FanDuel - WFBC

January 20, 2008

Patriots advance to their 4th Superbowl in 7 years. : Despite his second worst QB rating of the season, Tom Brady and the Patriots advance to the Superbowl thanks to a second half running game and a defense that held the Chargers to only 4 field goals on the afternoon. The Patriots take their 17-1 unprecedented 18-0 record to Arizona in two weeks, facing the Ravens winner of the Packers/Giants game, in the hopes of completing a truly historic season.

posted by hincandenza to football at 05:25 PM - 131 comments

Congrats to the Patriots, who are in the risky but potentially rewarding position of either completing the perfect season to take an untouchable place in football history... or failing at the metaphorical one-yard-line. A GB/NE matchup would be, as Simmons says, the most lopsided rooting for one team in a championship game since USA/USSR. This was an exciting game until the end, with both teams and QBs throwing poorly all day, but two good NE drives in the 4th closed this game out. The Chargers may be upset they lost, but for losing Tomlinson, and a banged up Rivers and Gates, they still played a great and competitive game, and only one key TD drive- thanks to the running of Maroney and some key Faulk catches on 3rd downs- made this a two possession battle of the clock. That said... I don't understand why the Patriots took a knee with about 1:10 left in the game and with downs to spare on the Chargers 25 or so. Was it to avoid any chance of injury? It wasn't to preserve the win- the game was won, since even an interception run back for a touchdown couldn't possibly win the game- well, maybe an interception TD, followed by an onside kick, but even then the Patriots could run out time. I'm just bitter because for the second week, the Patriots turned the offense off once the game was decided, blowing my chance at making the damn SpoFi pick-'em spread. :)

posted by hincandenza at 05:37 PM on January 20

Tough game, but the Patriots do what they've done all year in close games; find ways to win. And while I know Tomlinson was extremely disappointed to not be on the field, could he have shown just a little enthusiasm for his teammates, and backup running backs, who were attempting to get his team to the Super Bowl? Christ, they should have pulled a sheet over him on the bench, because for all I know, he was dead. He never moved, and with that dark shield over his face, I'm not really sure it was even him on the bench. Yeah, I know, the rah-rah shit is overrated in pro football, but I'm not sure LT's not still sound asleep on that bench. Anyways, congrats to the Patriots. I can only hope the Bills videotape the Jets early next season so they can enjoy some of the success that obviously must have brought the Pats (kidding).

posted by dyams at 05:44 PM on January 20

bravo, they played well, but they have a lot of questions to answer and lot of knots to untie if they want to win it all

posted by Joe188 at 06:33 PM on January 20

Questions to answer? Huh? A team on their way to possibly the longest undefeated season in NFL history seems to have a lot more answers than questions.

posted by dyams at 06:43 PM on January 20

Well, but he has a point: that was an ugly win, and I was sweating bullets that they'd somehow lose that one. After Brady threw an end zone pick, I started to get really worried. Yes, they somehow keep finding a way to win, but they're running as hot and cold as the Giants seemed to; crazily strong one week, tepid the next. It's still a W, but Moss has been a non-issue for two games in a row, and while Brady was infallible last week he looked a mess this week. It was the Patriots defense that won this game, by holding SD to 4 FG when it could easily have been more. If the Patriots reclaim that record-setting passing game in Arizona, they could put up 50 points or more. But right now, it's not clear to me why they aren't the same team offensively. My great worry is that the Patriots will be offensively what the Rams were when the Patriots won their first Superbowl: conspicuously absent. That said, Belichick will have two weeks to work out a game plan to kick start that offense in the domed calmness of Arizona.

posted by hincandenza at 06:55 PM on January 20

Good game but I don't understand why Norv doesn't challenge the spot on Faulk's catch. Pretty much game over right there. Very surprised/disappointed in LT's sideline behavior.

posted by catfish at 07:10 PM on January 20

Do you mean the rolling catch? That's because it was pretty clear he rolled well into first-down territory before he was touched by any San Diego player. If Turner throws the red flag, it'll almost certainly stand up, and he'll lose a timeout- which he likely would want later in the game if they get the ball back and need to control the clock. Not that it mattered; they ended up burning their timeouts just trying to stop the clock while the Pats had the ball, but that last drive had too many first downs.

posted by hincandenza at 07:13 PM on January 20

Too bad the Chargers couldn't pull it out today, but I think Philip did pretty good despite playing on a single leg. Good on the Patriots, though. I do like how they are constantly working on the dry-erase board on the sidelines, no matter how the game is going. They are so scientific about running their game that their uniforms should actually be lab coats. If the Packers don't win tonight, I'll certainly be pulling for the Pats and their perfect season.

posted by NoMich at 07:14 PM on January 20

Well Hal I didn't Tivo the game but from what I saw it wasn't clear that he rolled well into the 1st down but since they didn't challenge you are probably right. I've seen too many spot replays go against the seahawks to say anything will definitely stand up. I believe you have to challenge, especially that late in the game, because you are screwed for sure if you just play on.

posted by catfish at 07:23 PM on January 20

Well the train just keeps on rolling. Like it or not The Pats find a way to win again! Well Hal I didn't Tivo the game but from what I saw it wasn't clear that he rolled well into the 1st down It was clear and a good play by Faulk to keep rolling.

posted by B10 at 08:13 PM on January 20

but they have a lot of questions to answer umm....WHAT?

posted by B10 at 08:16 PM on January 20

but they have a lot of questions to answer "What's your ring size on that 4th finger?" "What's the name of that fancy restaurant at Disney World?" "Think you can get 38 in a row?"

posted by bobfoot at 09:04 PM on January 20

Hey now, let's not get cocky. Pride goeth before the fall; while we casual fans might say that the Patriots would rather face the Giants than the Packers, as they felt about the Chargers instead of the Colts, the truth is the Giants team is playing well right now, and gave the Patriots probably their toughest game of the year in week 17. The Patriots will lose if they think this is a done deal, something they've avoided all year. If anything, the fact that they had a hard earned win against the Giants bodes well for them. Whereas the 38-17 drubbing of the Chargers did nothing to prepare them for the Chargers, whom they still dispatched handily with a basically perfect game from Brady, a game like that week 17 victory will give the Giants and Patriots a ton of footage to analyze and adapt. Which gives the Patriots an advantage, I believe: the Patriots, and Belichick, will do a better job of adapting to their mistakes in Week 17, while the Giants had about their best game to even come close. What can the Giants really get out of that game, versus the Patriots? And won't a domed stadium be the perfect place for Moss to put on a show?

posted by hincandenza at 09:33 PM on January 20

The Chargers might have been in this game if Norv Turner had gone for broke a few times on those drives that ended with field goals. You can't play a better, healther team on the road and settle for 3.

posted by rcade at 09:34 PM on January 20

Certainly not a team like the Patriots. As much as I think he's an ignorant assclown, and an avowed Patriots hater, Gregg Easterbrook used to say one thing in his column I agree with wholeheartedly: in the first half, go for it on 4th down. After all, you only have to convert 50% of the time to have a net advantage, and unless it's 4th & long, you can probably convert half of those 4th & 3 type situations. I believe two of their FGs were on 4th and 1. Who knows how the game might have played out if the Patriots were playing from behind to start the 4th quarter? On the other hand, sometimes you should just take the points you're given: Pittsburgh would have gone into OT against Jacksonville had they taken the easy extra points instead of going for 2 twice in the 4th... and failing. Granted, if 50% had been successful they'd have had 31 points on the board anyway, but this was the 4th quarter, not the first.

posted by hincandenza at 09:52 PM on January 20

Well Hal I didn't Tivo the game but from what I saw it wasn't clear that he rolled well into the 1st down but since they didn't challenge you are probably right. I've seen too many spot replays go against the seahawks to say anything will definitely stand up. I believe you have to challenge, especially that late in the game, because you are screwed for sure if you just play on. posted by catfish at 7:23 PM CST on January 20 The spot was a little short of where Faulk rolled to before he was touched. If a review had happened, the ball would have ended up being placed a little more forward, still resulting in a first down.

