Anything but the games.

It seems like that’s the focus on the New England Patriots at times. Coming off one of the most compelling regular-season games of the Brady-Belichick era, some of the biggest stories this week have instead been about the actions of Brady and Belichick.

We’ve had Chuck Klosterman’s completely mind-numbing article on Brady as GQ’s Man of the Year.

There’s nothing new in there, and instead of perhaps discussing Brady’s amazing on-field performances in the face of an idiotic witch hunt by the NFL, Klosterman attempts to play Mike Hammer and shake down Brady.

Klosterman says he’s “on Brady’s side,” but then has exchanges like this:

But what you’re suggesting is that the reality of this is subjective. It’s not. Either you were “generally aware” of this or you weren’t.
I understand what you’re trying to get at. I think that my point is: I’m not adding any more to this debate. I’ve already said a lot about this—

Tom, you haven’t. I wouldn’t be asking these questions if you had. There’s still a lack of clarity on this.
Chuck, go read the transcript from a five-hour appeal hearing. It’s still ongoing.

Brady ended the interview shortly thereafter, when Klosterman refused to move off the questions aimed at trying to get Brady to confess to heinous crimes.

I’ve enjoyed Klosterman in the past, he’s kind of a hipster-dufus-ironic version of Bill Simmons, mixing sports with pop culture, but this was just idiotic, annoying and yeah, stupid.

The GQ article also generated Tweets like this one:


Who is Joseph Barracato? His bio reads:  Assigment Editor, Father of twins, fanatic, and worshipper.

Yes, an editor for the New York Daily News is rooting for a career-ending injury for Tom Brady.

Seems like the editor needed a “tighter edit” – he deleted his Tweet without comment after it garnered attention.

The second issue that briefly flared was Bill Belichick and his non-cooperation with the NFL’s mandate that coaches wear camo headsets and gear to honor the military.

A big part of this erupted when TheBigLead posted this click-bait tweet:

Never mind that the actual article mostly defends Belichick. The Tweet on its surface was enough to stir the anti-Belichick and Patriots factions to faux outrage.

It allowed the likes of Gerry Callahan to whine to the effect of why can’t Bill just play along…

As usual, Dan Wetzel was a voice of reason: Bill Belichick’s stiff-arm of camouflage campaign an unlikely coincidence.

Anyone with half a clue about Bill Belichick knows his ties to the Naval Academy and his commitment to it and admiration for those who have served their country. They also know that he doesn’t suffer fools, and doesn’t do empty gestures, which is what this NFL thing was all about.

This week also featured a Rex Ryan meltdown in a conference call with the Boston Media – A defensive Rex Ryan rips into New England media: ‘I don’t know why you even bother’

This week’s media columns:

Kathryn Tappen on national stage, but still keeps local ties – Chad Finn looks at the former NESN host, coming back into town with NBC for the Boston College-Notre Dame game tomorrow at Fenway Park.

‘Pregnancy has been very smooth’ for Celtics courtside reporter Abby Chin – Bill Doyle has the CSNNE reporter planning on working as close as possible to her January 7th due date.


63 thoughts on “Another Week of Mini-Controversies For Patriots

  1. I am starting to wonder if the Patriots have to pay rent for all of the space they take up in the minds of others.

  2. I felt this needed a bump from the previous comments section since it’s more relevant to what Bruce just posted. Shank, at his very finest (that is to say, his very worst).

    “No doubt the Ideal Gas Law folks can explain why Patriots are fumbling more often, and dropping more passes at home this year. #Just sayin'”

    First of all, are they fumbling more at home this year? I remember Lewis putting the ball on the ground once or twice in the Steelers game (a rainy night), and Edelman getting stripped in the Washington game. When else did they fumble in a game in Foxboro? I honestly can’t remember because it’s happened so infrequently. Whatever the case, it’s hardly an epidemic. The dropped passes are easily explained by LaFell’s one bad game against the Jets, which happened to be his first live football action in about 9 months. Explanation #2 would be Edelman’s mangled finger suffered in the Indy game, which affected his ability to hold on to a few passes in the games which followed. Of course, Shank doesn’t bother to touch upon the fact that the guy who was allegedly behind the nefarious “ball deflation scheme” in the first place, the starting QB, is having one of his best years EVER playing with “properly inflated” footballs. That would spoil the narrative, so Shank left it out.

