a sudden veteran Dan Connolly has no idea what he’s doing. They don’t explain why Nate Solder was so late blocking Tamba Hali on his strip sack that he might as well have been blocking Hali’s 2nd grade class picture.

    Three months of OTAs, mini-camps, off season workouts. A month of training camp. Four preseason games. Four weeks in the regular season. NINE MONTHS on the job as the Patriots offensive line coach and Dave DeGugliemo has zero coordination from his offensive line. So if you’d like to do something brash and unreasonable let’s compromise on this one.

    REASONABLE MAYBE BRING IN A VETERAN OFFENSIVE LINEMAN

    It’s borderline unreasonable at this point. The time to get a worthwhile guard is in the offseason. That time was spent trading away the best interior offensive lineman on the roster. What’s done is done. The OG pickings are ironically slim. But the Falcons just worked out former Titan Leroy Harris and former Cowboy Uche Nwaneri who are experienced offensive lineman still in playing shape. In all fairness, I think the plan was to feature 2nd year guard Josh Kline who did not suck last year in limited time, but unfortunately is injured right now. The current line is anchored by veterans Nate Solder and Sebastian Vollmer both of which have proven skills but are quieter guys lacking your prototypical “Punch Channing Crowder In the Face With His Helmet Off” traits of great New England O-liners. Something is definitely off without a veteran presence around.

    Of course we all know the one guy who, no matter how bad of an idea it should seem or would seem to a not-desperate team, deserves to at least be discussed inside Gillette. He’s big. He’s mean. He knows how to single handedly dismantle a locker room through a media distraction so awful you almost can’t even believe there wasn’t a clobbered fiance or sex boat involved. But when he puts his mind to it he can still play some pretty good football. I won’t say his name. I’ll just say he reminds me of an unlikable Chris Farley and everyone knows he’s desperate to play football again.

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Patriots Seven Round Draft Board 2014



After realizing how much time I had been wasting trying to profile individual players for years, and how impractical it would be for me to do something like that again I decided to go for it in one mess. Here I’ve come up with 3 targets or scenarios per round for the Patriots and 3 players that should also be on the radar. If you’d like to comment and call me an idiot for not having your guy on here that’s fine. Just keep in mind that once the picks start rolling in we usually all look like idiots because plenty of NFL teams are run by idiots. Take it all with a grain of salt. These are just my opinions based off what I’ve seen and heard. I reserve my right to change my mind at any time.

Ra’Shede Hageman – DT Minnesota
Build: 6’6″ 310 lbs
40 Yard Dash: 5.02 (Combine)
Years Started: 2
Relevant Stats: 13 TFL, 2 Sacks, 8 PBU, 1 INT
If you follow the Patskrieg Facebook you know that I’m crazy about the Minnesota DT. He’s an unpolished player but if you follow his tape over the last 2 years you start to see a guy realizing his potential as a force of nature. He was a tight end in high school (just like Warren Sapp) and you can still see the movement skills even at 310 pounds. When you’re buying into Hageman you’re buying his physical skillset and potential. He didn’t play as many snaps as some of the other higher ranked DTs and didn’t have a huge sack total. What he did do was record 15.5 stuffs (well above the average amongst the top of the class) and have 9 batted passes which no other DT even came close to. He’s going to take a year or so working with NFL coaches but he could be absolutely dominant and set up the defense for years to come when he does.

Calvin Pryor – S Louisville
Build: 5’11 207 lbs
40 Yard Dash: 4.58 (Combine)
Years Started: 3 (Started as a true freshman)
Relevant Stats: 3 INTs, 4 PBUs, 2 FF, Tackles – 54 UA 21 A

If we’re ready to move on from the Steve Gregory era let’s really move on by drafting his polar opposite. Pryor is a big bruiser safety in the mold of Adrian Wilson (who is still on the Patriots roster). I’m hesitant to put a safety on a very short list of worthwhile first round picks since there are several very good safeties in the first 3 or 4 rounds. However, this would be a chance to put a high end safety on the roster. In three years at Louisville he started 2 and 1/2, caused 8 forced fumbles, and 7 INTs. This is the player everyone wanted DJ Swearinger to be a year ago. I have zero connection as of right now between the Patriots and Pryor. In fact, in classic Belichick fashion they’ve reportedly looked at Hakeem Smith (3 INTs 5 PBUs) who played opposite Pryor at Louisville. There’s your spoiler on this year’s Hipster Belichick pick. Either way, I think HaHa Clinton-Dix is the first safety off the board, leaving Pryor potentially available at 29.

TRADE
Build: Last year turned 29th overall into a 2nd, 3rd, 4th & 7th
Years Used: So so many
Relevant Stats: Batting 1.000 in Pissing Everyone Off

This will go over like a Martin Sheen Boston accent but I can absolutely see it happening, and I don’t think it’s a bad idea at all. Given how stacked this draft is I would very much prefer to have multiple picks in the 2nd and 3rd rounds rather than take a 1st round pick for the sake of taking one. Bleacher Report already named this the “Worst Case Scenario” for round 1. I’m going to respectfully disagree. Taking a first rounder for the sake of taking one seems materialistic and pointless to me. Be very careful though. I’m giving a thumbs up to a trade that gives the Pats at least an extra 2nd round pick. The price for last year’s 29th pick was a 2nd, 3rd, 4th and a 7th from Minnesota. I would expect nothing less. Once we get into the 2nd and 3rd rounds I think you’ll see what I mean.

Also On the Radar:

  • I’m on the fence about Notre Dame’s Stephon Tuitt. He’s played out of position at DE when he’s built like a DT, but has some of the more evolved pass rushing skills in this class.
  • You wouldn’t see me cry if Belichick took LSU WR Odell Beckham who I’d take well over Mike Evans
  • Virginia Tech’s Kyle Fuller is a large and very talented corner from Virginia Tech who remains a dark horse for the 1st round Stanford’s
  • David Yankey who is graded lower than UCLA’s Xavier Su’a-Filo but would be a better fit in New England because of his zone blocking experience. I’d pass on Louis Nix, and contrary to a lot of mock drafts I think Jace Amaro in the first is a reach. More on both of them in a minute.


I really honestly believe that the 2nd round is the key to this draft. Materializing an additional pick in the 2nd round might make some people unhappy, since it typically means trading out of the first. I think you’ve got 3 players here that if you can grab the lot of them you instantly get better at 3 major positional needs with players who can contribute right away.

DaQuan Jones – DT Penn State
Build: 6-4 322 lbs
40 Yard Dash: 5.35 (Combine)
Years Started: 2
Relevant Stats: 11 TFL, 3 Sacks, Tackles – 33 UA, 23 A

I may end up looking stupid 3 years from now for saying this, but Hageman is a wish and Penn State’s DaQuan Jones is a must. Speaking from both the tape and the numbers, DaQuan Jones should be ranked much higher than he is. Much higher. John Pollard of Stats LLC put together some very telling numbers about the value of this DT class.

He played more snaps than Nix, Hageman, Quarles, Jernigan, guys who are ranked higher than him. Stamina and conditioning are enormous considerations for grading big DTs. The game is evolving to a point where you can’t just have 1 or 2 down DT’s anymore. It says a lot about an athlete to play at 300+ pounds and be able to play 100+ more snaps than his peers. He also produced consistently across those snaps.

The Penn State product didn’t put up big sack numbers but he made things happen at, and behind the line of scrimmage. Having a stuff differential comparable to Aaron Donald (one of the top rated DT’s in the class) is important. Also, Hageman gets a nod for having by far the most batted balls.

He has a better motor and lateral quickness than Nix and does a better job of keeping square to the line of scrimmage. Jones weighed in at the Combine at 322 lbs and moves much much quicker than that. Unlike a lot of players in the 320+ range he isn’t a top heavy NT prototype with a big gut. His lower body makes for a really massive powerful frame. Jones is a stud and if he’s available in the 2nd the Pats need to go get him. He also gets graded on a curve for having Bill O’Brien as a coach and not turning out terrible.

Troy Niklas – TE Notre Dame
Build: 6’7″ 270 lbs
40 Yard Dash: N/A
Years Started: 1.5
Relevant Stats: 498 Yards 5 TDs

This likely isn’t the name you want to hear. Ebron, Seferian-Jenkins, and Amaro are the consensus top 3 TE’s. They’re all pretty good but hear me out. Two of them have arrests on their resume, and one played at UNC which has me uneasy to begin with. Flying just a little bit under the radar is Notre Dame’s Troy Niklas, who is a beast in the making. With only 1 year starting experience Niklas was a surprise to end up in the 2014 draft. That’s a concern, but if you remember correctly Gronk only had 2 years of college experience as well. Granted he started both years and put up incredible numbers but he still only played 2 years. Niklas played behind former 1st round pick Tyler Eifert, and was used as more of a traditional TE when he finally got the call to start. So he doesn’t have the outrageous statistical production of the top 3 TE’s but he has more experience as an in-line blocker but with the same impressive hands and ability to catch away from his body as the others do. Everyone is looking for the Pats to draft the next Aaron Hernandez, but I’ve got to ask what’s wrong with drafting another Rob Gronkowski? If it were up to me I’d say let the rest of the league fight over the top 3 TE’s (they don’t even know what to do with them anyways), prioritize your early picks, and grab Niklas in the 2nd, as the rumor is that he won’t last longer than that. If you’re obsessed with drafting Amaro ask yourself if you’re not just being a draft racist and your brain insists you need to replace one hispanic guy with another. The first step to overcoming draft racism is admitting to it.

