Tuesday, November 06, 2007

No Fun League at it Again

While football commentary generally doesn't belong on this website, there are some very real aspects to the whole Pats-Colts game that shouldn't go unnoticed by any audience. Apparently, there may have been cheating again, but this time not from those dastardly Patriots, a team caught doing something the entire NFL has been doing for years now. This time it's the team representing the side of "good," the Colts (yes, I did read a sports column about how the Pats-Colts game was all about good vs. evil, but I'll spare everyone the link). But it's not like we're going to hear anything about it, because the "good" team can't possibly cheat - right? The Powers that Be only want to push the meme that the Patriots are cheating bastards, not just a team that's worked harder and longer at being better than the rest of the NFL. So, shhh, don't let that secret out of the bag.

What's stunned me as a person is how hateful the rest of the country has become toward something as trivial as a sports team, something that isn't altogether different than the political discourse going around for the past few decades. I don't know if we're more or less likely to pick up a column insinuating the Patriots ought to be renamed the Satanists, or hear Ann Coultershock claiming liberals are going to go to hell anyway, so we may as do the dirty deed now and get it over with. Seriously, would either of the two scenarios shock anyone?

It all gets me back to a discussion I had a few months ago with Lynne's husband on how some people - mostly conservatives - think differently. How these people have authoritarian minds. It doesn't matter if it's sports, politics, news or what's the best cookie recipe, a lot of the 'leading voices' on any of these matters all seem to think alike, even if the subjects they're interested in may be different. The Patriots were shown, in public, as a bunch of cheating scoundrels. In the case of the Colts game, NFL officials hushed up the nonsense and essentially said, 'go home everyone, nothing to see here, folks.' And, of course, they're doing many fans - with a certain kind of mind frame - a real service. Everyone else? Not so much. It's important to resist/ignore/deflate talking heads from around the country, because things that are right are often ignored, while the unimportant or trivial matters become the next Lacy Peterson story - all for the benefit of a few who would only be more than happy to be in charge of everything, yet can't be trusted within a hundred feet of a leadership position. Go Patriots!


Anonymous said...

Ryan, you do live in Massachusetts, right?

If it "blows your mind" about how "hateful" people get toward a sports team, don't ever, ever, EVER go to a Red Sox-Yankees game. Or for that matter, any Yankees "away" game.

The Pats are big, bad, bold, and unapologetic. They run up the score. They humiliate their opponents. They make winning look easy. Nobodies turn into superstars when they don the Patriots uniform, and superstars turn into gods. The coach acts as if he hates journalists, and has no personality. They hang franchise heroes out to dry if the money's not right. They cheated for no reason to start the year (oh, yeah, Jets -- THAT game would have been a challenge). Of course they're hated! That's what happens to a dominant team that goes about its business with disdain for the competition, the league, the game. The Patriots are about one thing -- winning. Not "aw shucks, it's awesome to play the game" or "giving it our best" but...winning.

Cowboys...Yankees...Bulls...it's just our turn now. (I say this as an unrestrained Pats fan. Just get used to being the bad guys. It can be fun.)

Anonymous said...

envious people always demonize their imagined (or real) opponents whether in the world of sports or life. Look at the way the US is viewed by most muslim countries.

Anonymous said...

Ryan - the real solution is much more simple than good and evil.

Bill Polian of the Colts sits on the League Oversight Committee. The purpose of the committee is to watch to see what infractions are not being called, and call them to the referee's attention. One such call, for example, is pass interference which was not being caught on the field.

Now, Belichek and Kraft have an absolute policy of no matter what, never complain to the Referees - and Bill Polian constantly complains and whines if a Colt is called for ANYTHING.

Result? Pats called twice for pass interference (and the one on Ellis Hobbs was bogus) for 177 yards, the Colts NOT called for the exact same maneuver, and also not penalized for three late hits on the Pats QB (tackling QB AFTER ball has been thrown).

And we beat them anyways. Heh.

Ryan Adams said...

Anon 10:54,
I get that there's some animosity toward the Yankees, but that's more of a rivalry than hatred. Furthermore, it's two cities pitted against each other, not a whole country turning on a rock-solid franchise. Furthermore, the only game where they've really, truly run up the score was the Redskins game - and I think that was very much in response to the league claiming they were running up the score, basically saying 'no, this is what running up the score looks like.' Furthermore, I've seen a lot of blowouts in my time, but never the Serious People of the media all talking about running up the score - it just goes so nicely with the Pats-are-evil meme. Were people en masse saying the same thing about some of the truly dominant 49er teams of the past, etc? Or the "Best Team on Turf?" No.

Anon 5:28,
Pre-Bush administration, in many (if not most) Muslim countries, including the biggest in population, the populations had a positive opinion of America. So, I'm not sure if that's a valid comparison: Muslim countries - and any other country that cares about the people of the middle east - have a very large right to be pissed off at America right now, because of the Republicans and the Bush administration.

Anon 12:01,

That's an interesting perspective. I could definately tell that the playcalling was seriously uneven. Furthermore, I knew about Pollian and his influence on the (new) rules of the NFL, especially by basically forcing corner backs to take it easy on their oponents all because of the Colts whining about the Patriots. However, I didn't put the two together - I figured the NFL just didn't want the "evil" Pats to win and don't trust the current Commish to *not* be corrupt. LOL.

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