July 30, 2014

Spawn of Dumb Girl

by Dan Snapp, Patriots Daily Staff
September 27, 2009

Two years ago, I wrote a piece saying Pats fans were entitled to root for the team in whatever manner they pleased. In hindsight, I was high.

Some people are just too stupid to be football fans. They should switch to one of those games in which the outcome is never in doubt, like wrestling or politics.

The Patriots entered Sunday at 1-1, an element which – in concert with a New Moon and Jupiter in retrograde – apparently signals the onset of The End Times. That is, if the fans are to be believed.

Mike Reiss has long had to deal with the unhinged in his weekly Globe mailbags or in responses to blog posts, but now these people seem to be everywhere.

Callers to WEEI suggested rookie receiver Julian Edelman needs snaps at quarterback, that the departed Jabar Gaffney is the x-factor the team’s missing (guess his gaffes have been forgiven), and that it’s all over anyway so the Pats should trade as many players as possible now for draft picks. One pointed out “Brady has lost two of his last three games,” and who can argue when facts are brought into the mix?

Which reminds me, two of the three major cogs of “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” are dead; is Doc Severinsen next?

On the Globe, it was a wall of stupid. Tom Brady’s to blame, to be certain, but what caused the precipitous drop in his play?

“It’s so obvious, Tom’s top priority is not football anymore,” said one commenter. Another tells Brady, “You are not playing well because you’re walking around like a zombie instead of being a motivational quarterback.” Others point to Giselle, because it’s well known that supermodels weaken knees with a force mere mortal Moynihans just can’t summon.

The fans in Tom’s court instead pointed to play-calling. “The Pats have no offensive coordinator this year. This is a big problem.” But would that really help? As “Eric” pointed out, “The offensive coordinator is gutless,” which makes sense, because a non-existent OC would logically possess non-existent guts.

The Pats this week traded for a backup linebacker, Prescott Burgess, which offers new grim portents.

“I guess that means Mayo is out for the year,” was one conclusion. “Who? What? Isn’t Derrick Brooks sitting at home?” said another, among many who count name recognition as a clear sign of ability. Others keyed off on the Burgess name, including one strange chain of references leading to the revelation that Candice Bergen played the Penguin on the old Batman series. Don’t ask me how.

Comments Topple Two
In a not-so-rare occasion of form meeting malfunction, the Boston Globe held a live chat during the game last Sunday. Chad Finn and Chris Forsberg gamely moderated the affair, which promptly surrendered reason as the game devolved.

Among the highlights:

“good call on dumping Seymore.”
“thought this offense was suppose to be better then 07”
“Is it me or is Moss barely breaking a sweat in this game?”
“NE has no hope. Giselle has done Brady in. He no longer has any motivation”
“toms terriFIED”

Lo and behold, there’s no chat scheduled today.

Lose today to Atlanta, and they’re gonna need sentries along the Tobin to dissuade potential plungers. Or with a nod to Darwin, they could direct them to the launch points that offer the best return on investment.

So who are these people, and why are they so breathtakingly stupid? I’ve got a theory.

My freshman year, finding a good place to watch the Patriots proved an obstacle. With the Pats fresh off their Super Bowl appearance with the Bears, the dorm lounges were crowded. Add to the mix a bi-polar resident, an ape who toppled furniture every time Irving Fryar fumbled a punt. Given Fryar’s flair for flub, no sofa was safe.

Fortunately, I got an invite from a friend in an all-girls dorm. A few present were into the game, while others watched because they thought Tony Eason was cute (“Take your helmet off, Tony!!”). The commentary was killing me.

“Why are they giving the ball back? Didn’t they just get it?”
“They got a touchdown on that play. Why don’t they just do that play every time?”
“Why does he give him the ball between his legs? Couldn’t he just hand it to him?”

Temptation beckoned this way for the better part of a half, but I held strong. Finally, I could hold it in no longer. One girl asked, “Why do they fall down after going two yards?” I laughed, and that was the end.

“You make us feel stupid,” they explained as they threw me out.

I’ve always wondered what happened to those girls, but now, mystery solved. They’re right there, plain as day, in the comments section for the Globe and Herald, chatting with Bill Simmons (Yup, these are his readers), or calling in to WEEI; Dumb, dumb girls, pining desperately for Tony Eason to remove his helmet.

