July 23, 2014

Don’t Believe The Hype

By Bruce Allen
[email protected]

If you haven’t heard it already, you will at some point this week. It’s been building for weeks now, and has gained great momentum as of late. The Jaguars are built to beat the Patriots. The Jaguars are a blue collar, hard working team that is made to play in cold weather, playoff football. They are America’s best hope to knock off the evil Hatriots.

The following words are from a December 19th column from ESPN.com’s Jeremy Green:

There are a couple of things I am pretty sure about as the 2007 playoffs approach: the New England Patriots are going to finish the regular season at 16-0 and the Jacksonville Jaguars will beat them if they play in the Divisional round of the playoffs.

Well, Green did get the first part right, we’ll see about the second part. (He’s not backing down.) His sentiments, however, have been echoed across the country. CBS analyst Dan Dierdorf had the following to say about the Jaguars in yesterday’s The NFL on CBS conference call:

Jacksonville got that moniker – “the team nobody wanted to play” because of how physical they are as a hard-hitting, muscular, testosterone-filled team. And I don’t mean that in terms of illegal drugs. I’m talking about a team that muscles up when they play. They are just a reflection of Jack Del Rio.

Yup, the beat is getting louder, as the media hopes to see Goliath knocked down by David (Garrard). The Patriots all of a sudden have morphed from America’s team, to America’s Most Hated. Spygate is certainly part of it, but I firmly believe that while the Patriots broke the rules, that episode served in a larger purpose as the excuse for the rest of the country to turn on and hate New England. All the individuals who had been dying to take a shot at the Patriots finally had their chance, and they teed off. Bill Belichick has been all but linked to the Zodiac killer. (Has anyone reported seeing him in Vallejo, CA in 1969?) The Patriots cheat and they run up the score, and they’ve been called the second coming of the 1970′s Oakland Raiders. (Honestly, I don’t get that connection.)

Meanwhile, the Jaguars are being anointed as the latest saviors for football. They’re being portrayed as the blue collar, hard working team with the, fiery no-nonsense coach. One troll Jaguars fan in the comments section of this site this week cited the “honesty and hard work that the Jaguars have put up all season.”

Besides the media adulation and lusting for an upset, want some more reasons to hate the Jags?

They also had 7 players arrested in 2007, good for tops in the league. 14 Jags have been arrested since Del Rio took over as head coach.

The Patriots had no players arrested in 2007 and besides the marijuana arrest of short-timer Johnathan Sullivan in 2006, they haven’t had anyone appear on the blotter since the immortal Marquise Walker picked up a DUI in July, 2004 and was released within the week.

Del Rio appears be quite the mentor. You’ll recall that after the Patriots and Jaguars last met, (December 2006) Del Rio was asked about a play in which Tom Brady faked out the defense during a first half running play, which caused the Jacksonville defenders to hold up, thinking Brady was going to slide. The Jags coach responded “They should’ve speared him then,” – spearing of course is hitting straight-on with the helmet and has been illegal in the NFL since 1979. (Just like taping the opposing sidelines.)

The Jaguars were also very outspoken in the wake of Spygate. Apparently the incident offended their delicate sensibilities. You know, the team giving the Vikings and Bengals a run for their money for the most players arrested this decade. Jags lineman Paul Spicer and that coach of his both weighed in on the subject and Spicer recommended harsh penalties. He wanted the Patriots banned from the playoffs. There’s some bad blood between these two clubs, and I think it’s going to be seen on the field come Sunday. (Even if David Garrard and Kyle Brady are BFFs)

This quote from Bill Belichick in reaction to the Del Rio comments about spearing Brady is priceless:

“Considering Tom’s great games over the years against Jack Del Rio’s defenses, you can understand the frustration,” Belichick said. “I’m all for supporting your players, but it was a little surprising to hear he said that.”

You never hear Belichick talk like that. You can guess that Del Rio and the Jaguars are going to do all that they can to get to Tom Brady and knock him around. Doing that and controlling the ball with their running game seems to be their best bet. Maybe they can do it, and knock the Patriots perfect season and Super Bowl ambitions off to the side.

If they do, don’t buy the line that these are a bunch of choir boys out there for Jacksonville. As these things usually are, things have been clouded by public perception fueled by a media that loves their power of being able to build teams up and then tear them down again. The Jaguars are being painted one way…while the Patriots are being painted the opposite.

If that’s not enough to get you fired up, then perhaps this will:

jackedt.jpg

Comments

  1. David Clemeno says:

    Thank you Bruce for providing me with today’s serving of bile. I’ve been consuming bile all week; I’ve actually grown quite fond of it. “It’s good, and good for you too.” I’ve tried it a variety of ways: sauteed, baked, grilled — but I find it like it best raw.

