All anyone needs to know about today’s blog post can be summed up by the following statement and quote: “I love Tommy and you’re right, he’s a WINNER!” That’s from my sister, aka Aunt Tomato, from an email exchange we had about our weekends, when I mentioned the New England Patriots and Tom Brady’s Sunday performance.
I had mentioned to her that I spent Sunday afternoon painting some trim work around the windows of our house. Since it is now football season and I seem to be morphing into a football fan, I decided to tune in the Patriots Radio Network on my portable radio.
Actually, there are only a few reasons why I’ve chosen to follow football again this fall. The Patriots, Bill Belichick, and Tom Brady. The latter one is probably the biggest one.
Underdogs have always been an interest of mine. Being the defending Super Bowl champion doesn’t qualify the Patriots for “underdog status,” at least for most people. But, I’m not most football fans.
The last time I watched more than a few snaps of any National Football League game on television was likely 10 years ago, if not longer ago than that.
Baseball used to be my sport, but I’ve gravitated towards the NBA over the past decade. I’ve blogged about my interest in basketball, mainly the Boston Celtics. My post last month touched on my renewed interest in the Red Sox, at least for the remainder of the 2015 season and at least the first of 2016.
Deflategate was a subject I was sick of hearing about two days into the entire sordid mess. “Another reason to hate the G_D Damned NFL,” I told myself. Over time, however, my sentiment changed. So did my interest level.
Why the hell would the National Football League, and their commissioner, Roger Godell, go after the most successful team in recent history, and try to bring down one of its marquee players? It made no sense to me, and it still doesn’t. Again, I’m no homer when it comes to football because I didn’t give a damn about the game, and least of all, the NFL. I even refer to the Super Bowl as the “Stupid Bowl,” given it’s over-inflated (no pun intended) status as one of America’s premiere cultural events.
The more I read about it, however, along with the unique take on the affair, offered by friend of the JBE and frequent commenter, Loosehead Prop, the more the entire mess got my hackles up. I started listening to WEEI out of Boston again, for updates on Brady’s possible suspension and punishment.
I only watched a quarter of the Pats’ season-opening Thursday night win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. I did read the next day’s news stories and media storm, when Steelers’ coach, Mike Tomlin, tried to accuse the Patriots of cheating when the Steelers’ headsets malfunctioned during the first half of the opener.
While “haters gonna hate” when it comes to the Patriots, neither Bill Belichick (nor Tom Brady) have anything to do with the headsets used by coaches; that’s the domain of the NFL. Tomlin was probably just pissed that he was hearing Patriots’ color man, Scott Zolak and the Pats’ radio broadcast. Zolak is known to get pretty “gacked” during games and he may have had something less than favorable to say about Tomlin’s defense, like why wasn’t anyone on Rob Gronkowski?
The Steelers’ defense wasn’t up to the task against Brady and the New England offense, but Tomlin launched HeadsetGate, which last about two days and then died down. This from a coach who attempted to interfere with an opponent who had a clear path to a touchdown. He was fined $100,000 by the league
I’m sorry to see that his team rebounded against the 49’ers on Sunday. I would have loved Tomlin to be 0-2, or even better—0-16. Alas, that won’t happen.
This past week, it was Rex Ryan serving as the coaching foil to Belichick. Even Boston’s sports media seemed anxious and uptight about the Patriots taking to the road and playing at Buffalo, against Ryan’s revived Bills. The talk was about Buffalo’s fans being rabid, the Buffalo defensive front giving fits to New England’s inexperienced offensive line, and whether they could protect Brady.
Not to worry. By halftime, Brady and Co. had dropped 24 points on the Bills’ vaunted defense. The feared Bills’ fandom, profiled by some as being fat (and probably drunk)—began filing out of the stands at Ralph Wilson Stadium—even though their team would make it a game late in the second half. Final score: Patriots 40 Bills 32.
What kind of game did Tommy Success have for New England? Oh, he only threw the ball 59 times, completing 38 of those passes, for a cool 466 yards and 3 TDs. Not bad for the 38-year-old quarterback who continues defying critics, as well as Father Time. I’m sure it has nothing to do with hard work, and an offensive scheme that’s perfect for his talent and skills.
While the Patriots still have some work to do—and Belichick will have his players make the necessary adjustments—I think this is the perfect year for me to get my football mojo back on, especially since Tom Brady’s on a mission.