From Ed Sherman on Poynter Online:

Not done yet: ESPN’s Van Natta says follow-ups likely after takeout on Patriots

Van Natta, who co-wrote the story with Seth Wickersham, says they have received more than a dozen calls from various league sources since the story was released.

“When you do a story like this, you shake the tree and very ripe fruit falls into your lap,” Van Natta said. “There are some interesting leads that Seth and I are going to address. I don’t think we’re done with this just yet.

Translation: Other NFL people who saw that they could anonymously gripe about the Patriots and get it published in an “investigative report” want to get in on the action.

“Every piece of information has to be bullet-proof,” Van Natta said. “On these kinds of stories, when you rely on a mix of on-the-record, documents and a vast majority of anonymous sources, you’ve got to get it right. I am not aware of one single fact in our story that wasn’t correct.”

Well, it’s easy to not get any facts incorrect when you don’t state any.

The latest story refueled some persistent speculation that ESPN is assisting the NFL, its biggest TV partner, in this dispute with New England. The chatter ignores the fact that Goodell and the NFL come off as poorly as the Patriots in the piece. It also is ridiculous to think that Van Natta, a Pulitzer Prize winner, could be told what to report, much less carry an agenda.

If the NFL comes off as poorly as the Patriots, why is all the attention been on the Patriots?

After the Chris Mortensen “11 of 12” tweet/story and everything that has followed that, how ridiculous is it really ridiculous to question anything that comes from any ESPN outlet?

As for specifically questioning Van Natta, well, after his NY Times magazine piece following a six-month investigation into a Rupert Murdoch publication, The Public Editor of the New York Times, in response to criticism about the article from Murdoch’s publication, generally supported what Van Natta and his colleagues wrote, but added these two caveats:

The story, in my view, did rely heavily on unnamed sources. Roughly two-thirds of the attributions relating to The News of the World were to anonymous individuals or groups. And in the thread of the story dealing with the Scotland Yard investigation, more than 80 percent of the attributions were anonymous.

He defends the usage, saying that they provided “strong evidence.” He then adds:

So, on substance, I believe The Times’s account stood on solid ground. It went beyond a rehash with new sources and a comprehensive treatment. The larger question of whether the story was colored by the rivalry with Mr. Murdoch is more a matter of appearances. Here, the ground gets squishy.

I think you could say that the Patriots piece was nothing more than “a rehash with new sources and a comprehensive treatment.”

Mr Brisbane, The Public Editor, concludes:

“This passage seems gratuitous,” Mr. Giles said, “casting Murdoch in an unfavorable light without adding fresh information that advanced readers’ understanding of the story.”

Mr. Giles’s example illustrates a larger point I subscribe to: that The Times, or any news organization covering a rival so prominently, needs to do it as straightforwardly as possible. Incorporating politics, and dressing the piece in a mock tabloid art treatment, leave room for some to perceive a hidden agenda, and perhaps even quiet glee.

Wait, what? Some could perceive that Van Natta had a hidden agenda? No, I thought it would be ridiculous to suggest that!


110 thoughts on “Don Van Natta Working On Second Patriots Hit Piece Full Of Anonymous Sources

  1. There were many problems with the big ESPN article. Among others:

    – Too many anonymous sources
    – Too much creedence to Arlen Spector, without even including the obvious inference that he was simply grandstanding to pander to the Steelers and Eagles fans in his state
    – No critical evaluation of the accusers or the accusations. E.G. the Rams complaining that the Pats knew in advance that Faulk would be returning kicks so they kicked away from him. This makes no sense. If Faulk lines up to receive the kick, EVERYONE IN THE WORLD CAN SEE HIM DOING IT ! It’s not a secret. You don’t need prior knowledge
    – No context about sign-stealing. The article gave an ominous tone about how methodically the Pats used sign information, by matching it up to the plays run etc. That’s the whole point of sign-stealing! That’s not new relevant info, that’s how anyone with a brain would have thought they (or any other team) would be using signs in the first place
    – The hinting that the fact that opposing teams looked for bugs and couldn’t find anything was evidence of cheating. IT’S THE EXACT OPPOSITE!

