With A Little Bit Of Luck (2016 Edition)

(Editor’s Note: We ran this column last year and – given the craziness of the past wild card weekend – think it’s worth an updated review.)

In the NFL, every team needs some good fortune to win the Super Bowl.

Last Saturday and Sunday each provided a startling example. In weather so frigid they could have called in Jack London to write the game story, Minnesota kicker Blair Walsh made three field goals in a row, including a 47-yarder, only to miss the potential game-winner from 27 yards out. Walsh had been on a 10-for-10 hot streak (including two 53-yarders) since his last miss on November 29 vs. Atlanta. Seattle did well to come back from a 9-0 deficit, but they got a big break.

Maybe Pittsburgh got a bigger one. After getting slammed to the turf, QB Ben Roethlisberger left the game for three series. He came back in despite moving with all the easy grace of a rusty lawn chair. After a few short passes, his one long throw sailed harmlessly over Antonio Brown’s head, the same head that Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict crushed with a brutal-looking hit. Unnecessary roughness penalty,15 yards.

But wait, there’s more: while on the field arguing the call and standing off vs. his opponents, Cincinnati cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones confronted Steelers assistant coach Joey Porter, getting another 15-yard penalty. So, with 22 seconds left and no timeouts at Cincinnati’s 47-yard line, the Steelers picked up 30 yards on zero offensive plays, taking up zero seconds. Kicker Chris Boswell jogged onto the field and pushed the ball through for a 35-yard game winner.

Pittsburgh deserves some credit for not completely losing their minds (a low bar), and also for putting enough pressure on the Bengals to evoke the possibility of a meltdown. Jones insists that Brown faked getting hurt on the play, and that the receiver actually winked at him. If so, impressive. But, really, the Steelers basically did what children do on Christmas: they showed up and got their gifts.

This Saturday, a New England team with some key starters returning to action hosts a Kansas City team with at least one key starter (receiver Jeremy Maclin) nursing an injury (ankle). Is that the Patriots’ big break this week? We shall see.

For a look at how every team – no matter how deserving or how talented overall – needs the ball to bounce its way, see below, starting with the Patriots’ first Super Bowl run in early 2002.

2002 Super Bowl: New England 20, St. Louis 17

Most Fortunate Moment: Has to be the Tuck Rule, right? An obscure, now-abolished rule – albeit one with which Patriots fans had become familiar in 2001 after their Week Two game against the Jets – was implemented correctly to overturn an apparent Tom Brady fumble, thus allowing Adam Vinatieri to kick the football into the maw of a blizzard for the greatest field goal in playoff history.

Hey, Raiders fans? That was 2002. You want to live in 2002, go listen to Nickelback’s “How You Remind Me” and watch “CSI.” We can share content on Friendster. Might be time to let it go.

Honorable Mention: Pittsburgh’s special teams implosion in the AFC Champsionship game, allowing two TDs (punt return and blocked kick return); having Drew Bledsoe as a bench QB after Brady hurt his ankle in the first half of that game; the Super Bowl refs adapting a “let ’em play” attitude, with Pats DBs getting their hands on more Rams than a shepherd in a shearing contest.

2003 Super Bowl: Tampa Bay 48, Oakland 21

Most Fortunate Moment: Coach Jon Gruden got to play his previous team in the Super Bowl, reaping the benefits of new Oakland head coach Bill Callahan failing to make significant changes to the offense that Gruden had developed. Talk about an in-depth scouting report. Almost makes one feel badly for Raiders fans. (The first word of that sentence is key.)

Honorable Mention: Oakland’s starting center Barret Robbins did not show up to practice Super Bowl week (he was barred from playing and later diagnosed with manic depression).

2004 Super Bowl: New England 32, Carolina 29

Most Fortunate Moment: After Carolina tied it at 29, John Kasay kicked off out-of-bounds, giving New England the ball at their own 40 with 1:08 left. Vinatieri kicked the game-winner with four seconds remaining.

Honorable Mention: Panthers coach John Fox went for two 2-point conversions in the fourth quarter and failed; in the divisional playoffs, normally sure-handed Titans receiver Drew Bennett dropped a pass that would have gotten Tennessee into field goal position to tie it; in the AFC Championship vs. Peyton Manning and the Colts, the refs allowed the Pats’ defensive backs to play with the type of aggression that would get penalized today; plus, snow fell in Foxboro, an anathema to most dome teams.

2005 Super Bowl: New England 24, Philadelphia 21

Most Fortunate Moment: The failure of the Eagles to deal with shaken QB Donovan McNabb. Down by 10, Philly declined to hurry on offense, in part because McNabb was having trouble breathing after getting hit by Tedy Bruschi. (You can read a more in-depth story on that here.)

Honorable Mention: Optimum health. As they had in 2003, many New England starters missed games due to injury, but most came back in time for the playoffs; more snow in Foxboro vs. the Colts.

Overall, it’s tough to associate pure luck with this team: one of the best of the decade and certainly one of the strongest, deepest squads in Patriots history.

2006 Super Bowl: Pittsburgh 21, Seattle 10

Most Fortunate Moment: Not having to play the Patriots in the playoffs. (Well, they had shown Pittsburgh the way home twice in four years.)

Honorable Mention: Some close officiating in the big game. This is not to say that Pittsburgh didn’t deserve to win (they appeared to be the better squad), but had some of those close calls gone the other way, Seattle would have been the lucky ones. In the divisional playoffs at Indianapolis, Jerome Bettis fumbled on the Colts’ two-yard line, paving the way for glory for Nick Harper on the fumble return, but Roethlisberger made a diving, spinning tackle at Indy’s 42; Colts kicker/anti-hero Mike Vanderjagt missed a potential game-tying 47-yard field goal.

