A year ago to the day it was Spygate, now its a National Football Tragedy. Only the most depraved Jets fans (and others) are revelling in this, a major loss to the NFL on the same level as Tiger Woods’ latest injury on the PGA tour. But this ain’t no PGA tour but the most popular sport in America.
Some reactions from those I’ve spoke with, and the radio guest on WEEI known as Michael Felger…First off there is my reaction of utter dejection and disappointment of waiting all spring and summer to see part II of the ’07 explosive Patriots which suddenly became derailed almost immediately. Then there are those who love seeing great competition week in and week out. Michael Felger on the Dale and Holley show today revelled in what would amount to great storylines to chat about with his sewing circle-I mean fellow sportswriters-but those of us who took pride in New England dominating the league took one in the gut this weekend.
The biggest question is the one that vexed Richard Seymour who took offense to the notion that the Pats are now chumps who can’t win: how much worse does this actually make the team? Of course time will tell, but there does remain a well constructed football team with a Brady protege to run the offense. Unfortunately, our secondary is weaker than last year but I think back to ’06 when Belichick (and, ahem, Brady) got to the AFC championship game with a crap receiving corps.
As Rick Pitino once said, and I’m paraphrasing, Daunte Culpepper isn’t walking through that door. In other words, I’m not sure what kind of improvement Culpepper or someone else would be over a guy who is steeped in the Patriots playbook, with good size, someone who has shadowed and mimiced the great Brady in the football academy that is the New England Patriots. I’m talking about Matt Cassel, of course. Besides, training camp is over and the QB position isn’t so simple to stumble into like Paul Byrd transitioned easily into the Red Sox rotation.
Despite what happened, it’s good to have football back again.