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Perfect or just plain undefeated?

Posted on: January 2, 2008

The word stood out like like a 300 lb. linebacker in a Prius.

undefeated

I was at ESPN.com and there was a banner ad from Smart Water giving kudos to their front man Tom Brady on, not a perfect season but an undefeated season. The cogs in mi’ noggin started churnin’. I’ve always believed that it’s not what someone says but doesn’t say that says a lot. In my mind, I do not think the Patriots season should ever be regarded as a perfect season. I am not talking purely football-wise, but also from the point of view of the purity of sport.

Yup, I know after a year of Landis, Bonds and Jones who am I to expect any sport is truly pure. But I believe a team can only have a perfect season if their performance, beyond a shadow of a doubt, from Game 1 to 16, their entire body of work, was pure. Imagine how we would feel if we found out that Michael Jordan took a needle in any one game, or Schumacher at any one track, or God forbid my namesake Muhammad Ali before the Thrilla or any one fight?! The wonderful uncertainty of sport is stolen when this happens. Any Given Sunday, becomes Any Given Needle.

I watched the Patriots win last Saturday night against the other New York team, I saw the glimmer of a smile from coach Belichick, Brady finally flashed the 16-0 million dollar smile, Randy Moss was…well, Randy Moss. Happiness was flowing like water that night in New York. But I like many others just could not shake that feeling that has tailed this team since game one against the Jets.

The man was found guilty of spying.

Half a million dollars worth of guilt!!!!!!

Bill Belichick cheated a stadium of people, the NFL, the Jets and everyone that was watching that game, of it’s purity. Just like Landis, Jones, Bonds and Clemens. For whatever reason,  Belichick cheated, and that’s that. So what does the team do to absolve their coach. They win every single game to prove, we don’t need no stinkin’ cameras. We can do this on grit, talent, strategy and mental toughness. Which, it SEEMS they did. The Patriots in their pursuit to absolve their coach, beat down every single team that crossed their path. Magnificently so. But at the end of the day, they still cheated from Game one. Then Game 16 rolled around.

The first time the men on ESPN’s the Blitz (Tom Jackson and Chris Berman) saluted the Pat’s achievement I could not help but feeling, what empty claps they were. They were claps dipped in doubt. Yes the game’s entertainment value has gone up in spades and this will probably be the Super Bowl with the highest ratings in history, but this season has been tarred in spying and in feathered in doubt.

After the the Barry Bonds stink was raised, doubt like a shadow followed every swing. The viewing public, hungry for entertainment got what they wanted a new home-run king, a new undefeated team and the loss of the purity of another sport.

Virgins we no longer are, entertainment harlots we have become.

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2 Responses to "Perfect or just plain undefeated?"

I happen to agree with you, but I’ll take it even further. I don’t think anyone can question Bill Belichick’s coaching skills, but his character is not worth celebrating. When he was defeated by his protoge’ Jets’ coach (what’s his name, Mangini?), he didn’t even bother to do the ceremonious coach’s handshake after the game. In all my years of watching football, I’ve never seen that happen.

Too many sportscasters are looking for the next white hope since Larry Bird, that when a great player comes along, they are so ready to claim him as being “the best ever”. I can’t comment on Tom Brady’s character or football skills, but I wish sportscasters would call Tiger Woods the “best ever” on his potential just like they’ve given the Patriots the superbowl victory even though the playoffs haven’t even started yet.

[…] about being vilified….I feel a little better after I wrote this a few weeks ago. Congrats to Eli and the Giants! Now these two brothers, Eli and Peyton, will have […]

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