    1. Arlen Specter didn’t give a rat’s behind about Steelers and Eagles fan in his state. He was pandering to Comcast, one of his biggest political supporters, who were livid about being locked out of the incredibly lucrative NFL all-access subscription service by virtue of the exclusive agreement with DirecTV.

      1. Looking back on it, shouldn’t Goodell have been fired back then? I mean, seriously, it was his buffoonish media grandstanding and pathetic handling of the initial, extremely minor rules violation back in September 2007 that set off the entire sh*tstorm in the first place. A sh*tstorm so thick that it eventually embroiled a pandering U.S. Senator as well as several courts, who were forced to hear arguments in the class action suit filed against the Patriots/NFL by some idiotic Jets fans for “defrauding” them in that first game of the season. And, because of Goodell’s idiotic, Draconian punishment for violating a never-before-enforced, obscure rule, more than one judge allowed that baseless court case to move forward for several months, even years, citing “the whopper of a penalty” that Goodell imposed on BB and the Pats, which gave the impression that what they did was somehow a serious crime against football humanity. His performance as Commissioner has only deteriorated in the 7 or 8 years since then. In the real world, most people that bad at their job would have lost it a long, long time ago.

        1. Agree but what I took away from that lawsuit (Jets’ fan) is that the NFL’s defense, which prevailed, is that as a fan, you’re only guaranteed “entertainment.”

          We might all be Patriots fans here but let that sink in for a second (Donaghy stuff was either done or going on then, too.)

        2. In lacking in Integrity and Leadership dept:

          During the 2007 season, Specter sent Goodell 2 letters inquiring about his investigation into the sideline taping incident. Goodell failed to respond to either one, until Specter went to the media on SB weekend and Goodell couldn’t ignore him any more.

          Goodell’s father was a senator. Knowing what he knew of his father’s career, did he really believe he could ignore Specter and he was just going to go away?

          Unless you want to go into tinfoil hat territory and believe Goodell wanted Specter to make a big, public spectacle about this, not responding to his inquiries was a very poor decision. Like all of his other lies and gaffes, Goodell somehow gets a pass on this.

          1. I had forgotten about that part. Thank you for the reminder. It’s utterly astonishing that the NFL owners continue to hitch their wagons to such an incompetent embarrassment of a “commissioner.” Totally unreal. The tone deafness is off the charts.

      2. I think this is the most under talked part of the whole Spygate fiasco. Specter gave it credence because of a battle Comcast was having with the NFL over the Sunday ticket. Comcast, to get into the football game ends up buying NBC in 2011 because they knew they needed some sort of content and they wanted content that included football. Specter exposed himself in this case and he really was never taken to task by the media over it.

      3. Thank you for the clarification. It’s the mark of a weak story that the ESPN article took Specter’s involvement at face value, and did not include the context (or the default skepticism we should have to a grandstanding politician).

  2. LOL at the mention of him being a Pulitzer Prize winner somehow making it impossible to conceive of the thought that he could be just another agenda-driven media hack. For the uninitiated, Google “Walter Duranty” if you want to know just how far a journalist is willing to go and how many boundaries he or she is willing to push in order to win a coveted Pulitzer. The unwarranted arrogance of the people in that so-called profession is the most annoying of all their annoying traits.

  3. A real journalist would never even bother to write a story with so many unnamed sources. More than 2 or 3 in any story means you have diddly. Why any legitimate organization would publish this trash is beyond me….even ESPN should have more scruples.

  4. There are no editors anymore. I’ve seen this first hand. There is nobody to say “you can’t base your entire #-#@(& story on anonymous sources.” People like this hack are destroying journalism, and it’s killing me. That pile of gossip and innuendo is, as BB said, a gross disservice to many great players and their work and sacrifice, but it’s also a disservice to journalists around the world who are doing their jobs the right way.

