It’s the most highly anticipated regular season game in recent memory. The game in which the New England Patriots are expected to exact revenge upon the snitching Indianapolis Colts. Since the schedule was released, everything has been building towards this game.

But if you listen to much of Boston sports radio, you’d think the Patriots were on a bye this week. Maybe it’s because the events surrounding the game have been talked out, or because of the dangerous belief that the Patriots will simply roll the Colts once again, but the dominating subject of talk radio this week thus far has been Boston Magazine’s expose piece on Tom Brady’s personal trainer and guru.

Much of the talk is trying to be couched in terms of “we’re not questioning his training methods, obviously they’re working, but Brady’s partnership with a scam artist needs to be discussed.

That’s baloney. The purpose of the discussions is to be able to hint that Brady must be doing something illegal or against the NFL drug policies in order to achieve the results he’s getting. Also, to suggest that if Brady is involved with a shady character, he must’ve also done something shady to those footballs!

Meanwhile, Peyton Manning can go to Europe for stem-cell treatment that isn’t sanctioned in the United States, and no one bats an eye. They instead laud him for doing what it takes to get back out on the field.

I didn’t mind Kirk Minihane grilling Brady about it on Monday – the QB was very willing to talk about it at length, and it gave him a forum to do so. It’s the snide talk about Alex Guerrero being a snake-oil salesman or con-man since then -especially when the sports radio airwaves during commercial breaks are filled with miracle weight-loss programs, “natural” male enhancement, hair replacement and energy boosting products.

Self-awareness has never been a strong point of sports radio, but this example is particularly egregious and hypocritical.

(Check out Tom Curran’s personal experiences with the trainer: Who is Alex Guerrero? Here’s what I know . . .)

On another note, what the heck is up with Boston Magazine? The article marked the third major hit piece feature on the Patriots in the last year and half In April of 2014 they had the article The Krafts Are the Worst Owners in the League then they just had ‘I’m Robert Kraft. Do You Know Who I Am?’ and finally the above piece Tom Brady’s Personal Guru Is a Glorified Snake-Oil Salesman.

Try this. Go to the Boston Magazine website and search “Patriots.” Check the results.

But, as we’ve learned over the last 15 years, attacking and criticizing and being snarky about the Patriots is good business for media outlets. Boston Magazine is just following the crowd.

Elsewhere:

I’m not going to beat on Gregg Doyel this week. The Indianapolis Star columnist can attempt to stir things up, call the Patriots cheaters who fixed the AFC Championship game because they were scared of the Colts, and everything else he wants to do. In a way, I admire it. I certainly don’t want blind homerism from my sports columnists, but it would be nice if one of our major sports columnists here in Boston took the approach of defending “our” city and teams rather than just attempting to antagonize their readers. Besides, the guy’s got some issues.

So the clock operator in San Diego ran approximately 20 extra seconds off the clock in the final minutes of the game. Can you imagine if that happened at Gillette Stadium near the end of a close game? I thought Mike Florio had a good comment on the situation:

With the Patriots and their footballs at the AFC title game, the league presumed guilt and worked backward. In this case, it would be dangerous to presume inadvertence and move forward. It’s entirely possible that someone tried to influence the outcome of the game through what by all appearances was a mistake.

If the NFL is going to scorch the earth (and bastardize science) to prove that the Patriots broke the rules, the NFL should at least apply some basic curiosity to a situation that never should have happened, that possibly happened on purpose, and that now cries out for an overhaul to the way the NFL ensures that each game consists of exactly 3,600 seconds — no more, no fewer.

The situations are really not all that different. Had the Steelers lost, would Mike Tomlin have made as big of a deal of that as he did about the headset issue in the opener?

Deadspin, SB Nation, Barstool Sports Twitter accounts shutdown after NFL requests removal of GIFs – an informational look at the suspension of the three popular accounts.

The Revenge of Tom Brady – Read this. Rich Levine nails it.

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32 thoughts on “Colts Week. So Let’s Talk About Anything But…

  1. Well said Bruce. I have been utterly confused by the start of this week. I can’t believe that this is what is the main topic has been. Who cares? If you think AG is a POS then don’t pay for his services. Does anyone really think that because TB12 has developed a relationship (personal and business) with this guy that he shouldn’t be the starting QB for the Patriots? Then what are we talking about? I don’t get it. What is the end game here? Brady’s not the awesome person everyone thinks he is? Wow, there’s breaking
    news. Guess what nobody is perfect. Unless TB12 is doing something illegal now, I don’t care. He’s still one of the best QB’s to ever play the game and I wouldn’t want anyone else starting for the Pats.

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    1. I completely agree. Why is this even a topic of discussion. Who the eff cares?
      Loved Bruce’s line about, “… the sports radio airwaves during commercial breaks are filled with miracle weight-loss programs, “natural” male enhancement, hair replacement and energy boosting products.” The whole situation smacks of hypocrisy that only the Boston sports media can pull off.

