Andrew Hamm: the Bipolar Express

Ruminations on theatre, music, and just about anything else that crosses my bipolar brain.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Bully for You, Patriots

Every NFL fan has teams he or she hates.

Of course, there are the obvious arch-rivals; Raiders-Chiefs, Packers-Bears, Steelers-Browns. I myself have a shirt that reads “MY TWO FAVORITE TEAMS ARE THE REDSKINS AND WHOEVER’S PLAYING THE COWBOYS.” And of course we root against division rivals, but I have to admit that I don’t feel the same level of white-hot hatred for the Giants and Eagles as I do for Dallas.

But occasionally personal experience brings a personal hatred. About twelve years ago, a quirk of scheduling had my Redskins playing two games in one season against Tampa Bay, home and away. It was like they were honorary NFC East for a season. This was, I believe, the last year they wore orange-and-orange; 1994 or 1995. The ‘Skins lost both games in ugly fashion; not by blowouts but by simple inability to execute. The Bucs were a bad team, but the ‘Skins made them look good, and that’s the worst kind of loss. I have despised the Buccaneers ever since. I’m commissioner of my fandom, and the commish holds a grudge.

It is with that experience in mind that I congratulate Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots for their 52-7 victory over Washington on Sunday. Well done, Coach. You have earned my enmity, taken a team I rooted for in every postseason of the 2000s and placed them just one layer of Hell higher than the Cowboys for me.

It’s not that they beat my team badly; that I can take. Hell, since 1992 I’m pretty used to an annual savage beat-down. With the Redskins' offensive line on crutches and stretchers and quarterback Jason Campbell suddenly reverting to doe-eyed-rookie play quality the last two weeks, a bad loss was inevitable. It’s the completely classless manner in which New England scored the last, oh about 30 points, that has earned my hatred, as well as the scorn of NFL commentators across the nation. Before this week, the Patriots looked like a team of destiny. Now they just look like bullies.

I have to acknowledge that I didn’t watch the whole game. I had a performance of Richard II at 2:30, and the game started at 4:15. I got to my car after the show and turned on the radio with the Redskins down 17-0 and driving down the field. Campbell turned the ball over and the Pats had just over two minutes remaining before the half. They threw a couple of passes, which the ‘Skins secondary just clearly couldn’t defend. Suddenly I noticed that they weren’t calling any running plays. The clock and game management was excellent; it was precise and well-executed, and they scored another touchdown with just a few seconds left to lead 24-0 at the half.

I muttered out loud in my car, “Running up the score a little, don’t you think?”

I hadn’t seen anything yet.

My viewing of the second half was marred by the fact that I had to figure out how to turn on the heat in my house before the sun set. In between reading the wrong manual and trips in and out of the back yard, I saw the Patriots execute pass after pass, a fake spike, a linebacker catching passes, passing on fourth down, and not a sniff of Redskins offense.

I’m sure some random Patriots fan ( Scott Wichmann ) will be posting any second now to explain how this wasn’t running up the score, but he’ll be wrong. In the first-ever regular-season meeting of coaches who have won three Super Bowls, Bill Belichick demonstrated to football America what the difference between old school and new school is. Old school kicks your ass, then promptly gets back to work on the next game plan; new school kicks your ass, wants everyone to see them kick your ass, wants them to see how they kicked you ass, wants them to see just how badly they kicked your ass, and wants them to see just how they’re going to kick the next guy’s ass.

But mostly, new school wants to punish the NFL for finding out they cheated.

Here’s what you do in the NFL if you have any class or respect whatsoever. Once you get a four-touchdown or so lead, you hand the ball to the running back. You call plays that don’t cause injuries to your team or the other team, you kill the clock, you take your double-digit victory and you go home happy. If the opposing defense is so inept that they can’t stop your run-after-run and you score, the fault is theirs. You can beat them without intentionally humiliating them. A bad team humiliates itself.

Joe Gibbs would never have called those ridiculous pass and gadget plays with an opponent down 24-0, 31-0, 38-0. Vince Lombardi wouldn’t have. Tom Landry, Bill Walsh, and even Bill Parcells, whom I loathe with all my soul, wouldn’t have. But Bill Belichick would.