Weston Richburg – C/G Colorado State
Build: 6’3″ 298 lbs
40 Yard Dash: 5.10 (Combine)
Years Started: 4

I’ve heard his name mocked to the Patriots a handful of times and I’ve decided to bite. Originally he was a 3rd round consensus, but I had him highlighted as a 2nd round priority. Now, of course, just before I post this rumors emerge that he’s graded by some scouts as the top center in the draft and could be a late 1st. The Patriots re-signed Ryan Wendell but I’ve got to believe that he’s insurance on whoever the future new center will be. Richburg will get downgraded some for the level of competition he faced, but he’s just too good to ignore. Four year starting offensive linemen always impress me because it means they have an advanced intellectual concept of the game. He’s an excellent athlete with an ideal body type for an interior lineman, anchors well and has experience in a zone blocking scheme, started 50 games at Colorado State, and looks like a natural knee bender. He’s fast too and just seems to have a knack for getting to the 2nd level to block. He kind of came out of nowhere and was a scarcely recruited 2 star prospect and a shotputter in high school. He had some kind of eligibility issue in 2009 but put in extra time training and working at his parent’s gas station and eventually made the first team the following season. We know the Pats are fans of that kind of attitude. I think once he got going as a Patriot he could make a case to be a week 1 starter and would be an enormous asset to the run game. Without having met the guy first hand it’s impossible for me to say that he’s a sure thing, but everything he’s put on tape would hint towards it. Rumor has it the Pats have had a private workout with Richburg.

Also on the Radar:

  • I’ve had TCU’s Jason Verrett on just about every draft wishlist I could think of. If he were 2 inches taller he’d be a top 20 lock. But I think he’ll be off the board early in the 2nd if he isn’t gone in the 1st and I see no indication of the Patriots scouting him.
  • Northern Illinois’ Jimmie Ward is also a big consideration here, and the Patriots quietly attended his Pro Day.
  • Arizona State’s Will Sutton should some love here too because he’s getting less than he deserves in the press. Check him out in the charts above. He produced nicely and maintained good movement even after gaining weight.

Will Clarke – DE West Virginia
Build: 6’6″ 270 lbs
40 Yard Dash: 4.77 (Combine)
Years Started: 2
Relevant Stats: 17.5 TFL, 6 Sacks, 3 PBU, 1 FF, Tackles – 36 UA 14 A

I’ve looked at a lot of 4-3 DEs and as deep as this draft is I’m having a lot of trouble finding one I like. There are speed guys that lack technique, productive players that are just undersized, and the usual crop of one tricky ponies. From the tape I have no idea why Will Clarke is so under exposed in this draft class. He’s 6’6″ 270 lbs and has a lightning fast first step. He reminds me in every way of Chandler Jones right down to the fact that Jones was projected as a 3rd rounder early last April. This is the round Belichick has proven to want to take a chance on pass rushers, even when it doesn’t work out. There’s room for a young DE on this roster and Clarke fits the mold. There needs to be a viable #3 option at DE on this team, and with all respect to Andre Carter (seriously) it can’t be Andre Carter in 2014. Clarke was 240 lbs coming out of high school and ran a 4.80 40. In his time at WVU he put on 30 lbs of mass and at the Combine ran a faster 40 than he did earlier. I absolutely love his potential as a 4-3 DE as a guy who can take some snaps from Jones or Ninkovich.

*Look for #98 playing DE

Davante Adams – WR Fresno State
Build: 6’1″ 212 lbs
40 Yard Dash: 4.47 – 4.50 (Pro Day)
Years Started: 2
Relevant Stats: 1718 Yards, 24 TDs

If Davante Adams was an inch taller he’d dead set on being a 2nd round pick. He also posted 2 40’s in the 4.5 range that didn’t help him either. Still, Adams dominated for 2 seasons at Fresno State with Derrick Carr throwing to him. He’s leaving for the NFL at only 21 years old opting not to risk starting over with a new QB. Adams still blew me away every time I watched him. My latest deal breaker criteria for grading WR’s is that I don’t even want to look at a WR who can’t high point a football and competing for a ball at it’s apex is something Adams did consistently for the Bulldogs. He’s a natural pass catcher with extremely quick transitional skills. To be a true Patriots WR you’ve got to be tenacious and that’s why I think he’d be a good fit. The 2nd round is potentially going to see a lot of fighting for QB’s, TE’s and offensive linemen. That’s why I think Adams might slip through the cracks and end up in the 3rd. It’d be criminal not to even consider him.

Billy Turner – OT North Dakota State
Build: 6-5 315 lbs
40 Yard Dash: 5.16 (Combine)
Years Started: 4

If you play for North Dakota State and want to crack the NFL you’d better dominate. That’s just what the 6’5″ 315 lb tackle did. Turner started 56 of his 57 games player at NDS and lead his team to 3 FCS national championship games. He had a lot of positive buzz after a strong Senior Bowl prompting talk that he could find his way into the 2nd day of the draft. I wouldn’t expect him to pressure Solder for a starting LT job, but if Vollmer either didn’t come back or had further injuries in 2014 I think Turner could be a force at RT. He has experience in zone blocking but does his best work as a straight ahead bulldozer. Turner would need some work before being in the conversation to back up Nate Solder, but could be ready for week 1 to plug in on the right side.

Also on the Radar:

  • Alabama’s Adrian Hubbard gets a mention because of his versatility. He didn’t exactly take over games but he played a role similar to Jamie Collins in that he could line up as a DE or a LB at any given time.
  • I’m honestly hoping they shy away from smaller WR’s given the stockpile at home but South Carolina’s explosive 5’9″ receiver Bruce Ellington also gets consideration for having multiple meetings with the Patriots already.
  • Another SC player Kelcy Quarles could be floating around somewhere. I liked Quarles a lot in his gameplay, but really disliked watching him move in the Combine. I thought he ran way too narrow for a DT. Still he’s a physically impressive prospect that the Patriots have looked at up close.

Stephen Houston – RB Indiana
Build: 5’11” 230 lbs
40 Yard Dash: 4.46 (Pro Day)
Years Started: 3
Relevant Stats: Rushing: 753 Yds (6.7/carry) 8 TDs, Rec: 164 Yds

Bigtime sleeper here to the point where I’m getting antsy over the idea of drafting him weeks away. I like the idea of drafting RB’s that come from 2-back systems. It worked with Stevan Ridley in LSU and I see it working going forward. It saves a bunch of wear & tear on the player, and adapts them to the committee back system that we have in New England. Indiana’s Stephen Houston was thought of as a late round pick prior to his pro day. The 230 lb bruiser somehow managed a 40″ vertical and an 11 ft broad jump, which would have bested every RB at the Combine. He averaged only about 140 carries per season, but averaged a career 5.56 yard per carry including a 6.72 his senior year. Houston is a big thick back that genuinely dislikes being tackled. I think he’s a very comparable player to Carlos Hyde but with a little more burst to his first step. The Patriots have a very deep RB core right now even with Blount leaving, but I still think they take a RB somewhere considering both Ridley and Vereen are in contract years. This is a great spot and a great player to take a shot on. Let’s not go crazy but I see a little Christian Okoye in his game. I’ll also throw it out there that he was the first Hoosier to have back to back 700+ rushing yard seasons since BenJarvis Green-Ellis. The Pats have worked out Houston.

Dezmen Southward – S Wisconsin
Build: 6’0″ 2.11
40 Yard Dash: 4.44 (Pro Day)
Years Started: 2
Relevant Stats: 1 INT, 5 PBU, 1 FF, 3 TFL

I’ve written about Southward on the Patskrieg Facebook before and I’m still a fan of his. Southward was only a 2 star recruit out of high school after starting his football career as a senior. He was a starter that year and lead St. Thomas Aquinas HS (alma mater of Michael Irvin and a long list of NFL players) to a national championship. He plays compact and fast, staying nice and low in his backpedal, getting a strong push on his breaks, and waiting for his opportunities. He’s 6’1″ 212 lbs and you barely notice it because of how well he bends. Originally I had FSU’s Terrence Brooks as a 2nd round target, but I like Southward’s tackling and movement skills better so I re-prioritized. Contrary to Calvin Pryor I wouldn’t expect Southward to compete for a starting job week 1. I think that’s Duron Harmon’s job to win or lose (I have no idea what Tavon Wilson did to get in Belichick’s doghouse last year but he was practically forgotten). But you can’t go wrong with a player like this in the 4th or later as he has the potential to be a big contributor. The Patriots were one of a number of teams present for Southward’s Pro Day at Wisconsin, and I believe they’ve also brought him in for an official visit.