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      1. Never thought i would say this but I would rather listen to more deflategate talk leading up to the game than this. Instead of dancing around this issue like pussies why doesn’t the local media just step up and say they think Tom Brady uses AG to cheat with performance enhancers. They do it with athletes from outside the market all the time.
        What I’m curious about is the seemingly coordinated effort from ALL the media outlets in this area to hammer away at this. Something happened behind the scenes that tweeked these media outlets and now they’re attacking tom again for something he didn’t do. It’s like they’re already convicting him “Minority Report” style. They basically have him going to jail with AG eventually for consumer fraud in the future.

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        1. I don’t think it’s paranoid to wonder about the steady drip
          of anti-Brady stories that have mysteriously appeared over the past few months.
          First there was the business with Ben Affleck and the nanny traveling on Brady’s
          plane. Then there was a sudden flurry of rumors about Brady’s marriage being on
          the rocks. Now we have the controversy about Guerrero. It’s not out of the
          question that someone at the NFL office is nudging compliant journalists toward
          these stories. It doesn’t have to be anything heavy-handed, just a hint dropped
          to a friendly writer over drinks: “Hey, did you know that Brady’s personal
          trainer was once busted by the FTC? Interesting, huh?”

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          1. As the saying goes…just because we’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get us. It wouldn’t surprise me of Park Avenue is behind some of these “expose’s” since Berman’s decision. The Guerrero thing? Probably not, since the guy is in some hot water and that would have been a story anyway.

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  2. What gets me is the reaction by these schmoes when people complain about their obsessive snarking. They try to twist it into complaints about the original interview. I don’t think anyone had a problem with that. It’s all about the aftermath. Thank you Bruce for emphasizing that.

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  3. Does Guerrero make some natural/green drink that helps me recover from the permanent damage I’ve sustained from excessive #HOTSPORTZTAKEZ exposure?

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  4. Bruce…

    I can count on one hand the number of times I think you got it completely wrong. On the Brady/Guerrero relationship I think you are wrong. Not only is this a relevant story…the outlet and their motivations are irrelevant to me…the story itself changed my perception of Tom Brady. I read Tom Curran’s article. I posted the link to it in the comment section of the last post. It does a good job of suggesting there is more gray to this situation than Boston Magazine suggests…but and this is the important part…Curran asks the same question everyone else is asking…If appearances and image are so important to Brady…why does he go into business with this guy. It is one thing to use him as his personal trainer/life-coach/dietitian/and yogi. It is quite another to invest MONEY into a business where the two of you share profits off of sold products that have no independent scientific testing proof that they work. Further, when Brady associates himself with a guy like Guerrero the question that comes up is “What exactly does Guerrero have Brady putting into his body that allows him to stay this fit at 38 in a game where most players have a 4 year life expediency?”

    If this were 15 years ago I would completely agree with you. But come on Bruce…we were fooled by Marion Jones for gods sake, Lance Armstrong…he of the winning litigation against those who questioned his cleanness…Rafi Palmeiro and the finger wag in front of Congress… Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGuire, Nomar….or Brady’s teammate Rodney Harrison. Never mind the insinuations about Ted Johnson (a college safety who played LB in the Pros 40 lbs heavier and suffered 2 injuries 10x more likely to happen because of steroid use). I could go on and on listing players we did not suspect but who cheated the game and fooled us.

    I am not saying Brady has done anything with PEDs. The NFL would like nothing more than for him to fail a test and to finish destroying his legacy. I believe him when he says the acid/alkaline diet helps (we have my daughter, a level 10 gymnast on a similar diet and it works wonders for her but that is anecdotal proof and who knows maybe she is just lucky genetically). I believe him when he says he does the brain games, hydrates and is a practitioner of deep muscle massage. However I think the optics on this relationship suck. I think Brady has put himself in a horrible position where he has to defend a guy who took advantage of terminal patients for profit. He has aligned himself with someone who may think outside the box but who has also peddled hoaxes. So the question we normally ask “what pictures does Guerrero have on Brady” needs to be asked. It sucks that Boston Magazine ran the story this week. Tell me…what was the right week to run the story. Felger has been talking about how much of a dirt bag Guerrero is for years. No one really listened until this story hit.

    Go back and read the tomes I have written defending Brady here or on the old USENET site. I do not have an axe to grind. I love the guy. Love what he has accomplished. I don’t want any other QB on my team. But and this is a huge but…I don’t want there to be any questions…any whispers…any hints of impropriety tied to Brady and his legacy. All the spy gate crap, all the deflate gate crap was just that…manufactured scandal that had no bearing on the game. Both scandals were about ridiculous minutia of obscure rules. This is different. Brady has opened himself (not the team) to guilt by association. As a fan, I want to understand why Brady is following this guy’s teaching. More importantly I want to know why they are business partners. Finally I think based on this relationship it is fair to ask what is Brady putting into his body. To dismiss these questions makes us as bad as the BBWAA.