2007 Super Bowl: Indianapolis 29, Chicago 17

Most Fortunate Moment: Whatever switch went off in Manning’s head in the AFC Championship that had him looking for drive-sustaining first downs instead of long passes. The Patriots defense had to stay on the field forever and couldn’t protect their halftime lead.

Honorable Mention: The Patriots defense was also suffering from the flu, wearing them down further; NE receiver Reche Caldwell dropped an easy pass that would have at least led to a clock-killing first down; cornerback Ellis Hobbs got a questionable pass interference call in the end zone that led to a Colts score; Indy got to play Rex Grossman in the Super Bowl.

2008 Super Bowl: New York 17, New England 14

Most Fortunate Moment: We think we know what most fans would say, but we’ll point to the NFC Championship, specifically Brett Favre and his ill-advised pass-punt in overtime, an easy interception that led to the Giants’ game-winning field goal. Few New England fans doubt that the Pats would have cruised past the Packers.

Honorable Mention: The Helmet Catch, of course; Eli Manning fumbled twice in the Super Bowl but lost neither; Patriots cornerback Asante Samuel failed to secure what could have been the game-sealing interception on New York’s final drive.

2009 Super Bowl: Pittsburgh 27, Arizona 23

Most Fortunate Moment: While Steelers defender James Harrison returned an interception 100 yards for a touchdown, he got unintentional help from Cardinal Antrel Rolle who – stepping onto the edge of the field for a closer look – bumped into receiver Larry Fitzgerald, preventing Fitzgerald from making the tackle in time. (Keep an eye on number 11 running along the sideline in this clip.)

Honorable Mention: Roethlisberger bounced back from a concussion suffered during the final week of the regular season to beat the Chargers in the divisional round; in the AFC Championship, the QB fumbled twice but lost neither in a 24-19 win over the Jets.

2010 Super Bowl Winner: New Orleans 31, Indianapolis 17

Most Fortunate Moment: On a potential game-tying drive, Colts receiver Reggie Wayne came up short on his route, allowing Tracy Porter to cut in front of him for a pick-six.

Honorable Mention: During their on-sides kick – a gamble that made putting all your cash into lottery tickets seem like a sound investment – Indy receiver Hank Baskett had the ball bounce off of him, giving the Saints possession to open the second half.

2011 Super Bowl: Green Bay 31, Pittsburgh 25

Most Fortunate Moment: I’m not sure what I was doing at this time, but, honest to God, I remember nothing about these playoffs. Apparently the Chicago Bears were down to their third-string QB (Caleb Hanie) in the NFC Championship game; Hanie threw an interception directly at Packers defensive lineman B. J. Raji, which seems like trying to throw a crumpled-up piece of paper into a wastebasket and not realizing there’s a door in front of it.

Honorable Mention: Um, I dunno … health? Seriously, I got nothing. Did these playoffs happen?

2012 Super Bowl: New York 21, New England 17

Most Fortunate Moment: An injury to regular San Francisco punt returner Ted Ginn, Jr. put Kyle Williams into the spotlight for the NFC Championship. That worked out great for New York, as Williams muffed one return and fumbled the other, respectively leading to a regulation TD and the game-winning field goal in overtime for a 20-17 win.

Honorable Mention: Gronkowski getting hurt during the AFC Championship, making him less than 100 percent for the Super Bowl; New York fumbling three times in the big game and – again – losing nary a one.

2013 Super Bowl: Baltimore 34, San Francisco 31

Most Fortunate Moment: In the divisional playoff, Denver safety Rahim Moore got lost on Joe Flacco’s 70-yard pass, allowing the tying touchdown with 31 seconds left to play. Baltimore won in OT.

Honorable Mention: Gronkowski’s absence from the AFC Championship game; Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib’s injury during that game opening up the passing lanes for Flacco; in the Super Bowl, terrible play-calling for the 49ers on their potential game-winning drive; on that drive, the refs allowed contact on a potential pass interference penalty in the end zone. (Something that probably would get the call this year.)

2014 Super Bowl: Seattle 43, Denver 8

Most Fortunate Moment: On the first snap of the game, Denver center Manny Ramirez shotgunned the football past Peyton Manning into the end zone for a what-the-heck-just-happened safety. Seattle’s D had a huge game, but didn’t have to lift a finger to get the lead. The Broncos’ lack of preparedness for the Seahawks’ 12th man set the tone for the night.

Honorable Mention: In the NFC title game, on a fourth-and-seven play, Niners defensive end Aldon Smith went offside, giving QB Russell Wilson a free play (as he told in this game story); Jermaine Kearse snatched Wilson’s pass in the end zone, giving Seattle a 20-17 lead on their way to a 23-17 win.

2015 Super Bowl: New England 28, Seattle 24

Most Fortunate Moment: Unlike what seems like the rest of the world, we don’t think the play call was the worst in Super Bowl history; http://seattletimes.com/html/seahawks/2025601887_brewer02xml.html however, the Seahawks’ decision to pass from the one-yard line gave rookie Patriots defensive back (and instant fan favorite for life) Malcolm Butler the chance to intercept the ball and seal the game. Also fortunate? As we saw in the “Do Your Job” program, the Patriots had planned for that exact play in the previous week’s practice.