Thanks again, Coach, for showing us who you are so clearly. I could look past the cheating and the snubbing of opposing coaches enough to still root for Tom Brady. But humiliating Joe Jackson Gibbs like you did on Sunday is so far across the line that I can’t anticipate ever coming back.

And it’s not just Washington fans who are going to see this. Don’t think NFL players and coaches are just going to take being disrespected. This is coming back to bite the Patriots, and soon. Some linebacker, his team down 35-7, is going to take Brady down with a late hit; some free safety is going to spear Moss across the middle, someone is going to take Vrabel down low. His team will take the 15-yard penalty, the offender will be kicked out of the game, he’ll be fined six figures, and he’ll get thank you cards from players on 31 teams. I’m not recommending this, nor am I approving it; I’m just the messenger. Starting week 10 (because the Colts’ Tony Dungy is too classy to allow it in week 9) we’re going to see increasingly dirty play against these Patriots.

Congratulations, Coach Bullychick, on your 52-7 victory over the Redskins. Your Patriots are my new Cowboys. I guess you finally understand the full power of the dark side of the Force.


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  • At 10/31/2007 9:18 AM , Anonymous Phil said...

    Like school on Saturday - no class!

  • At 10/31/2007 9:56 AM , Blogger Andrew Hamm said...

    Like Christmas vacation - no class!

  • At 10/31/2007 3:02 PM , Blogger Scott Wichmann said...

    You and Greg Easterbrook must be the same person.

    So, let me get this straight-- someone will injure Brady or Vrabel and it will be somehow justified?? Oh really?? A late hit or cheap shot will be a well-deserved thing because Brady was still in the game in the third or fourth quarter and still wanted to work on some offensive sets to prepare for Indy next week and the Redskins, an NFL team of millionaire professional adult men, failed to stop him??

    That's lame. You may be 'the messenger,' Dude, but you sure as hell don't seem to see a problem with that scenario. Would you really waste your breath on a blog post condemning how someone hit Brady late if it actually happened?? You'd be all "I don't condone it, but he had it coming..." After all, they beat the living crap out of your porcelain hummel Redskin figurines by an extra few TDs. Boy, Joe Gibbs didn't deserve that kind of treatment. I saw the 'Skins go for it on 4th down with 2 minutes left and they got their asses stuffed. I guess New England should have let them have a mercy TD. Heaven's sake, play hard, just not too hard!!

    The Pats took what the Skins gave them, dude, and apparently it was a LOT.

    Hey, if the folks around the league don't like the Pats' playing hard for 60 minutes, THEN STOP THEM!! I remember the Pats getting creamed like this through most of my childhood. The Bears 'ran it up' to a 46-10 score in SB XX by handing the ball to the Fridge at the goal line, for God's sake, and nobody in Massachusetts whined and whimpered like this-- they took their medicine. Nobody called Ditka 'Classless.' Nor did we hear anyone saying how Jim McMahon should be taken out via a late hit or cheap shot and it would be justified.

    I've also played on baseball and basketball teams where guys played hard until the final out or the final buzzer. I've been on teams that have gotten DESTROYED. I've never had a problem with this. Your 'new school-old school' analogy fails to acknowledge that the old school way is to play hard from wire-to-wire.

    Cassel (The Pats Backup QB) threw an INT for a TD last week, you don't think he wanted to redeem himself in the eyes of his coach?? Yeah, he played hard and ran one into the end zone. Should he have run out of bounds, Andrew, to protect New England against your flaming blue righteous indignation-saber??

    The 'Skins complaining just makes them look like middle school girls. Stop the Pats, and then you can jaw all you want. That's the way it works in the NFL.

  • At 10/31/2007 3:57 PM , Blogger Scott Wichmann said...

    "Skins-Pats is going to be tighter than anyone is predicting."


  • At 10/31/2007 10:00 PM , Anonymous phil said...

    An office mate of mine commented "did he think he was going to raise his rank in the BCS standings?" Ha ha ha. Maybe he did.

  • At 10/31/2007 10:02 PM , Anonymous phil said...

    A more appropriate superbowl comparison would have been the Doud Williams bowl of '87. Gibbs' skins had it won at halftime, they went out there and ran ran ran. That's what you're supposed to do. Bellicheck was out of line. Even the Boston papers comment on it.

  • At 10/31/2007 10:03 PM , Blogger Scott Wichmann said...