posted by Cave_Man at 09:52 PM on January 20

In this and other sites today, i have seen no less than 14 different people, fans, sportswriters, analists, all say that the patriots lookED vunerable today. Add that to the 19 people i saw today in person, and the 2 i spoke to on the phone who echoed that sentiment, then multiply it by the 4 games this year that have provoked those same remarkes, and you have alot of doubt in a team that has yet to prove vunerable to anyone. Yes teams have played the pats close. Yes they have come within a lucky break or 4 of losing, but has anyone sent them to te locker room without a better record than they had before they took the field? NO. The sign of a great team is not just the ability to blow everyone out. You cant blow everyone out. You have to win the tight ones too. If you dont people say,"well but nobody really challenged them." Personally, i dont care if every game is won by a field goal in OT, a perfect record is a perfect record. Now, for two weeks we have to listen to the talking heads on tv tell us why the giants have a chance, why they match up well, and why this will be a great game. All the while the gamblers will put the spread around 14 pts. The reality is this: the giants do have a chance. the same chance that every team has when they take the field on (say it with me now) Any Given Sunday!!! if you want to make money, bet on the giants to cover the spread. im betting the pats win by a field-goal. just like they did in super bowls XXXIX, XXXVIII, AND XXXVI.

posted by elijahin24 at 11:20 PM on January 20

I can tell you why LT didn't care about the game. It was reported last week in Chicago that LT turned down offers to go back into the game after being cleared by medical staff. I believe after last week conversation on tv that i saw with rivers that he is the biggest jackoff in sports today.

posted by whodat at 02:20 AM on January 21

After Brady threw an end zone pick, I started to get really worried. Totally. The Chargers did a hell of a job. I've seen Brady have off games before, but that's the worst I've ever seen him play where the other team's defense was mainly responsible (as opposed to weather or other external factors).

posted by yerfatma at 07:55 AM on January 21

In this and other sites today, i have seen no less than 14 different people, fans, sportswriters, analists, all say that the patriots lookED vunerable today. Brady threw three interceptions. The Chargers had four scoring drives even without their star running back and the center of their entire offense. The Pats were vulnerable. Just because a team hasn't been beaten doesn't make them unbeatable. Still, though, I don't see the Giants beating them. But theoretically, given five years of lead time and a roster of clones grown from the league's best players over the past 50 years, the Pats could be beaten. All I'm saying.

posted by rcade at 08:19 AM on January 21

In this and other sites today, i have seen no less than 14 different people, fans, sportswriters, analists, all say that the patriots lookED vunerable today. You mean like they did against the Eagles and the Ravens? They have looked vulnerable at times throughout the season and always find a way to win.

posted by B10 at 08:34 AM on January 21

With regards to LT, if Rivers hadn't been able to play, I'm sure he would have been actively roaming the sidelines, keeping players up, encouraging them, all that shit. LT sitting there the entire game, sulking, not moving, shows to me he cares more about his own accomplishments than those of the Chargers. Being disappointed and upset is one thing, but he could have been trying to keep Turner and Sproles fired up. As great as he is, I lost some respect for him yesterday.

posted by dyams at 08:38 AM on January 21

LT is an emotional guy. If that visor wasn't blocking his face we probably would have seen his bad attitude showing and maybe some tears flowing. He has shown us in the past that he isn't a good sport or a true professional. He has all the talent in the world, hopefully he can grow into it.

posted by curlyelk at 09:03 AM on January 21

A GB/NE matchup would be, as Simmons says, the most lopsided rooting for one team in a championship game since USA/USSR. That's absurd.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:25 AM on January 21

The point's moot now, but I think a Packers/Patriots matchup would have been cast as Favre's last shot at greatness vs. the relentless and loveless Hoodie machine. The Pats' 18 wins, coupled with the Red Sox Series' wins, have drained every ounce of sympathy that might have existed for the franchise outside of Bahstan and the surrounding region. One thing that strikes me about the Pats is that they don't look to be having much fun. If Brady cracked a smile in the last game, I didn't see it. Maybe his face froze.

posted by rcade at 10:05 AM on January 21

given five years of lead time and a roster of clones grown from the league's best players over the past 50 years, the Pats could be beaten. All I'm saying. No fahkin' way, dude. You think they don't have some cross-promotion with MGH or Harvard Medical to get in front of the cloned player cap?

posted by yerfatma at 10:10 AM on January 21

The point's moot now, but I think a Packers/Patriots matchup would have been cast as Favre's last shot at greatness vs. the relentless and loveless Hoodie machine. The Pats' 18 wins, coupled with the Red Sox Series' wins, have drained every ounce of sympathy that might have existed for the franchise outside of Bahstan and the surrounding region. You may be accurate in your assessment of what the media machine would have come up with. As far as fan sentiment, you're taking it upon yourself to speak for a great many people, as well as treating New England as if it were a small suburb of Boston. Somehow I think it will be more than a few evil people inside the 128 belt rooting for the Patriots in a couple of weeks, but perhaps you've got the right of it, and the large majority of Americans will be convinced of the detestability of all things New England. The tin-ear misinterpretation of one of the many regional accents is cute, too, by the way. It's one of the things that makes me love sitting next to tourists on the Red Line, so I can hear them bellow, "HAAAAAAHVAAAAAHHHHD!!!" in imitation of the conductor and then bray like jackasses at their knee-slapping witticism. I never get tired of that. One thing that strikes me about the Pats is that they don't look to be having much fun. If Brady cracked a smile in the last game, I didn't see it. Well, you know, they do have a bit of a reputation as a team that plays 60 minutes of football, and a team that is still concentrating on winning the game isn't going to look like the gang from the typing pool at happy hour. For the most part, they save the back-patting and celebration for after the game; for the rest, the helmets tend to hide smiles, watchers at home sometimes miss big plays and the subsequent chest-bumps because they've stepped into the kitchen for a reload on cheez doodles, etc. I don't know just what kind of "fun" you expect athletes competing for a championship to be having, but I expect if you look at a lot of championship events, you'll see more Brady-esque focus than rec softball league grabass. Teams that show a lot of the latter probably don't get to many championships. (By the way, I spent all weekend on the slopes of a Vermont mountain that gets a heavy dose of New York customers. All season long, up until yesterday, I think I saw maybe one piece of Giants logo-wear. Yesterday I probably saw a dozen. Make of that what you will.)

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:30 AM on January 21

Relentless Hoodie Machine would be an excellent fantasy team name.

posted by jerseygirl at 10:38 AM on January 21

perhaps you've got the right of it, and the large majority of Americans will be convinced of the detestability of all things New England You do realize 98% of the country outside New England hates the Pats at this point, right? I suppose sports blogs aren't completely representative of the world at large, but this is the only one where I don't hide the fact I'm a Pats fan.

posted by yerfatma at 10:42 AM on January 21

You do realize 98% of the country outside New England hates the Pats at this point, right? It's possible that's true if your sample is selective and your definition of "hate" is very Humpty-Dumptied indeed. (at that, though, your definition of "hate" would be a lot more accurate than rcade's implicit definition of "New England")

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:48 AM on January 21

but this is the only one where I don't hide the fact I'm a Pats fan. Just curious as to which circumstance you would hide the fact that you're a fan?

posted by B10 at 11:14 AM on January 21

Probably circumstances where the community is less civil than here. Sports blogs and communities can get pretty... wild sometimes. Some of those sports communities combine the unyielding fervor of political junkies with the intelligence of Youtube commentary. That's sports for ya- the Everyman's religion. :) I do think there won't be much sympathy or rooting for the Patriots by the established fan base, i.e. strong fans of the other 31 teams in the league who will probably be resentful that Boston's been having a two-sport championship run in this decade at the expense of their own teams. But I do think casual fans, the kind who watch as much for the free chips and dip at their friend's party, the kind who talk about the commercials more, the kind who watch because it's kind of fun "once in a while"- will be rooting for the Patriots in the Superbowl. Friends of mine who aren't really sports people at all have come over a couple of times to watch the Patriots this season (I live in Seattle, which by and large isn't a sports-crazy town), such as the Colts and then the Giants game, because they'd heard the hype. I suspect those people will be rooting for the Patriots, since the Giants don't really have any good "backstory", unlike the Packers and ol' man Favre, or the Patriots and the Pursuit of History. People aren't normally big fans of the overdog, but in this case I think people would like to see the completed "perfect season" more than a Giants win that means nothing to anyone outside NY's fan base (well, and those who just want to see the Pats fail for spiteful reasons).