Honorable Mention: The Patriots finally – finally! – had a mostly healthy roster, with Gronkowski, Julian Edelman, Vince Wilfork and a full O-line contributing; Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner signed with New England and re-shaped the defense. (For a year, at least. A very good year.)

For most of the past two games, the Seahawks seemed destined to win this thing. From Green Bay’s inexplicable breakdown in the NFC Championship to Tom Brady’s first interception (I mean, really Tom. Where? To whom?) to what would have been deemed the Juggle Catch, Seattle looked like SB repeaters for sure.

The Pats just needed a break. And they got it.

Thoughts regarding lucky moments on the big stage? Let us know in the comment space below.

You can reach Chris Warner at chris.warner@patriotsdaily.com or @cwarn89 on Twitter.

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112 thoughts on “With A Little Bit Of Luck (2016 Edition)”

  1. Weeeeee

    “I don’t know this, um, I think that the synthetic marijuana story
    might be just a story,” Carter said. “Just for me, it don’t pass the
    smell test for me. To me, I think that — I think he was smoking
    marijuana, and I think he was smoking some marijuana laced with PCP, or
    angel dust. And I think that’s what made him trip out. Now, he could
    have been smoking synthetic, but it’s a better story — it’s a better
    story to tell: ‘That’s the reason I’m here.’ So when he got to the
    police station, why was he smelling like marijuana? Because synthetic
    doesn’t smell like marijuana. So for me, I don’t know all the details of
    the case, but I’m just a little — uh, the synthetic, that’s a better
    way to put it.”

    Carter then invoked the name of Aaron Hernandez, the former Patriots tight end now in prison for murder, as a cautionary tale.

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2016/01/15/cris-carter-speculates-chandler-jones-smoked-pcp/

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    1. To really be convincing, Carter should have said “Speaking from experience…”

      Also, I forget, did Carter make any baseless speculation about Manning and the HGH shipments received at his house? Or did he wait for “more evidence” in that case?

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      1. He probably applauded Manning’s ability to “find a fall guy” in that case….even though the fall guy turned out to be a fall gal, his wife.

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  2. I would say the biggest luck in the 2015 super bowl was that ridiculous catch by Kearse.
    The fact Seattle even got down to the goal line was a miracle.

    The playcall on the goal line was fine, the execution was terrible.

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    1. Right! Some people would say to me the Pats got lucky and I would say to them it evened out because Seattle was lucky for even getting down there. That drive should’ve stalled out mid field.

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  3. Anyone care to venture a guess on HOW IN CHRIST’S NAME does Cris Carter have a job on TV? From the “have a fall guy” at the rookie symposium to the outrageous accusations and comparisons made on Mike & Mike in regards to Chandler Jones. From Carter to Ray Lewis to Keyshawn and Ditka, ESPN wants the names and not the substance. Their hiring process must be get a name in the studio and if he can sound intelligent or knowledgeable, well, we’ll just call that a bonus. How does Bruschi even stand to work there?

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    1. . Most of those TV analyst jobs, for former players, are 6+ figures. You get to work basically 6 months of the year, enjoy really nice fringe benefits, fly first class, etc.

      I ask the same but.. we all do have to put food on the table.

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  4. Karma is a fickel master.

    http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/14577195/espn-senior-nfl-analyst-chris-mortensen-throat-cancer-taking-sabbatical-treatment

    No one wants someone to suffer with cancer. By all accounts Mortensen is not an evil or bad human being…instead he ruined a sterling reputation all in the name of god knows what…access, marching orders, some misplaced idea that he was doing right when in reality he was being manipulated…who knows. We will never now get him to face the Boston media and explain why he did what he did to Tom Brady…he has far more important things to worry about. I wish him good luck in his battle against the scourge that is throat cancer (some of them can be particularly evil and difficult). He has a family and a life outside of reporting…he needs it now more than ever.

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    1. He’s the gift that never stops giving in terms of an idiot media member to make fun of. Did the same thing with the Jets – Bills in the last game of the season. Guaranteed a Jets win. They lose and are eliminated.

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      1. Yeah, his “confidence” on these and then how he acts like a child when they don’t go right is funny.

        Just say I think X wins. That’s fine. The stone cold stuff makes him look like some gambling clown who sells “picks”

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  5. Some media critiques in no particular order following the Pats/Chief’s game:

    – I had an hour drive around 10:00 pm last night. I tuned into WEEI and listened to a part of the Real Post Game show… WEEI had Glenn Ordway, Fred Smerlis and Butch Sterns doing the wrap up. I have no idea how well they did right after the game but the 10:00-11:00 our was absolutely brutal. It instantly took me back to all of the bad things about the old drive time Big Show that we all spent years documenting. From talking over each other, to inane points, to idiotic callers, to a pace that glacial…BRUTAL. What is interesting to me is that Ordway has been quite good on MFO. I think Merloni is the weak link on that show and out of season Fauria does nothing for me but Ordway’s presence has really cleaned that show up and made it pretty good. Not so with the Real Post Game show last night. You would think the playoffs would bring out the best in WEEI…they certainly made an offer bringing Ordway on to the show. Failed miserably.

    – I thought CBS’s coverage of the game was bad. I take that back…it was worst than bad. Dan Fouts had absolutely no idea what game he was calling. He barely understood the game. He had problems with getting rules right and with describing accurately the plays he was watching. Several times he wanted calls to go against the Pats when it was clear they should not go against them. He just did not know what he was talking about.

    – Because it needs to be asked…what were the air pressure readings from the game balls last night. If you measure them in a 72 degree room and then play the game in a damp 37 degree environment…how much did they pressure drop. Enquiring minds want to know. I ask this because the conditions yesterday were almost identical to the conditions the ones a year ago in the Pats/Colts game.