    Because it IS an important job. We as a people need to be informed. And the profession isn’t being destroyed by dictators or radicals, but from within.

  5. I spoke to 90 reputable sources, off the record of course, that say Van Natta got caught wearing women’s thong underwear in high school. Do I get a Pulitzer now?

    1. Kravitz is a shameless jackass. Has anyone in Indy ever tried to get to the bottom of the pumping in fake crowd noise controversy? Or, have all of those toadies out there simply accepted the Colts’ organization’s denials as gospel? GFY Kravitz, and take Doyel with you. Regarding that ref who had “suspicions” about McNally…..clearly, he’s another grown man who has no clue about Ideal Gas Law, because that explains this entire pile of b.s.

    2. It was either Barstool or Thornton that blew the lid off Kravitz’s B.S. by shredding this story with fact checking.

  6. so with all the teams coming into Foxboro and searching for microphones and cameras and who knows what, has anyone ever found anything??… Yeah, thats what I thought.

  7. ANY credibility one might gain by claiming “pulitzer prize winner” status is completely lost by the fact that obama got one, and maybe another coming. That alone attaches an aura of discredibility to the pulitzer and it IS NOT an asset to be mentioned in obama’s company.
    Which means that van natta is full of manure.

      1. How do you base an “augment”?
        You really should learn to spell before you enter a discussion about credibility.

    1. Obama won a Nobel Peace Prize, not a Pulitzer. For a complete debunking of the notion of how winning a Pulitzer Prize somehow immunizes a journalist from criticism or from somehow not having an agenda, see my earlier post about Walter Duranty. The NYT still has his ill-gotten Pulitzer on display at their main office. Here’s the Reader’s Digest version: Duranty was the NYT’s Moscow correspondent during the 1930s. He won a Pulitzer for his coverage of the USSR, etc…………years later it was discovered that Duranty knew all about Stalin’s forced starvation of millions of his subjects during the 30s, and knew about many of his other pre-war atrocities against his own people. Duranty basically conspired with the gov’t. to keep everything hushed up in exchange for access — access that won him accolades from the Pulitzer committee for his amazing “in depth” reporting of the going’s on inside the USSR. I may be a little off on some of the details, but that’s the gist of it. The Times still celebrates Duranty’s Pulitzer to this day, so…….winning a Pulitzer, as with winning a Nobel, may convey a certain level of “credentialed status” upon the recipient, but it certainly doesn’t absolve said recipient from criticism, or from having his or her motivations questioned — at least it shouldn’t absolve them. I’m sure in the very parochial, tightly-knit and haughty journalism world, it certainly does absolve Van Natta from any such criticisms and questions. In the real world, not so much.

  8. Gotta wonder if Bob Kravitz put the same effort and tenacity he’s demonstrated into investigating Jim Irsay and everything in his world… well, I can’t imagine it’d be pretty.

    1. I jumped to conclusions (h/t Tom Smykowski) last night on that Kravitz story, since I wouldn’t read any of his bilge even if they paid me. I assumed it was full of credible, first-hand accusations about McNally allegedly deflating footballs, even though the deflation was due to Ideal Gas Law. But, it turns out it was just some lying ex-NFL ref with a son who used to work for the Colts calling McNally “a weird dude” who “liked to take the footballs early” … in the “10 or 15 games” (actually four, three when Brady was the QB) he worked up in Foxboro while he was an NFL ref. Nice job, Kravitz. You really cracked the whole conspiracy wide open. These media hacks have to be held accountable when they spew toxic waste like this. How in the hell can they be allowed to continue with these smear jobs and face no consequences? Does his employer have any shame? I know their goober-filled Indy audience drools uncontrollably at every anti-Pats story thrown in their direction, but media outlets are supposed to have at least some freakin’ standards. Shameful.