posted by hincandenza at 11:31 AM on January 21

posted by holden at 11:40 AM on January 21

4 reasons the Giants likely will not win the Super Bowl: 1. Brady threw a "stinker" yesterday; he never has 2 bad games in a row. 2. This will be the second time this season that Belichick has faced NYG. His record when facing a team for the second time is nearly flawless. 3. San Diego was able to take out the Patriots' deep receivers without compromising the rest of their defense because of the talent in their secondary. The Giants do not have this. 4. New England has finally perfected its zone blocking scheme for the running offense. Putting 3 tight ends in the game tells the defense that you are about to run, but the defense still couldn't stop it. In order to lose, New England woud have to show up expecting a coronation instead of a football game on Feb. 3. Does anyone expect Coach Hood to allow this? I'm very happy that the Giants are in the game for a couple of reasons. First, I gained a lot of respect for them when they refused to mail it in for Week 17, and second, I could get very tired of seeing cheeseheads everywhere there's a TV camera for the next 2 weeks. My only problem with the Giants is, and will forever be, the NY on the helmet. Hey, what can you expect from a native Bostonian?

posted by Howard_T at 11:54 AM on January 21

I gained a lot of respect for them when they refused to mail it in for Week 17 ...and let's not forget, winning three underdog playoff games. That's what I think the real story is, right now. It's one helluva accomplishment. OTOH, there was this dope commentator last night -- sorry can't remember which idiot it was, I was surfing between a few different sports channels -- who offered up the "statistic" that the Giants have won their last ten away games. He didn't say this, but there was this strong undertone of, "...and therefore, we should expect them to win this next game, which is also an away game." Logic much?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 12:03 PM on January 21

Outside of New England,I've got to agree that the Patriots fan base is practically none.It seems that alot of people want to see the Patriots lose the Super Bowl just because of the history that is at stake here.They don't want to see them go 19-0.I can see maybe why the Dolphin fans don't want them to win,even though the 17-0 mark has been broken,it's the undefeated season as a whole thats at stake for them.Call them cheaters,or what ever else some people want to call them,but what everyone is going to witness if the Patriots do win the S.B. is that this years Pats team will go down maybe as the greatest team ever to play the game of football.

posted by Ghastly1 at 12:15 PM on January 21

OTOH, there was this dope commentator last night -- sorry can't remember which idiot it was, I was surfing between a few different sports channels -- who offered up the "statistic" that the Giants have won their last ten away games. He didn't say this, but there was this strong undertone of, "...and therefore, we should expect them to win this next game, which is also an away game." Logic much? I've seen the 10-in-a-row thing in several sources in coverage of the Giants, but I have not interpreted it in any of the cases as suggesting that it is predictive in any way. More like just an interesting and fairly unique statistic. (Of course the Patriots have won 8 consecutive road games themselves.) I didn't see the same commentator you did, lbb, so perhaps his statement was a more pregnant one. The more interesting Giants stat to me is that they won one single game in the regular season against a team with a winning record. It's hard to tell whether the Giants have turned a corner in their last 4 or so games that suggests we should overlook their pedestrian regular season or if they're just playing over their heads. I suspect that the true level of that team is somewhere between the two. But I suppose that even if it is the latter case, all they have to do is play over their heads for one more game.

posted by holden at 12:28 PM on January 21

Outside of New England,I've got to agree that the Patriots fan base is practically none. You say that like it's somehow remarkable. What's the Jaguars fan base outside of Jacksonville (just to use one example)? I don't think any team has much of a "fan base" outside their region, big surprise. That's a ways away, though, from asserting that the large majority of Americans are rooting for a particular team to lose. It seems that alot of people want to see the Patriots lose the Super Bowl just because of the history that is at stake here.They don't want to see them go 19-0. You've got cites in support of this, of course.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 12:28 PM on January 21

Probably circumstances where the community is less civil than here. Sports blogs and communities can get pretty... wild sometimes. Some of those sports communities combine the unyielding fervor of political junkies with the intelligence of Youtube commentary. That's sports for ya- the Everyman's religion. :) I don't know that people on a sports blog would ever make it so I didn' t let it be known who my team was. It was relentless after the Appalation State win over Mi but I'll de damned if I'm not going to say that I'm a Mi fan. Seriously, sports blogs are individual thoughts of many people coming together on one forum to express their particular opinion. I don't know them personally and even if I did there is NOTHING that anybody could say to make me not admit that i'm a fan of this team or that team. So when this comment was made "but this is the only one where I don't hide the fact I'm a Pats fan"I was suprised I guess. Just seems pretty shallow not to admit rooting for a team because everybody else hates them or is putting them down.

posted by B10 at 12:29 PM on January 21

By the way holden, that pic was halarious!

posted by B10 at 12:46 PM on January 21

As far as fan sentiment, you're taking it upon yourself to speak for a great many people, as well as treating New England as if it were a small suburb of Boston. ... The tin-ear misinterpretation of one of the many regional accents is cute, too, by the way. Of course I'm generalizing. I just don't see evidence of New England being a sympathetic favorite among fans of other teams, the way they were back when Tom Brady was an out-of-nowhere worldbeater who tuck-ruled his way past the Raiders to a Super Bowl. You keep asking people to prove the Patriots aren't liked elsewhere. It ought to be obvious that these are subjective perceptions, but I think most of here are qualified to observe how teams play nationally. Especially since a lot of us are non-Pats fans looking for reasons to keep caring about the playoffs. Among recent bowl champs, Kurt Warner's Rams and Ben Roethlisberger's Steelers were pretty well-liked and Ray Lewis' Ravens were actively disliked. I think a lot of people have been rooting for the Pats to be knocked off their pedestal. I know I have. My dilemma now is whether I want to see that enough to give up a chance to see NFL perfection. I think I want to see 19-0. I don't think any team has much of a "fan base" outside their region, big surprise. Are you kidding? The Steelers, 49ers, Packers and Cowboys all have national followings. The Cowboys -- because of how their national appeal has been marketed -- also have a national anti-following. Comparing the Pats to the Jags is crazy. Jacksonville's the least marketable team in the league outside of its region, in terms of TV ratings and merchandise.

posted by rcade at 01:00 PM on January 21

You've got cites in support of this, of course. Pull your head out of the friggin' sand. It's not simply a case of there not being a fan base outside of the Pats home region, much of the rest of the football world actively hates the Pats. Of course, all I have to go by are my own two eyes, ears, all of the comments on deadspin.com, espn.com, etc. As opposed to the wealth of evidence to the contrary you've supplied.

posted by yerfatma at 01:02 PM on January 21

I don't have cites to support this, but I get the sense that there is a general anti-Boston backlash lately on a national level. It's a product of success of both the Red Sox and the Patriots (and maybe now the Celtics, too) and a sense that the Boston fans are becoming like Yankee fans (shorthand for smug, assured, cocky, borderline obnoxious fans who feel that victory is their birthright -- and I know that's a caricature of Yankees fans, but is one with some traction in sporting circles). Success breeds contempt. Whether Boston fans really have those qualities is an open question; I lived in Boston from 1999-2002 and again for a year in 2006-07 and definitely saw more of those types of behaviors in the latter stint, but not to such an extent that you can broad-brush folks into that category. Either way, that's the perception, and it leads me to believe that a fair number of (otherwise "neutral") folks will be actively rooting against the Patriots.