    But, hey, when you’ve got nothing better to do and nothing relevant to say, just make up sh*t in an attempt to troll Patriots fans, whom you continue to despise for some reason; right, Shank? And yes, I know: science is hard to understand, so it’s just easier to continue being the ignorant, flame-baiting douche you’ve always been. By the way, have you still not bothered to understand that the Pats play “a bunch of tomato cans” every year not because “Kraft’s buddy” in the league office dictates it, but because the NFL uses a set scheduling formula that dictates EVERY team’s opponents from year to year.

    Please. Go. Away. Your relevancy expiration date came and went right around the time Larry Bird retired. Haunt us no longer!

      1. “just asking the question” do you think Felgy’s wife really enjoys those puny arms of his or might be looking elsewhere

    1. Not to mention, that several different players have fumbled/dropped this year. I though this was all about Brady, and what he wanted. Are they now claiming that every player the catched/carried the ball was in on the conspiracy?

      1. The “drops” thing is a totally new angle which he’s using to try to push his agenda. Again, most of their “drops” this season came in that Jets game, when LaFell was just returning from the injured list after 9 months off, and Edelman was dealing with the injured finger suffered during the Indy game. I just love how he calls them “The Ideal Gas Law people.” What a complete effing tool he is. Most of those “Ideal Gas Law people” were actual, you know, scientists. Pats fans merely forwarded along their observations.

        1. The “Ideal Gas Law People” are Shaughnessy’s new “bloggers living in their mom’s basement”

        2. “Ideal Gas Law” people, i.e. people who measure and refill the PSI of the tires in their vehicles every week during the months of November through April…

    2. According to people who responded to his tweet, they’re actually fumbling slightly LESS this year… Don’t know if that’s accurate, but either way, Shaugnessy’s just a pot sitrring fool

      1. It wouldn’t be the first time the CHB outright lied in order to push an agenda piece against the Pats. His “third-lowest payroll in the NFL” hit piece the day after the Pats lost to the Jets in the 2010 playoffs stands out. The Globe (but NOT the CHB, whose name was not mentioned), issued a half-assed “retraction” a few days later when it was pointed out to them by “bloggers” that the Pats’ payroll that year was about middle-of-the-pack, perhaps slightly higher. Shank had taken the “third-lowest” figure from some disreputable source and run with it in order to make his “enemy,” Bob Kraft, look bad in the wake of that horrid playoff defeat to the team’s biggest rival. It would not surprise me at all if he’s basing the “fumbling more/dropping more passes” b.s. on what someone else “told” him (told him what he wanted to hear, in other words), and passing it off as fact.

    3. Couldn’t agree more and can I say how much I despise “Just sayin” and “People are saying”. It’s such a cowardly way to instigate a false narrative.

    4. Pats have fumbled at a slightly higher level this year vs 2014: 1.0 vs. .08 per game. Some of that difference is from 2 fumbles last game, and i suspect that number will move closer to 2014 as the sample size increases. However, Shank is once again being lazy and/or willfully ignorant because the Pats have a better home fumble rate this year than last year. So he is completely wrong, again. He should be embarrassed, as should his editors. But we know that he and Sullivan are completely shameless.

      But someone should investigate Denver and Carolina since they have dramatically lower fumble rates this year (although Peyton has made up for the turnover differential with picks…)

      1. Well, the home fumble rate is the key, since they’re not able to put their evil ball deflation schemes into practice on the road. So, if their home fumble rate is lower this year, then Shank is full of it, as usual, and just trolling a fan base that he hates, as usual. I read somewhere on the internet’s this weekend that in 2013 the Pats fumbled much, much more than they did last year or this year — part of that was probably Ridley’s bout with fumbleitis, which eventually got him benched. There simply was never any logical, factual basis for that “deflating footballs made them fumble less” nonsense. The dropped passes is also ridiculous. Again, they dropped a ton of passes in that one game against the Jets, most of which were LaFell’s drops in his first game back since the Super Bowl. It’s called rust.

        1. Gisele noticed a bunch of drops in Super Bowl XLVI.
          Here are fumble rate splits for past 5 years:
          2011 H: 1.3 A: 0.4
          2012 H: 1.0 A: 0.8
          2013 H: 1.9 A: 1.1
          2014 H: 0.9 A: 0.9
          2015 H: 0.8 A: 1.2
          A few things jump out:
          – 2013 is an anomaly, Ridley and Blount both had 3 fumbles with limited carries (both under 175). Brady also had 3.
          – The home fumble rate is down from 2014.
          – In the past 5 years the home fumble rate has never been better at home than it is on the road, which flies in the face of any stupid deflate theory.