Kevin Norwood – WR Alabama
Build: 6’2″ 198 lbs
40 Yard Dash: 4.42 (Combine)
Years Started: 2
Relevant Stats: 568 Yds 7 TDs

I don’t 100% know where Norwood fits in the 2014 Patriots roster. I don’t know if he beats out Thompkins or LaFell for a WR spot. Quite frankly I don’t know what the ceiling is for him. What I do know is that he’s a bigtime underexposed sleeper that could be well worth the risk of taking a late round flyer on. The Mississippi native was a 4 star recruit out of high school, finishing his senior year with 12 TDs and 11 INTs as a corner. We’re all agreed Odell Beckham is a top tier receiver right? Norwood is 3 inches taller, ran an almost identical 40 (4.48) and has 10 inch hands (tied for 2nd largest at the Combine amongst WR’s). He can catch away from his body, at the apex, in traffic, on the sideline, while getting hit, all of it. He just didn’t get much of a chance in a very crowded Alabama offense that featured future 1st round pick Amari Cooper and a perennial stable of top tier RB talent. Who knows what he could have done if he had been counted on to be the focal point of his offense. Still, he played all over the field at Alabama lining up both in the slot and on the outside. He needs to work on sharpening his route running but he knows how to be in the right place at the right time, and come up with a catch in a tough situation. The Patriots have very quietly met with him.

Also on the Radar:

  • I guess I’ll put Iowa’s C.J. Fiedorowicz here even though I think Niklas has a much higher potential. I’d rank him below Niklas and above Colorado State’s Crockett Gillmore who looks very ordinary.
  • Minnesota safety Brock Vereen brother of some guy named Shane that plays for some team is a Patriots type player (instinctive with leadership qualities) who the team has scouted.
  • Rutgers Brandon Coleman has also been floating around in 4th round consideration, and I’d look pretty stupid if I didn’t at least mention the top rated Rutgers prospect despite a disappointing season.


The Patriots currently do not have a 5th round pick. There are mock drafts out there that have the Patriots picking in the 5th with no mention of this fact. Hit Alt-F4 if you find one please. I’d say they wasted it trading for Isaac Sopoaga, but the truth is Sopoaga wasted the pick for us by being terrible. If you know the Patriots though, you know that they seem to end up with mid round picks no matter what things look like at the start of the draft, so I’ll take a look at some 5th round targets just in case.

Michael Sam – DE Missouri
Build: 6’2″ 261
40 Yard Dash: 4.73 (Pro Day) 4.91 (Combine)
Years Started: 1.5
Relevant Stats: 19 TFL, 11.5 Sacks, 2 FF, Tackles – 31 UA 17 A. SEC Defensive POY 2013
OOOOOooooooooOOOoo controversial pick. Yes, I’ve gone on record saying that Sam isn’t the type of player the Patriots normally draft. He’s shorter than your average Belichick pass rusher, and I usually skewer similar players for being one trick ponies. However, the more Michael Sam I watched the more I came to realize the fact that he’s underrated if anything. I kept looking for a reason to count him out. I kept expecting top tier DE Kony Ealy to be the reason for Sam’s success. From what I’ve seen, Michael Sam was the star of that defense. I don’t have the numbers but t looked like Sam played significantly more snaps than Ealy and shined in run support as well as just running at the QB. All I’m saying is that there are much worse players to waste a 5th round pick on. PFT reported that the Patriots are one of a short list of teams with a real interest in Sam.

Xavius Boyd – Western Kentucky
Build: 6’1″ 236
40 Yard Dash: “4.6/low 4.7 range”
Years Started: 3
Relevant Stats: 15.5 TFL, 7.5 Sacks, 1 FF, Tackles – 68 UA 35 A
If increasing linebacker speed is on your agenda for 2014 I think Boyd makes for an intriguing pick. He finished his senior year with 15.5 TFLs, and 7.5 sacks. He’s a sideline to sideline type of backer that likely fits best as a mike linebacker and could upgrade the overall speed of the defense. He was the Sun Belt Conference Defensive POY with 105 tackles. The fourth round might be a reach for a small school prospect but the Bears, Cowboys, 49ers, Raiders, Chargers and Patriots have all interviewed or worked out the former Hilltopper.

Lonnie Ballentine – S Memphis
Build: 6’3″ 219
40 Yard Dash: 4.39
Years Started: 2
Relevant Stats: 5 PBU, Tackles – 37 UA 21 A

You’ve got to wonder where this guy has been hiding. Ballentine is a 6’3 219 lb DB from Memphis that at one time had offers on the table from almost every major SEC school and a pair of ACC schools. He chose to commit to Memphis though, a seemingly strange decision that may have had something to do with having a wife and kid in the area. His triangle numbers are ideal posting a 4.38 and a 4.40 at the Memphis Pro Day. For his height and size those are WR numbers. His play is just what you’re looking for too: fast and physical.

Also on the Radar:

  • Georgia QB Aaron Murray is an obvious consideration. He was a 4 year starter that could be available at a huge bargain after suffering a gruesome ACL injury. He’s smaller than your typical Patriots QB but clearly has the skills.
  • I’d like to see the Pats take a look at USC TE Xavier Grimble. He ran a 4.90 but I think he’s much faster than that on the field. The former 4 star recruit may have still been feeling the effects of a calf injury that kept him from running at the Combine. I’d suggest 5 star recruit AC Leonard who ended up transferring from Florida to Tenn State after a domestic assault arrest, but I’m not down with that.
  • This could also be a good time to pick up a quality special teamer like Rice DB Phillip Gaines (4.38 40), or Liberty DB Walt Aikens (4.37 – 4.44 40’s).


Kenny Guiton – QB Ohio State
Build: 6’3″ 208
40 Yard Dash: 4.78
Years Started: 0.5
Relevant Stats: Pass: 749 Yards, 14 TDs (2 INTs), 68.8% Completion Rush: 330 yds, 5 TDs

A couple thoughts on drafting a QB in this class:

  • Stop mocking Tom Savage to the Patriots. He’s not very good. He played for 3 teams in 5 years, turns 24 this month, and didn’t crack a 60% completion rate until the final of his 5 years in school. Let’s pretend that it takes a little more than playing for a mid-western school and being named Tom to be a starting QB for the Patriots.
  • Which is it? Do you want to WIN NOW! DRAFT HIGH! or DRAFT A QB! WE NEED A NEW TOM BRADY!! Because you can’t have both. If you want a QB in the first round then the other positional needs don’t get met.
  • Words can’t express how little I want Foxboro to be the “The House That Johnny Built” so let’s forget about that too.

This might be a case of doing your UDFA shopping a couple days early but OSU’s Kenny Guiton fascinates me. He saw limited action, seeing action in only 7 games last year, while sitting behind Braxton Miller. Watching him play he reminds me almost of a black Matt Cassel (that’s a compliment I promise): big tall frame, strong arm, and deceptively fast. He wasn’t a slouch with the football either: 68.8% completion rate, 14 TDs, 2 INTs. Those aren’t typical backup stats. Buckeye fans loved this kid, and you can tell why. He’s got a gun and has strangely good downfield accuracy. His mechanics look a little wonky but I think the physical tools and instincts are there. Whether he can grasp the New England offense is something I’ll never be able to tell you, but I like what I see in Guiton a lot more than some bigger names in the middle of the QB class.

Lorenzo Taliafero – RB Coastal Carolina
Build: 6’0″ 229
40 Yard Dash: 4.58 (Combine)
Years Started: 1 (2 year JUCO starter)
Relevant Stats: 1729 Yds, 27 TDs

I’ll be honest in saying that I know very little about this Coastal Carolina prospect and didn’t pay any attention to him until the Combine. I saw Walter Cherepinksy mention to a reader on Facebook that the Patriots liked him, so I put him here. As with most small schools if you want to be taken seriously you’d better dominate, and the 229 lb RB did. 1,729 yards and 27 TDs across 15 games in his 2013 season is certainly what you’d call dominant. He had 31 yards on 8 carries in the Senior Bowl, so he can hang with top tier competition. His lateral movement definitely jumped out at me in the Combine when I saw just how much he weighed. It seemed like he was more of a straight ahead runner at Coastal Carolina, and didn’t really use his hip flexibility to his advantage. I could write more on him but Steelers Depot already did an incredible job breaking him down, and anything else I said would just be ripping them off. They do point out that he’s an exceptional pass blocker, which is usually something young RB’s struggle with.