    – Speaking of the Colts and the Ravens and the Cowboys how is the Golf going…yes I am petty and vindictive.

    – Lastly, this one has nothing to do with the Pats game. I think the coverage of the Rams moving to LA has been fascinating. Your Glenn Ordway has been the most on the ball about the whys and hows locally and to be honest has had a better perspective and grasp than most of the national guys. The reason I find the who conversation interesting is that people have somehow forgotten that the Rams started out in LA. That the team was only moved to St. Louis because they could not get a stadium done in LA. It took 22 years to work out those details (talk about the pace of government). If you look at what Kronke is going to do at the old Racetrack you will see Patriot Place on steroids. The repercussions of that project are going to change Englewood, and the flow of traffic in LA for years as it will become as big a destination as Disneyland. I think the scope of the project has been lost on a lot of people who look at renderings on a phone or even a computer monitor and don’t comprehend what a $3 -$5 bill complex will look like. I hate LA…it is my least favorite place in North America…yet I am already looking forward to going out to see a game at the new facility and see all that they do in the min city they are building around it.

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    1. I lost track of how many times Fouts said a missed catch was a touchdown if they caught it. I think there were 6-7 hypothetical touchdowns scored in the 1Q alone, according to Danny Boy. My favorite was when he said a Chiefs DB would have had a pick-6 on the Edleman bobble (eerily reminisant of the Colts game) even though Jules tackled the guy. Or how he kept insisting the Pats need to run the ball and you can’t pass every down!! Ironic coming from Air Coryell himself.

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      1. The “announcing” across the board for the NFL is parody-level now. This year I haven’t caught much or when I did, I was watching a Redzone feed somewhere or had the radio on. I think it’s usually Harlan doing the Westwood One games that WEEI got but I never kept track.

        As far as TV, I’m not even sure how to judge quality between everyone that is on. Simms does something dumb multiple times in a game. Mike Carey is a joke and gets everything wrong. Even Pierra seems like he’s just hawking products in an expensive suit. Aikman is so bland and uses the same seven cliches. Even Gruden is tiring now. It’s not like these networks don’t have their pick on who can do games. Not helping matters is the product. Nobody knows what a catch, PI or many of the rules are.

        I’m still wondering who this was:

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  6. Damn, I’m already aggravated about the Pats having to go to Denver next week because of the “head-to-head tiebreaker.” The officiating on Nov. 29 was a disgrace; I’m not expecting it to be much better next Sunday either. This is, after all, the golden boy (nothing to see here) HGH user’s last real shot at a Super Bowl, right? Yes, after the league’s conduct towards the Patriots’ organization over the past 12 months, I’ve gone full-blown conspiracy theorist, and I hate that Goodell and his minions have turned me into a tinfoil-hat wearer, I really do.

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    1. Me too. I haven’t watched any football this year because of the nonsense and the fact that I am 100% sure the league won’t let the Patriots win this year. I hate it. #FireGoodell

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      1. Me either. I have watched — I kid you not — maybe 20 plays, total, of other NFL games this season that did not involve the Patriots. This past weekend I watched what I could call “most” of the Pittsburgh/Denver game (probably two and a half quarters) because I wanted to see if the Pats would get a break and have home field for Sunday’s game. That’s it. That “great” Green Bay/Arizona game? Didn’t watch a single play. The channel was immediately switched over to the last half of the Bruins game after Brady took his final knee against KC in Foxboro. I’m done with that corrupt league run by that corrupt, lying jackass of a commissioner. The Patriots, and only the Patriots, are my focus. As for this coming Sunday, I’m really in full tin-foil hat mode over this game, and I HATE IT. I was never like this before the made-up joke that was the “Deflategate” saga. Even with Spygate, I thought that was just a combination of Goodell being clueless about the history of the NFL and the “unwritten/unspoken rules” between teams that were always allowed to go on behind the scenes under previous commissioners, and his loving the media spotlight a bit too much, plus the hateful agenda of a media that had been drooling for a chance to “get” Belichick and “make him pay” for the way he “treated them” in press conferences over the years. Of course, that was before Deflategate and Tom Curran’s excellent reporting about just how many ex-Jets (and ex-players/personnel from other teams) with axes to grind against BB (e.g. Kensil) are actually employed in important positions in the league office. I really don’t see the NFL letting them win this game Sunday. If they were playing the Steelers at home, I could see the Pats being “allowed” to sneak by and then get hammered by the league/refs in the Super Bowl two weeks hence. But this game? This game is against Saint Peyton — whose alleged involvement with HGH isn’t worth investigating or even talking about, apparently — in what could very well be his last shot at the Big Dance. I expect A LOT of laundry to fly against NE, and I expect most of it to fly after the Pats make big plays on either side of the ball….just like in November (and in the 2006 AFC title game at Indy, when ALL of the questionable/bad calls went the Colts’ way). I mean, they could lose this game fair and square, too. Now they’re beat up on defense just as their offensive guys are starting to come back, and stopping the run has been an issue for them over the last several weeks, so who knows? But if they’re playing well, and doing well early in the game, I really expect the “balance-tipping” by the refs to ramp up to “11”.

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    1. He was just o with D/C/M. Literally a laugh out loud funny interview. Not because he was being funny but because….well, you know. “Peyton was razor sharp and very accurate. Brady, not so much.” I just….I can’t even….