posted by holden at 01:16 PM on January 21

LBB, seems you're getting kind of defensive about the thought that most of America wants to see the Pats lose, why? Out here on the west coast, there's really two schools of thought. There's the New England transplants who love the Pats, Sox, the Celtics, and all things Boston. Then there's the rest, who are sick to death of the loud, cocky (and rightfully so), New England fans who, only when discussing sports, adopt a rather pronounced Southie accent. Like it or not, the Pats success has been pretty polarizing, especially in the heels of a long Boston-saturated summer. If I was in your shoes (granted, I'm from Cincinnati, so I never will be...sigh...) I'd just relax and enjoy the hatin'. Let everyone get all worked up about the horrible, evil Pats and their despicable coach. Let them find any reason to decry the organization and it's figurehead, Tom Brady. Let us all swear our alliegance to any opponent of the Patriots, getting our hopes up that someone will knock them down a peg, and then sit back and smirk when they beat the shit out of another inferior opponent (yes, at this point, they're all inferior) to close out the greatest season in NFL history.

posted by tahoemoj at 01:20 PM on January 21

LBB, seems you're getting kind of defensive about the thought that most of America wants to see the Pats lose, why? Nooooo...what it seems like is that I think there's a big difference between "my team ain't in it so eh" and "I hate them! I hope they lose, I hope they lose!" Out here on the west coast, there's really two schools of thought. See, people here keep saying stuff like that, and I keep thinking they're pretty much all talking about what they're hearing around their office water cooler -- hardly what an entire coast or 95% of the country is thinking. yerfatma's the only one who's provided any examples of where he's hearing this hating, or not-liking (two websites). Everyone else has just talked about what the whole country minus Boston wants. I dunno, maybe everybody's right, but I'm skeptical. I wore a Pats hat all weekend while surrounded by New Yorkers and didn't hear anything from them except hoping that they'd get past the Packers.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 02:02 PM on January 21

See, people here keep saying stuff like that, and I keep thinking they're pretty much all talking about what they're hearing around their office water cooler -- hardly what an entire coast or 95% of the country is thinking. yerfatma's the only one who's provided any examples of where he's hearing this hating, or not-liking (two websites). Everyone else has just talked about what the whole country minus Boston wants. I dunno, maybe everybody's right, but I'm skeptical. This is by no means scientific, but it has to be indicative of something (if nothing other than the fact that "Pats haters can stuff ballots" or "Giants fans are internet-savvy") -- this page on ESPN shows that the fans of every team except for the Patriots would like for the Giants to win. (Just click on the team logos to see the results.) I will note that there is every reason to be skeptical of the exact numbers, considering that only 80% of self-described Pats fans want the Pats to win, but again, I would think that even with cooked books, a 31-1 preference has to mean something.

posted by holden at 02:18 PM on January 21

I will note that there is every reason to be skeptical of the exact numbers, considering that only 80% of self-described Pats fans want the Pats to win, but again, I would think that even with cooked books, a 31-1 preference has to mean something. It says 33% of Pats fans want the Giants to win...and, if we are to believe this poll, just under 20% of self-described Giants fans want the Patriots to win. FYI. Cum grano salis.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 02:30 PM on January 21

It is almost a split between Lions fans between the Patriots and the Giants, probably because Michigan Wolverine fans still have a soft spot for Tom Brady. Brady's the reason I've always been fond of the Patriots. That and I hated the Rams so it was great to see the Patriots defeat them in the Super Bowl.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 02:33 PM on January 21

Well, no, I didn't conduct a formal poll of everyone west of the Mississippi. My stance is indeed predicated entirely on the impressions I get from the people who spend time in the sports bar at which I work, a rather small sample of the population as a whole, but, in my opinion, fairly representative group of sports fans from all over the west. Based on the same group, I think people were strongly pro-Packer out here, too. No concrete evidence, just the observations of one man who heard a roar every time the Packers did something right, and a groan when the Giants succeded. Again, can't show you evidence of this, just my own observation. I also think you are discounting what may be said around the water cooler. If ten people get together around it, two of whom have New England roots, and talk football, why do they not represent the population as a whole? So kudos to yerfatma for giving you some evidence while the rest of us just lash blindly out at the poor, persecuted Patriots. This is a forum for people to post opinions and observations, many of which cannot be qualified by hard data. My post wasn't meant to put you on the spot or start a pissing contest, it was only meant to good-naturedly suggest that you embrace the role of Ivan Drago to the Giants' Rocky and enjoy the victory when it comes. Boston teams have long since abandoned the role of lovable loser. They have talent, coaching, front offices, and money, and they are making the most of these things by bringing championships home. Enjoy the new era of New England fanhood and realize that, as top dog, much of the rest of the country will be cheering for your demise (metaphorically, of course. Don't want any literalists to think anyone really wants them dead.) It's the nature of sports fanhood. On edit, holden, thanks for the numerical backup..

posted by tahoemoj at 02:40 PM on January 21

Out here on the west coast, there's really two schools of thought. See, people here keep saying stuff like that, and I keep thinking they're pretty much all talking about what they're hearing around their office water cooler -- hardly what an entire coast or 95% of the country is thinking. So, you dispute tahoemoj's take on the West Coast perspective, saying he couldn't possibly know what everybody's thinking. Well, I'm guessing, he most certainly knows better than you do, because he lives out there, and you don't! What he's hearing around his office water cooler may not be the gospel, but at least it's happening on the freakin' West Coast! You may be the most oversensitive fan of a championship team I've ever seen in my life. One day, you're just going to have to accept the fact that no matter how hard you try, not everybody in the whole world is going to love your favorite teams. In fact, some people, myself included, hate your team, and are always going to hate your team. Stop rooting for winners, then you can gnash your teeth all you want to about the Unfairness Of It All. Until then, try just once being gracious in victory.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 03:21 PM on January 21

In fact, some people, myself included, hate your team, and are always going to hate your team. No matter who they are, I'm sure. If I said that chocolate chip cookies were tasty, I suspect you'd find a way to hate those too. Until then, try just once being gracious in victory. I'll work on it if they get to 19-0. Meanwhile, I suppose I should get back to doing all the things that an un-gracious winner does, like gloating, insulting the losing team and its fans, predicting even greater victories, etc. Oh...wait...I haven't been doing any of that, have I? Nope, just wondering out loud about some pretty big assertions. Sorry if that ruins the site for you, but I just don't see it as anything to get all that bent out of shape over.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 03:29 PM on January 21

yerfatma: (Quoting the Slate writer): 9/17/2007: "When Belichick finally got caught this week, you may have noticed that the rest of the league wasn't exactly rallying to his side. Jerome Bettis grabbed onto a retroactive alibi for having been whipped by New England over the past decade, and Tony Dungy offered a plaintive 'what-about-the-children' rumination that was just inches from actual sincerity."
I'm suprised no one has commented that the same Slate writer, back on 9/17, picked the Patriots to go undefeated. Kind of a ballsy pick in week 2!
Why the enraged Patriots will go undefeated. By Charles P. Pierce Posted Monday, Sept. 17, 2007, at 6:11 PM ET

posted by hincandenza at 03:39 PM on January 21

LBB, seems you're getting kind of defensive about the thought that most of America wants to see the Pats lose, why? To be fair, LBB is Yankees fan too, so she's got to be used to it I am sure.

posted by jerseygirl at 03:41 PM on January 21

Of course lots of people hate the patriots. Just like lots of people hated the Cowboys of the '90's, the 49ers of the '80's, the yankees of...well always, the duke blue devils of the 90's, etc, etc, etc. Meanwhile, those teams kept on winning until their proverbial rome fell. A fall that was in no way the result of the disdane that they were subject to during their period of dominance. Who cares? the super bowl is not won by popular vote, or electoral college. If the giants win (and that is a big "if") much of the nation will celebrate, brady will hit the gym, and emperor belichecktine (i was going for a star wars reference, i think i missed) will go back to work to get back to this point next year, while the guys from espn will give them a 70% chance to do exactly that.

posted by elijahin24 at 03:42 PM on January 21

...no less than 14 different people, fans, sportswriters, analists, all say that the patriots lookED vunerable... There's a huge difference between analyst and analist.

posted by Hugh Janus at 04:53 PM on January 21

Havent we been over this?

posted by elijahin24 at 04:56 PM on January 21

Havent we been over this? We, who? Us? Me, you? No. Over this? Over what? I don't know. What do you mean? Haven't who been over what?