    From Today's Globe:

    "Asked for his take on how Belichick handled his offense Sunday, Colts coach Tony Dungy said, "Every week is a little different, and sometimes you have different things you want to accomplish. I know when we've gotten Jim Sorgi in at times, you want to let him get a chance to do some things and throw with the first group. And we've thrown a lot of balls late in games when we've had big leads.

    "Other times, you're working on different things. I think only that coach knows what you're trying to accomplish, and basically in the NFL, you don't try to coach other people's teams. How they play, that's up to them. I've never been one to get offended by whatever anybody else does. You don't know what they're trying to work on."

    Sorry, man-- not everybody is so horrified by the vicious and morally reprehensible Patriots. If the Colts beat the Pats this week, fine. But it won't be because the Pats stopped trying. Maybe you should write to Mr Gibbs if you've got such a problem.

    GO PATS!!

  • At 11/01/2007 1:30 AM , Blogger Scott Wichmann said...

    Oh, just one more thing. After doing a little digging, I came up with these gems (from the message board on

    "January 2, 1983: Leading 28-0 IN THE 4TH QUARTER vs. the St. Louis Cardinals, Gibbs has starting QB Joe Theismann throw a TD pass to starting running back Joe Washington to make the score 35-0.

    November 20, 1984: Up 39-6 in the 4th Quarter vs. the LA Rams, GIbbs kicks a field goal to make the score 42-6

    November 3, 1985: Up 34-3 in the 4th Quarter, Gibbs has Mark Mosely kick a 48 yard field goal to make it 37-3

    January 31, 1988 (Super Bowl XXII): Up 35-10 in the 4th quarter, Gibbs has starting running back Timothy Smith (who rushed for over 200 yards that day) score a TD. Starting QB Doug Williams is still in the game. That pushes the score to 42-10.

    September 1, 1991: Up 42-0 in the 4th Quarter, Gibbs has Mark Moseley kick a FG to make the score 45-0. The previous score was a 38 yard pass from starting QB Mark Rypien to starting WR Gary Clark to push the score from 35-0 to 42-0.

    November 10, 1991: Up 35-17 in the 4th Quarter vs. Atlanta, Gibbs has starting QB Rypien throw a 82 yard pass to Gary Clark to make the score 42-17. Next time they get the ball, Rypien throws a 64 yard bomb to Hall of Fame WR Art Monk to push the score to 49-17.

    November 29, 1992: Up 27-3 in the 4th Quarter vs. Phoenix, Gibbs has starting QB Rypien thow a 31 yard TD to Gary Clark to make the score 34-3. Later, Gibbs throws to Hall of Famer Monk for another TD to make the score 41-3."

    Please, Andrew, won't you let us all know what horrible sportsmanship Joe Jesus Jackson Gibbs has displayed in the past??

    Could it PLEASE be the topic of your next blog post??

    ...Didn't think so.

  • At 11/01/2007 8:32 AM , Blogger Andrew Hamm said...

    If you take a closer look at thos "gems" above, Scott, you'll see that the vast majority of them are field goals (i.e. not going for it on 4th down) and running backs (i.e. not bombs to wideouts). The pass to Clark in the 1991 Atlanta game (which I still remember fondly) was a short route and broken tackle. No effing linebackers playing tight end, no gadget plays. Gibbs runs out the clock with halfbacks and by converting third downs.

    Scoring and running up the score are not the same things. Playing hard and running up the score are not the same things. It baffles me that you don't see this.

    I challenge you to find the word "justified" in my description of how Brady is going to get plowed. I'm just saying it's going to happen. Since I wrote this, I've listened to or read John Riggins, Mark Schlereth, Mike Golic, and Mike Ditka all say the same thing. Whose fault will it be? Well, it will be the fault of the guy who does the hit. But Belichick will bear some responsibility.


  • At 11/01/2007 8:43 AM , Anonymous phil said...

    November 10, 1991: Up 35-17 in the 4th Quarter vs. Atlanta, Gibbs has starting QB Rypien throw a 82 yard pass to Gary Clark to make the score 42-17. Next time they get the ball, Rypien throws a 64 yard bomb to Hall of Fame WR Art Monk to push the score to 49-17.

    November 29, 1992: Up 27-3 in the 4th Quarter vs. Phoenix, Gibbs has starting QB Rypien thow a 31 yard TD to Gary Clark to make the score 34-3. Later, Gibbs throws to Hall of Famer Monk for another TD to make the score 41-3."