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      1. He still crows about “going against public and media opinion” and drafting Mario Williams #1 overall for the Texans in the ’06 draft when “everyone” said they should draft Reggie Bush. So, that’s one thing he got right during his career (but isn’t “going against public and media opinion” and making “unpopular” decisions part of what being a GM is all about?). He also drafted Heath Shuler fifth overall during his tenure in Washington (and later claimed that Shuler really wasn’t “his guy” in that draft), and traded up to draft Desmond Howard in ’92, expending a lot of draft capital to do so. He was on Beathard’s staff when Beathard built those semi-dynastic Redskins teams in the 80s, but when Casserly got a chance to run things on his own, well, he was no Beathard. The team that won it all in ’91 was pretty much in place already by the time Casserly took over as GM, though he deserves some credit for tweaking around the edges and putting on the finishing touches.

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  7. I thought Matt Hasselbeck was legit gonna try and fight Minihane this morning. “How DARE you say something bad about my binkie, Peyton Manning!! How dare you, sir!!” Unreal. Pats fans may #DefendTheWall but my sweet lord, the media will die on the wall for Manning without question. They’d turn on each other just for the right to be the one to take the bullet.

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  8. Deflategate turns 1 today:

    I love how he celebrates it at 12:15.

    It still remains one of the juiciest stories out there for a reporter to become the next Woodward/Bernstein, whom many idolize and got into the business because of, but we’ve yet to have any takers.

    http://thornography.weei.com/sports/boston/2016/01/18/reporter-who-started-deflategate-celebrates-1-year-anniversary/

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    1. Ah yes, Kravitz, the memories…….of the final lost shreds of whatever journalistic credibility you may have had before you helped the league launch this phony witch hunt at the behest of your beloved Colts. Eff you, moronic hack.

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    2. “It still remains one of the juiciest stories out there for a reporter to
      become the next Woodward/Bernstein, whom many idolize and got into the
      business because of, but we’ve yet to have any takers.”

      That really is hard to believe. A story that would embarrass the leadership of a sports league is just sitting there. So much of the information is publicly available that anyone who posts here could put together a decent article. Imagine what someone with contacts, inside information and an audience could do. The fact that no one will is an interesting sub-story.

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      1. The salient things that come to mind w/o doing a true balance sheet:

        – Complete dismissal and ignoring of science. (Shocking, too, the public has no interest.)
        – Problems in methods used trying to convict Patriots (difference in gauges)
        – The dozens? hundreds? of lies from Goodell/NFL proven wrong thanks to testimony and required discovery.
        – League has still not released PSI. Why isn’t the media going nuts here? Perfect opportunity to nail the Cheatriots, right?
        – How the whole thing was started on two lies that have been discredited.
        – How the league lied to the Patriots thanks to them dumping the emails from Pash and the other clowns on Park Ave.
        – The “independence” of Ted Wells. You could write a book on how this is a joke.
        – Remember the theft of the balls? When Schefter send a TOW missle directly into Bob Ley, live on OTL and Kelly Naqi? Nothing followed up there.

        I’m going off what I can recall from wasting so much time invested in this. There’s probably dozens more if you were to go back over the past year and just look at documents + PR. We’re not even talking some pretty extreme liberties with circumstantial evidence and negligent conjecture, like Wells did.

        This isn’t a fishing expedition. There’s voluminous, tangible facts out there for someone that it seems like anyone with some interest and sources could unearth within a month.

        I’d like to know why nobody has done it either. Not everyone is “owned’ or affiliated with the NFL.

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        1. “I’d like to know why nobody has done it either. Not everyone is “owned’ or affiliated with the NFL.”

          My spiteful Pats fan hope is someone is investigating this behind the scenes and getting their ducks in a row to write an airtight expose of the NFL. Seems to me that could make a career. I wonder if Dan Wetzel (who you linked above) has considered it. He’s been on the NFL’s case since the beginning.

          I have to believe Bill Simmons is lining something up for his new show to incriminate the NFL & ESPN. Hell of a way to make a premier.

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  9. Peyton’s move of sliding then popping up and throwing is being described mostly as savvy and heady despite the officials blowing the call. What would the reaction be like if Brady pulled that maneuver?

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  10. I’m curious on the ratio of Deflategate references to Peyton’s HGH references during Sunday’s CBS broadcast. I predict 3-0. Synthetic MJ to HGH will be 2-0.

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  11. If nfl releases ball inflation week before super bowl than Kraft should have Stallone and Arnold take out HQ in NY. HTF can this even be under consideration let alone floated to the press?

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    1. And there are still some commenters below that article who say “Brady cheated!” Facts…..they just don’t matter these days; not to enough people anyway.

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  12. *ALERT! ALERT!* CONTRARIAN RADIO AHEAD! To nobody’s surprise Felger has flipped the script. For two months he’s been leading the “Manning is done” charge, but now “he’s not as bad as everybody thinks he is.” By everybody, you mean you, as well, Mike? And he’s parlayed that into people saying Manning is garbage are really saying Denver as a whole is garbage. It’s amazing. It really is. Evil, trolling, contrarian genius. Dale said it best – “You are the best straw-man argument in this town.”