    2. FYI….Curran and Kravitz got into it a little bit on Twitter over this, with Curran, naturally, coming out way on top. Kravitz first tried to defend himself by saying Baltz worked games in Foxboro going all the way back to 1989, including pre-season. Ergo, the “Pats fans” who were calling him out over the number of games Baltz actually worked in Foxboro were wrong. That would be fine, except for the fact that in 1989, Raymond Berry was the head coach of the Pats, Grogan and Eason were still the dueling QB tandem, BB was still working for Bill Parcells and the Giants, Brady was still in junior high, and McNally didn’t even work for the Pats. Kravitz then pulled the typical, “I’m not going to get into this with you on Twitter” b.s. and ran away to hide under his desk, basically admitting defeat. Coward….simply cannot own up to the fact that he’s wrong, and that “non-journalists” are part of the reason why he was proven wrong (that really drives these entitled media morons crazy, because if non-credentialed schlubs without J-School degrees can actually do their jobs as well if not better than they, then they know, deep down, that what they do isn’t all that difficult and that they’re easily replaceable.) Oh, and our old pal Bart Hubbuch is apparently Tweeting about how the Second Circuit Court once overturned some lower court decision vis a vis Maurice Clarrett and the NFL, and so Brady’s screwed, or something. It is times like these when I realize Bobby Knight may have been on to something when he described the journalism “profession” as being “one or two levels above prostitution.”

  9. This alone may have me ‘cord-cutting.’ ESPN is like bad gum stuck to your shoe, and I’m sick to realize that most of my monthly cable bill is going to Bristol. Full of ‘entitled’ media hacks and hell-bent on ‘politicizing’ sports, I’m sick of ESPN. Bob “I-Never-Have-To-Worry-Where-My-Next-Meal-Is-Coming-From’ Ley epitomizes both: He is cemented in place as a ‘Lifer’ at ESPN (you can pick them out; they’re easy to spot) and he has no problem pushing a political angle in a ‘Bob Costas’ sort of way.

    1. You know it’s bad when the NFL Network — THE NFL NETWORK, WHICH IS THE LEAGUE’S OWN TV CHANNEL — has essentially been more fair to the Patriots during this whole thing than has ESPN. Perhaps the league didn’t want to appear “too” biased and so they farmed out most of the hit jobs to their patrons in Bristol. But, still, the irony is pretty damned thick. I mean, in that “Do Your Job” documentary, they even showed the Patriots’ and Belichick’s explanation of what happened to those footballs (in other words, the truth), and didn’t provide any counter-arguments. Moreover, they showed a TV clip of a scientist explaining Ideal Gas Law, which I found somewhat shocking given the Wells’ report’s insistence that IGL alone doesn’t explain the deflation. I understand that the documentary was an NFL Films piece and not an NFL Network piece, but the very fact that the NFL/NFLN let it run without censoring any of it is telling. They’re probably just satisfied to have ESPN do their anti-Pats dirty work for them. And…..Bob Ley is still alive? My goodness, I think he’s not only an ESPN lifer, I think he’s an ORIGINAL ESPN guy from the early, early days (maybe not 1979 when they first started, but soon after that….like 1980 or 1981, when my town’s cable system first flicked the switch and put ESPN on the menu).

      1. He and Berman are the last two left from the original ESPN lineup, which is why we keep seeing them both and will until they decide to retire.

          1. Actually neither really bothers me all that much since I don’t watch ESPN except for games anymore. Berman calling games is what bothers the heck out of me. Insufferable.

    2. Cord Cutting is definitely my horn I like to make noise with.

      Many fans I know around here are sick of ESPN and want to do something. As long as you’ve got cable and pay the bill, you’re giving at least $10 of that directly to Bristol.

      At first, it sucks. 9 months into it? I haven’t missed TV in months. This stuff — which, I think just gets worse in the future — continues to make me glad I did it.