posted by Hugh Janus at 05:03 PM on January 21

Here you go, Hugh.

posted by NoMich at 05:10 PM on January 21

Huh. I'd never seen the Locker Room before now. Honestly, I was just making a cheap anal joke; the spelling wasn't even an issue. I assumed it was just a typo, one of those wonderful, fortuitous typos with funny hidden meaning. Funny, that is, if you are amused by the anus and its many charms. So I'll say, hey, sorry for my clumsiness, didn't mean to kick your cast or tread on a sore toe, but say my username out loud three times and you'll understand: I don't give a shit whether you can spell, but I can't resist butt cracks.

posted by Hugh Janus at 05:23 PM on January 21

Something you might want to bring up with your Analrapist.

posted by yerfatma at 05:29 PM on January 21

In a perfect world, my Analrapist would be me.

posted by Hugh Janus at 05:37 PM on January 21

wow, a bunch of posts about bad spelling. Talk about Anal!

posted by B10 at 05:43 PM on January 21

Exchanges like these remind me why I love SpoFi. Nick Hardwick says Richard Seymour is a dirty player.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 05:46 PM on January 21

Nick Hardwick says Richard Seymour is a dirty player. Wow, talk about sour grapes on the part of hardwick

posted by B10 at 05:49 PM on January 21

Yeah, the trouble with saying that sort of thing after a loss is that even if it's true, nobody will believe you.

posted by Hugh Janus at 05:54 PM on January 21

Those of us who have played football on any level from high school on up, can probably tell you lots of stories of "dirty play." We all know that a pile-up on a fumble means the ball will change hands at least a few times before the official pulls enough people off to see who has it. I admit i'm no innocent in the matter. ive pulled people down on top of myself and held their jerseys to keep them from getting to my qb, or running-back. On defense i was dirtier. And in my conference i was still one of the cleaner players. Im not saying that the behavior is right, and if he's doing anything that could seriously injure someone like stomping feet, he certainly should be looked at more closely, but if this is just sour grapes, as it appears to be, it isnt surprising. These two teams have a history of animosity. I would say to nick hardwick: man up. This isnt high-school girls volleyball. If it was, and the players heard him complaining, they would probably tell you to man up too.

posted by elijahin24 at 06:27 PM on January 21

Wow, talk about sour grapes on the part of hardwick Maybe. I think it depends some on whether what Hardwick said was true (and if so, if that kind of carrying-on is typical).

posted by lil_brown_bat at 06:29 PM on January 21

4. New England has finally perfected its zone blocking scheme for the running offense. Putting 3 tight ends in the game tells the defense that you are about to run, but the defense still couldn't stop it. Not completely accurate. New England is a breeding ground for excellent pass catching tight ends. Ben Watson and Kyle Brady are great pass catchers, Watson tops that off with speed. My guess is that the third tight end is an excellent pass catcher with good speed. So, the New England Patriots do not have to run with a three or two tight end formation, the team can also pass from those formations. The use of tight ends as pass catchers likely comes from The Hoodie's experience with the Parcells Giants, those teams had excellent pass catching tight ends.

posted by Cave_Man at 06:50 PM on January 21

The Sporting News recently had a poll among NFL players on who is the dirtiest player in the league and Richard Seymour was very high on the list. If I am not mistaken Rodney Harrison was voted the dirtiest player in the league. Nick Hardwick also recieved a few votes.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 07:10 PM on January 21

My guess is that the third tight end is an excellent pass catcher with good speed. So, the New England Patriots do not have to run with a three or two tight end formation You'd lose that bet. The third active TE is someone they picked up in like week 12. Also, Kyle Brady is no longer known as a good receiver. He was signed to be an extra tackle and that's pretty much what he's done. "Everyone seems to think we're soft -- that we're Southern Cal boys and we're not going to play hard and were soft and we're quitters. We're just as dirty if not dirtier than anyone else in the league, so we like that. That's the way Kansas City was, the way Tennessee was. They think they're going to swell up on us and be bigger than us, tougher." - Nick Hardwick, 12/2007

posted by yerfatma at 07:35 PM on January 21

Are you kidding? The Steelers, 49ers, Packers and Cowboys all have national followings. The Cowboys -- because of how their national appeal has been marketed -- also have a national anti-following. Comparing the Pats to the Jags is crazy. Jacksonville's the least marketable team in the league outside of its region, in terms of TV ratings and merchandise. posted by rcade at 1:00 PM CST on January 21 The Boston Red Sox overtook the Yankees as the most popular baseball team nationally around two years ago. The numbers are massive, with Red Sox fans often taking over stadiums of opposing teams when the Red Sox come to their city to play. Since the vast majority of non-New England Red Sox fans have direct links to New England, it makes sense that most of them are also Patriots fans. That bit of information would indicate that the Patriots have a large fan base outside of New England.

posted by Cave_Man at 08:03 PM on January 21

When the Tigers played the Red Sox fans this past year it was like watching the Tigers play Cleveland a few years ago, there were just as many if not more fans of the opposing team. Of course that also means that there is always somebody cheering.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 08:29 PM on January 21

In fact, some people, myself included, hate your team, and are always going to hate your team. No matter who they are, I'm sure. If I said that chocolate chip cookies were tasty, I suspect you'd find a way to hate those too. Until then, try just once being gracious in victory. I'll work on it if they get to 19-0. Meanwhile, I suppose I should get back to doing all the things that an un-gracious winner does, like gloating, insulting the losing team and its fans, predicting even greater victories, etc. Oh...wait...I haven't been doing any of that, have I? Nope, just wondering out loud about some pretty big assertions. Sorry if that ruins the site for you, but I just don't see it as anything to get all that bent out of shape over. posted by lil_brown_bat at 3:29 PM CST on January 21 Give up LBB. Reason and analysis is not going to win the day with haters. Play by their rules, play smash mouth with them. Envy is a powerful motivator, but it is also a lead weight, watch them sink deeper as they wish that before they croak, they experiemce the sports era that you are experiencing.

posted by Cave_Man at 09:08 PM on January 21

he certainly should be looked at more closely, but if this is just sour grapes, as it appears to be, it isnt surprising. These two teams have a history of animosity. I would say to nick hardwick: man up. This isnt high-school girls volleyball. If it was, and the players heard him complaining, they would probably tell you to man up too. posted by elijahin24 at 6:27 PM CST on January 21 Harwick could have informed a Ref early in the game if there were discretions going on. Plus, he is likely as huge as any Patriot defensive player, if one punched him or a teammate in the back. he should have taken issue with that immediately.

posted by Cave_Man at 09:40 PM on January 21

The Sporting News recently had a poll among NFL players on who is the dirtiest player in the league and Richard Seymour was very high on the list. If I am not mistaken Rodney Harrison was voted the dirtiest player in the league. Nick Hardwick also recieved a few votes. posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 7:10 PM CST on January 21 Football has been compared to war. I have never been in a war, but I would say that if you have your opponent thinking about what you are going to do to him or her before a battle starts, you have assumed a significant advantage.

posted by Cave_Man at 09:58 PM on January 21

"Kyle Brady is no longer known as a good receiver. He was signed to be an extra tackle and that's pretty much what he's done." Kyle Brady has been a great third down receiver for the Patriots. All Patriots tight ends are good blockers, so? On the third tight end, I will trust the Patriots to pick a player that fits their system more than you giving an opinion on him.

posted by Cave_Man at 10:06 PM on January 21

Earth to Cave_Man: Please, move on from the Stone Age!! Could you try to come up with something a little more imaginative than "hater?" Judging from the statement you just made, Envy is a powerful motivator, but it is also a lead weight, watch them sink deeper as they wish that before they croak, they experiemce the sports era that you are experiencing. you are just as big a "hater" as the rest of us mere mortals.