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    1. He’s been accusing “Patriots fans” of taking Denver lightly ever since the final gun sounded in the Denver/Pittsburgh game on Sunday night. WTF? The Patriots almost never win in Denver. They’ve lost to good teams, mediocre teams, and even a couple bad ones out there. It goes all the way back to the Elway days and it’s continued through the BB/Brady era. It’s a house of horrors for them out there. Bad, weird things happen to them when they play in that city. Also, the Broncos have won 13 games this season. As BB’s former boss used to say: you are what your record says you are, and Denver is 13-4. So….who the hell is taking Denver “lightly” next Sunday? Maybe some of the more yahoo-homer types out there, but certainly not most Pats fans. I imagine most of them are as pessimistic as I am about this game. Between the Manning “swan song” story, the fact that Denver is a good team, the home crowd, and the NYJFL’s desire to see ANYONE but the Patriots win the Super Bowl this year, the Pats are certainly facing long odds next week IMO. Felger can suck it (h/t Shawn Thornton).

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      1. Denver being good and Peyton Manning being good are two separate issues and he’s trying to wrap them into one. I would give Denver a much better chance with Osweiler behind center.

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        1. I wouldn’t. I see Osweiler as having different weaknesses. He might have a stronger arm but his decision making is slow and the decisions he makes are questionable. The Broncos have a sophie’s choice to make…the guy with the dead arm who sees and processes fast or the guy with the live arm who processes slow and makes poor decisions. In reality Denver doesn’t have 2 QB’s they have none.

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    2. Agreed. It has been extremely frustrating. But let us never forget that at his core, Michael Felger is a massive troll. Yes, he’s been far better than usual this season, but there had to come a time when he was going to pull this. He has many points that aren’t bad ones, such as the Pats having a real tough time playing in Denver, that the refs will likely be against us, etc… But much of that is his non-existent strawmen. He gets a few yahoo callers who might say that, but most logical people out there are not taking this game lightly.

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  13. Jerry Thornton sums up Dan Shaughnessy and gets a a shot in at the Globe at the same time:

    Like I said, it can’t be easy to be the Curly-Haired Boyfriend in an
    age like this. He owes his career to the miserable, downtrodden teams
    and nut-crushing losses he grew up covering. And now, faced with
    unprecedented levels of success in a league designed to prevent
    long-term, sustained excellence, he’s never figured out how to adapt.
    He’s a communist party apparatchik after the fall of the Soviet Union
    struggling to embrace the freedom and democracy of the decadent West he
    always hated.

    If the Pats should win another Super Bowl and Shaughnessy is further exposed as the trolling fraud he is, at least he’ll have a paper route to fall back on.

    http://thornography.weei.com/sports/boston/2016/01/19/dan-shaughnessy-claims-patriots-blew-season-by-losing-to-miami-on-purpose/#more-6202

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  14. Got in my car today and fired up the Tune-In Radio app on my phone. Dale & Holley were in commercial so I turned to DB & YARM and honest to god, I hear Felger que up Danny in Quincy and when he’s done screaming who’s next? Carlton in Norwell. I seriously contemplated taking my hands of the wheel and letting fate drive. Safe to say it was the longest Dale & Holley commercial break in the history of radio. The Big Show “celebrity” callers were mostly dumb, in some cases funny. The guys Felger parades on the airwaves? Infuriating. Rage inducing. Maddening.

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    1. Remember when Felger bragged in the beginning of the Hub that they wouldn’t do celebrity callers like the Big Show? Felger has become what he destroyed. He cuts off callers, gets mad at his staffers when they don’t agree with him, insults,mocks callers and listeners,relies on the same “celebrity” callers everyday to troll the audience and just like Glenn mostly ignored “serious” hockey talk so has Felger done the same with the NBA. The only thing Felger hasn’t done yet is gain 100 lbs and grow a mustache but that’s coming.

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  15. Our long National nightmare is over, third shifters and early risers. Noted Patriots troll, Deflategate Truther, Jets fan and gambling addict Jason Page is going off the air! Woo-hoo!

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    1. Him vs. Marlboro Man vs. Freddie Coleman was rough if I had to be driving at those hours. I don’t know if he was good or bad before DG but, over the past few months, he made so many football segments about trolling Patriots fans.

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    2. Page used to have a local show in CT on ESPN radio and only lasted a few years there. It didn’t help him that he decided to attack the UConn basketball team. Not for an off court issue or the school giving him a hard time about interviews. He apparently thought it was a good idea to mock the team and alienate his audience. After this latest failure, maybe he should realize that talk radio is not for him.

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      1. “He apparently thought it was a good idea to mock the team and alienate his audience. ” I dunno, sounds like he’d be perfect for the Boston market.

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      1. I would like to know what the numbers are of people who dropped the paper copy and pay for the digital like my father and the WSJ or my uncle and the NYT.

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        1. Yes, I think a lot of this can be attributed to that. People are growing more accustomed (resigned) to paying for digital subscriptions. But, man, look at USA Today, which doesn’t have digital subscriptions (perhaps many hotels don’t leave papers in front of every room)

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          1. A few months back, I stayed at a local Holiday Inn (300 rooms) for a conference near-by that I know used to give papers to every room each morning, and they no longer do it. They did have about 10 copies between the restaurant and front desk, but asked that you kept them in the area. I didn’t ask why the change was and don’t know if this is the same w/most hotels.

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        2. Same questions I had.

          None available.

          It’s like the internal metrics for people like me who stream WEEI or SportsHub all day, not that I count w/o a PPM anyways.

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  16. No doubt you guys have heard about the Flemming saving a woman story. It came from his HS in Chicago.

    Guess it might not be true? I’m not jumping to any conclusions since #1 Boston LOLbe Investigative Reporter, Chief Inspector Ben Clouseau is on it.

    (I sure hope to hell this guy isn’t making up stories but is this something you make up, let go viral, and lie to your teammates about? Yeah, I am sure there’s a DSM V entry/disorder for this but you know people check up with this stuff.)