          1. Interesting that they seem to have fumbled more at home over the previous four years (prior to this year) than on the road, and the trend has continued so far in 2015. So much for the “deflating footballs/less fumbles” theory; not that it had any credibility to begin with. Someone send this to Shank and Hubbach. One has to wonder how football historians, 50 years from now, will look back on how the Patriots of this era were covered by the media — and treated by the league office. Will they see the insane media bias and the unfair dealings from the ex-Jets on Park Avenue and judge them (the media and league officials) harshly? Or, will they say the Patriots deserved the treatment they received because Belichick was a cheater and a “rules bender,” and that Spygate was an egregious crime for which they “weren’t punished enough?” (That argument still drives me insane: a first round draft pick and $750K worth of fines over a misdemeanor, alleged, and very common rules violation is akin to getting off easy? Wow.) I guess it depends on what teams those future football historians rooted for when they were growing up, right?

  3. The articles describing the Jeff Howe / Rex Ryan Q & A don’t do it justice.

    The audio is fantastic and Howe is hilarious.

  4. I used to enjoy Klosterman as well – his pods with Simmons were often extremely fun. I made it through less than 8 minutes of this most recent one.

    “Either you were “generally aware” of this or you weren’t.” – Or nothing happened that he could have been aware of. Have you stopped beating your wife yet, Chuck?

    Simmons couldn’t put together a coherent argument to explain this. And neither of them understand why unregulated sports gambling (DFS) is potentially problematic?

    Just sad, that’s all.

  5. Kudos to Belichick for not wearing that camo gear. Between Salute to Service and Breast Cancer, the NFL is now lacing its on field product with altruistic propaganda for half the season. Apparently, just offering a football game is too much to ask.

  6. Wasn’t there a story this week that said the Armed Forces have to pay the NFL for these ’empty gestures?’

  7. Last Friday Tom Curran sitting in with John Dennis and Kirk Minihane was asked why he thought the Pats were a better team than everyone else. His answer was one that I do not think is getting enough consideration in the press. He theorized that with the new collective bargaining agreements reduction on padded practices, offseason access to players, and other training demands that coaches are at a severe disadvantage when it comes to implementing new programs, teaching fundamentals and getting a team prepared for the season. He suggested that because the Patriots have essentially been in the same system for 15 years and because their veterans already know and understand the system they are so far ahead of everyone in terms of preparation that it looks like they must be “cheating”.

    I have had similar thoughts for a while but hearing Curran actually enunciate it was refreshing.

    1. It was refreshing radio. In the times he does fill-in duty, he’s one of the best on the Pats.

      He was doing OFM 10-2 a few weeks back, I think before Jets or Colts week. There was a string of the usually really dumb callers, much worse than the usual group of Rhodes Scholars who get through. I forget whatever the loser media issue with the team was that week, but think of an hour of callers being nothing but Bart Hubbuchs, Danny from Quincy, Albert in RI, one after another. Curran must have not had his coffee but he had absolutely zero tolerance for it and went postal on these guys, cutting them off, shutting down all of the dumb stuff that’s been brought up over the past year. Not that outrage stuff but that logic/reasoning oratory that sports media would be one of the last places you’d expect to find it.

      I’m sure someone else heard it but it’s nice when someone fights back.

    1. I’m not a fan. He steals other people’s art from the internet and slaps it on a t-shirt and rakes in the dough.

        1. Almost all of the art he has on his t-shirts comes from Tumblr and Pintrest and other picture blogging sites. It’s how he was able to produce those shirts quickly.

          1. So? Unless it’s copyrighted it’s public domain. Nobody has ever sued him for using their art to my knowledge.

          2. Unless it’s explicitly released to the public domain by the creator, or unless it’s over 100 years old, it’s copyrighted. Copyright attaches automatically on publication.

  8. This morning Dennis and Minihane opened the show giving kudos to Mike Holley for a rant he made towards Fagler & Spazzerotti & the other s-stirrers…I didn’t catch when/where the rant happened, and its not on the EEI audio on demand… Anyone know where it was from?

    1. They played the audio again this morning from Friday. Holley took a small shot at Felger over the DG stuff and being a contrarian. Apparently, he responded back a few minutes later on-air, but I don’t know what Felger said.