posted by Goyoucolts at 11:04 PM on January 21

Kyle Brady has been a great third down receiver for the Patriots. All Patriots tight ends are good blockers, so? On the third tight end, I will trust the Patriots to pick a player that fits their system more than you giving an opinion on him. You must have a hell of a memory, seeing as how Brady has 9 catches in 16 games and 1 in the post-season. As for Stephen Spach, I don't think I'm giving just my opinion. It said they signed him to block and that looks like it's pretty much what he's done in the NFL. The Pats original 3rd TE this year, David Thomas, is a good receiver. It's weak to just dismiss what I say as mere opinion if it doesn't agree with yours. The Boston Red Sox overtook the Yankees as the most popular baseball team nationally around two years ago. The numbers are massive We've had this discussion previously on Spofi: the numbers only show the Sox as more popular than the Yankees because Yankee Stadium is so much bigger than Fenway. If you remove those two venues from the equation, the Yankees are still marginally ahead. Regardless, while the Red Sox still have some lingering Lovable Loser Love from the casual sports world, they're definitely on the list of To Be Hated for other team's fans nowadays.

posted by yerfatma at 05:39 AM on January 22

Kyle Brady has been a great third down receiver for the Patriots. Kyle Brady has nine receptions for 70 yards on the season. Cave_Man, my discussion with LBB had less to do with the fact that I hate the Patriots, and more to do with the fact that she seems to refuse to accept the fact that, as happens with many dominant teams, people outside of the New England region don't like the Patriots. As for my hatred of the Patriots, they've been a division foe of the Dolphins as long as I can remember; it's not like I just woke up the other day and decided to be a "hater," as you seem so fond of saying. I've watched Miami engage in bitter division games with the Patriots, the Jets, the Bills, and the Colts for nearly 30 years, and I hate all of 'em. So, while your amateur psychotherapy is certainly appreciated, it is in no way correct. No matter who they are, I'm sure. If I said that chocolate chip cookies were tasty, I suspect you'd find a way to hate those too. You poor, martyred thing, you. The only two teams off the top of my head that I know you root for are the Yankees and the Patriots. Being a Red Sox and Dolphins fan, I have a vested interest in seeing those teams do badly. Take it personally if you must, that's your decision, not mine. And, for the record, I love chocolate chip cookies. I'm crazy for the things, and here's the weird part: I love them, regardless of whether you like them or not! I'm sure that's hard for you to believe, but it's true.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 05:53 AM on January 22

Since the vast majority of non-New England Red Sox fans have direct links to New England, it makes sense that most of them are also Patriots fans. That bit of information would indicate that the Patriots have a large fan base outside of New England. This is similar to something I saw when I went to a Bruins-Sharks game in San Jose. It was quite the cultural experience, getting to see how Bay area people do hockey. Anyway, there were a substantial number of Bruins jerseys in the stands, which I'm inclined to attribute to the number of people in the area who had New England roots (or went to college there). There were also a lot of Hockey East jerseys, which confused the bejesus out of the Sharks fans. Anyway, back to my point: when teams have a following (as opposed to a casual "it's the super bowl and I have to pick one or the other to root for" temporary fandom) outside their home areas, I suspect it's largely made up of transplants.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:28 AM on January 22

Anyway, there were a substantial number of Bruins jerseys in the stands, which I'm inclined to attribute to the number of people in the area who had New England roots (or went to college there). Wait, so your empirical evidence is ok, or is it any empirical evidence in support of your point?

posted by yerfatma at 08:06 AM on January 22

Ease back there, tiger, I didn't say it was evidence of anything. However, New England roots seem like a more plausible explanation for those jerseys than a few hundred Bay area denizens coming to the independent conclusion that the Bruins were clearly the superior team (they got spanked rather embarrassingly in that game, which was to be expected, since they were mired in a years-long stinkin' up of the joint -- in fact, the high point of the contest was when the shark mascot punched out the bruin mascot).

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:11 AM on January 22

CaveMan: Labeling people "haters" is stupid and dismissive. ... when teams have a following (as opposed to a casual "it's the super bowl and I have to pick one or the other to root for" temporary fandom) outside their home areas, I suspect it's largely made up of transplants. True enough, but I wonder if that's changing in the age of satellite TV subscriptions, Internet radio and the NFL Network, when you can follow any team obsessively no matter where you live. A kid who adopts the Patriots today could keep up with them forever.

posted by rcade at 08:19 AM on January 22

in fact, the high point of the contest was when the shark mascot punched out the bruin mascot Whoa whoa whoa, NHL mascots travel cross-country for road games?

posted by bender at 09:03 AM on January 22

in fact, the high point of the contest was when the shark mascot punched out the bruin mascot... The Bruins have a mascot? Why was I not informed of this? l_b_b, don't try to convert the unwashed to become followers of the one, true religion - that of Boston Fandom. Anyone who puts a clam into the tomato soup and tries to sell it as "chowdah" can have no idea of what Boston Sports Passion Syndrome is all about. OK, SpoFites, I usually try not to do the above, but I can't resist. There was something in New England Baptist Hospital 67 years ago that infected me with the dreaded affliction. There is no cure; one can only hope that an occasional title will alleviate the pain. It appears that the medication is working much better than usual this year.

posted by Howard_T at 09:28 AM on January 22

Almost forgot to add this. Cave_Man, it is true that there is still a passing threat when 3 tight ends are in the game, but the defense can load up in the box without too much fear of the deep ball. Patriots went to a 3-tight end package on roughly 1/6 of their offensive snaps. Mike Reiss's excellent analysis has the details. Most of the sets (8) were run with a single wide receiver, and 3 were run with fullback and no wideout.

posted by Howard_T at 09:36 AM on January 22

Kyle Brady has nine receptions for 70 yards on the season. Critical yards that made a difference. 70 yards, by the way, is 7 first downs, pretty critical in pro football. But since your reference is probaly high school ball, I forgive you.

posted by Cave_Man at 10:02 AM on January 22

As for my hatred of the Patriots, they've been a division foe of the Dolphins as long as I can remember; it's not like I just woke up the other day and decided to be a "hater," as you seem so fond of saying. I've watched Miami engage in bitter division games with the Patriots, the Jets, the Bills, and the Colts for nearly 30 years, and I hate all of 'em. So, while your amateur psychotherapy is certainly appreciated, it is in no way correct. Case closed, let's move on. BTW, I never offer psychotherapy.

posted by Cave_Man at 10:06 AM on January 22

Wait, so your empirical evidence is ok, or is it any empirical evidence in support of your point? posted by yerfatma at 8:06 AM CST on January 22 You really do not get out much, do you? Try watching Red Sox or Patriots games that are played in opponents stadiums and listen to the crowd response. LBB is perfectly on target with the observation on the Bruins-Sharks game crowd makeup.

posted by Cave_Man at 10:11 AM on January 22

CaveMan: Labeling people "haters" is stupid and dismissive. The situation is what it is. I simply call a spade a spade.

posted by Cave_Man at 10:13 AM on January 22

True enough, but I wonder if that's changing in the age of satellite TV subscriptions, Internet radio and the NFL Network, when you can follow any team obsessively no matter where you live. A kid who adopts the Patriots today could keep up with them forever. posted by rcade at 8:19 AM CST on January 22 Really? T BS broadcasts Atlanta Braves games all over, but I do not watch them or follow the team. LBB is closer to being right, people follow teams because of some form of affiliation to those teams. I would expect that an Atlanta transplant living in Boston would avidly follow Atlanta Braves games. As for Patriots fans outside of New England, emperical evidence (i.e, emperical means an unproven postulate for those prone to jump) suggests that the Patriots, as the Red Sox, have a big fan base outside of New England, probaly one of the biggest that any pro team has.

posted by Cave_Man at 10:20 AM on January 22

CaveMan: Labeling people "haters" is stupid and dismissive. Actually, my tone was intended to be more in line with how General Sherman dealt with the confederate south. As I said, the situation is what it is, I only deal with what I see.