    Can we just kickoff now? I’ve never wanted a blowout win so much. I almost enjoy watching the Pats win more to prove the media wrong than to give me the “fan lift” of watching my team win. Bile will do that to you.

  2. Two points:

    1) The constant harangue about how the Patriots are hated and every member of the media is trying to push negative memes about the team is starting to sound whiny. Jeez, get over it. The Patriots play speaks for itself. And if the team is hated and the media is against them, so? (It’s almost as if this 24/7 obsession with anti-Pats stuff is touching a nerve, like maybe deep down you wonder if the hatred is justified?)

    2) I’m not really convinced things are as bad as portrayed here on Patriots Daily and on BSMW with regard to the hate angle. Here in Dallas, I hear nothing but mostly total respect about the Pats and their accomplishments. And the anti-Pats stuff is just the regular fan bravado and is no different in color/tone than the anti-Giants or anti-Redskins sentiments from Cowboys fans. I know, that’s ad hoc, small sample size, etc. but still, I think you’re really being selective in focusing on the hate.

  3. Personally I just want to get to kickoff. From a football angle, the Jags run game against the pats run D concerns me, but I think the Pats advantages in every other aspect of this game lead to a win by 13 points or so.

    As far as the article, there are fans who hate the Pats, and spygate is just the rallying cry for the real reason. They are tired of seeing the Pats there. I understand that. After a while I hated the Niners, simply because they were always winning (wow how that franchise turned).

    I do like the comments in the article about the Jags’ players run ins with the law. My friend’s and I have noticed that over the past year and were wondering if they are trying to move the team to Cincinaatti to the league can move the Bungles to L.A.

  4. Good stuff.

    But when were the Patriots ever “America’s team”?

    From the tuck rule, to “they hate thier coach”, to “this is no dynasty”, the media has always taken a negative bias towards Belichick’s teams. This has been reflected in the opinion of national fans as anyone taking in games at sports bars outside of New England can attest to.

    I think its fitting that as the criticism this year has gone over the top even to objective neutral observers, the teams accomplishments have also reached undebatable levels. As they say – doing the talking on the field.

  5. Edward - Thanks for weighing in.

    This is a Patriots *fan* site…of course we’re going to be sensitive to those things. No one here claims to be totally objective about those issues.

    BSMW is a media site…the object is to focus on the media coverage that I see and hear. Again, it’s localized. But I don’t think I’ve played “hate angle” too much on the front page there. You can correct me if I’m wrong.

    D – I think for a brief period with the Super Bowl win after 9/11…the Pats were “America’s Team”

  6. 1) Belichick cuts Kosar and he wasn’t the greatest interview. Thus turning the Cleveland media against him.
    2) The day he resigned as the “HC of the NYJ” left of NY media crying murder.
    3) Not giving the starting job back to Bledsoe after he came from the injury and restricting media access to the players and coaches made sure the New England media was a surly bunch.
    4) And finally, when everybody wanted a 3 hour narrative about the spying incident all they got was a simple apology and “We are moving on to San Diego.”

    Looking at all these, is it any surprise that the media has turned on Belichick? Or that they would delight in his failure?

    With that out of the way, I have to say, as a transplanted Bostonian, I hear several radio, tv and print personalities praising the Patriots for their accomplishments. Extremely envious of the Patriots. Openly hoping Belichick becomes the coach of their football team. I guess all of this is part of the package when you are the top dog in your line of work.

    Finally, I would like to urge my fellow Patriot fans to stop taking the bait. Ignore the haters. Gather your near and dear ones and the food and the beer and enjoy the rest of the games. We are after all watching a genius at work and he is putting the finishing touches on his latest masterpiece.

  7. My issue is with the teams, coaches and players that jumped on the pile while Goodell was deliberating on the proper punishment for Spygate, or whatever you call it.

    They took the occasion of the Patriots being down to pile on, finding a convenient excuse for their own past failings against the Patriots while diminishing the accomplishments of a team that has been far superior to them in every way. The Steelers and the Jaguars were among the most outspoken teams.

    I often hear how the Patriots brought that all on themselves. No, they didn’t. They brought on themselves 3/4 of a million dollars in fines and the loss of a first round pick, which unless I’m mistaken, doesn’t happen everyday in the NFL. In fact, find me another time it HAS happened.

