Sunday, December 30, 2007

12-30-07: Undefeated Patriots

The year in Boston sports continues to improve. It's just unreal. Despite the 5-0 loss the Bruins suffered to the Atlanta Thrashers (I wonder how many bars in Boston were playing that game...), the night was still quite joyous, as the Patriots have gone 16-0, undefeated for the regular season.

The truly amazing bit in all of this is the attitude taken by the Patriots. The entire mentality, known as the "Patriot Way," is quite remarkable. They never lose focus on the next opponent, on the next game. I wonder what Bill Belichick would say after winning the Super Bowl and going 19-0 (not saying WHEN, just an if statement): "I'm just focusing on the plane ride home and the Combine in April." He's most likely a robot. I bet he's a riot at home: "Honey, I don't want to know what's for dinner. Just let me know all you've got for lunch and we'll devise an offense to get it done. I have nothing but respect for Oscar Mayer hot dogs. They've done great things in the past, and many people enjoy them. They gave me bad heartburn the last time we met, but if we can just get through and take some Pepcid quickly enough, we can overcome any problems. I just want to take it one bite at a time."

Heartburn aside, the real story is the youth of the Boston area. They're spoiled will all this winning. If you were born in 1995 or later, you have little to no recollection of the many losing and near-miss years that so many Boston teams have suffered. The Patriots made the Super Bowl twice in 40 years before winning it three times since 2001. The Bruins have won five Stanley Cups, but none since 1972. The Celtics were prolific winners in the late 1950's, 1960's, and 1980's, but haven't win a championship in over 20 years. Let's not forget about that little 86 year drought the Red Sox went through. Now, kids grow up in New England seeing all this winning. Even the MLS team is doing well! I'm not saying these kids should suffer like the rest of us. I just don't want them growing up and telling their grandkids about this era like the goddamn Yankee fans do with their grandkids. That would be almost as bad as losing again. But for now, I'll take the winning.

The quote of the night, though, goes to Randy Moss, who told the press after the game, in straight terms, that he was proud to silent his critics by breaking Jerry Rice's record for touchdowns in a season. Many people would call that selfish, maybe say the old Randy Moss is back, but I don't blame him. For a guy to take a pay cut to come to a winning team after failing in another city, it means he was probably not as selfish as he was back in Minnesota or Oakland. If anything, he did it to play for a team that could use his talents, and he'd be there to break the records. It's not something that is simply given away; he'd have to earn it. And he did. He deserves all the credit, and all the naysayers with any sense of humility will have to eat their words. It's too bad he'll be way too expensive to keep once his contract ends, but damn did he have a hell of a regular season. Good on ya, Randy.

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