posted by Cave_Man at 10:23 AM on January 22

If that means you have a "scorched earth" policy towards people you disagree with here, you need to revisit the guidelines. Critical yards that made a difference. 70 yards, by the way, is 7 first downs, pretty critical in pro football. Kyle Brady's nine catches this season, in 14 games played: Game 3: one catch for 20 yards, thrown on first down Game 5: one catch for 7 yards, thrown on second down and 12 Game 6: one catch for 1 yard touchdown, thrown on first down Game 7: three catches for 10 yards, a 3-yard pass thrown on second down and 8, a 5-yard pass on first down and 7, and a 2-yard touchdown on second down and 2 Game 8: one catch for 19 yards, thrown on first down Game 13: one catch for 6 yards, thrown on first down Game 14: one catch for 7 yards, thrown on second down and six Playoffs, round 1: one catch for 12 yards, thrown on first down The guy you've described as a "great third down receiver" for the Pats hasn't caught a single third-down pass this entire season. Brady's a blocking tight end now.

posted by rcade at 10:28 AM on January 22

Almost forgot to add this. Cave_Man, it is true that there is still a passing threat when 3 tight ends are in the game, but the defense can load up in the box without too much fear of the deep ball. Patriots went to a 3-tight end package on roughly 1/6 of their offensive snaps. Mike Reiss's excellent analysis has the details. Most of the sets (8) were run with a single wide receiver, and 3 were run with fullback and no wideout. posted by Howard_T at 9:36 AM CST on January 22 Howard. A three tight end set, by it's nature, is designed to get small yardage unless there is a defensive breakdown. The set is designed to free Maroney, Faulk or Evans and allow them to go one on one with a DB, or have Brady hit an open TE with a quick pass if the defense bite on the run.

posted by Cave_Man at 10:30 AM on January 22

The guy you've described as a "great third down receiver" for the Pats hasn't caught a single third-down pass this entire season. Brady's a blocking tight end now. posted by rcade at 10:28 AM CST on January 22 You are right. I take the third down pass catcher term back. But, look at the information that you posted, something like 90% of Kyle Brady's catches either resulted in a first down OR made an attempt for a first down manageable, that is success in my book. I read the rules. Others should read them. I often see snide, underhand comments posted here and no one seems to challenge that when they are done by some posters. There are a number of Patriots haters here, that is a fact. I happen to be a Boston transplant Patriots' fan that was formerly a major fan of one of their divisional rivals. I became a Patriots and Red Sox fan because I got a chance to see first hand how much passion New England fans have for their teams and how honest and decent New England people are. It is ok when on this forum when someone makes an ignorant comment about about New Englanders and their conduct towards their teams without ever having lived among them, but it is not ok when someone that has lived among them and understands reality takes offense to putdowns of their (and now, my) teams. I have found New Englanders to be people that say what they mean and leave things at that, but when things are tough, they are quick to offer a helping hand - I have lived in every major part of the country and have not seen this in any other region - they deserve excellent teams and have every right to be proud of the accomplishments of those teams, haters of those teams be damned.

posted by Cave_Man at 10:53 AM on January 22

It is ok when on this forum when someone makes an ignorant comment about about New Englanders and their conduct towards their teams without ever having lived among them Who are we talking about here? I've lived in RI and NH for 28 of my 32 years. "What do they know of England who only England know?" You make these wild assertions, get called on it and then try to move the goalposts and act as though you're being oppressed. I have always tried to make my snide comments openly; if you're sensing dismissiveness on my part, it's because I perceive (rightly or wrongly) a tendency on your part to try to just throw around unverifiable claims (or, as is the case in this thread, demonstrably untrue claims) and get upset when you're not taken at your word. Anyone can be right all the time if they control the facts. My interest here is in talking about truth. We all have our opinions about teams; what we can gain from each other is knowledge about teams.

posted by yerfatma at 11:08 AM on January 22

something like 90% of Kyle Brady's catches either resulted in a first down OR made an attempt for a first down manageable An unmeasurable metric. Tom Brady threw 398 completions this year. 2% of them went to Mr. Clutch.

posted by yerfatma at 11:10 AM on January 22

An unmeasurable metric. Tom Brady threw 398 completions this year. 2% of them went to Mr. Clutch. posted by yerfatma at 11:10 AM CST on January 22 2% of Brady's passes that make a difference is better than 98% of some other team's QB's attempts that do not make a difference. What is your point?

posted by Cave_Man at 11:15 AM on January 22

An unmeasurable metric Look at the information that was provided and do the math.

posted by Cave_Man at 11:17 AM on January 22

Holy crap, get over yourself. I'm allowed to root against the Patriots. It does not banish me to the dustbin of 'hater' as if some kind of lower form of sports fan who is not privy to some great truth about the New England Sports experience. That's fucking ridiculous. That there is some kind of nobility that comes with being a Pats fan. No wonder people get tired of this shit. There is no monopoly on passion. To wit: Pats are a great team. I've enjoyed watching their Empire-esque romp through the league and always think sports are better when you've got a good villan/juggernaut to come up against. And I hope they get their perfect season. I really do. It's interesting and historic and uncommon - all things that make sports wicked. But Pats fans, along with Red Sox, Yankee, Canadien, Red Wing, Arsenal, Juventus, Maple Leaf (woo!) or other fan are not superior in any way. (Except Buffalo fans. Those poor bastards deserve every break they can get.) Only deal with what you see? Ack, gag, barf. I'm sorry, that's ridiculous. All I see is some kind of disengenuine hunt for higher ground that doesn't exist. And 90% of ALL completed passes put teams into the position of either getting, or getting close to a first down. Good gravy, I've heard of defending a poorly considered point before, but this is getting propelled into a new and exciting realm of complete bullshit.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 11:25 AM on January 22

And 90% of ALL completed passes put teams into the position of either getting, or getting close to a first down. Brady, 2007 average completion: 12+ yards.

posted by yerfatma at 11:57 AM on January 22

... something like 90% of Kyle Brady's catches either resulted in a first down OR made an attempt for a first down manageable, that is success in my book. Brady had only one game where he caught more than one pass. He's a successful blocking tight end. But backing up from "great third-down receiver" to successful receiver isn't far enough. You're still on shaky ground. As for the haters stuff, you're also not getting the point that the tit-for-tat stuff won't be allowed here. SportsFilter isn't about trading shots with fans of other teams. When people act in a manner you liken to "haters," they get the banhammer.

posted by rcade at 12:01 PM on January 22

bender: Whoa whoa whoa, NHL mascots travel cross-country for road games? Howard_T: The Bruins have a mascot? Why was I not informed of this? Sorry, I was unclear. It wasn't the Bruins mascot, it was some (presumably local) individual dressed up in this bear suit with a Bruins jersey. The way it happened was, San Jose has this mascot, which is a skating plush shark. It's about the dumbest idea since dog sweaters, creating this anthropomorphized shark costume that someone can wear and skate in, but anyway...they did it. So this dopey looking shark thing would periodically hop out onto the ice and careen around, or go into the stands and harass the fans, or whatever. Anyway, they were between periods, and they brought down the lights and put a spotlight on the ice, and this pseudo-Bruins mascot came skating out, to the strains of something like "Blue Danube". He's doing the old-school twirls and having himself a fine old time, and the shark mascot skates out onto the ice, kinda sneaks up on him, and suckers him right to the head. Bam, bear goes down, music changes over to some speed metal with a general theme of "I kick your ass and then I vomit on your grave", shark starts skating around the rink making rah-rah motions. Meanwhile the bear is wobbling back to his feet, just in time for the shark to skate by and give him a Hanson brothers roundhouse to the chops, sending him down again. And so on. It was obviously staged and therefore not as good as authentic mascot-on-mascot violence, but it was definitely the funniest moment of the night, even if you were a Bruins fan. Especially if you were a Bruins fan. God, that was an awful game.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 12:41 PM on January 22

Bam, bear goes down As for Kyle Brady, that whole exchange upthread is so ridiculous it's even better than that video clip. 2% of Brady's passes that make a difference is better than 98% of some other team's QB's attempts that do not make a difference. What is your point? ...What?!

posted by bender at 03:20 PM on January 22

Thanks, l_b_b, I'm greatly relieved that there is no Bruins mascot. It would be the one last push that drove me away from the team forever. Getting back to the theme of insufferable New England fans and their strange habits, mascots are another thing that sets the true blue Boston fan's teeth on edge. Wally is terrible, Lucky would have Red Auerbach seeking a restraining order, and that thing that passes for a Patriots' mascot is ridiculous. Would it be possible for the Revolutionary War re-enactors to use live ammunition?