    Art Monk is not in the Hall Of Fame, though many would argue that he belongs there.

    And Andy's point is exactly correct. The vast majority of those plays were field goals, runs, or short passes which were broken by good receivers. None of those examples is in any way comparable to Bellicheck's behavior on Sunday. If you can't see that, you just don't understand the game.

  • At 11/01/2007 1:07 PM , Anonymous Phil Hamm said...

  • At 11/01/2007 1:22 PM , Blogger Scott Wichmann said...

    WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE??? You don't stop playing!!! How is it the Pats' fault for wanting to execute
    every time they have the ball?? Show me where the unwritten rule is written that I "Just don't understand" in the NFL rulebook.

    "field goals, runs, or short passes which were broken by good receivers"

    You already shoot your argument full of holes with this namby-pamby crap. How is it different?? And who cares if the BB uses defensive players on offense?? That really bothers you? Good lord, you guys need to find every reason to be upset.

    Did you see Brady with 2 minutes to play when Koppen got called for a false start?? He was absolutely livid. That has nothing to do with the Redskins, and everything to do with perfect execution.

    This team is not worried about the feelings of those they play. They are not out to be your friend. They see an opportunity to be one of the greatest teams of all time and they are taking it. If you can't stop it, then shut the hell up.

  • At 11/01/2007 1:35 PM , Blogger Scott Wichmann said...

    Skeletons in the closet
    Cold, Hard Football Facts for October 31, 2007

    By Kerry J. Byrne
    Cold, Hard Football Facts whine cooler

    It's Halloween. What better time to uncover some skeletons in the closet?

    We all have them. You have them. We have them (though ours are a little, ahem, "big boned"). Players and "pundits" have them, too.

    We were reminded of all these skeletons when we saw so many players, fans and "pundits" dressed up as whiny little bitches this week.

    In case you hadn’t heard, New England is "running up the score" on its opponents. It’s been among the hot topics on every sports talk show since Sunday, when the Patriots laid a 52-7 whipping on the Redskins who – last we checked – were a team of highly paid professionals, with a winning record, and who very well may end up in the playoffs this year.

    In other words, the Redskins aren't exactly the JV squad from Boris Karloff School of Acting.

    But apparently the Redskins – and certain segments of pigskin “punditry” – feel that the Patriots should have shown a little more "respect" by, like, just falling on their faces each play of the second half. As if that would have been more respectful.

    The situation that got everyone's panties in a bunch was this: New England was leading 38-0 with 11 minutes to play in the fourth quarter, and facing a 4th and 1 within easy field goal range at the Washington 7. But New England eschewed the easy field goal attempt -- in other words, they essentially took points off the board -- and responded with the most conservative play in sports: a QB dive up the middle.

    New England got the first down, and proceeded to score another touchdown, on a short pass to Wes Welker. New England also converted a fourth down later in the game, on a pass from second-string QB Matt Cassel, a guy who's thrown about three passes in anger since high school, to Jabar Gaffney, a sixth-year journeyman receiver who has fewer TD catches in his career (9) than outside linebacker Mike Vrabel (10).

    So are the Patriots running up the score? We don't know.

    And neither do you.

    We do know this: the Patriots are among the most balanced teams in football, passing the ball on 51 percent of their offensive plays. They're also a classic example of a team that builds a lead with the pass and then secures the lead with the run.

    * The Patriots have passed the ball on 160 of 285 first-half plays (56 percent)
    * The Patriots have passed the ball on 107 of 229 second-half plays (47 percent)

    But since the Cold, Hard Football Facts are not always enough to silence the screams of "running up the score," we thought it was worth diving into the ghoulish past of the most vocal critics.

    The complaint: Young said on ESPN Monday that New England’s big victories are tarnishing its image. Apparently, he pines for the days when the Patriots were a “lucky” team manned by a bunch of “overachievers” who squeaked out close wins. He also implied some sort of psychoses on behalf of Bill Belichick this year.

    New England’s big margins of victory are the result of Belichick’s “insecurity from spygate,” said Young from behind the desk on ESPN.