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    1. To be fair, Brady isn’t the first, and certainly won’t be the last high-profile professional athlete to push “alternative” medicines, remedies, supplements, et al. How many big-time stars have done at least print ads in magazines for GNC products? None of their stuff has been proven to work either, because the FDA doesn’t review/certify/approve supplements or “natural” remedies. In short, I have no problem with Brady endorsing the guy’s products or “treatment” measures. I’m sure he thought Guerrero was on the up-and-up at the time. As I said, pro athletes, some with very big names, endorse stuff like that all the time. The business relationship, as you’ve pointed out, definitely is a different dynamic, and it’s worth asking, in the words of Howard Baker: “What did Brady know, and when did he know it?” Regarding the PED whispers…..they’re always going to be there, with just about any big-time athlete now. It’s pretty much been forgotten at this point, but Brady’s name was once linked to one of Barry Bonds’ personal trainers, who ended up being linked to the whole BALCO mess, I think. Brady had contacted the guy during the 2001 or 2002 off season and asked him about maybe doing some off season workouts. He may have even had one workout with him and decided not to pursue a relationship. But that stuff popped up all over message boards across the media and NFL landscape for a while…..before Spygate gave the haters more grist for their anti-Patriots mills, and the Brady/PED thing was dropped.

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    2. I also thought the piece on Guerrero was fair.

      One bone to pick with your response: “If appearances and image are so important to Brady…why does he go into business with this guy.”

      Maybe appearances and image are not as important to Brady as other people have made them out to be?

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          1. I have worked under two assumptions:
            1) He did nothing wrong
            2) He has always been concerned about his image.

            Maybe I was wrong.

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          2. I think both matter to him, but perhaps #1 matters more.
            BTW – While i agree with him that coca-cola is really bad for people, especially kids, no one is claiming – at least in the past 100 years – that coke has medicinal value, like Guerrero has done with Supreme Greens and NeuroSafe, In fact any “Western medicine” trained pediatrician will tell parents that kids should not drink soda. So that comparison is really bogus.

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        1. In 1. Accusations were leveled and he was punished for something that he did not do.

          In 2. He chooses to associate with someone who has proven himself to Brady in the areas of overcoming injuries and pain management, who also happens to have had accusations leveled at him.

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    3. I concur that it’s a relevant analysis.

      As far as changing opinion:

      Before: assumed Brady was a dumb jock.
      After: assume Brady is a dumb jock.

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    4. It wouldn’t be the internet if someone didn’t nitpick a minor point that had nothing to do with the larger argument:

      Ted Johnson came into the league as a 240lb linebacker. He played inside linebacker his entire college career. There probably is a guy is who was pumped up safety, but it’s not Ted Johnson. I don’t disagree, though, about the implications of the bicep tears he suffered in back-to-back seasons.

      How do I know this? I was on the Colorado football bandwagon in the 90s. Also, the only Patriots Media Guide I own is the 1995 edition. ; )

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  5. Does Boston mag have an anti-Pats agenda? Well, that hit piece on Kraft was Boston mag (and journalism) at its worst. Gossip, innuendo and armchair psychiatry wrapped around some fairly interesting personal history. “Do you know who I am?” is such a loaded quote. Typically it’s what drunk, entitled celebrities or politicians scream when they get arrested. In Kraft’s case, he was using it to introduce himself to heads of CHARITIES TO WHICH HE WOULD BE DONATING TENS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS!!!!

    So that awkward phrase, if he actually used it verbatim, got front cover treatment in an effort to make him look like a total fat cat a-hole. (speaking of a-holes: Nice way to treat the guy who gave $100,000 to your food bank, Andrew Schiff!) And something just “feels…off?” This reminds me of the morons who think they can decipher a player’s body language to make some point on the player’s commitment to the coach, team or whatever. Totally meaningless.

    I maintain that the piece on Brady/Guerrero was legitimate, even if most of the debate around has not been. The original piece was well sourced and investigated and brings up legitimate questions about the ethics and practices of Brady’s trainer and business partner.
    The Krafts are the worst owners piece is about the Revolution, and i really don’t know how to assess that claim (though think it is at least hyperbole). Overall, it’s unclear whether Boston has a vendetta against the Patriots, but you can easily make the case they are trying to knock the Krafts down a peg or two.

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    1. I know a couple of people who are big Pats fans and big Revs fans, and they’re pretty much in agreement with the “Krafts are the worst MLS owners” piece.

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    2. “This reminds me of the morons who think they can decipher a player’s body language to make some point on the player’s commitment to the coach, team or whatever.”

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  6. Bruce already mentioned Peyton and his European stem-cell work. What about Kobe getting back treatment in China? Ray Lewis and his mysterious “deer antler spray?” Just because you don’t go to Mass General or Mayo Clinic doesn’t make you a quack. I mean, look at the sh!t the FDA APPROVES you to put in your body! Side affects include dizziness, loss of smell, sight, hearing, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach ulcers, blindness, heart palpitations, and up to and including, death. Yeah! Go ahead and pop a couple of those pills! Almost 440,000 people a YEAR die from medical malpractice. Just because your doctor has a diploma on the wall and gives you FDA approved pills doesn’t mean jack squat.

    Look at that fukwad that jacked those pills up from $8 a pill to $750! Why the hell WOULDN’T someone look elsewhere for medical attention or alternative medicine? *cue Gerry Callahan rant about ObamaCare here…*

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