We need to lay down some rules for membership. Not unlike the character in “Diner” who made his fiancé take a Baltimore Colts quiz before agreeing to marry her, we need to know we’re dealing with some modicum of understanding of the game

So here are a few basics:

  1. On occasion, your team will lose.
  2. On occasion, your team will call run plays. Use the down time as an opportunity to wonder what is wrong with Brady.
  3. It’s a business. Management and the players already get this. Best you do, too. Craziest thing, some other things you enjoy come from businesses as well! Doritos – made by a business. Guitar Hero – made by a business. Breast implants – made by a business. Sports radio – made by a business.
  4. “Two Words” is not an argument. “Duane Starks” is something Michael Felger teaches his parrot. Don’t be a parrot, unless you’re crapping on the Globe.
  5. The player you know isn’t necessarily better than the one you don’t. Four words: “Drew Bledsoe Tom Brady”
  6. Second-and-six is an acceptable first-down outcome.
  7. Choose: more experience or more youth? “Experience” and “youth” are opposites, like “Jets fan” and “no priors” or “Charlie Casserly” and “employed as a GM.”
  8. You can’t call a game better than the offensive coordinator, even a non-existent one. So put down the pipe, Mouse; the run-and-shoot is dead-and-buried.
  9. The refs will make crappy calls against your team. Crappy ones for your team, too. Get back at them by refusing to spot Hochuli at the gym.
  10. There’s a reason a guy is fourth string. Despite the omen of having in the middle of his name the name of the guy Simmons thought drowned in Lake Pontchartrain, BenJarvis Green-Ellis isn’t the answer at tailback.
  11. Supermodels have no bearing on an NFL game’s outcome. Pitchy country singers, on the other hand…
  12. You can’t trash a guy when he’s on the team, then yearn for his return when he’s gone. Nor can you yearn for a guy on another team, then trash him on yours when he’s only been here a month.
  13. Two games do not equal a season. Pace yourself. You’ve got at least 14 more to which you can overreact.
  14. If a player isn’t living up to your expectations, there’s a small chance he’s living up to the Patriots’ expectations.
  15. Just because a guy was a good contributor here 5, 10, or 15 years ago does not mean he:
    a. wants to come back here and be a position coach;
    b. is in any way qualified to do so;
    c. should have his number retired.
  16. When someone says Belichick is withholding information, ask yourself, “Is he censoring what channel the game is on, or how to get to Foxboro?” No? Then you have all the information you need to be a fan.
  17. People doing pre-game shows aren’t good enough to run a team (see Casserly, Charlie).
  18. Let the dynasty die. Jerod Mayo was a red shirt freshman the last time the Patriots won the Super Bowl. Let him, and his teammates, create their own legacy.

I’d suggest these fans need some sort of football 101 refresher, but if they haven’t learned a blessed thing after a decade of Belichick, what hope have they got? A decade of the best football any of us have seen in our lifetimes, and this is the best they can do?

Colleague Scott Benson put it best this week: “The enduring thanks of a grateful fanbase. I feel like we should warn the Steelers or something.”

Comments

  1. I’ve been going with “callers to sports radio and commenters on boston.com are not a representative sample” but in my heart I know that a majority of fans are either stupid or don’t pay particularly close attention yet feel comfortable analyzing. Not a new phenomenon though. You would have overheard much of the same commentary in the lower quad that you heard in the upper quad with the ladies.

  2. Don’t judge all fans by some of the numbnuts who post on the internet……It’s like judging all fans by the nut jobs that call into WEEI……There is a silent majority out there that does have common sense………and by the way, along with the stupid fans there is the stupid media. I’ve also heard some of them offer up stories like, “Brady is all done”….Pats are on the Downside”….etc..etc…..don’t forget about them

  3. I usually do ignore them, Butch. And I believe there is a saner, silent majority. But the crazies sure came out of the woodwork last week to hem and haw about the demise of a 1-1 team. And I’ve taken aim plenty at the media; this one was about the dumb fans whipping themselves into a frenzy.

    • I hear ya…….I also think there is something about the anonymity of the internet. The Stupid fans are definitely in the MAJORITY in that area. Chat rooms, message boards, comments….The stupid fans rule the roost. Alot of the time I think they post stupid things just to get a reaction out of people…….I mean, they really can’t be THAT stupid, could they?

  4. At one point during the game from my seats in section 214, I cast my eyes on this guy two rows in front of me. Had on his Katzenmoyer jersey (or maybe it was Vincent Brown?,,,,it had merely a number and not a name). Based on the number of beers he had and loud laughter he let out, I assumed he was having a reasonably good time. Looked sort of like a football fan. Guy in his 40s laughing with his friends, screaming and yelling, wearing the Pats gear.

    Then I watched him on key plays. A big fourth down. A big third down late in the game. Oblivious. Wasn’t even watching. Literally was talking to a buddy of his not even aware a key point in the game had come. Also had an annoying habit of standing and encouraging everyone to get loud when the Pats had the ball. But what really struck me was when those key moments came in a game that could literally shift momentum either way….he not only didn’t seem the slightest bit interested in watching the action but didn’t even seem some key point of the game had arrived.

    Sad. I see this a lot. Many fans like the event. Oh, they root for the Pats in some fashion. They get loud sometimes. Seem happy on touchdowns. But don’t even watch the action close enough to make you think they truly like football. They’d rather joke with their buddy 4 seats over than watch a key 3rd and 2.

    I guess in some ways I’m putting it down. But hey, whatever. Its only football. I think the reason it just sticks out so much to me is its just so different than the way I watch the game or follow the team. And it seems at least slightly fraudulent. But to each their own I guess. He paid his money and had fun, I suppose. Nothing wrong witht that, I guess.