    The skeletons in the closet: Maybe Belichick is feeling the same kind of insecurity Young felt after playing second fiddle to Joe Montana in the hearts and minds of San Francisco football fans – the same kind of insecurity that caused Young to throw a record six TD passes in Super Bowl XXIX, the last in the fourth quarter with his team sporting a comfortable 42-18 lead against the overmatched 11-5 Chargers.

    Young in the ESPN segment also lamented getting his ass handed to him by the Bears back when he was with Tampa Bay.

    Indeed, the Bears did beat the Bucs 48-14 back in 1986, Young’s second and last year in Tampa. But he conveniently failed to mention San Francisco’s 52-14 deconstruction of the Bears when he was with the 49ers in 1991.

    Finally, Young also kind of forgot to mention how the 49ers treated the woeful Falcons during his tenure in San Francisco: which is pretty much the same way you treat the water in your toilet bowl.

    Here are just some of the scores of the San Francisco-Atlanta series during Young’s tenure leading the post-Montana 49ers:

    * 1992 – San Fran 56, Atlanta 17
    * 1992 – San Fran 41, Atlanta 3
    * 1994 – San Fran 42, Atlanta 3
    * 1994 – San Fran 50, Atlanta 14

    You know, if the 49ers hadn’t hung 16 fourth-quarter points on the Falcons in that 50-14 tune-up for their Super Bowl run, maybe it wouldn't have tarnished San Fran's image so drastically.

    The complaint: The Redskins quarterback had a gem after the Patriots game Sunday.

    “When we’re in those situations,” said Campbell, “we tend to back off.”

    The skeletons in the closet: Campbell's quote is funny, seeing he's never been in “one those situations” in his NFL career.

    In his one and a half seasons in a Washington uniform (he didn't do anything his first year, 2005), the Redskins have won a grand total of one game by two TDs or more – a 34-3 win over Detroit earlier this year.

    In other words, Campbell has never in his time with the Redskins found himself in "one of those situations" where he would “tend to back off.”

    Maybe Campbell had his pro career confused with his college career, like that time he led upstart Auburn to a 73-7 win over the mighty Warhawks of Louisiana-Monroe.

    The complaint: Miami fans say New England rubbed it in two weeks ago when they pulled Tom Brady, yet then put him back in the game to lead the Patriots to another score.

    The skeletons in the closet: The Patriots did the supposedly humane thing by pulling Brady for the entire fourth quarter of their 49-28 win over the Dolphins. New England was instantly rewarded with a defensive touchdown by Miami, to make the score 42-21 early in the fourth quarter.

    Has anyone else here seen a team overcome a three-TD deficit in the fourth? That's right. We have, too.

    So New England reinserted Brady, in a move that absolutely accomplished the goal of professional football: it crushed the spirit of the Dolphins. Miami played like a defeated group after Brady came back in, allowing the re-inserted QB to drive the Patriots 59 yards for a score in just four plays.

    Of course, Miami fans are the last people in the world who should lament a victory by a team that crushed the spirit of its opponent.

    Does 1972 ring a bell, anyone?

    The famous undefeated Dolphins didn't even throw a single dry bone to the pathetic Patriots (who went 3-11) that year. In fact, Miami reserved its biggest beating for its northern rivals: the Dolphins won, 52-0.

    There is no "running up the score" in professional football, folks, just as there is no crying in baseball.

    But you better be careful what you bitch about. Because there are always skeletons in the closet.

  • At 11/01/2007 2:45 PM , Blogger Andrew Hamm said...

    If you don't see the difference between playing hard and asshole play-calling like Belichick's, then I don't know what to say to you.

    I recommend reading the John Clayton column Phil referenced, which reads in part:

    On Sunday, Belichick kicked a Hall of Fame coach while he was down, running up the score on Joe Gibbs' Redskins in a 52-7 win. This comes a week after Belichick reinserted quarterback Tom Brady midway through the fourth quarter of a 49-28 win over the Dolphins.

    What seemed cute three weeks when Kyle Eckel scored late on a 1-yard run during the Pats' 48-27 win in Dallas has turned ugly.

    Or the Boston Herald's Karen Guregian, who writes:

    There’s a growing sentiment around the NFL that the Patriots [team stats] are piling on, needlessly tacking on points at the end of games to flog their opponents to a much greater degree.

    Some of the evidence is fairly compelling.