Jordan Tripp – LB Montana
Build: 6’3″ 234 lbs
40: 4.67 (Combine)
Years Started: 4
Relevant Stats: Tackles – 49 (UA) 51 (A), 3 INT, 5 TFL, 2 Sacks, 1 FF, 1 Blocked Kick
Mike Dussault loves Michigan State’s Max Bullough at this spot, at basically the same position, but I can connect Montana LB Jordan Tripp to the Patriots via a private workout, so I’ll go with Tripp here as the Pats could very well elect to replace one speedy Montana LB (Dane Fletcher) with another. There’s a good chance he’ll be off the board well in advance of the 6th round, but I’m just not sure where to put him. He’s a very similar player to Fletcher, quick, rangy, and seems to have a knack for knowing when to make his break on a gap to pressure the quarterback.

Also On the Radar:

  • Texas A&M’s Ben Malena was the Aggie’s feature back but was 2nd to Manziel in yardage. He also ran an unimpressive 4.60 Pro Day 40. He’s much quicker than he is fast and has the tools to be an effective 3rd down back in the NFL.
  • Andre Williams the 230 lb RB from BC got a look from the Patriots and fits the mold of what they’re looking for. He only put up 2100 yards his final season and left as a Heisman finalist if that means anything to you.
  • FSU RB Devonta Freeman is another big RB that the Patriots have looked at. What can I say? I like the idea of drafting a RB here.

Andrew Norwell – OG Ohio State
Build: 6’6″ 315 lbs
40: 5.28 (Pro Day)
Years Started: 3 (Backup RT as true freshman)

Who? For reference sake I am normally not an Ohio State mark but let me introduce you to Andrew Norwell from Cincinnati, Ohio. Andrew was a 4 star recruit out of high school and a 3 year starter at Ohio State. He’s not a physical freak (beyond being 6’6″ and 315 lbs) would need some breaking in at the next level but I see a player with the right mentality to play for the Patriots. He’s a find somebody to hit kind of lineman who, even as far back as high school had scouts noticing his fondness for getting an extra shove in. He can play in a zone or power blocking scheme and has experience at RT and both guard positions. After being a first team All Big Ten selection two years in a row I’m a little lost as to how he was a Combine snub, and is basically invisible. That kind of spiteful inertia has worked out well for the Patriots in the past. What grabbed me about Norwell was watching him neutralize Cal’s DeAndre Coleman who is supposed to be one of the top DT’s in the draft. Like I said, he’ll need to work on his quickness, but I like his chances as a depth player in an offensive line that needs to get meaner to get better.

*Look for #78 at the LG position

Dustin Vaughan – QB West Texas A&M
Build: 6’5″ 235 lbs
40: 4.95 (Combine)
Years Started: 3
Relevant Stats: 5,401 Yards, 53 TDs, 66.% Comp

6-5 Dustin Vaughan was the only player at any level of college football in 2013 to throw for over 5,000 yards and 53 TDs. He’s a former National Honor Society member, a pre-med biology major… I get it Dustin, you’re better than me. Gawd. Over achieve much? Yes, he’s a D-II quarterback who carved up crappy D-II defenses but he shined enough to be the only D-II quarterback invited to the Combine. There’s a lot to like about his technique. He’s got quick feet in the pocket, a decent arm and has a noticeably quick delivery. One of the things I generally disliked about a lot of bigger name QB’s in this year’s draft is their slow delivery. Some of these guys look like a ride at the Brockton Fair and are way too eager to get in the habit of lofting passing to the sideline or into the flat. Vaughan snaps his passes decisively and goes through his progressions like he’s got somewhere to be. I don’t know what his priorities look like between being 2 players behind Tom Brady on a depth chart, or being a doctor. He could up and leave any time he wanted to and 6 years from now be a proctologist making bank laughing at the idea of carrying Ryan Mallett’s pads to practice. I don’t know. I just think he’s worth a check in the 7th.

Blake Annen – TE Cincinnati
Build: 6’4″ 247
40: 4.41 (Pro Day)
Years Started: 1
Relevant Stats: Rush: 183 YDs 2 TDs
Originally I had Malena here, but I swapped him out with Cincy’s Blake Annen after a Reddit reader accused me of not having “a single tight end” on the list. I actually list 4 TE’s but who’s counting? Statistically speaking, Blake Annen barely existed for the Bearcats. Still, there’s only so long that the NFL will ignore a 250 lb TE that runs a 4.41 (not a typo) 40. Unlike a lot of TE’s with that kind of speed that are basically just out to play basketball on grass, Annen is actually pretty good at finishing his blocks. I’m still trying to figure out just what happened to him in Cincinnati. I kept thinking I was going to find out he was a football walk on after coming to Cincy on a basketball scholarship or something. Wasn’t the case. He was one of the top TE’s in Ohio coming out of high school where caught for 800 yards, so his hands work. The Bearcats had 5 receivers with over 400 yards, so it may have just been a case of not enough balls to go around. Still, the Patriots took a chance on a Bearcat receiver with some sparse production a year ago in Kenbrell Thompkins and that went well. They also took a shot on another super fast/inexperienced TE with Zach Sudfeld the same year which was a disaster. In fact, I still can’t get over how astonished Sudfeld seemed to be every time a football came near him. This is the 7th round though, and the late 7th/UDFA period is where you take gambles on projects like Annen. The Patriots, and Eagles have both worked him out.

Also On the Radar:

  • We know that the Patriots have looked at 6’1″ CB Al Louis-Jean who was a 4 star recruit from my alma mater Brockton High. He started his college career in Miami, had some disciplinary issues, and a season ending injury. He left Miami for BC and it looks like he didn’t get along with them too well either despite putting together some limited but impressive tape. He opted to skip his junior and senior years to declare for the draft (a very Brockton decision of him) but the potential is there.
  • Also coming out of BC is LT Matt Patchan who was a 5 star recruit originally committed to Florida. He had a string of unfortunate injuries that cost him his spot as a Gator. He was able to put in a full senior year at BC and looked great.
  • Going out with a bang I’ll mention that the Patriots and Broncos have both worked out Boise State C Matt Paradis who started 25 games and was a business finance major.
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Three Reasons Why Signing Eric Decker Is A Terrible Idea


…But all you really need is one.

I’m getting really used to this idea of putting things in numbered lists. It keeps things so concise. One thing that isn’t growing on me, however, is the perennial suggestion that the Patriots should go after the highest paid WR on the market. No matter who it is. No matter what else is going on. Every single year. It’s an idea that local journalists propagate every year knowing that it’s the wrong move and will never happen and thankfully has never materialized in New England. This year that receiver happens to be soon-to-be-former Bronco Eric Decker. Decker’s name has been at the forefront of such bulldozing-ly awful article’s as Jackie MacMullan’s (who presumably blacked out during any given unwatchable NBA game and woke up the next day with Mike Reiss’ stolen laptop and a finished article on ESPN Boston) letter to Belichick told through the unspoken thoughts of Tom Brady (it’s as great as it sounds).

Decker, who has spent the last few seasons as a #2 WR behind star wideout Demaryius Thomas, is going to command #1 WR money. We know this because history tells us so. Plenty of real football fans are content to see players like Dwayne Bowe re-sign with the Chiefs and have one of the worst seasons in his entire career, or guys like Mike Wallace get his payday with a clueless Dolphins franchise. But the problem is people read these articles and get in the “why not us” mentality all too easily…. Why not willingly over spend on a #2 wide receiver that miraculously broke out of his shell when teams were forced to double cover Demaryius Thomas? Why not go all out for a big bodied wideout who, as Patskrieg FB reader and Boston Phoenix writer Janssen McCormick put it turns into Harvey Whippleman when DB’s get physical? Why not put all your eggs in one basket? Isn’t it easier to carry that way? Here are some facts and opinions that I would hope would dissuade Patriots fans from praying for a Decker deal when free agency begins this upcoming Tuesday.

1. Proven Fact: Buying the Most Expensive Wide Receiver On the Market DOES NOT Fix An Offense

Here are some cold hard facts I’ve compiled from the last 5 seasons. Listed below were the biggest name / highest paid free agent wide receivers and what happened to the teams that broke the bank for them. Note: This does not include WR’s that re-signed with their teams, or players that were traded for. This is only in terms of the highest paid WR’s to sign with a new team on their own. This chart details how much they signed for, the team’s overall offensive rank the season before the signing, and the rank in the season following, and their record that year.