    The gum flappers with their disingenuous moralizing and preening before the cameras as guardians of the game’s integrity took it on themselves to pile on when the getting was good. Sorry if I want to see them pay for it on the field.

  8. Bruce,

    I hear you. Definitely didn’t want to sound like I was expecting objectivity. It just seems that this season the tone I’m picking up is that these anti-Pats stories are touching a nerve.

    I’m probably just misreading the tone.

    Just doesn’t seem you’re as “can you believe what this bozo is saying?” as you typically are with, say, something the CHB writes. Seems more like it’s “this guy is saying this and it’s pissing me off and we need to crush all the haters!!”

    Subtle diff, but it’s one I’m picking up.

    Again, I’m most likely misreading.

    I am living in Dallas now after all. I’m probably all effed up. :)

    BTW Albert Breer has been a nice addition to the Dallas Morning News. Like most New Englanders, he likes riling up and baiting the Cowboys fans a bit.

    FWIW I’ll be at the Cowboys v Giants game on Sunday. Yeah, I’m drinking the Jerry Jones kool-aid. It’s hard to resist.

  9. I heard on Mike & Mike (ESPN Radio for those that don’t know) this morning that Jacksonville’s website had a Power Rankings list and after the Patriots (who were #1 of course) was an asterisk and it read that they had cheated to win this game.

    I just found it by searching google:

    http://www.jaguars.com/News/powerrankings.aspx

    I laughed out loud when I heard this. As you mentioned the Jaguars are Saints and can do no wrong so I guess that’s why they’re on the high horse.

    GO PATS!!!

  10. Hey, if Jacksonville doesn’t beat the Patriots this weekend, will they make a new t-shirt that says ” We’er Jacked Off”?

  11. According to power poller Vic Ketchman of jaguars.com, anybody who takes issue with that asterisk needs to develop a sense of humor. Imagine, all this hubub over punctuation.

    I would be interested in Vic’s position should that asterisk be affixed to the Jaguars.

  12. Talk about thin skin.

    Do you think Yankees fans get this hot and bothered when everyone hates them so much?

    They don’t spend 10 minutes worrying that everyone hates them, neither should pats fans.

  13. I don’t think anyone is worried about it. I rather like it.

  14. Larry Bird says:

    Sports needs a good vs. evil meme to appeal to the out-of-market fans. Nobody hates the crappy teams, so enjoy the wrath and all the glory that it implies.

  15. Gordon-

    You’re right about that, but the Yankess have had many years of this type of behavior (many people 40 and younger probably never even knew a time when the yankees weren’t generally a good to great team)

    It’s all new for Patriot fans and there seems to be quite a bit of vehemence to their words. Of course, it’s all good news.

  16. I’ll tell you, the word ‘meme’ is HUGE on Patriots Daily.

  17. I agree with you Bruce, I sort of like the whole “Hatriots” thing….Do some of the “talking Heads” irritate and annoy me? sure…They also make the victories EVEN MORE enjoyable. It’s alot of fun watching them eat crow…(even though most of them seem to “forget” their predictions when they are wrong)…and do we really want EVERYBODY to “love” the Patriots?….I don’t, the bandwagon is full enough already.

  18. Quote “I often hear how the Patriots brought that all on themselves. No, they didn’t. They brought on themselves 3/4 of a million dollars in fines and the loss of a first round pick, which unless I’m mistaken, doesn’t happen everyday in the NFL. In fact, find me another time it HAS happened.”

    Check out this link http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A28969-2004Sep17.html

    The Denver Broncos have been fined almost $2 million this decade for circumventing the salary cap in the nineties which helped them win their back to back superbowls. I’d like to hear Tom Jackson’s opinion on that as he mentions “spygate” anytime he has the chance.

    Keeping with the Broncos, I’d like to Jackson’s opinion on the following from Rick Reilly’s column in SI back in 2002; “It’s no rumor, pal. “Our guy keeps a pair of binoculars on their signal-callers every game,” says Broncos coach Mike Shanahan. “With any luck, we have their defensive signals figured out by halftime. Sometimes, by the end of the first quarter.”

    You can find the entire article here: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/inside_game/magazine/life_of_reilly/news/2002/01/09/life_of_reilly/

    Ultimately this whole spygate thing has been way overblown. It should have been a non issue after a few weeka but some media types, most notably the former Bronco Jackson, keep briging it up.

  19. Why do you guys need this material to get fired up? You proven to be a force to be reckoned with. I would like you to show where Del Rio said that about the spear. I knew he commented on that hit, but it wasn’t in those type of words. I think Brady is outstanding, but to fake a slide and then dive for a first down is lame.

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