    EDIT: Chris Villani follows up

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    1. Yeah, just chill! He’s a journalist! It’s not like eight years from now people will still be talking about this. You know like the time the Pats filmed the Rams practice.

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    2. This whole thing is pretty pathetic. The Globe, TMZ and Deadspin (others I’m sure) have spent most of the day “trying to corroborate” the story with the inference being that it might not be true. Trollin ,et al should spend more time vetting their OWN stories first. He who lives in a glass house, etc etc.

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    1. The best is Bert Breer trying to make this about the fact that the cops were used, not that the NFL officials screwed up…again.

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    1. No I don’t think he did…maybe its lost in the notoriously slow inter office mail system at Schaefer Stadium.

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    2. As if the media wasn’t problematic enough before Twitter, this episode further illustrates how ridiculous the “race to be first” really is. In the end, NO ONE except for the mediot that is first, cares about who or what outlet was the first to report something. But to these mediots, it’s their Super Bowl trophy. So instead of working through ALL of the channels and carefully fact checking what amounts to be a molehill of a story in the grand scheme of things, the mediots race to discredit Fleming. And let’s give give Trollin’ some credit, most of the mediots that did the exact same thing will never issue any kind of an apology to Fleming. It’s just business as usual.

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  17. If the NFL does decide to “release the PSI numbers”, I think we’ve got our PR strategy:

    “A couple days after the HGH news on him broke, everyone from ESPN’s Tom
    Jackson to Jim Nantz declared it a non-story, but the stuff about me
    and PSI is still lingering,” said Brady. “Peyton told me that, first of
    all, I should claim it was Gisele who wanted to deflate footballs. And,
    second, I need to imply that anyone who speaks ill of me is likely a
    Muslim who just wants to bring down an American sports hero.”

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  18. OK, OK….this is the last of my conspiracy stuff about Sunday’s game, I promise. BUT, the Patriots are 8-10 in the last 18 games ref’d by Hoculi, and Denver is UNDEFEATED IN THIS MILLENIUM in games ref’d by Eddie “Gun Show.” I don’t even know if I can watch this thing……

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      1. And the local media (Neumy being the most recent one) is calling us “crazy” for fearing what the NYJFL may try to pull. They’ve just spent the last 12 months brutalizing the Patriots organization and its marquee player over a huge, made-up pile of nothing. Does anyone out there really believe that Goodell and Co. will tolerate Brady, Belichick, and the rest of the Foxboro Legion of Doom being the team to oust Saint Peyton from what could be his last playoff game, and his last legit shot at another Super Bowl appearance? And if anyone out there doesn’t believe Goodell is having nightmares about the possibility of handing yet another Lombardi over to BB and Brady on Feb. 7th — while the 20,000 or so Patriots fans in attendance in Santa Clara mercilessly boo him and chant “Fire Goodell” or “Roooooogeeeerr!” — then they simply haven’t been paying attention.

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  19. ESPN’s Kevin Van Valkenberg shockingly comes clean:

    “@bruceallen Thanks for the RT, Bruce. For the record: I was wrong then. Pats had/have a right to be pissed. I was part of the problem.”

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  20. One thing I’ve noticed is that at 10PM on weekdays, Mikey Adams is either replaced by Mutt, Villani or Arcand. They usually start as his “co-partner” even if he has Megs? (I don’t know if its his name) in studio. He’s already “off” half the year for the Sox and is on for maybe an hour when they syndicate Westwood One’s MNF package. Harbinger that they’re transitioning away from him?

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    1. Boy, I hope so. I know Mikey has a niche audience, but there is nothing appealing about his program. I can’t even turn it on.

      I end up tuning in to 98.5 at nights just because Mikey is a total zero for me. It’s a shame too since I’ve always felt that a good night program on EEI could easily steal listeners from Adam Jones and his negativity. The only redeeming part of the either night program is Rich Keefe.

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    2. I think Mikey’s been on thin ice for awhile. He’s probably pretty cheap (which is why he’s lasted this long) but he needs a lot of support to get through four hours. I could easily see him being replaced by one of the younger guys when his contract is up.

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    3. Lenny Megliola is useless.

      As for Mike Adams…as much as I want to see him gone his ratings are rock solid and way outperform how much he is being paid. The WEEI evening show is impossible to listen to yet stoners and 70’s Sox aficionados do it so well that the show out performs 98.5. As much as Mikey should be put to bed he is not going anywhere.

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      1. On ratings, Finn’s article on 12/22/2015:

        From 6-11 p.m., The Sports Hub, which airs “The Adam Jones Show” and Bruins and Celtics games in that window, was first (11.4). WEEI, which broadcasts “The Planet Mikey Show” at night, was second (7.8).

        (The period covered is September 10 – December 2.)

        Even with the lack of optimism for the C’s and B’s, that must be a good # for Mikey, right? Some of that period includes MNF when it’s not the Patriots/Sox.

        I don’t know if it’s normal that stations take their evening show to the Superbowl. I recall, last year, that SportsHub even took Jones, but can’t be sure Mikey has been talking, for weeks, about how he’s planning to get into Santa Clara, since WEEI made it clear that they’re not taking him even if the Patriots are in it. I don’t have a count but I recall that both stations have sent their 6-6 groupings for the past few years, even if the Patriots aren’t in it, with how big of an event it has become. And, now, it seems like almost every sports talk station sends at least one of their drive-time crews for the week there.

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  21. I know this news doesn’t affect us but this has to be a top5 nominee for “biggest sports lie of the year” The responses to the tweet are hilarious.