    Was it entirely necessary to tell Brady to put his cleats back on with 10:30 remaining to add to a three-touchdown lead?

    Or how about the week before against Dallas, when Kyle Eckel plowed in from the 1-yard line with 19 seconds left to play on fourth down, the team already ahead by two scores? Wouldn’t taking a knee have sufficed?

    While Belichick eloquently has defended those plays, there’s still a pretty good case to be made against him. The Pats could very well be found guilty of running up the score in more than a few of their first seven games.

    Or the Sporting News' Mike Florio, who says:

    Is Belichick giving the rest of the NFL the finger?

    Last week in this space, I raised the question of whether opponents of the New England Patriots might be thinking that the team is running up the score -- and whether such opponents will be looking for payback for the full duration of Bill Belichick's tenure with the team.

    This week, it's even harder to make the case that the Patriots didn't run up the score against the Washington Redskins and Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs. Apart from yet another fake-spike play late in the first half, the Patriots amazingly eschewed a field-goal attempt while leading 38-0 with 11 minutes to play and went for it on fourth-and-short from the Redskins' 7-yard line.

    Let's get this straight: Belichick would have been uncomfortable with a lead of only 41 with 11 minutes to go? Please. The Redskins hadn't scored a point. Even if the Patriots had pulled 11 guys out of the stands to play defense the rest of the way, the gap would not have been closed.

    And then, leading 52-7 with less than a minute to play, New England still had numerous starters on the field. That's simply inexcusable.

    Or CBS SportsLine's Mike Freeman, who says:

    What's the matter, Belichick? You couldn't find Joe Gibbs' dog to run over while you were running up the score? ...

    ... We get it, Bill. You're mad the league ratted you out over Videogate. You're out for revenge. You want blood. You're De Niro in The Untouchables. You're going medieval and analog on people.

    You are raising your middle finger to the entire football establishment.

    Or my personal favorite, from "Five-Tool Tool:"

    In today's Bad Tooth moment for me, I read Simmons' latest mouth job for the Patriots. It turns out that running up the score and being irredeemable douchebags is OK, because people said mean thing about the Patriots about CheaterGate FOR TWO WHOLE WEEKS.

    I mean, really, people, what were we thinking? The marquee team of the league threatens the entire viability of the NFL by compromising its integrity in a particularly blatant way, right in front of the league's commissioner, and we went *on and on* about it. WE SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER.

    I could go on.

    It's NOT just a bunch of sore losers who are calling attention to this, okay? I'm not just a homer pissed about his team losing. I felt dirty earlier this season, WHEN I WAS ROOTING FOR THE PATRIOTS, when Eckel ran for a 1-yard TD with 0:19 left to extend the lead to 48-27. Hell, that was against DALLAS and I thought it was wrong.

  • At 11/01/2007 2:53 PM , Blogger Andrew Hamm said...

    One more comment to add, from Michael David Smith of the The New York Sun:

    But issues of sportsmanship aside, Belichick was foolish to leave Brady on the field — especially as Brady was throwing passes and running quarterback sneaks — long after the game was no longer in doubt. The Patriots, who will play the Indianapolis Colts in a battle of unbeatens this Sunday, are playing so well that an injury to Brady may be the only thing that could derail them.

    Belichick's hubris makes an injury to Brady more likely. Brady has stayed remarkably healthy through his NFL career. But every NFL player is just one play away from being lost for the season. Even if he's doing nothing but handing off, any time Brady is on the field, he's risking the possibility of a collision with a 300-pound defensive lineman. Some NFL linemen may be as angry at the Patriots as Godfrey was last Sunday, and in the mood to go out of their way to level the Patriots' superstar. The only truly safe place for Brady is the sideline — and that's where he should be when the game is out of reach.

    I guess Smith's analysis is the same as approving of Brady getting injured, right?

  • At 11/01/2007 3:30 PM , Blogger Andrew Hamm said...

    Aaaand three-time Super Bowl winner Mark Schlereth:

    Fourth down, it's okay to hand it off, a little dive play, and see what happens. If you pick it up, good for you. But to be throwing it on fourth down, to be going for touchdowns with that kind of lead, 38-nothing, 45-nothing, there are some unwritten rules. It'd be like a guy trying to lay down a bunt during a no-hitter or a perfect game in the ninth inning with nobody on and no chance to win it. I mean, those are the kind of things that you just don't do.

