Welcome to another installment of KSK's ongoing series, Better Know a Team. Today, the New England Patriots.
There's not much going for Boston these days. The Celtics and Bruins have stopped existing altogether, the Red Sox just got swept by the Royals to kick off their late-summer meltdown, and even the vaunted Masshole fans don't bitch with quite the same authority or volume that they used to. Just ask a Patriots fan: he'll tell you that the Pats-Broncos playoff game last January was the worst-officiated game of the postseason, yet somehow the Seattle fans bitched about their team's raw deal more loudly and more famously.
Be ashamed, Boston. Be very ashamed. When your fans are getting out-bitched by fans from the West Freaking Coast, you've lost the edge. (Of course, Steelers fans will point out that their team got the worst calls of the playoffs yet still managed to win. Assholes. Like, okay, good point, but not everybody gets lucky enough to play Peyton Manning when it counts.)
What else are Boston fans talking about? According to Bill Simmons -- and this thought is echoed by friends of mine from New England -- they want the cool uniforms in which they won championships gone, and the pansy-ass Pat Patriot brought back. Hey, I understand being nostalgic -- I'm cheering for the Seahawks while they wear a perversion of blue and electric green, after all -- but seriously? Shut the fuck up and enjoy your tasteful new uniforms. Be glad you're not in monochromatic burgundy or something.
The fans, bloated with the delight of four championships in as many years, have lost their edge, a sure harbinger of the next three generations of championship-less Boston sports. To celebrate, I've compiled the top five things to watch as the Patriots dynasty crumbles like a statue of Ozymandias:
1. Ohmahgah Tom Brady is the clutchest quarterback ever and he's so sexy what a true leader we love you Tom LOLOL!!! I'm calling bullshit on Tom Brady. I'm not questioning his abilities as player, mind you, but as a playa. Listen, there's no denying that Bridget Moynahan is hot. She is a positively beautiful woman. But she's seven years older than Brady -- she turns 36 in a month. At that age the only role available to her is the token old-but-hot chick on "Law & Order: We're Running Out of Names." I'm sorry, but if I were a three-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback and I had a jaw cut from granite, I'd feel entitled to a Victoria's Secret model, not someone whose biggest role was in The Recruit (plus: ew, she touched Colin Farrell).
Anyway, the rumors that they had broken up started last February when Brady was seen in Detroit partying and hitting on women. This was, you may recall, about the same time as his Super Bowl coin toss, ranked by an ESPN.com SportsNation poll as the most clutch coin toss in all of sports history.
2. Bill Belichick is going to lose his shit. Maybe not this year, maybe not the next, but someday, when the Los Angeles Saints become the 31st team to steal a Belichick protege by hiring his 17-year-old offensive coordinator, Coach Bill is going to flip out and start nailing every married forty-something receptionist in New Jersey.
3. Adam Vinatieri, Indianapolis Colt. Nope, no chance this will come back to bite them in the ass.
4. Tedy Bruschi, delicate yet resilient. In one of 2005's least publicized stories, linebacker Tedy Bruschi, who suffered an offseason stroke that was caused by a hole in his heart, returned to play midway through the season, shoring up a defense that had previously looked like this. (Do you think the surgeon who worked on Bruschi listened to music in the O.R.? I would have gone with Clarence Carter and Extreme on loop.)
Right now Bruschi's out with a broken wrist-- wait, WHAT? A broken wrist and he's not playing? And I was led to believe he was a warrior. Yawn. Wake me up when he comes back from Hodgkin's Disease or, I dunno, arachnoid cysts or something.
5. Popular player cast-off watch begins... NOW. Lawyer Milloy: heart of NFL-champion defense; released days before season opener. Ty Law: 36 INT's for the Patriots, tied for the team record; released. Adam Vinatieri: 2-for-2 in Super Bowl-winning kicks, not to mention a 45-yarder in a blizzard to send the Tuck Rule game into OT, plus the game-winner in OT; not franchised, signed with key rival. Willie McGinest: record holder for playoff sacks (single game and career), cornerstone of franchise; cut.
Man, the Patriots locker room must be the closest thing in America to a Warsaw ghetto circa 1940: "Who else is there!? Watch that holdout, Deion Branch, or your ass is gonna get cut. Tom Brady doesn't need receivers to win... What, you don't like it, Tom Brady? Better shut yer yap -- you think Bill Belichick can't win with Matt Cassel? Matt Cassel learned from Pete Carroll, man! He was ready to take over for Leinart, and he's ready to take over for you... You there, the All-Pro defensive end, Seymour! Get ready to re-structure your contract -- the team is only $15 million under the cap, and the front office needs more money to not re-sign its best players."
Sorry, Boston, it's over. Don't blame me, I'm just a "traveller from an antique land."