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    1. “The Deflator.” I’m an unabashed homer, and so my opinions will be dismissed as just that, but the more I think about WHEN Dorito guy called himself “the Deflator” (May 2014); the more I think about his use of the words “deflate and give me that jacket” when texting the other guy during the 2014 Green Bay game (from his couch in New Hampshire); and the more I think about how the word “deflate” has been used as a reference to weight loss in several men’s health publications, and even in an NFL Network program a few years ago, the more I think the guy really WAS talking about losing weight. He’s a big guy, after all, and he’s probably tried to drop weight a million times since he grew to that size. It’s just unfortunate that those texts exist, because, as you said, the term “The Deflator” and the infamous 90-second bathroom trip are the ONLY things the Deflategate Flat-Earth Society in the media (h/t Jerry Thornton) have left to hang their hats on, given that the “science” in the Wells Report has been utterly annihilated by far, far, far more credible sources over the last several months. Have I mentioned how much I hate Roger Goodell’s NFL? He’s got to go, and the first thing a new Commish should do is reinstate the stolen draft picks. It’s a friggin’ joke that they’re going to have to sit idle during the first round next May. It’s criminal, in fact.

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    2. And this isn’t some schmuck writing it. It’s Joe Nocera. He’s one of the NYT’s big guns.

      Another passage that pissed me off was this one:

      “The other owners, feeling that the Patriots had been caught cheating a second time, wanted Goodell to crush them. Indeed, although the N.F.L. denies this, it was made clear to the commissioner that there would be repercussions for him if he went too easy on the Patriots.”

      That makes Kraft’s “for the good of the other 31” rah-rah-ing even more repulsive and pathetic.

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      1. Between this and the “process” of moving teams to LA, it’s clearer than ever that most owners are duplicitous sleaze who would stab their mother in the back if it were good for business and Goodell is a highly paid goon/punching bag.

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        1. I am confused. What was duplicitous of the Kronke move to LA. He owned a football team, he owned the land under the old Hollywood Race Track which is a perfect site for a football stadium and he never promised St. Louis he would stay. Now if you want to argue SD or the Raiders moving is duplicitous that I would entertain…but not so the Rams. They should have never have gone to St. Louis in the first place.

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          1. Regarding the Rams, that kind of my point. He never had any intention of staying in St. Louis and negotiated in bad faith with the city. He and the NFL presented an offer that was a virtual non-starter so Kroenke and Rog could shrug and say “well we tried”. An offer that, as a side note, would have been awful for the taxpayers.

            Also, regarding the other two, they switched the vote at the last minute to be a secret ballot and it resulted in a bunch of the owners Spanos believed to have not voting for his proposal. These people will turn on each other at the drop of a hat so long as they can do it in secret.

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      2. So those other owners are just as ignorant about “Spygate” as the fans and media have been for the last 8+ years. For the love of God, have any of them heard what guys like Cowher, Jimmy Johnson, Dick Vermeil, and Mike Shanahan have had to say about that “cheating scandal?” It burns me that something that was a common practice and had been dismissed (rightfully so) as gamesmanship between teams by previous commissioners was allowed to become the NFL’s Teapot Dome scandal — it wasn’t even illegal to film signals, technically, if you peruse what the actual rulebook says (a memo from the league office cannot change a written rule; that’s a bylaw, even I know what that means). And can we please stop with the “Goodell went easy on them” crap? A first round draft pick is not a minor penalty. It’s huge, and it’s a commodity that the league office (both times under Goodell, not surprisingly) has now confiscated twice from the Patriots, while salary cap cheats (Denver) and teams who tamper with other teams’ players on a routine basis have received the equivalent of slaps on the wrist for their transgressions (can’t blame Goodell for Denver only losing 3rd rounders since he wasn’t in charge back then, but it just goes to show how must more level-headed about stuff like that Tagliabue was when he was in charge). The bottom line is that everything that’s been said about, and done to the Patriots by Park Avenue, the “other 31,” and the despicable media since 2007 has been fueled by pure Hater-Ade. That’s what this is all about. It’s a joke, and it’s driven me away from the non-Patriots portion of the NFL, for good.

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      3. I think this was brought up before, but the ultimate dichotomy with Kraft is “31 or 5.5?”

        I don’t know who said it, and if they said it in that way, but we all know what it means. (A piece by Curran comes to mind.)

        Kraft seemed to “get us” here in the “5.5 Patriot States” but I
        think all of us wonder if he sold out at some point (and, if Jonathan
        did). Reasonable people don’t care if you make a shi-tload of money, but this whole incident all of us fight to this day; and, we’ll continue to because of your inaction. Even if you “lost” due to the NFL Charter, a la Al Davis, you’d still have a home, forever, here.

        Are you with us or against us? You want this zealotry and unbridled support? Basking in the glory of insane ratings, support, etc. (even with half the loser media in town being anti- )? You can’t sit there and just shill out like some f-cktard politician.

        Bob, we hold out hope.

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  22. Something tells me the Ted Wells “batsignal” won’t be hauled out of storage:

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  23. Bill Belichick coached horribly starting in the second half of the first
    Broncos game through the end of today’s game. He coached us out of the
    #1 seed in the regular season, then coached to lose today before the
    ball was kicked off. Frankly, it was startling to watch and, hopefully,
    it’s not a sign of things to come.

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    1. Hot take: Belicheck was secretly told by Kraft that the NFL couldn’t have the Patriots in the SB so he forced him to coach badly once they lost. Just bad enough, but allowed for Manning Brady and NFL to save face.

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