      If you don’t or can’t, that’s fine. Just understand how much bucks you hand over to the Mouse.

      1. Seven years without cable and I don’t miss at all that’s 84 months and counting. Until I have a choice of what channels I want. They won’t see I dime from me

      2. I tried to cut the cord but I need internet and I needed a land line and I found the price for those two was $12 less than going to VZ Fios with the a la cart cable package. You get to choose two “packages” with the basic cable so I chose two non sports related packages. It’s something like 10-15 channels with each package you choose. So I don’t have the sports package and therefore I no longer pay for ESPN. I don’t have a DVR either and I only have the cable in one room. I use an anntenna for a tv in another room. I also found that HD with the antenna gave me better picture quality than with cable.

  10. Random thought – finding it harder and harder to listen to Zo and Beatle. It’s a different Zolak than with Gresh (a worse one, IMO) and Bertrand is rapidly turning into a worse version of Felger. The DB & YARM Show doesn’t seem so bad anymore being book-ended by Beetle and Adam Jones now. WEEI just has better all around programming, IMO. I podcast both stations and find myself skipping through way more Sports Hub.

    1. The other day I wanted to listen to the Brady Wednesday conference where Mike Reiss asked the last question. As soon as it finished Beatle bo says something about Mike needing to use a milk crate to stand on to ask his question. CLICK . Management ruined that time slot by dropping gresh. Needless to say I have giving them a total of about an hour since their inception of this crap show. I’m just saying can’t wait to see the rating book on this one because this show sucks.Just saying

      1. Okay…for the hundredth time….getting rid of Gresh does not lead to the Sports Hub hiring a lousy replacement…they are mutually exclusive actions.

        Gresh should never have been hired…his yahooism had worn thin when he and Zo were in Providence…giving them the Boston market just made my skin crawl. So firing Gresh is a good thing.

        Incompetent management who could not figure out a way to either get rid of Zolak or pair him with someone who did not suck…that is on management and does not in any way shape or form have anything to do with the fact that Gresh was finally removed from the airwaves allowing all of us to instantly be smarter and better off for it.

        1. Well that’s one opinion I guess. Gresh and Zo was BY FAR the best football centric show in the market. August – January I never missed 10-2. Where do you go now? Dale & Holley are good and Jerry reps the fanbase well but it’s not the same.

          1. Since I did not listen to Gresh and Zo that often because I thought Gresh was that bad….my listening has not changed that much. For years I listened to Dale and whoever he was paired with at midday. I have said for years I thought Dale was the best in the market and I still believe that. I did not particularly like Eddie and yet the Dale and Eddie show was better than Gresh and zo. I do not at all like Mike Holley and yet the Dale and Holley show was better than Gresh and Zo. When WEEI moved in Merloni and Muttanski I found myself listening to non sports radio more..I can count on one hand the number of times I listened to MFB. I now do find i am listening to Ordway + co more… and i think when it all shakes out that show will end up with the better ratings. However I am not thrilled with that one either. I just feel that there could be better shows on…I just do not understand why we are not getting them.

          2. It was as close as you’d get to something like WEEI’s NFL Sunday.

            I’d still like to know the real reason Gresh got canned. I know more people didn’t like him vs. Zo, but was he really, really bad?

            Seemed like it was part him/CBS not getting along, and part management assuming? knowing? Beetle would have left for another gig if he wasn’t upgraded to a host vs. 3rd wheel role.

            Beetle can host but it seems like he got bit enough by the F+M tactics, he brings some there. I’ll flip between the two now, because I’m an Ordway fan, but it does feel different.

    2. Agreed, WEEI and the Sports Hub have been going in opposite directions the past couple years. Arnold and Ordway should have never lost their jobs, both were desperate panic moves by management. Salk, Benz, and to a lesser degree Mutansky were all disasters. Now EEI is almost back to where they were in February 2011, with just Arnold and Ordway in the wrong time slot. Twelve hours of Bertrand, Felger, Mazz, and Jones is worse torture than water boarding, I can only take a few seconds before turning the channel. I hope the ratings change, but fear Felger is too dynamic a personality to be beaten.