    ... And I agree with handing it off, and if you score, you score, and that's just the way it is. And I agree with going for it on fourth down and not rubbing their nose in it by kicking a field goal. But you don't throw the football in those situations, you hand it off, a basic dive play, and see what happens.

  • At 11/01/2007 3:57 PM , Blogger Scott Wichmann said...

    WANH. Have fun rooting for the Colts, Andrew. Maybe they can do what your Redskins failed to do. Namely, show up.

  • At 11/02/2007 4:34 AM , Blogger Scott Wichmann said...

    You COULD go on?? I WILL. GLADLY.

    Even your own freaking Redskins disagree with you, Bro. From today's WaPo:

    "It's interesting that two people who defended the Patriots this week, and who seem to best understand them, are former Super Bowl quarterback Joe Theismann, and tight end Chris Cooley, who was the only Redskin to get into the end zone Sunday.

    "If the Patriots want to play 60 minutes of football, good for them," Theismann told The Post's Mark Maske. "What happens if you play Tom Brady three quarters every week and you have your team used to playing three quarters, and then you go to Indianapolis and you can't get by playing three quarters?"

    Cooley not only declined to criticize the Patriots, he was openly admiring. "We've had halftime leads, both times we lost, and it's a lesson that we can learn from those guys," Cooley said. "I think it's good they pile the points on. It teaches their guys to keep playing hard. . . . Right now they're killing everybody. I don't fault them."

    Wow, maybe the Pats can sign Chris Cooley someday, since he wants to be on a team that plays hard for 60 full minutes, instead of waiting for Grandpa Gibbs to figure out how many timeouts he has left every week.

    But, oh, great God Mark Schlereth is the be all and end all of Football insight!! of course, a couple of studio analysts have their panties in a twist because the Pats kept at it, so now your face is all red and you're crying foul when teams like Indy ran their offenses just like New England, most notably in 2004. Where was your outrage then??

    Here's Eric Wilbur of Boston.Com:


    "How's this for a four-game stretch of NFL greatness?

    W, 49-14

    W, 41-10

    W, 41-9

    W, 51-24

    That quartet of one-sided scores comes to you courtesy of the 2004 Indianapolis Colts from a November-December period during which Peyton Manning and Company annihilated the Texans, Bears, Lions, and Titans, respectively. And, you know it's funny, I don't remember one person whining about them running up the score.

    In fact, quite the opposite happened. The Colts were celebrated as the bright and shining star of the NFL. Following the 51-24 win over Tennessee, the Indy Star's Bob Kravitz wrote, "At this point, we're not just watching football anymore. We're watching history. Every week, the Indianapolis Colts' offense uses the football field as its canvas, and every week, it creates an art form that is distinct from everything else in the copycat NFL."

    Flash forward almost three years, and the very same Kravitz wrote about the juggernaut New England Patriots, "In the last three weeks, New England has scored 48, 49, and 52 points, inspiring inquiring minds to wonder, 'Did the Patriots pile on?' And every week, the obvious answer is, 'Duh.'"

    ...But because the Patriots are the team – and coach – everybody loves to hate, there's something inherently wrong with winning big-time. After plain embarrassing the Redskins on Sunday at Gillette, 52-7, the hue began. "The Patriots are running up the score." "The Patriots show no class." "The Patriots are showing the game disrespect."

    Please. As Gary Shelton wrote in the St. Petersburg Times, "SCORING 52 POINTS DOESN'T DISRESPECT THE GAME; GIVING UP 52 DOES."

    You don't like it? Fine. Stop them. Do something to slow down the steaming, oncoming train that is New England. Can't do it? Tip your hat and call it a day. Or, whine about it into the ensuing days when you really should be preparing for your next opponent. Your call. But please do not try to make the argument that what the Pats are doing is bad for the game. It is certainly up for debate, but anyone who celebrated what the Colts did in 2004, then turns around and points the reproach finger at the Patriots isn't invited to the argument.

    I fear what might happen if they run it up on the beloved Colts. There might be an investigation into whether Kraft legally bought the team 13 years ago. Maybe Indy will get another rule change instituted.

