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The Patriots advanced to their third straight AFC Championship Game with a 43-22 win over the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday night.
LeGarrette Blount once again steamrolled his way around the field for 166 yards and four touchdowns, Stevan Ridley added two more rushing touchdowns. Tom Brady didn’t throw a touchdown pass, Mike!!!!!! He BLOWS in the postseason!!
A guest in the Patriots locker room following the game was Charles Barkley who was asked about the job done by Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick. His answers appeared to make some media uncomfortable. Mike Petraglia has the details.
Every year, they have a chance to win. That’s pretty cool,” Barkley began.
Is he a Patriots fan?
“No, no. Bill is my friend. Mr. Kraft is my friend,” Barkley continued. “But I was just making a point. In sports, if I’m a fan, I want my team to have a chance to win. That’s all I want. In 99 percent of the cities in every other sport, not just football, your team sucks. You have no chance of winning. The Patriots have a legitimate shot of winning every year. That’s pretty cool.
“It bothers me, it bothers me that y’all don’t appreciate them having a chance to win every year.”
ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan, a hall of fame basketball columnist who knows Barkley very well, challenged Barkley, “How do you know we don’t appreciate it?”
Barkley didn’t hesitate.
“Y’all don’t. Y’all don’t. Unfortunately, because of the Internet and [crap] like that, you all win the championship or you don’t.
“In New England, y’all have a chance to win every year. I’m impressed with the Patriots organization because they’ve lost so many people and y’all take winning for granted. Y’all do.
While some outlets are acting like this was aimed at the fans (and perhaps it was partially directed to the FANZ out there) he was speaking directly to the media here.
Of course, it was Barkley’s next line which has been taken and run with by outlets across the country.
“Let me tell you guys something: When Bill Belichick leaves and Tom Brady leaves, y’all team is going to [expletive] suck.”
That has been taken and created into headlines like Barkley crashes Pats party, predicts they’ll ‘(bleeping) suck’ without Belichick, Brady
MacMullan left after Barkley’s answer, looking for a better story.
The element in the media which is determined to make following the Patriots a miserable experience can’t see what is in front of them. To them, it’s just that the team has been lucky, or only plays tomato cans or gets gift PI calls each week, or they cheated.
Some quick hits:
If you stayed up late enough to see the CSNNE postgame (they had to wait for the West coast Celtics game to finish) you saw, following a game in which the Patriots interecepted The Second Coming four times and held the Colts to 20 points, the trio of Mike Felger, Ty Law and Troy Brown lead off by saying that the defense needs to be a lot better.
WBZ’s Fifth Quarter was the beneficiary of both the Celtics (CSNNE) and the Bruins (NESN) playing late night games on Saturday. They had the local TV postgame to themselves. The other options, NFL Network and ESPN were available, but WBZ had the most material.
The CBS interview of Bill Belichick by Bill Cowher was an interesting one, as the respect and admiration was evident on both sides. Deadspin says Bill Belichick Sat Down With Bill Cowher And Was Actually A Human Being but the real gem from that link is the highlighted comment from “A Pimp Named DaveR”. Well done.
I enjoyed the NFL Network interview of Tom Brady following the game by Willie McGinest. Once again, there was a lot of affection on display there, with the pair hugging at the end and Brady telling Big Willie he loves him.
The departure of Dan Dierdorf was handled very well by CBS. The Patriots cooperated by getting a big enough lead that the Greg Gumbel was able to send his colleague off with some very nice words. I’ve never been a fan of Dierdorf, but he’s still better than most out there, and his career deserved the recognition.
While it would’ve been nice for CBS to mention Sam Berns, who passed away Friday night and was scheduled to be an honorary captain for the Patriots Saturday night, the story was more of a local one, and probably why they didn’t. Yes, they’ve could’ve played the video tribute, but it likely would’ve been lost on a lot of the national audience. The moaning by Dennis and Callahan this morning about this topic is more self-serving than it is about the young man’s life.
Going to the other games, I really find Joe Buck annoying when he does too much commentary on the game and officiating. Stick to the call of the action, and leave the analysis to others.
I’m running out of ways to defend Phil Simms. For whatever reason, he’s not as good as he once was, and it’s more and more obvious to me. Richard Deitsch thinks that CBS’ third team of Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts is actually their best, and should be moved to second with the retirement of Dierdorf, but that the network is too heavily invest in Nantz and Simms to make Eagle and Fouts the top team.