  11. BREAKING NEWS. RV AND CAMPERS SOLD OUT FOR THE NY SUPER REX BOWL. AIR PUMP THIS.. Bills fans. I’m glad our team is used to big time games.

    1. I wonder if Shank was saying the same thing about the Pats’ opponents having it easy late in the 2013 season when NE had something like 7 key guys on IR, including Gronk and Mayo. I’m guessing….probably not.

      1. I was thinking the same thing. Whatever is easiest for the Pats will happen, except when it doesn’t and Shank just ignores those pesky facts.

  12. Why is Gary Tanguay on the radio this morning? I thought that little experiment was over? Who does he have compromising pictures of that he still gets work?

    1. I said the same thing and of course he throws in a wells report question to Brady to put the focus back on Gary. Maybe Kurt went on a bender or mental wellness hospital or contact time.

        1. Gary is just like Rex Ryan. All talk but no walk. Let’s go BUFFALO BILLS oops are they still puking in the parking lot

    1. Perhaps we can have games in climate and environment controlled boxes where everyone sits on their hands and snaps their appreciation of a good play or an exciting turn.

      If the Pats had lost and if anyone had bitched about that whistle they would have deserved all the scorn heaped on them. If the NFL investigates and does anything other than say…knock it off, bozos…they deserve all the scorn that will be heaped on them. Finally if Buffalo really thinks it needs a train whistle to get its crowd going…they deserve all the scorn we have heaped on them for living in Buffalo the past 20 years.

    2. I think Florio gives the NFL too much credit here:

      “So if the Bills went too far when the Patriots had the ball, the NFL easily will be able to figure it out.”

    3. Oh crap it’s probably gonna cost the pats an other draft pick since it was Bill who had taken control of the guys mind using telepathic mind tricks on the guy in charge pig the horn. #HORNGATE

  13. Chip Kelly is getting the “arrogant” and “thinks he can do it without talent” treatment that Belichick periodically receives. The big difference is that Kelly doesn’t have nearly the same record of accomplishment that Belichick does. So, despite an 0-2 start and with his handpicked players foundering (Bradford in particular), Kelly could prove the critics wrong after a playoff run last year, but at least this take is legitimate: Kelly hasn’t won anything in the pros (or for that matter, college!). The fact that Belichick was still getting this treatment after Revis left (oh and 4 Super Bowl wins) is absurd.

    1. “Kelly hasn’t won anything in the pros (or for that matter, college!).”

      Except for getting to the 2010 national championship and winning both a Rose and Fiesta Bowl, nothing!

      1. Agree that’s why I think they will beat buffalo in the Rex Bowl week 7 in London I think they are the home team cause they are named after that car made there in England

    1. Same old Colts going all the way back to the Manning days. Hit ’em in the mouth and they fold like a card table. Their one Super Bowl win was a gift from the zebra gods, even though BB and the Pats would never state it publicly. Karma is a b*tch…..don’t start an unfounded witch hunt against a rival unless you’ve got the talent to deal with the fallout the next season. On the other hand, I’m sure Woody and the Jets are thinking that “massive” $100K fine that their ex-employee levied to allow them to tamper and sign away Revis before the Pats knew what hit them was well worth it at this point.

      1. The Pats have nobody to blame for the 2006 AFC title game but themselves. They were up 21-3 early and dominating…but they didn’t have the D back then and Manning made them pay.

