September 20, 2017

Patental Advisory Stinker

by Scott Benson
[email protected]

The Pats’ helmets should have carried some sort of warning sticker before they took that field for last night’s pre-season game with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Something like “Warning: We Don’t Give A Shit”.

It would be foolish for a conference champion to treat pre-season like an extension of the regular campaign.  It would be foolish to show all your game plan cards in games that don’t even count. It would be foolish to play valuable starters who are nursing training camp bumps and bruises, and foolish not to find out what your rookies and street free agents are made of, while the margin of error is greatest.

It would also be foolish to take too much for granted.

For the first time in my life, I began to consider seriously all those cartoonish “consumer fraud” complaints that the media has lodged over the years. In a way. It’s one thing for someone to go to a pre-season game expecting to see Tom Brady play a full four quarters. That’s pretty stupid, if you ask me. Is this your first time at the fair?

But that said, the fans that do pay regular season cash for the right to watch a practice game ought to at least be able to count on seeing players that are, at minimum, trying.

If they don’t give a shit, why should we?

Oh, that’s right, I remember. Restaurants and retail.

Chris Warner will be back on Monday with the gory details.


  1. Scott, I disagree with your sentiments, mostly. It sucks teams charge full game admission to these glorified practices but it’s like sales tax on beer – it’s there and complaining without some action is just whining (not a virtue). It’s the equivalent of Bob Halloran complaining about how the Patriots don’t give details about injuries to the media – probably not going to change without a rule change.

    Championship teams use pre-season to prepare for the season, all do it differently. I trust Bill Belichick more than anyone in getting this team. Don’t understand a lot of his methodologies (who does?) but it’s about getting his team ready to compete for a championship. Last night was not a complete waste – Matt Gutierrez showed he has a lot of promise in being the back-up to Brady. And the D got in a ton of work in their Vanilla scheme.

    Cassel has provided a lot of memories. Ten years from now when someone has a bad game at QB we’ll be able to say with authority “Well at least he wasn’t as bad as Cassel…” and it’ll seem like we know what we’re talking about. The only thing we as fans learned this week is that Tom Brady will never throw a teammate under the bus, not even the worst QB in the Belichick era.

  2. I think my criticisms this morning are more related to the oh-so-casual performance of their starters over the last two weeks. At one point last night, Mankins, Koppen and Kaczur were being bowled over by Philly’s second team. As noted, I recognize and generally appreciate the team’s approach to pre-season over the last eight years. On the other hand, I don’t feel charitable enough to write that kind of performance off to “oh, they know what they’re doing.”

    I probably should have just left out the reference to the old “consumer fraud” angle – but it’s what came to first to mind when I saw the starters sleepwalking through another week.

  3. But I should add that I was excited to see Gutierrez return. Even though he was playing against second and third stringers, his line didn’t perform any better in front of him than Cassel’s did. Yet his pocket presence and decision-making was so much better than anything Cassel has been able to muster. And his accuracy and touch were excellent. Great to see him back.

  4. I fall on the exact opposite side of this argument – I don’t even want to see the starters in these games. I don’t care about games that don’t count, and neither should the guys who aren’t fighting for jobs. These things are nothing more than glorified scrimmages, and Belichick treats them as such. Who expects the secondary to bust their ass in coverage and possibly pull a hamstring when Thomas and Warren aren’t out there to put the rush on, or the safeties to come crashing in and get mangled but some offensive line when they see Santonio Thomas come in to play the nose, and the games don’t count? No thanks, I don’t want any of those guys out there any more than they need to be. It sucks that you’re forced to pay for a bunch of poor exhibitions, but it’s hard to charge fraud when you know what’s coming ahead of time – this has been Belichick’s modus operadi for years – and you still pony up for the tickets. You’ll feel a lot better when Tom Brady isn’t lying on a stretcher before the week 1 game and the season is over before it starts because someone got a little too feisty in one of these preseason joke contests.