    After beating the Texans, 41-9 on Nov. 14 three years ago, ESPN's Eric Allen addressed the issue as to whether or not Manning should have been pulled in the fourth quarter. "I don't think they should have for two reasons. One, right now Manning is extremely hot and has the opportunity to break a few very hard to reach records. It's nice to see a guy in the zone that much still on the field making it happen for his team."

    That was then. That was Manning. When it comes to Brady and the Patriots, the story completely changes. For the Colts, it's history, and special. For the Patriots, it's smug and disrespectful. And for those waiting for Belichick's comeuppance, well, let's just hope you're comfortable."

    PEOPLE, GIVE IT A REST!! Then I read Your boy Whitlock was openly calling for the LEAGUE TO STEP IN this week to stop the Pats from scoring so much!! Have you all lost your freaking minds?? God, can they just play freaking football?? What is with this 'victimization' thing the NFL is up in arms about?? I've said it before, I'll say it again-- my Pats got DESTROYED when I was a kid; The Jets and Dolphins 'ran up the score' on them ROUTINELY!!! I HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH IT!! ZERO!! I NEVER HAVE!! That's FOOTBALL!!

    I never even carried a tenth of grudge that you apparently have about it, and I was TWELVE. You act like someone just burned all you comic books and
    smacked an old woman while kicking a puppy into traffic. Get over it.

    And for the record, the 'Video gate' or 'spygate' thing has nothing to do with the way the Pats have been playing. That crap is a theory batted about as if it were somehow gospel, that Belichick is wanting to take it out on the league for calling his 3 SBs into question. I think this whole offensive approach was decided on wayyy before they got caught videotaping signals.

    The Pats blew a 21-pt lead in the AFC Title game and the Colts pounced on them and beat them. It was a great victory for the Colts; A well-fought battle back from what looked like a severe blowout by the beginning of the 3rd quarter. Oh, heavens, Why , the Pats should have just RUN the ball in the 2nd half!! They had a 3 TD Lead!! After all, the good sportsmanship seal of approval is more important than the AFC Title!!

    The Colts deserve everything they achieved last year. They were the better team, and the Pats couldn't hang. I can live with that.

    The Pats of 2007 are approaching their offense with a Ray Lewis/Dick Butkus/Tedy Bruschi 'full-tilt-full-time' ethos. That's what they are doing. They don't want to ever let up; They don't care who they play or what the scenario is.

    From Brady Himself:

    "We play [until] the clock says zero-zero," Brady said yesterday, asked about running up scores. "That's an interesting question of scoring too many points. I don't know if that's ever been a problem here in the past. I think you just try to do the best you can do. As an offense, that's what we're trying to do. We're not trying to let other teams tee off on us, or let them get the best of us. If you call a play, we want to make it a great play. I don't think we want to come off the field saying, 'That was great. I hope they feel good about themselves. Because, you know, we just got the crap knocked out of us.' I don't think that's really the approach an offensive football team should take."

    Finally, Andrew, Get off your freaking soapbox about NE's fake spikes, Mike Vrabel catching TDs, and the Pats doing what they do.

    The Pats are my team, I've followed them since I was a kid, and I'm one person who's not buying your particular brand of cheese and whine.

    Go Pats. I'm out.

  • At 11/02/2007 8:50 AM , Anonymous phil hamm said...

    Even your own freaking Redskins disagree with you, Bro.

    The quotes you've presented are not indicitave that these people didn't think the Pats were running up the score. They are indicitave that the speakers have class and display good sportsmanship. A stark contrast to coach Bullychick's behavior.

    There's an old saying "actions speak louder than words".

    If you get HBO check out this week's "Inside the NFL". Lots of very enlightening discussion of the subject from the excellent and knowledgable personalities there.

    That sound you heard was the point flying right over your head. :)

  • At 11/02/2007 10:04 AM , Blogger Andrew Hamm said...


    I'd be curious to hear your theory on WHY no one was complaining about the 2004 Colts but NFL pundits and former players are complaining about the Patriots now. Could it be because the Colts weren't running gadget plays or passes on fourth down with 38-point leads?

    No I'm not going to "get off my soap box" about that, because that is the entire point. Schlereth put it exceptionally well, despite your scorn; if the other defense can't stop your ball-control, clock-killing safe offense, then fine. The Patriots' play-calling is NOT THAT.

    Bullychick is turing the Pats into the Yankees. I'm pretty sure they've crossed the line into Most Hated Team in the League. Nice job.


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