        1. The Pats were #2 in the NFL in Defensive Passer Rating in 2006 and were a Top 5 scoring defense. Their D was good enough to win a championship that season, when healthy (the key, of course, is that they were not healthy by the time that AFCCG arrived). There were a lot of other factors involved with that loss. Ultimately, the Pats did blow an 18-point lead, and there’s no excuse for that. However, there were no fewer than three glaringly bad calls/non-calls that went Indy’s way in that game, and each one of them cost NE points in one way or another — glaringly bad, including the face-guarding call against Hobbs which the league later admitted was incorrect (gave Indy a first and goal at the one, and four extra points). Also, there were just too many injuries to key guys on defense heading into that game (Seau and Harrison were out for the season already going into that game, and then Seymour got hurt in the first quarter and missed most of the game). The flu bug going through the locker room that week was the final factor, as the defense was just worn out by the fourth quarter. Bottom line: the Colts were lucky that year. You have to have some luck to win it all, of course, and Indy used up a decade’s worth during that one post-season run. Seriously, what other Super Bowl champion in history got to face as many crappy or over-the-hill QBs in the post-season as that team that year? Damon Huard in Round 1; an over-the-hill and virtually immobilized Steve McNair in Round 2; and Rex Grossman in the Super Bowl. Brady was the only decent QB they faced that entire post-season, and he was without any real receiving threats on the roster that year. Not that I’m still bitter over that loss at all…….

          1. Ha, yes I agree with most of that..though the Pats defense, as was the case until last year was a good regular season defense for sure. But they couldn’t do it against the elite QBs., particualrly the secondary. I don’t know the stats but that’s my recollection…Colts moved the ball at will in the second half.

          2. Also, don’t forget the injury to Kevin Faulk early in that game. When Brady needed to convert a third down late, he was forced to go to Troy Brown and didn’t have a secondary outlet as good as Faulk.

          3. Yes. If I recall correctly, they were down to 1 healthy running back by the end of that game, an old Corey Dillon. Maroney, who had been having a terrific rookie year (no, really, he was), was battling a shoulder problem over the final quarter of the season, and then Faulk went out of the AFCCG with his injury. They were just behind the 8-ball injury-wise and illness-wise during that game; the officiating, which was abysmal, merely sealed their fate. And even so, they still probably win that game if Reche Caldwell doesn’t drop that pass along the sidelines on the Pats’ last scoring drive — he would have walked into the end zone untouched and it would have been 38-31, not 34-31, when Manning got the ball back in the final four minutes. Then, after the Colts scored to tie it, Brady would have had sixty seconds and three timeouts to get the Pats into FG range for Gostkowski to win the game, and he’s good from 55 yards indoors. Just a completely, utterly frustrating day. I still hate that loss more than any of the others during this era, including Super Bowl 42. They just got flat outplayed by the Giants that day, even though it was a flukey ending that did them in. At Indy in ’06, I really felt like they had something taken away from them, through a combination of factors–and it’s even more grating because it was the crybaby Colts, Golden Boy Manning, and Polian who ended up getting to face Rex Grossman in the Super Bowl.

    2. I’d still do it. It’s probably trading 2-3 good years of Brady for 9 good years of Luck. You have to make that deal for the franchise.

      Luck is an enormous talent. Don’t belittle him just because the Colts front office is run by a drunk and their GM can’t figure out how the cap works.

      1. I completely agree. It’s just funny going back and revisiting some really interesting things said.

        I’d probably consider the same trade. I think he’s being killed by an incompetent GM and Pagano will be “fall guy”.

      2. I saw Luck play in person at the 2010 Cal-Stanford game and it was the best QB performance I have ever seen in person. Perfect throws. He had a 30+ yard run early that broke the weak back of Cal’s defense. However, from watching him in the pros, he has not really progressed or gotten better. Compare that to the difference in Brady from 2001-2005 and the throws he made after being in the league for a few years. Brady had more talent around him in 2005 than 2001 but then they traded Branch and brought in Caldwell and the Pats went 12-4 and scored 31 points on the road in the AFC title game in 2006. Personnel changes and the great QBs and offenses adapt. Luck has tremendous talent but is he any better than he was as a rookie? At some point, the turnovers and bad throws should be less frequent.