posted by Howard_T at 04:13 PM on January 22

I'm rooting against the Patriots because it is a hallowed tradition in this country to root for the underdog, particularly against a burgeoning dynasty. I believe perfection to be flawed and loss underrated. I believe character comes from losing, not winning (something I think old Red Sox fans can get behind). I believe in good-natured homerism and that we can not only be for one team without being against all the rest, but be against one team without caring enough to hate. People root for a team for all sorts of reasons, and against teams for all sorts of reasons. Some root for teams in order to have friends, some in order to have enemies. I'm rooting against the Patriots because they're an AFC team, and I usually root against the AFC team. Plus I like a long shot, David and Goliath, you know? Washington at Valley Forge? It's downright patriotic to root against the Patriots. Of course, what I'm really rooting for is a good game: the Skins aren't in it so I don't give a damn. Go Offense! Go Special Teams! Win, Intangibles, win!

posted by Hugh Janus at 08:22 PM on January 22

Wally is terrible, Lucky would have Red Auerbach seeking a restraining order, and that thing that passes for a Patriots' mascot is ridiculous. Would it be possible for the Revolutionary War re-enactors to use live ammunition? Not sure what they're packing -- if they're muzzle-loaders, I think in theory you could stuff pretty much anything down the barrel, although it probably wouldn't exactly shoot true if it was an odd-shaped projectile. The Colts mascot is worse. I remember the first time I was watching a game with friends and we saw that thing cavorting around behind the end zone. Universal reaction: "Why do the Colts have a hippopotamus for their mascot?"

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:53 PM on January 22

"Why do the Colts have a hippopotamus for their mascot?" Well, "hippopotamus" does translate as "river horse", so there is that connection.

posted by Howard_T at 08:52 AM on January 23

I'm a 31yo Giants fan, but Tom Brady is already the greatest QB of all time. Putting him in a conversation with Joe Montana is an insult to Tom Brady. No one belongs in that "conversation" other than Brady - no QB in the history of pro football is on his level. If you ran an experiment and switched the teams / eras that Brady and Montana played in, I'm am 100% confident that Brady's stats and win totals would far surpass Montana's, and yes that's saying something considering the success of the Montana-era 49ers. As for my G-men - they proved they could play with the Pats. If they can somehow get an outstanding pash rush and / or some secondary help, in addition to putting up a lot of points, then they MIGHT have a puncher's chance to win. Sheesh, a lot of variables there just to get to a puncher's chance, but you can't argue with how great the Pats are this season. Let's not forget that it was cold during the first Giants / Pats meeting - the ideal conditions at the Super Bowl weigh heavily in favor of the Pats.

posted by BCHockey at 11:52 AM on January 23

Tom Brady is already the greatest QB of all time. Putting him in a conversation with Joe Montana is an insult to Tom Brady. That's a ridiculous statement. You can have your opinion about who may be better all-time, but saying a comparison between Montana and Brady is an insult to Brady makes you sound like you only want someone to respond to your comment. Well, here you go, I responded. Montana won all of the four Super Bowls he started and continually proved himself to be a clutch performer. I agree Brady is a great player, but please be realistic enough to give Montana some respect. Just because you were in your early teens when Montana was in his prime doesn't change any of his huge accomplishments.

posted by dyams at 12:46 PM on January 23

I agree - most would still pick Montana as 'best' in that head-to-head debate- but I think that there is an argument to be made about Brady being the most successful QB going. His won-lost record and playoff records are ludicrous. Given the differences in the teammates he's had over the course of 4 Super Bowls, I'd say he can have a great deal of the credit. Bestiness aside - With Manning, Favre and Brady all competing over this decade, we've seen three of the all-time greats at their respective peaks. When it's all said and done - the laurels are all applicable. And despite Favre's accumulation records - he's third string on that list. Brady is in that best ever conversation, though. I don't think that can be denied.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 12:59 PM on January 23

Agreed. The "insult" thing is what got to me.

posted by dyams at 01:31 PM on January 23

And the fact that Joe Montana's in the Hall of Fame and Tom Brady isn't is just an insult to Brady. They should have changed the rules by now so Tom could get in while he's still playing. Insulting, I tell you.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 03:29 PM on January 23

It is insulting. While we are changing the HOF rules, we should also end this experiment in democracy we call the United States of America, and declair him emperor, and change the name of the country to the United States of Tom. I pledge allegiance to Tom. Too much? ok i'll stop.

posted by elijahin24 at 04:22 PM on January 23

Dude, why do you think they called it The Patriot Act? Duh.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 04:32 PM on January 23

Im pretty sure the word "patriotism" was created in preperation for the day when St. Tom would arrive. It is the worship of all things patriot. much like catholicism is the worship of all things cathy, and judeism is the worship of all things judy. Ok so i cant exactly prove that those really are what judeism and catholicism are, but im pretty sure im right.

posted by elijahin24 at 05:27 PM on January 23

Packer's fans have come up with a nice take on the Lord's Prayer. "Our Favre, Who art in Lambeau, Hallowed be thine arm. Thy bowl will come, It will be won. In Phoenix as it is in Lambeau. And give us this Sunday, Our weekly win. And give us many touchdown passes. But do not let others pass against us. Lead us not into frustration, But deliver us to the valley of the sun. For thine is the MVP, the best of the NFC, and the glory of the Cheeseheads, now and forever. Go get'em. Amen."

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 05:49 PM on January 23

Excellent, Ying Yang!

posted by Goyoucolts at 09:29 PM on January 23

Ah but some prayers just cant be answered.

posted by elijahin24 at 10:15 PM on January 23

Im pretty sure the word "patriotism" was created in preperation for the day when St. Tom would arrive. It is the worship of all things patriot. much like catholicism is the worship of all things cathy, and judeism is the worship of all things judy. If that is true, does this mean I own the Vatican?

posted by steelergirl at 10:59 PM on January 23

If that is true, does this mean I own the Vatican? Assuming this means that your name is cathy, yeah i guess it does. That being the case, can i offer you some advice? Get your security some new uniforms. They look rediculous. And maybe get your followers to lighten up on some of their deeply held beliefs. Yknow choice, gay rights, movies that dont exactly fit into their belief structure, the things that they get up in arms about. just a thaught.

posted by elijahin24 at 04:19 AM on January 24

Nick Hardwick has a tendency to overplay things. That counts as a headbutt in the NFL? No wonder the poor dear had such a time with the activity during last Sunday's game.

posted by yerfatma at 07:52 AM on January 24

I must have blinked and missed the head butt. What is this guy talking about? I did get a good laugh out of the Pats playing lines from the movie 300. They should have had Bill screaming "Tonight, we dine in hell!" The Pats as the Spartans? I would cast them more like the Persian army. But we all know how that came out. And elijahin24, I will get right on those changes.

posted by steelergirl at 12:17 PM on January 24

catholicism is the worship of all things cathy Steelergirl, we SpoFites have worshiped you from afar for these past 2 years.

posted by Howard_T at 12:17 PM on January 24

That's a head-butt, huh? If Seymour had head-butted the dude, he would have stayed head-butted. So there.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 01:23 PM on January 24

Seymour ought to take a few lessons from Zinedine Zidane.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 02:02 PM on January 24

Now I want to know if the rest of Hardwick's accusations were true or not. Because I see Seymour getting up from the pile, brushing himself off and offering a hand to players still on the ground and Hardwick rolling around screaming, "Stop slapping me! Ow, MOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMM! He's biting!"

posted by yerfatma at 02:17 PM on January 24

Very true lbb. And at this time I would like to confess I am a closet Tedy Bruschi fan. But Howard_T where is all the money from the collections?

posted by steelergirl at 02:26 AM on January 25

But Howard_T where is all the money from the collections? I have used most of it on gambling, liquor, and fast women. The rest I have spent foolishy.

posted by Howard_T at 03:33 PM on January 25

Nice to see you didn't waste the money Howard_T. I have a plaque that says "I spent most of my money on football and beer. The rest I spent foolishly."

posted by steelergirl at 11:28 PM on January 25

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