I am glad that the New York Football Giants won the Super Bowl. Not so much for the Giants, but more because I prefer anybody over Brady and Belichick. I have not always held a grudge against the New England Patriots. In fact, there have been times in that franchise’s history that I actually would have been considered a nominal fan. Here is why I have such strong feelings against their current coach and superstar quarterback:
I have always been a Drew Bledsoe fan. It began during my seventh-grade year when my father took me to see a high school phenom play for the Walla Walla Blue Devils against the Richland Bombers at Fran Rish Stadium. People had their suspicions and speculations on how good this kid really was – but I don’t think anybody really thought he would one day play in the National Football League. He surprised much of the region by choosing to play for the Washington State Cougars – rather than the more prominent programs who showed considerable interest. It must kill Husky fans to know that the most successful quarterback to ever come out of the state of Washington as a child chose to play for Wazzu over UW (some people would claim John Elway – but did he live in the state long enough? Besides I have a hard time counting Elway for anything).
How different would NFL history be if only the Seahawks would not have defeated the Patriots during the 1992 regular season? Then they would have been able to select the local boy over Rick Mirer (which by the way was an incredible college quarterback for Notre Dame – one game away from the national championship. But like Tim Tebow, not all college players are able to translate their game to the pros). But give Bledsoe credit, he took a team which had only one win the year before he arrived, to the Super Bowl in just four short seasons. Four seasons.
How soon do we forget. Just five years later, he would be hit so hard that he would leave the game witn internal bleeding. Tom Brady would enter the game, be named the starter the following game, and the franchise would never look back. Players should not lose their starting positions due to injury. Yes, coaches should field the best players. However, players should be given at least one opportunity to win their positions back.
Sure, Brady took the Pats to their first Super Bowl victory – but did he really? How many touchdown passes were thrown in the ENTIRE Patriots’ postseason that year? One. Brady was injured in the closing minutes of the AFC Championship Game against the Pittsburg Steelers. Guess who came in and lead the drive? Brady would never even had seen that first Super Bowl appearance had it not been for Drew Bledsoe.
Now, I am not saying Bledsoe is the better quarterback – but I am saying that he was not given a fair shake. He would never regain his composure. He would never be placed in a system that gave him a shot. He would never be given the credit that he deserved. And for that, I will never be a Tom Brady fan.
Say what you will about Spygate, but I guess that the NFL’s mantra is “Don’t Cheat – Unless it Works.” Why did Belichick get a slap on the wrist when he was caught video-taping practices but Josh McDaniels of the Denver Broncos loses his job? Because McDaniels did not deliver. I am not saying that the Patriots’ three Super Bowl championships would not have happened had it not been for cheating – but I am saying that we will never truly know. That is what happens when you cheat. Your achievements come under question. And that is how it should be. Say what you will, but Belichick has yet to win another championship in the post-Spygate era.
Thank you to Eli Manning and the New York Giants from saving me from yet another Patriots’ Parade. Now, if only the Saints can win a postseason game on the road…