A conservative news and views blog.

Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Monday, January 22, 2007

Massachusetts Loses War to Horses

I am a happy man this morning; happy because justice was served last night, and those men of Massachusetts were stomped at the last second by the horses they intended to ride!

I hate the New England Patriots. Often one doesn`t know where such hatred was born, why one hates the object of their revulsion in the exact fashion that they do. That isn`t true of me-I remember the exact moment I came to loath Belicek and his band.

It was immediately prior to the 2001 Superbowl that my hatred first took form.

I live in St. Louis, and we had suffered for decades with the Big Red-the St. Louis Cardinals football team always broke our hearts, and we had given up on the idea of ever having a football champion here. Many of us were pleased when the Big Red moved to Arizona to disappoint a whole new state full of fans! At least we didn`t have to suffer any longer. When the LA Rams decided to resettle here in the `Lou, they didn`t show much more promise than our unlamented Cardinals. The Rams organization kept building, but they couldn`t pull it together until an unknown third string quarterback named Kurt Warner was forced into action. Warner proves that talent can often go unnoticed; he became the best qb in the league! He operated like a surgeon, placing the ball with deadly accuracy exactly where it was intended to go. The Rams prospered, with a precision offense that other teams found impossible to stop.

They won the 2001 Superbowl in a thriller against the Tennessee Titans.

In 2002 they won the NFC title and headed again for the bowl. There was only one problem; in September of 2001 the United States was attacked.

The moment of my eternal enmity struck as a result of the attack of 911; this year Super Sunday was being done up in unusually heavy fashion, and the esteemed Sir Paul McCarthy was to provide halftime entertainment. His interview before the game brought reality crashing down on me.

Throughout the playoffs, the underdog New England Patriots kept winning by the hairs of their chinny chin chins. They also faced a flurry of complaints against them, because they played ``aggressive football``; they grabbed, they clutched, they interfered-and they got away with it! For some strange reason, the officials felt compelled to overlook Pat infractions. It took them to the Superbowl.

Then came Paul McCartney, who crushed my hopes with this simple statement; ``wouldn`t it be wonderful if a team called the Patriots would win the Superbowl``. With that simple statement, I had a moment of clarity. I realized then that the Pats would be given every break, the benefit of every doubt, just as they had throughout the playoffs. It suddenly occurred to me that the powers that be wanted them to emerge victorious! I knew at that moment the Rams would not win.

And right I was! The Pats held all of the receivers, once mugging Marshall Faulk with three men at the line of scrimmage, and the refs never blew the whistle! The Rams had a precision offense; Warner threw to where his men were supposed to be, not where they were. He was standing in the pocket for an eternity, but often couldn`t find a single receiver open; this with the fastest team in the league, mind you. Warner was always throwing under pressure, despite having a ridiculous amount of time. The Rams were cheated out of the Super Bowl.

This clutch-and-grab game became the hallmark of the New England Patriots, and they have sailed to victory 3 out of the last 5 years with this dirty pool. This year, the Colts (who were cheated by the Pats in the past) went to the NFL and warned them they would make trouble if the Pats were allowed to get away with cheating again. I didn`t notice too much last night, but I have no doubt it was happening; the Colts never had a man who wasn`t being heavily covered all night. I don`t recall seeing one pass to a guy who was really open. Now, that may mean excellent coverage by New England, but it also suggests the Pats were holding their receivers-again. You rarely see this on television because the cameras focus on the Quarterback and the ball-not on the line. Also, Brady seemed to always have plenty of time in the pocket, and I saw several cases of offensive holding throughout the game.

They say cheaters never prosper, but that isn`t true-look at Bill Clinton!

It`s often said that this is just smart football; the officials are letting you get away with it, so you may as well benefit. True. Thumbing a guy in the eye and detaching his retina is smart boxing. Purposely beaning a hitter, or spitballing is smart baseball. Hitting a figure skating competitor`s kneecap is smart figureskating. Hockey-well, there`s not much to say there. The point is, it may be smart play, but it is dishonest and not sportsmanlike. Cheating is cheating. Do we admire Robert Mugabe for rigging the elections in Zimbabwe? Would we tolerate a spouse engaging in ``smart`` marriage?

It is now time to put on my tinfoil hat, and perhaps offend the good people of Texas as well as Massachusetts; I wonder if certain teams aren`t marked by the league for special care. I remember the bitterness we held for the Dallas Cowbows during the `70`s and `80`s; ``America`s Team`` they were called (who started that?) and a game against the Big Red never failed to enrage St. Louis because the Cowboys always got a break in the clutch by the officials. It never failed; just as St. Louis was on the verge of coming back (or surging ahead) some chippy call would be made to derail the train. We used to take bets on what particular call would be made, not if it would be made! Many here came to believe that the NFL promoted certain teams so those cities without home teams would have someone for whom to root. Many came to believe that ``America`s Team`` was their darling during this period.

I suspect the New England Patriots are the darlings of the NFL today. That`s not to say they aren`t a top notch team, it simply means that the league gives them critical breaks. The NFL has the very best playing, and there isn`t a whole lot of difference in their talent levels. The critical factors are coaching and coaching, but officiating can have a profound impact on who wins and who loses. The Pats always seemed to come out on top in that last category.

But not last night. A couple of devastating calls (especially that safety) combined with an absolute determination on the part of the Colts sent them home! I can`t say I`m weeping for them this morning.

Maybe there is some justice in this world after all! Maybe cheaters, in the end, really don`t prosper?



Anonymous learner said...

I am a Pro Wrestling fan because I know that it is orchestrated.There is way too much money behind the scenes in pro football changing hands and a dropped pass,missed block,fumble,errant pass that can make the difference in winning a hundred or losing it. Example the Bears Vs Cardinals a Monday night game that the Bears should have won easily. They did win but didnt come close to making the point spread and I wondered just exactly how much money changed hands,thousands hundreds of thousands or was it millions. What really struck me after the Bears victory was the very first question asked of coach Lovie Smith was" how does it feel to be the first African American coach to go to the Super Bowl".Could it be that the NFL is promoting there diversity by rigging games! Their are billions of dollars being spent on this sport and those billions are as a cancer corrupting. And to those that will say I am a "racist" I say to you stand back and look long and hard at all sports and see how easy it is to rig them in the name of diversity.

7:51 AM  
Anonymous The Beer Man said...

Hey, what was that wise crack about hockey. I resemble that remark!

2:37 PM  
Blogger Timothy Birdnow said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:25 PM  
Blogger Timothy Birdnow said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:26 PM  
Blogger Timothy Birdnow said...

Yeah, Learner-at least `rasslin` doesn`t really pretend to be what it is not.

We KNOW that there have been fixed sporting events; the Blacksox scandal comes to mind. There have been numerous contests with dubious results; Jack Dempsey`s near murder of Jess Willard, Sonny Liston`s two defeats by Cassius Clay/Muhammed Ali, the ``no mas`` fight between Roberto Duran and Sugar Ray Leonard (Leonard`s manager happened to be Angelo Dundee-same as Ali`s!)etc. Who is to say that football isn`t rigged?

I don`t actually believe it goes that far, although I do suspect the league of tendering ``assistance`` on occasion. You make a good point about the black coaching duel; it wouldn`t be the first time such a thing was done. Maybe that`s why ``America`s New Team`` had to sit the bowl out?

Food for thought.

Dave, you do indeed!

3:28 PM  

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