      1. Felger insinuated on air that Holley tells him at CSNNE that he believes Brady is guilty but then says the opposite on air because he’s a homer. That’s why Holley went nuts.

    2. Holley went off on Felger claiming his hot takes were made up often. He said that when the two of them meet up Felger is always his fake friend. Holly with Dale echoing seemed to believe they were closing the ratings gap. He talked about making a hot sports take as Holley Michaels and see how that would go over. To me it was a decidedly unprofessional piece of radio. I am not defending Felger…I am saying I expect more from Dale. I don’t expect anything from Holley as his inability to say anything cogent or relevant continues unabated.

  9. Christ. I usually don’t look at social media during games but I went on Twitter to find something during tonight’s Pats-Bills game. Troll fans are bad enough but when a high school sports writer who poses as a beat writer while sitting at home “reporting” on the game is openly gloating at a Patriots player missing on a play, it is flat out obnoxious.

    His timeline is full of him arguing with fans over calls that he thinks should have been made to hurt the pats (Chung PI, phantom holds, etc). An absolute clown.

    1. @themortreport Report: 11 of 13 mini vodka bottles provided to this reporter were drained; three emptied completely.

        1. Ted Wells would call it “Ideal Drunk Theory”; and the CHB, Bart Hubbach, et al, would refuse to believe such a “law” exists.

          1. After I’ve chugged half a handle of Smirnoff …

            (Speech slurred)

            It is more probable than not that I am generally aware of drunk [barfs]

  10. So, I guess the Pats blew-off ESPN during the post-game period, and then ESPN trolled them on their Twitter account? That’s the scuttlebutt this morning, but I didn’t stick around to find out. I flipped over to the pom-pom wavers’ post-game show with Burton, Roche and Fauria, because I’m a hopeless footie-pajama-wearing fanboy (I think I now owe Mazz 25 cents for using that reference). If the Pats blew them off, then good. The snub is well-deserved. If ESPN trolled the Pats on Twitter in response, so be it. They started this war, and they look like immature, petulant fools for getting upset when the other side finally starts shooting back. I guess this is how it’s going to be between the Pats and the “World Wide Leader” for as long as BB and Brady continue to do their thing. Maybe a détente will set in under the next head coach.

  11. Suggested talking points:
    — Patriots have yet to win a game against quality competition when refs aren’t terrible
    — Rex Ryan defense got in their heads; will harm offense for rest of season
    — Pats peaking too early*

    *making its tenth consecutive appearance on the talking points suggestion list

      1. “It’s time for the Fanduel $1,000,000 Weekly Challenge Pats Peaking Too Early Talking Point of the week. Tony, the Pats can’t keep up this pace all the way through February. Maybe they should be pulling Amendola and Dobson BEFORE they get hurt, because it doesn’t matter if the Bills pick up a meaningless November win.”

        “You’re absolutely right, Mike. I’ve been saying the same thing all season. If this team fades down the stretch, it’s all on Belichick and player management.”

  12. Is there anybody in this town talking about the defense? They are criminally underrated. Especially since the sky was falling this summer when Revis and Browner and Wilfork left. “Brady will have to put up 40 every week, Mike!!!”

    #1 scoring defense in the NFL. I believe #1 vs the run, too. Individual players get some credit (Hightower, Collins, Butler, etc) but the unit as a whole gets almost zero press or praise. And with the injuries to the offense right now, they will have to carry the day for awhile. Patricia’s D is way, WAY better than anybody thought they’d be and nobody, locally or nationally, seems to notice.

    1. The defense is doing their part for sure and it’s a good thing because they’ll need them for the next couple of weeks while the offense gets things back in order. Maybe take the under this week.

  13. Anyone know where this blockbuster, Pulitzer-winning bombshell from Don Van Natta, Jr and OTL is? Didn’t he say that the original story generated another 6000 anonymous sources, including credible evidence the Patriots cheat, Kraft murders baby seals, Ernie Adams is really Darth Vader, etc.?

    1. Waiting until they get deep into the playoffs, no doubt. They have to cause the biggest possible distraction. I’m sure the anonymous source count will significantly surpass the count in the last piece. We may be talking triple digits.

  14. Media members still think Incarcerated Bob is real? Jesus. Hey, Rob Bradford, might want to do your homework. I thought we dispelled this years ago.

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