    • Chris Warner says:

      Dan, couldn’t agree more with letting the dynasty go. The Pats have a ton of rookies and younger players. Time to see what they can do in the next 3-4 years and for the love of heaven stop longing for Rodney, Tedy, et al to return as their 2004 selves.

      • Seriously, Patriots fans at Gillette need to be called out. There is no home field advantage anymore. In fact, I’d surmise it’s the worst home field in football. If you’re gonna go to games to sit on your hands and talk to Sully from Southie on your Blackberry all game, then give up your tickets and let me blow out my voice and make noise. You’re an embarrassment to football fans.

  5. Why DOES the center pass the ball between his legs? ;-)

    Thanks. All very well said, and too many terrific lines to quote. Should be required reading for everone who follows the Pats, though I’m certain the “fans” you target would not see themselves in this. At least it gives the rest of us a laugh.

  6. Open Your Eyes says:

    “good call on dumping Seymore.”
    “thought this offense was suppose to be better then 07”
    “Is it me or is Moss barely breaking a sweat in this game?”
    “NE has no hope. Giselle has done Brady in. He no longer has any motivation”
    “toms terriFIED”

    They appear to be written by the same knuckle dragging, brain-washed, wanna-be tough guy right-wing morons that spew their IQ of 50 level lack of knowledge BS onto the comment sections attached to news articles on the Herald and Globe websites…

    • Tank Rockhard says:

      You are totally correct in your analysis. If you’ve never heard Jim Rome’s “Softball Guy” rant you should youtube it now – same type of people as these morons. And yes many of them are Teabaggers.

  7. Great piece, Dan.

  8. Cap'n Dunsel says:

    Good piece, Dan.

    I wonder, though, if “those people” (for lack of a better term) ever evolve? Everybody starts somewhere as a fan. For some, it was as a child; for others, it might have been later. In the end, I agree with Greg’s final point. They rarely interfere with *my* enjoyment of a game, so let ‘em have their fun. The flip side is that’s is why I dont go to Super Bowl parties. There’s usually a game on that I want to watch.

    What’s needed is the sports equivalent of the Framingham Heart Study. Follow the “Michael Bishop” crowd for 5, 10, 20 years. Are they now pining for a two-headed Wildcat of Stanback and Edelman, or have they picked up that after missing an entire season, Brady might be a bit off for a while, just like that Manning guy in Indy was after his surgery.

    For me, anyway, a jersey with a number and no name is a *good* sign. It shows a possible understanding that “the names change,” and its also a subtle test for those who see it. Is he wearing 13 because he has high hopes for Joey Galloway; or because he once had high hopes for RC Gamble?

    Or maybe Greg was just sitting near a cheapskate? To each their own. Just don’t block my view.

    • That’s right on about the Super Bowl parties………years ago when I used to go to them I would hear those EXACT SAME DUMB comments that Dan listed. That’s why I stopped going to them.

  9. phil wilson says:

    Funny article. My season tix buddy with whom I share the seats has front row seats behind the D section 110. I sit next to the end. ALL game the corporate pukes who share that row invariably walk in and out to get beers, pizza, whatever as if they could never get these treats otherwise. They missed both TDs and caused me to miss several plays as they moved their fat butts across my view. Pathetic.

  10. Half the fans are below average in their football intellect. I have learned to have low expectations of the fans, modest expectations of the team, and gratitude to not live in: Oakland, Arizona, Cincinatti, or any of the other tortured football cities.

    Btw, happy for Greg Lewis… waiting for the comments on “why did we cut him and keep Galloway?”

  11. Great article Dan, but how could you possibly forget to mention the absolute greatest (or dumbest), and unfortunately, recurring Internet message board post about the Patriots since last spring: “They kept the wrong quarterback; they shoulda kept Cassel!”

    That’s my all-time favorite right there, but I have to agree with you that the “Brady only cares about Gisele and his jet-set lifestyle”; and “Brady’s not motivated anymore” rank right up there near the very top of the list too.

  12. Great article.
    #16 was my favorite. I’ll still be watching on Sunday(or whatever day they play), regardless if Belichick speaks, or not.

  13. Andrew Scott Turner says:

    Dan, you make me feel stupid

    That’s why I love you.

    PS: I Love Flutie more

  14. I don’t think the fans who flooded the message boards are less intelligent than the average fan. It’s just that they are aware that this whole sport thing is just for entertainment and so they aim to entertain. And no matter how you feel about them, you have to admit that they do make your day. They make you laugh and they make you feel better about your football intellect.

    “deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want them on that board, you need them on that board”

    • I don’t get why people quote Jessup to make a point. He was the villain. Sorkin was displaying Jessup as a mix of self-entitlement and hubris, a man who believed the end justified the means. If the nitwit fans get arrested like he did, I’m all for that.

      Other than that, you’re making a Felger argument: “I don’t really believe the arguments I’m making, but it’s all good because I don’t take myself seriously.” I don’t want entertainment; I want honesty and insight.

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