Patriot Report

Patriot Report

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Profile of a Patriot

Mike Vrabel has enjoyed some of his greatest moments in the spotlight of the two Patriot Super Bowl victories. Charles P. Pierce takes a look at one of the most unheralded linebackers in the NFL in a piece well worth the read.

Ultimately, what has been created in Foxborough is an opportunity society. Players are invited there because the team has seen something in them that it can use, and it is the player's responsibility to seize that opportunity. And there has been a strong element of redemption in it, as well. The team has reclaimed itself from its lost idiot years, and Belichick has reclaimed himself not only from a disastrous stint in Cleveland, but also from a brief and bizarre flirtation at following Bill Parcells as the coach of the New York Jets. And Mike Vrabel joined the team just as his career looked as though it might die on the vine.

Now, the Patriots are the NFL's signature franchise, and Belichick is universally acclaimed a genius, and Vrabel came within an ace of being the Most Outstanding Player in the last Super Bowl. It takes a depth of insight to see where opportunity might lead. In fact, it takes no little intelligence to see opportunity there at all.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Patriots Aim to Defend Lombardi Trophy

The scrimmage games are finally over, the kids are back to school and the summer traffic over the Sagamore Bridge is winding down. Football season is here and the New England Patriots kickoff their title defense in a prime-time matchup against media golden boy Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts.

The excuse ridden Colts sorry history against the Patriots on the field has not stopped them from runnning up a litany of complaints to the NFL office. The week 12 thrilling Patriots 38-34 victory over the Colts left the Indy crew crying in the locker room. Philip B. Wilson of the Indy Star reported on a "mystery" injury that did in his beloved Colts.

Asked which knee he hurt in the final plays of New England's latest heart-stopping victory Sunday, McGinest said it was his left. But then the veteran outside linebacker hollered back, "I'm not a faker, dog. Don't worry about that."The Colts (9-3) were facing second-and-1 at the Patriots 9 with 1:09 left. The Patriots (10-2) were out of timeouts, so McGinest's injury, real or an Oscar performance, provided a breather for his teammates against the Colts' no-huddle attack. Teams are granted an extra timeout for an injury. If it happens again, they get penalized.

When asked about being able to put McGinest back out there so soon, Belichick said, "Sometimes, those things loosen up, yeah."

Colts coach Tony Dungy didn't buy it at the time, nor did most in a sellout crowd. Dungy walked about 10 yards onto the field to get the official explanation, then returned to the sideline shaking his head.

The AFC Championship game in Foxboro on January 18th was finally going to be the defining moment for media darling Peyton. The Patriots had other plans and intercepted poor Peyton 4 times on way to a 24-14 victory and a trip to Super Bowl XXXVI.

Would the Colts take defeat with pride or conjure up more excuses? Again the Colts raged against the officiating for rough play on the delicate Indy receivers beyond 5 yards from the line of scrimmage. Their cries of foul where heard at NFL headquarters in New York. The NFL has not changed any rules, but instituted a "point of emphasis" to the NFL officials to keep an eye on the 5 yard Chuck Rule. This made perennial bridesmaid Tony Dungy a happy camper as he told ESPN.

...this is "the way the game is supposed to be played" and that "what was called by the end of the year allowed average guys to be good."

The Patriots won't let the new "point of emphasis" affect their performance because as head coach Bill Belichick has pointed out a number of times they have never been taught to do anything other than follow the rules and sometimes those hammies loosen up just in time for a goal line stand. Yeah.


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    One man's take on the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots and a look at the lighter side of media coverage on the team and the NFL. Parody is not intended as grounds for libel

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