What To Take Away From This List:

  • None of these teams made the playoffs.
  • None of these teams finished above .500.
  • None of these teams had a significant improvement in their offense. In fact half of them either stayed the same or got significantly worse.
  • Vincent Jackson has been a unanimous success in Tampa, yet their offense as a whole somehow tanked after they signed him.
  • Antonio Bryant didn’t even make it through Bengal’s training camp before he was cut, and Cincy threw away another season.
  • Seattle, the team that gets hit twice here, eventually succeeded after cutting TJ and phasing Rice out of their offense.
  • Remember what a foregone conclusion it was that Houshmandzadeh was going to blow the doors off whatever team he ended up with? I stayed up until 2 AM the night he went free agent expecting him to sign with Minnesota and team up with Adrian Peterson. How did no one stop for a minute to think that maybe a nutcase like Housh wasn’t ready to carry an offense?
  • That’s just great. Thank you spellcheck. Now everyone knows I lazily made the table in Word.

In all fairness, most of these teams had to suffer through terrible quarterback play or stupid coaches or both. But that just goes to show you what type of franchises are willing to go full Dibiase on a guy that’s typically another team’s #2 WR just because he’s the biggest name on the market. Honestly, this should be the whole piece right here. The sheer history should tell you what a bad move it is. But I said 3 things for some reason so let’s keep going.

2. The Randy Moss Offense Was A Freak Occurrence

There was a time when the Patriots ended up with the top WR in the game and the results were incredible. That receiver’s name was Randall Gene Moss and it was a unicorn-class celestial miracle likely never to happen again. Seriously, a future first-ballot Hall of Famer with life left in him just sitting there festering on a horrible team, available for practically nothing with no risk, looking for a team like the Patriots, and willing to re-negotiate his contract for almost half the money… When will that EVER happen again?

The most expensive wide receiver on the Patriots roster in 2007 wasn’t even Randy Moss. After a nightmarish 2006 WR corps the Patriots went out and got:

  • Donte Stallworth – 6 years $30 million. The deal seemed big on the surface but was predominantly incentive based and gave the Pats the ability to release him for cheap whenever they wanted
  • Wes Welker – A relative unknown rescued from wasting away in Miami, seized for a 2nd and a 7th round pick and re-signed for a 5 year $18.1 million contract.
  • Kelly Washington – UFA who the Patriots signed for a $300,000 signing bonus, and another incentive heavy contract worth up to $22 million over 5 years.

    Moss got his money, Welker saw his money, everyone else was dropped no strings attached and the Patriots turned in an 18-1 season with an offense that should have broken their bank account but never did. So even when they did land the best WR in the game, the solution wasn’t throwing money around stupidly.

    3. I Thought Aaron Dobson Was the Answer?

    A lot of people who convinced you that last year’s 2nd round pick Aaron Dobson was a star in the making are the same people pleading for Decker to save the day. Off the top of my head I’ll pick on NESN’s Doug Kyed who opined towards the end of last season that Dobson was actually a better pick than Cordarrelle Patterson because his rushing and kick return stats shouldn’t factor into a comparison between the two….? Whatever that’s supposed to mean.

    But less than a month later Kyed wrote another article calling Decker his ideal free agent signing on the grounds that we need to sink more money into the wide receiver position to compliment Amendola on the inside.

    I like Doug Kyed and think he’s a smart football guy, but he has a tendency to be overly literal. I’ll also add the fact that no one, short of maybe an ex-girlfriend of his back in West Virginia, has dumped on Dobson more than I have. After almost a year of shredding him to pieces day in and day out I still think he deserves a chance to prove himself as a starting WR as opposed to over-spending at the position. In my humble opinion he played like a guy who was overwhelmed with the game. He looked nervous, uncomfortable, and at times shocked that he was making the plays he was. When you approach a sport like that there’s no way to concentrate on your technique. Between Dobson, Thompkins and Boyce (who will never again be called “Joyce Boyce” or “Josh Joyce” by the legendary Dan Dierdorf) there is enough talent for at least one of them to become a solid football player. I would be much happier letting them develop this off-season installing a lower cost talent across the field from them like Kenny Britt and playing the percentages that somewhere in between three talented 2nd-years and one potential star veteran something will develop. It almost has to.

    Honorable Mentions For Free Agents To Also Stop Talking About

    • Champ Bailey – It’s over. Did you see him play late last year? He looked like later years Kirk Gibson using the last bits of his pain threshold to hobble to his locker for a fistfull of chaw minus the World Series home run.
    • Tony Gonzalez – It’s over. He couldn’t coast to a Super Bowl in Atlanta. Gonzalez is searching Monster for “Trophy Raiser” and “Tears of Joy Confetti Snapshot Model” He’s not interested in learning a new offense and grinding out another season of football.
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Six Things Football Outsiders Should Know About Michael Sam


Hi. If you’re reading this you’re likely not a football fan. That’s okay. Really. You’ve also likely heard of former Missouri DE Michael Sam who will be entering the NFL draft this year as potentially the league’s first openly gay NFL player. IMHO that’s pretty cool. However, if the early signs are any indication you’re also going to be under the impression that there is a war going on to enforce some kind of hetero-normative agenda that keeps Michael Sam out of the NFL because of his sexuality. You’ll likely get mad, head to Facebook or Twitter and lay into the NFL for keeping the dark ages alive. That’s okay too. Really. But hear me out first. I wrote this piece to give football outsiders such as yourself a few things to consider before you blow your stack. We don’t know much about eachother. But I know our side (football fans) usually get our jocks in a bunch when we think your side (the general non-football public) butts into our business. I know your side thinks our side are a bunch of neanderthals with too much free time. And I know your side likes your internets in the form of neatly numbered lists (we have one thing in common already). So I thought I’d bridge the gap via a friendly numbered list.

The draft is a very tricky and confusing thing. Those of us that follow it every day still don’t fully understand it. Hell, the Browns don’t even understand it. So in this article I’d like to introduce you to the draft and the realities of the NFL as they relate to this new situation. As usual, comments emails agree/disagree statements are always welcome. But here are 6 things I think you should know.

1. “Draft Stock” is Not NASDAQ & Is Not A Tangible Thing

The internet would like you to think that it can predict the draft. It can not. I know this because I publish a draft blog and I’m wrong a lot. Teams have their own notes and opinions on prospects and the molecules of information that make it to the public rarely tell the whole story. The number one rule you have to know is that the draft happens when the teams turn in their picks. Not a moment before. Real actual football fans make this same mistake every year and confuse mock drafts and arbitrary rankings with real life. “Draft Stock” is a pretty obtuse term. Some websites base it off actual first hand information from scouts and sources. Most of the internet, however, uses “Draft Stock” an imaginary intangible term meant to quantify players on a scale derived from their own opinion that bears zero impact on the decision making process of NFL teams. Perceived “draft stock” can go up and down all day long on the internet. It’s not real. “Draft Stock” is not a NASDAQ type commodity. You can track it, but it isn’t backed by anything. It’s an educated guess that you have to hope is actually educated.

Case in point take Rob Rang of CBSSports.com’s piece titled Examining Why Michael Sam’s NFL Draft Stock Is Falling. It’s the kind of headline that’s supposed to spark some outrage as you’re whizzing through your Facebook feed. The article sites a 70 place drop in Sam’s stock on NFLDraftScout.com. Holy shit, 70 places. That’s his stock! He like… needs that maaan.

Calm down and consider a couple of things here.

  • #1 Who owns NFLDraftScout.com? CBS does. Essentially, CBS is reporting on it’s own downgrading of a player on their own grading scale.
  • #2 The article was posted at 8:00 AM the morning after this information went public. It hadn’t even been news for 24 hours. The NFL hadn’t even had time to react yet, so it’s safe to assume that this dip in “stock” is someone at DraftScout’s opinion more than anything that came from an NFL front office.
  • #3 Sam’s actual Draftscout profile still lists him as a 3-4 round projection. So unless the NFL added an extra 70 picks in the 3rd round there’s even less reason to take a drop in “draft stock” seriously.

The article doesn’t explicitly say that “draft stock” is a real thing. Rob Rang is a dedicated draft writer (despite mocking the Patriots to take Jake Locker with a first round pick which is still awful) who I don’t think would do anything overtly misleading. In fact he says some very honest things in the article. The headline, however, is enough to put a dose of angry social justice into people and garner a few thousand extra clicks.

For the record I love DraftScout and reference it daily. They’re very good at what they do and maybe there is some truth to the dip in perceived draft stock. But THE DRAFT DOESN’T HAPPEN UNTIL IT HAPPENS. People are already getting fired about about the possibility of Michael Sam going undrafted. Please…folks… settle down. The draft hasn’t even happened yet.

I’ve spoken to the editor of Walterfootball.com, a well respected site that starts preparing mock drafts a year in advance, who broke out his entire mock draft projections on Sam. They ranged from 2nd – 5th & beyond with no distinguishable pattern per se.