      3. The more I watch Luck, Dave, the more I disagree with you. I think he over thinks things. That makes him slow through progressions and then he holds the ball. It did not matter in college because he was so good he could muscle through slow decisions. Now that he is in the NFL he is not good enough to force the ball in places where it should not go. As such he holds it longer and is taking more sacks/hits. It becomes a vicious circle…the longer he holds the ball the more he gets hit, the more he gets hit the longer he holds the ball out of fear.

        I would not trade Brady for him now. I think Pagano might have ruined him. We could be looking at Sam Bradford the sequel.

        1. He’s got obvious physical tools that any QB would kill to have. He’s had a great start to his NFL career. However, the 10,000-pound gorilla in the room is his decision making, I think. In that vein, there are times he reminds me of Bledsoe. We all loved Drew here, for sure, but the fact remains that when BB traded him after the 2001 season, and then for the next five or six years after that, as a “grizzled veteran” QB, he was still making a lot of the same bad decisions/dumb mistakes that he made in 1993 as a raw rookie. Luck still has trouble reading defenses and avoiding bad mistakes. It’s only Year Four, of course, and it’s probably unfair to compare him to Brady or the guy he replaced in Indy, because those may be the two smartest QBs ever to lace ’em up. Still, Luck’s progress as a decision maker bears watching IMO.

  14. Tanguay, flatulence and Deflategate on D&C. I’d rather listen to the Hill Man talk about…well anything really and that’s saying something. (I can’t listen to Toucherini and Shertenlieb)

    1. Tanguay is apparently throwing out the “16-0” possibility already, at least on TV at night. That means you can forget about it….they’ll probably end up 10-6.

      1. Been hearing a TON of this lately.

        “Build them up so you can take them down”

        So they can trash them when the Patriots have that one unexpected loss..

  15. By the way, anyone been following this Ravens “ineligible receiver” formation flap from Sunday? I’m sure the formations were legal, and were legal within the rewritten rules since last January, but the irony is deliciously thick, is it not? Did Del Rio come out after the game and cry about them being “deceptive?” Did Gregggggggg Doyel go on Baltimore radio stations and say the Ravens have “no honor?” Just curious.

    1. It’s still mind boggling that the NFL thinks that the Competition Committee, with limited team representation and obvious conflicts of interest, screams INTEGRITY.

      1. Yes. I’ve mentioned here before that these are not just the ceaseless laments of a Patriots fan who has seen his favorite team targeted relentlessly by the CC’s minions for the last dozen or so years. This problem goes back decades and decades — at least as far back as the 1970s when Shula dominated the CC and forced through several rules alterations that benefited the Dolphins and were aimed squarely at their biggest rivals. The five-yard chuck rule, in fact — the very same rule that a bitter Bill Polian had “re-emphasized” after his soft Colts couldn’t beat the Patriots and their physical DBs in the post-season — actually came into being because Shula (and others on the Committee) were desperate to find a way to slow down the Steelers’ defense, which was grounding AFC opponents into dust just about every week. It was originally nicknamed “The Mel Blount Rule” for just that reason — it was clearly invented with the Steelers in mind.

  16. We need to file two missing persons reports. One for Minihane and another for Bruce. At least Bruce has been active on Twitter. Kirk hasn’t said anything since the 18th.

    1. From what was discussed on D+C this morning about Minihane, it sounds like something medical related. I wasn’t sure if they were referring to him or an immediate family member.

    1. I object to some of those responses admonishing Ben to check Google: he’s well aware of how to check Google, since that’s how he found out that “Kraft” was a patron of AEI after AEI’s scathing op-ed about the Wells Report appeared in the NYT a few months ago. True, it turned out to be the wrong Kraft, but at least Ben knew how to use Google dammit!

  17. Yea when you let people know they can say anything they want without having to face repercussions for lying then you have morally bankrupt people coming out of the woodwork saying they saw TB with leprechauns chanting on the field

Comments are closed.