  5. “It would be foolish for a conference champion to treat pre-season like an extension of the regular campaign. It would be foolish to show all your game plan cards in games that don’t even count. It would be foolish to play valuable starters who are nursing training camp bumps and bruises, and foolish not to find out what your rookies and street free agents are made of, while the margin of error is greatest.”

    I just thought I ought to repeat that because you clearly missed it the first time.

    The issue isn’t who’s playing and who isn’t. The issue is them getting blown off both sides of the ball because of what I perceive to be a half-assed effort. Matt Gutierrez was the only guy that acted like he cared to be there last night.

    The Brady on a stretcher hyperbole aside, I can’t embrace the idea that they’re not accountable for a professional effort, no matter the circumstances. I’m not saying anything but that.

  6. I thought Rodney Harrison was another who gave a full effort.

    My biggest issue with the “lack of effort” for those on the field was the impact on the coaching staff attempting to get a read on an untested guy like Cassell or others. Also increases the potential for injuries.

  7. Last night was awful for me in a lot of ways. I was offered tickets to go to the game with another woman from work to represent our agency. We went with some company reps and a few other agents. We went to dinner first in a limo and everyone was just eating casually as kickoff got closer and closer. Last night I was one of the people I usually sneer at. I was one of the people that showed up to the game at halftime to finally take my seats. Yeah, it was out of my control but still… that may have been the case for other people I’ve had bad thoughts about over the years. I’d been there about 5 minutes when I was ready to go. The lack of effort that Scott mentioned was evident everywhere. It was just… bland. Nothing exciting.

    I’ll take parking my car 2 miles away and walking to the SRO section with my girlfriend for a Playoff game in 0 degree weather over that BS I was a part of last night.

  8. Oh… I probably should have made it clear that I was basically just ranting about my night. I’m not upset at the Patriots or anyone that commented on this entry. I enjoyed the entry and overall I agreed with it. I just didn’t enjoy my first ‘ride in a fancy limo and sit in the expensive seats’ experience.

  9. Guntfather of Sportsradio says:

    I think they’ve taken preseason games seriously before (Carolina a few years ago). Maybe he thinks without Brady there’s no point in even trying to extend or get rhythm. But defensively it looks like they’re not conditioned in being physical and getting off blocks. Perhaps they’re taking it easier in practice to save the older guys and build slowly up so they peak later in the season?

  10. Ben, you’re right, no quibbles here with his effort. In fact, we could say the same thing about Lynch (he was laying into the pile to fill on the run) and probably some others as well. I indicted the whole team based on my displeasure with the linemen on both sides of the ball. Their lackluster effort was the image I took away from that game. In retrospect, not one of my better thought out posts. I’ll take a lap now.

  11. Looky Lou says:

    in summary I think we all have the same feeling, WE ALL CAN’T WAIT FOR THIS PRE-SEASON CRAP TO BE OVER WITH…..I’ve been a die-hard Patriots/football fan for over 35 years and I can’t figure out anything from these “games”…I guess you can tell certain guys will be good players (Mayo) but other than that…some guys are playing, some guys aren’t playing, they mix and match on the offensive line etc..etc……It’s sort of funny, every year before the 1st pre-season game I’m like, YEAH! FOOTBALL IS BACK can’t wait to watch tonight!….by the 2nd quarter of said pre-season game, I’m like, “THE PRE-SEASON SUCKS! can’t wait for the REAL games to start!

  12. at least CJ Jones had a bounce-back game!

    As much as I actually really like preseaon games, they’re the only ones I can afford tickets to and the weather’s good, this one was pretty bad.
    Perhaps Bill Worked them hard during the week to see who can play through fatigue. We can only hope…

    Compared to the Gmen and Redskins losing starters though, I can live with it.

  13. Looky Lou says:

    …the only games you can, “afford tickets to”??….I guess that means somebody is giving you free tickets because face value prices ARE THE SAME as Regular season games

  14. I wonder if Timbuk4 meant that the scalpers don’t charge as much….

    A friend of mine wanted to see a Red Sox game for her birthday. $24 bleacher seats selling at Ace Tickets for $84. So face value of the ticket isn;t always the price one needs to pay to see a game and I assume it is true for either sport/team.

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