One final note on “draft stock” is that there is no limit to how quickly or how drastically “stock” fluctuates. This time 2 years ago Chandler Jones was a 5th round pick. He went 21st overall. Jimmy Clausen was considered a top 5 pick who fell to the middle of the 2nd round (and we eventually found out why). And last year at this time no one had even heard of University of Houston DB DJ Hayden (who almost died in a college practice) who got some attention in the press just days before the draft and went 12th overall to the Raiders.

2. Please Understand There Are Actual Football Reasons to Downgrade Michael Sam

I can’t help but shake the feeling that the internet is not only capable of but is dying to lose its collective shit when Michael Sam doesn’t go in the first two rounds. Yes, his stats are outstanding. He was the SEC defensive player of the year. And in my opinion he has one of the fastest first steps in the entire draft class. But please, opinionated masses of the internet, trust me when I say that there is more than that when considering draft picks and real reasons why there are more appealing picks than Michael Sams. Here’s a crash course on how legit NFL prospects like Sam get scrutinized by NFL scouts:

  • Inflated Stats 9 of his 11 sacks came from just 3 games. Three sacks in a game is tremendous but NFL teams like to see consistent production. All 3 of those games were blowout wins for Missouri against inferior competition. Teams pass more in blowouts and are more vulnerable to sacks.
  • Inexperience He’s a year and a half starter with only 1 year of solid production. NFL teams have a tendency to be weary of players with fewer than 2 years of strong statistical production as a starter.
  • One-Dimensional Skill Set Sam is an explosively quick DE but lacks a range of pass rush moves. Every year flashy college pass rushers fizzle out in the NFL for the simple reason that they were just more athletic in everyone in college and now they’re not. It’s not enough to just be fast or strong in the NFL. You need technique. It’s coachable, but not every player can make that leap.
  • Limited Scheme Diversity We already know he can’t play linebacker. There are two places for a player like Sam: 4-3 Defensive End and 3-4 Outside Linebacker. They’re very similar positions. The fundamental difference is that a 3-4 OLB has to be able to drop back and cover receivers. Sam already proved in the Senior Bowl that he can’t do that. That alone may take him off the board for teams that use a 3-4 defense.
  • Awards Aren’t Everything Being the SEC DPOY isn’t a guarantee. Of the 10 previous players to earn the award 8 of them were first round picks, 3 of which (Rolondo McClain, Glenn Dorsey, and David Pollack were largely considered “busts” (a term for a highly ranked player who disappoints in the NFL) in various degrees. Also Chad Lavalais lasted only 2 seasons in the NFL after being taken in the 5th round of the 2003 draft.
  • He’s Maybe Too Short For the Patriots I’m inclined to agree with Bob Kraft that the Patriots would be a great fit for a player in Sam’s situation. However, history isn’t on his side as far as his physical build. 6’2″ 255 lbs might sound really big but Bill Belichick traditionally drafts pass rushers in the 6’3″ – 6’5″ range. It might sound negligible to you, but that’s the way Coach Belichick has trended. Worth noting though is the fact that Sam has a very similar build to current Patriots starter Rob Ninkovich who, despite flourishing in New England, was not drafted by the Patriots.

    Important Disclaimer: There are exceptions to every single one of these items. These same red flags get raised on players every single year. Half of these things can be said about Jason Pierre-Paul who went in the first round and is one of the best pass rushers in the NFL right now.

    Judge for yourself:

    3. Misinformation Is Part of the Game

    Ask yourself: if a team wants to draft Michael Sam, what sense does it make for them to let the world know it? What sense does it make for them to say “We think this guy is great and can’t wait to draft him?” Every team drafting ahead of them now knows who they like and gets a chance to prioritize their picks knowing that Sam won’t make it past that team.

    NFL teams don’t admit to this but they routinely do clandestine misinformation campaigns like having an anonymous scout leak a report to the press that they’re concerned about X player because of…. “character issues,” troubling fake medical reports, concerns about his technique, etc. Just a few weeks before the 2013 draft “anonymous sources” were all of a sudden concerned that the draft’s top corner couldn’t back up in a straight line.

    It’s underhanded and unethical and sometimes ever drags a semi-innocent young man’s name through the mud. But it’s part of the process. The draft is about execs from 32 teams playing high stakes poker with eachother to make eachother guess what they’re thinking. It is 100% possible that at least one team is interested enough in Michael Sam that they’re willing to perpetuate drama on him to drive his “stock” down. Again… You won’t know until after the pick comes in and maybe not even after that.

    4. You Might Not Be Doing Him the Favor You Think You Are

    I’ve never been in an NFL locker room. I can’t tell you the difference between what they say about homosexual players in public and what they really mean. I just don’t have that knowledge. One thing I can tell you for certain that the evidence will support is that NFL teams hate media circuses. And there’s typically a 3-step process to how that plays out. Circus-Avoidance-Judgement:

    Remember Tim Tebow? He was the first Evangelical football player ever except that he wasn’t. At all. There’s an Evangelical minister in the NFL Hall of Fame. Remember Lauren Silberman? She was the first female football player ever except that she wasn’t. She had no background in football whatsoever, and didn’t even know how to do the one thing she showed up to do.

    Religious fanatics who flocked to Tebow no matter how bad he played made a joke out of the game. They created a media frenzy that was considered so toxic and undesirable that no one wanted to touch the former first round pick except the drama queen Jets, and the Patriots who shut the media blitz down immediately. TV feminists who applauded Lauren Silberman were dead wrong. If she accomplished anything it was making it impossible for any future serious female NFL prospects to ever live down the name Lauren Silberman. Kicking and screaming that the world should love a football player for exclusively non-football reasons makes us… well… hate your guts and theirs.

    5. The League Might Actually WANT A Gay Player

    Strange as it may sound, a gay NFL player might actually work out well for the league. As popular as the NFL is the company has taken a beating in the public eye in the past few years: head trauma controversy, PED use, and of course… homophobia. This has manifested itself most recently in story of Viking’s special teams coach Mike Priefer harassing former Vikings punter Chris Kluwe for his public support of gay marriage (if you’re unfamiliar with the story please see Kluwe’s first hand account via Deadspin). The scandal ostensibly forced Kluwe, a very productive and capable punter, right out of the NFL.

    There is a very real possibility that the NFL’s prayers have been answered by having an openly gay draft prospect. Teams with lingering PR issues, like the Vikings, could potentially do themselves a huge favor by landing some positive press welcoming a homosexual player onto their team. If he turns out to be good then that’s a bonus. If not, they tried.

    Walterfootball even reported that after speaking with a handful of NFL Scouts, with mixed responses, at least one team thinks [NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell] is going to be confidentially pressuring general managers to not let Sam fall so low to avoid a public-relations problem and allegations of discrimination. Is this ideal? Of course not. Really we’d like to see a player appreciated on his merits. But I’d just like to make the case that a homophobic agenda isn’t an inevitability just because it’s football.

    Again, these are things the public won’t know until well after the draft if ever.

    6. Maybe Accept the Idea That All Football Fans Aren’t Bigots

    I get the feeling that there is still a generalized view of football fans as mindless BBQ fingered red faced Fox News watching macho maniacs. 13 million people watch Monday Night Football every week. We come from different parts of the country with different backgrounds, experiences, and world views. We’re your neighbors co-workers and friends. This football fan in particular has two lesbian aunts that I love very dearly. Think of how many people you share an office and a Facebook with that play fantasy football. Do you think that they turn into bloodthirsty homophobes when your back is turned?

    There will probably be people that shout homophobic things at Sam from the stands. They’re in the minority. There will probably chunks of overzealous Christians that will threaten to boycott the league over it. They’re in the minority (and BUH BYYYE WE’LL MISSS YOUUUU). The rest of us aren’t here for a political soap opera, hate speech, or to make our last stand at the heterosexual Alamo. We just want to watch a game, and if Michael Sam can play some football worth watching he’s always welcome here. So maybe chill with the assumptions and homophobic stereotyping.

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Mike Klis Is A Hypocrite & The Denver Media Is Just Hard To Watch


It’s been a real pleasure to deal with the Denver Press in 2 of the last 3 post seasons. From the team that was nailed for salary cap violations and signal stealing dusting off Spygate (again), to the latest fairy tale of kindly “Uncle Foxy’s” heart breaking for his team, it’s just been a blast interacting with maybe the least knowledgeable sports journalism town without an office in New Jersey. As funny as it is, it’s really just hard to watch.

Hey… Remember 2 years ago, when the Patriots hired offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels to help with the 2011 playoff run and the Denver media turned into one big long Morrisey song crying their eyes out? I do. Denver had a serious ethical dilemma with a team hiring a guy who had some first hand knowledge of a playoff opponent. I say some because McDaniels had been removed from Denver for an entire season and a half. McDaniels was fired Dec 7th, 2010. The game in question was January 14th, 2012. I’ll stop there because I wrote about it in depth, back when it actually happened. Hiring a coach that late is a little strange, but well within the NFL rules. In fact, it was reviewed that off season by the competition committee who actually declined to change the rule.

