With the NFL playoffs starting today - here are some of the NFL thoughts and observations that have been swimming around in my head.
First let's address the ESPN story about friction between Robert Kraft, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. I think "11 out of 12 Patriots fans think ESPN can eat a bag of dicks" would be a good starting point. An article using unnamed sources exclusively is refuted by a joint statement from Kraft, Belichick and Brady. The report is refuted by the agent for both Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo plus also from Jimmy G directly. Again - 11 out of 12 Patriots fans feel ESPN can eat a bag of dicks. Sadly that feeling is also now being extended to the once great Boston Globe too as many people think John Henry uses the Globe sports to take gratuitous swipes at the other pro franchises in Boston in an effort to make the Red Sox somehow look better in comparison.
The only 2 ESPN employees that the Patriots themselves and Pats fans feel comfortable with are Mike Reiss and Tedy Bruschi. Reiss because of his hard work and solid reporting and Bruschi because he's a Pat for life. Reports from ESPN by anyone other than Reiss and Bruschi are immediately suspect. This goes back to the Tom Jackson quote about how Belichick had lost the Pats locker-room and that the players hated their coach. New England went on to win their first Super Bowl that season. So let me quote the great Bill Belichick "fuck you!" Tom Jackson and the same in regards to everyone else at ESPN (except Bruschi and Reiss).
In any organization as successful as the Patriots there always exists the potential for disagreement over who should get the credit for success. But in New England it is clear that Kraft, Belichick and Brady are mostly responsible for the success and all three will be acknowledged for their efforts with enshrinement in the Hall of Fame. That's not to say that things are perfect but every other NFL franchise would gladly swap places. Every other NFL franchise.
Speaking of other NFL franchises - let me remind people that a Mike Tomlin coached Steelers team was once beat by Tim Tebow. In the playoffs!
Hey Andy Dalton that's great that Bills fans have been flooding your charity with donations since you beat the Ravens with a late dramatic TD pass. But that TD pass cost me $250 as I had Baltimore on the moneyline. How about using some of that cash to put things right with me? Oh and by the way - I can't look at you and your dumb hairstyle without thinking about Mister Softie. And it should be said that Mister Softie has never won an NFL playoff game either. (Boy I'm really bitter - better have some more coffee.)
We've been over (and over) the fact that the Patriots really had no choice but to trade Jimmy Garoppolo and that Belichick did Jimmy G a solid in trading him to the 49ers. It should also be noted that since 2004 the Patriots have played Cleveland 5 times and the 49ers only once. Trading him to San Francisco also greatly lessens the chances of Jimmy G beating New England. There's value in that.
Things are pretty cold out there but just remember that the Atlanta Falcons led in the Super Bowl 28-3. Let the memory of what happened next warm your heart.