Here is what Denver Post writer Mike Klis had to say about it before the game:

It’s two years later and New England and Denver find themselves head to head again in the playoffs. Two days after officializing an AFCCG matchup against New England the Broncos made a very interesting free agent signing in former Patriots DB/ST Marquice Cole. I have no beef with this move. Cole is a very good special teamer and has playoff experience as a DB. He’s young with a limited skill set and should absolutely, as Aqib Talib put it “Get that check, baby.”

But wait a minute. Isn’t this exactly the kind of thing Mike Klis fell to his knees and begged the league to outlaw? Isn’t this a blow to fairness and competition? Isn’t this more of an underhanded “so Belichick” kind of move rather than an Uncle Foxy night of bouncing Shannon Sharpe on his knee at the deaf orphan soup kitchen? A guy with inside knowledge of one team catching on with another team just before they go to battle? Won’t someone please think of the children?!

In a shock to absolutely no one, Klis was singing a different tune this time around.

You love that there’s not much he can do to help out?? What happened Denver? What happened Patriots haters? What happened “spirit of fair competition? Did you somewhere in the last 2 years accept the concept that not everything is the Kennedy assassination? That you can actually figure out things about a football team by watching them play? Where’s the outrage that burned so prominently and attention-grabbing-ly two years ago?

The only thing that’s different about the two situations is that Cole has actually been to a Patriots practice THIS YEAR and could tell you about the team the Patriots fielded THIS YEAR. McDaniels knew next to nothing about a completely remodeled offense and defense from his time in Denver. Figuring out the present Broncos was nothing that, as Cole points out and Klis just loooooves, couldn’t be figured out just by scouting and film. This should put into perspective just how petty and ridiculous the McDaniels crying was, what a troop of hypocrites and click-baiters Mike Klis and the Denver Post are, and just how sad it is to see a grown man whimper about a double standard because it doesn’t work out for his football team.

For the record Denver fans have been a little testy about the Patriots grabbing Greg Orton a WR released from the Denver practice squad. Orton was signed on Dec 31st, before there was ever even a guarantee that the two teams would meet. Kudos to Mike Klis for having the self control not to write another scathing op-ed, although in all fairness judging by his demonstrated football I.Q. Klis probably has no idea who is on the Denver practice squad.

P.S. A sincere thank you to everyone who has been sharing and reading my last piece on the truth about Peyton Manning. It more than doubled my all time record for views in a day and is somehow still going strong. It’s an honor for this hack amateur know-nothing blogger to think that anyone gets a few minutes of enjoyment out of what I write. Please feel free to follow the Patskrieg Facebook for more frequent updates.

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PEYTON MANNING: Here He Is America… The Guy You Sided With Over Tom Brady


Freud wrote volumes on it: how we view ourselves in others. Pro wrestling blessed us with a much simpler dichotomy: Babyfaces (the hero, the charismatic crowd favorite) and Heels (the bad guy that finds that raw nerve inside you and sinks his teeth in). I once had a long and shockingly deep talk about wrestling with my friend Joe who wrestling fans might know as Joey Numbas, co-host of the Wrestling Soup show. We talked about what makes a Babyface, and soon enough Brady came up. On the surface the supernaturally handsome Brady looks like an easy fit for a babyface: looks, a quiet charm, an underdog past. But somewhere along the lines people (outside New England that is) just stopped seeing him that way. “The nature of people is to cheer what they like to be, and boo what they hate most about themselves,” Joe said to me. “The only time it doesn’t work is when the bright eyed babyface is too strong,” he continued “the whole country hates Tom Brady because he’s too good, and you need your babyface to suck enough that people care.” Did Brady do himself in? The three Super Bowl rings. The super model wife. A combined fortune big enough for neither of them to ever have to work again. A .768 career winning percentage. Did a life that was just too perfect turn him heel? If the internet is any indication of real life (and according to the internet it very much is) Brady had super kicked the NFL world through a barbershop window.

Tom Brady. Peyton Manning. Two QB’s intertwined for eternity as the elite QB’s of the 21st century. Yet we’re led to believe that one is a cheating pretty boy that a crooked league wants to put over like a scheming Vince McMahon. And the other is Peyton Manning: class act, pedigreed super star, and the only man capable of reading a defense without stealing their signals. Being a Brady hater certainly doesn’t make you a Manning fan by default. However, it is my opinion that Manning has been afforded a free pass by an America that either ignores or just plain chooses not to know certain things about the man thought of as Brady’s stalwart foil. So I thought we should reacquaint ourselves before this Sunday’s AFC Championship. So here he is America… The guy you sided with over Tom Brady.


Peyton Manning: The Guy With A History of Sexual Assault

Oh you didn’t know about this? Well then I’ll lead off with it because a lot of people don’t seem to either. This includes the same NFL analysts that never miss a chance to recall Spygate choose not to remember Manning’s sticky past. In fact, this developmental milestone is completely absent from Manning’s Wikipedia article. But it happened. In 1996 Peyton Manning, while in college at the University of Tennessee, was accused of sexual assault by a female trainer. Manning’s side of the story was that he was in the training room and dropped his pants to moon a cross country athlete as a prank, unbeknownst to the fact that the female trainer was in the same room. Whoops. The testimony of trainer Jamie Ann Naughright, however, was much different:

Naughright and her lawyer provided a different version of events. In a court filing, her lawyer wrote that she was examining Manning to see why Manning was having pain in one of his feet and was crouched behind him when “entirely unprovoked, Peyton Manning decided to pull down his shorts and sit on Dr. Naughright’s head and face.”

As Naughright described it in a deposition entered into the court record: “It was the gluteus maximus, the rectum, the testicles and the area in between the testicles. And all that was on my face when I pushed him up. … To get leverage, I took my head out to push him up and off.”

You read that correctly. The trainer bent over to check him for a stress fracture in his foot and he planted his bare ass (testicles and all) on her face as a laugh. The incident was dubbed a “mooning” by a Tennessee football coach in an effort to downplay the severity of what happened. The University of Tennessee agreed and dubbed the incident “horseplay” (as quoted by the Assoc. Press) and no charges were filed. A year later Naughright sued UT citing 33 incidents of sexual harassment including Manning. Her case was convincing enough to land her a $300,000 settlement.

Scandals have become synonymous with Ben Roethelisberger, Ray Lewis, Michael Vick, etc and yes they all deserve it. Manning’s sexual assault, although thoroughly documented, is neither common knowledge nor readily associated with him. Have you ever heard a journalist so much as mention it, much less pour it on as in Lewis’ mere association to a crime? What exactly earned Manning the free pass from a career of rape jokes and scrutiny?


Peyton Manning: The Guy Who Got Sued For Defamation of Character By the Woman He Sexually Assaulted

You didn’t know that either? In 2002 the Mannings had an auto-biography ghost written for them called Manning: A Father, His Sons & a Football Legacy (currently available for $0.01 used on Amazon, cool legacy). The book addressed the teabagging/mooning and very slyly without naming her outright slammed Naughright as an individual with a love of dirty language and lewd behavior. If you’re new to rape culture that’s the long way of saying “She was asking for it.” Naughright’s superior at Southern Florida, her new place of work at the time, had reportedly received a mysterious sealed envelope that contained the passages in Manning’s book about her. Despite favorable reviews throughout the several years she worked there she was suspiciously demoted shortly after and then eventually fired. She took the Mannings to court on a defamation case that included a devastating letter from Malcolm Saxon (the guy Peyton claimed he was “mooning”) to Peyton urging to him “do the right thing” and “maintain some dignity and admit what happened.” The defamation case was settled on confidential undisclosed terms. Considering the $300K Tennessee shelled out I can only imagine what the Manning royal family handed over to make her go away.


Peyton Manning: The Guy Who Can’t Not Endorse EVERYTHING

Gatorade, Oreos, DirecTV, Sony, Wheaties, Buick, Reebok, Sprint, Master Card, Papa Fucking John’s… I LOVE products! That’s the list off the top of my head of products he cashes checks from. He’s on TV 24 hours a day orange barrel re-routing into one side of your brain and out the other. Peyton has reached that late 90’s Hugh Grant level of unwanted over saturation where you can literally change the channel from one commercial of Peyton and find another at random on the next channel and not want to see either, and he’s been there for a long time. You can helplessly repeat in sync “Haay Peyton, just fiiired up the grill” followed by a fist pump your brain doesn’t even know you’re doing. But tell me who are cynical football fans sick of? Tom Brady. The guy who does Uggs print ads because he’s too much of a goof to be trusted on camera. People who associate Brady as some kind of too-cool Hollywood glitterati must not have been alive for the most wooden and painful to watch episode of Saturday Night Live this side of 1990. An acting performance once dubbed by former teammate Rosevelt Colvin in the Boston Metro (I am not going looking for the Metro article to cite) as “Terrible… Not even good enough to be in Coming to America II.”


Peyton Manning: The Guy Whose Team Cheated and Never Got Caught

There’s only so many times by so many teams that you can be accused of generating fake crowd noise into your dome before someone needs to take note of it. The RCA Dome, the former home of the Manning era Colts was a funhouse of surprises for visiting teams. This included, as ESPN noted after a very public audio blunder by CBS (clip no longer available on Youtube), several teams informally but only the Patriots and Steelers formerly lodging such a complaint. This was a year after there was suspicion that the Colts, in an effort to put the squeeze on several Patriots defenders battling the flu during the AFC Championship (game which featured a miraculous 18 point comeback in the 2nd half) the Colts had the temperature in the dome raised significantly. Rosevelt Colvin had to leave the game with cramps because of the heat… in a dome… an architectural concept invented solely for controlling weather and climate.

Belichick complained for years about oddities and suspicious malfunctions of the coach to QB helmet communications, calling it “unusual” and “basically useless” after an early season game in 2007 (won by the Patriots). Apparently the same Indian burial ground that the RCA Dome was founded on migrated to Lucas Oil Stadium where the communication problems continued. For more information Google “4th and 2.”


Peyton Manning: The Guy Who Never Yells At His Teammates

I don’t get what the fascination is with Brady yelling at his receivers but Patriot haters can’t stop themselves from bringing it up. It’s a really blood boiling point of focus for casual football fans longing for anything but football to watch, but don’t have the guts to just get it over with and let their friends see them buying an US Magazine. For them, professionals like Peyton would never yell at his teammates…

Ever.

Not even in a 2002 Sports Illustrated article when a team of lip readers caught Manning dropping the F bomb no fewer than 9 times in a game.


Peyton Manning: The Guy Who ACTUALLY Influenced the No-Contact Rules

Everyone knows if Tom Brady hadn’t been such a Mary about getting his ACL eradicated life would be better. We wouldn’t have all these pansy “roughing the quarterback” calls. Eggheads wouldn’t be butting in with all this “concussion” B.S. Football players would have guaranteed permanent debilitating brain damage to look forward to. And everything would be a big bacon sunset. Right?

People gripe about the so-called “Brady Rules” implemented in the last few years designed to protect quarterbacks from flagrant and dangerous hits. That’s all well and good except that it’s bullshit. Low hits on quarterbacks were outlawed for the 2006 season, 2 years before Brady’s injury. Long enough for Bernard Pollard to read it. And it wasn’t until 2010 (2 years AFTER Brady’s ACL injury) that the league started handing out 5 and 6 figure fines for hits to the head. This was damage control after public pressure to combat the effects of irreversible brain damage caused from the game. Brady never lobbied for any of these rules. He did, however, pay for them with a pointless devastating knee injury that cost him a full season in his prime. The downside of these rules is that it gives the officials a non-reviewable opportunity to judge a hit on the quarterback in real time, leading to a lot of bad calls and yes Brady has benefitted from a few so has Manning, so have a lot of teams. The other downside is that it forces 2nd rate teams to have to develop a quarterback instead of just injuring other teams’ quarterbacks. It’s a real bum out for some fans who apparently would rather see a league full of Damon Huard’s and Derek Anderson’s behind center while all the starting quarterbacks are in body casts.

Chest puffing fans and the media tend to leave out a very important stepping stone in contact rules, and the fact that Colts owner Jim Irsay lobbied for it. Namely I refer to the 2004 re-evaluation of the illegal contact rules for defending recievers. There were rules for illegal contact prior to this, but referees were generally more permissive and held a “let them play” attitude (that fans are still screaming for today). However, after a Colts loss in the 2003 AFC Championship game owner Jim Irsay cried publicly to the NFL Competition Committee for a re-emphasis on illegal contact. The committee, which featured Colts head coach Tony Dungy and then Rams coach Mike Martz (who 3 years prior had lost to the Patriots in the Super Bowl) of course granted this request. And there it was… a handful of people with a vested biased interest refocused the game to fit their needs and significantly decrease the physical nature of the game.

The results of this ruling were longer games, more penalties, more non-reviewable violations that could effect a game at any time, a dramatic shift in the game in favor of the offense, exponentially increasing passing statistics, and of course a critical “face guarding” penalty on Ellis Hobbs in the 2006 AFCCG which sparked a Colts comeback on their way to Manning’s 1st and only Super Bowl win… a penalty that there was “no such thing as” according to Greg Aiello NFL Vice President of Communications who admitted that Hobbs never made contact with the receiver. It’s also worth noting that after several days of searching there is no video or photographic evidence of the phantom PI on Hobbs. I wonder why.


Peyton Manning: The Man Who Almost Got Away With Stealing the 2005 Steelers Super Bowl Run

January 15th, 2006. Steelers at Indianapolis. A date that almost lived in NFL infamy. With the Colts driving down the field in the 4th quarter, future Hall of Fame-er Peyton Manning throws an interception to a diving Troy Polamalu. He caught the ball cleanly, stood up, ran down the field, fumbled, and had the ball recovered by his teammates. The Steelers would have had the ball at their own 48 with 5:14 remaining in the game and an 11 point lead. Referee Pete Morelli reviewed the play, and ruled that Polamalu never had control of the ball.

Morelli was wrong. The NFL immediately admitted the call was wrong. This was 2006, and the NFL rarely made such public admissions, and opposing players even more rarely accused the referees of defrauding the game after a win. No video or photographic evidence exists of this play anywhere on the internet that I could find. Yet it didn’t stop the Colts from completing their fraudulent drive with a touchdown, and coming within 1 missed field goal of stealing a playoff win and letting slimey Jim Irsay re-write history with Manning as the hero. SBNation named it the #2 Greatest Win In Steelers History for upsetting both Manning and the officials in an upsidedown affair that was a victory for real football fans everywhere.


Peyton Manning: The Guy Whose Legacy of Sketchy League Treatment Followed Him To Denver

Any Patriot hater worth his throbbing forehead vein and capslock key knows that the weekly injury report from Foxboro means a Tom Brady shoulder injury. The injustice… How about a failed drug test that took 2 years to disclose. I refer you to Von Miller’s four game suspension earlier this year in regards to a series of failed drug tests that were never made public. PFT’s Mike Florio opined on the matter:

[I]t’s still unclear why it has taken so long to get the appeal resolved. In late 2011, there was some suspicion that the league tapped the brakes on a couple of potential suspensions in order to avoid derailing Tebowmania. In 2012, the Broncos were among the league’s darlings, given the arrival of Peyton Manning.

New team. New colors. Same story. The league openly bends time and space for Manning. The story goes away and your regularly scheduled Patriots conspiracy theories resume.

UPDATE 10/08/14: You can also count the Broncos as the team whose Vice President of Football Operations’ son privately got away with assaulting his girlfriend and dragging her out of the car by her hair. John Elway III (24 year old son of former NFL Superstar and current Broncos exec John Elway) ended an argument with his girlfriend on the night of May 31, 2014 by dragging her out of the car by her hair and shoving her to the ground. Something like this normally makes national headlines and lands somebody a serious assault charge on their record. But when you have Daddy Elway type money, and a Colorado judicial system that worships said rich daddy you can get away with secretly getting your court date moved up to a private hearing off the court docket and having your assault charge reduced to a misdemeanor “disturbing the peace.” If you’re looking for the number of times Jonathan Kraft has beaten a woman I’ll save you the Googling and let you know that it’s zero. I guess there’s just something about being a spoiled baby that gets whatever he wants that breeds that kind of behavior in their spoiled baby children.

And last but not least please don’t ever forget the team you’ve sided with…

The Denver Broncos: The Team That Stole Signals, Won Two Super Bowls, And Bragged About it


“Our guy keeps a pair of binoculars on their signal-callers every game,” says Broncos coach Mike Shanahan. “With any luck, we have their defensive signals figured out by halftime. Sometimes, by the end of the first quarter.”

Sound familiar to anyone? Another fact you rarely hear. You’d think the Broncos fans and press might be a little quieter with the Spygate talk considering their team won a pair of Super Bowls using nearly the exact same tactics that the Patriots were condemned for. I’ll hand it over to Jerry Thorton at Barstool Sports to remind you of the $29 million in cap money Denver hid to win those 2 Super Bowls too.

Disclaimer & Tl;DR: I actually have an immense respect for Peyton Manning the football player. I’ve always been impressed by the story Manning going out of his way to introduce himself to Brady when he was a nobody. He probably (maybe) regrets the whole teabagging incident. And if he offered I’d probably take a ride in his Buick while we get OnStar directions to go egg Mike Vanderjagt’s house. But if you think you’re taking the high road by siding with Manning over Brady you’re barking up the wrong forehead.

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