Thursday, November 16, 2006

A number of things have surprised me this fall. Among the things that I never would have believed:

1. 30 Rock would be better than Studio 60.
2. Studio 60 would be the worst Aaron Sorkin episode ever.
3. 30 Rock would be watchable.
4. At this point in the season Tony Romo would be my fantasy football QB, and I'd be happy with that.
5. I would miss the most obvious explanation for the sudden demise of the New England Patriots.

Somewhere in the back of the Patriots training facility, a quiet, somber ceremony marking the burial of a laboratory mouse named Algernon. The pieces all fit so nicely now. Bill Belichick went from a catastrophic failure in Cleveland to a surprise champion to a fully fledged genius to the man steering the Titanic into the ice field while trying to set a trans-Atlantic speed record in the span of five years. The reason for this seems obvious: Bob Kraft and his team of scientists subjected Belichick to some sort of experimental surgery which turned him from chump to champ, but now it's all falling apart.

For those of you who might not have noticed the oh so subtle allusion in the preceding paragraph, it's Flowers for Algernon, the classic Daniel Keys novellette which then became a classic novel and then classic film. It's the story of a mentally handicapped man who underwent an experimental surgical procedure and for a time became a genius. He developed an affection for a mouse named Algernon who had also been a subject of the experiment. When he realized that his old friends had mocked him and now resented him, he became depressed. Then he discovered that the effect was only temporary, the mouse died, he reverted to his former state and became more depressed.

While my application of this story to Bill Belichick's as yet unexplained loss of mojo is a bit cruel and certainly insensitive, I think it's the only plausible explanation for the decline and fall of his Patriot empire. I can't believe I didn't see it before. It seems much more likely than a defensive coordinator passed over for the immortal Ray Handley and a catastrophic failure in Cleveland suddenly turning it all around only to lose it all so quickly without outside interference.

For Patriots fans who might read this, the somewhat obscure reference of the day is from the novel Flowers for Algernon. For those who aren't Patriots fans, I figured I'd repeat myself so that the Patriots fans might get it. While I did a quick google search to make sure that I wasn't ripping some one off by accident (I got no results that came to the same conclusion I did, they might still be out there, so I apologize), I came across this dude's myspace page. His page has inspired me to add a tool of the week segment to this blog. Hell, he might win the award for the next several weeks. Yikes. I hope you'll all join me in praying this genetic code does not infiltrate the next generation.

I know I'm going to hell for this post. That's one of the reasons why this blog has been updated six days in a row. I'm also taking a very large risk in posting this content at this time. I am getting on a plane on Sunday, flying for my holiday getaway. So I have this bad karma going for me, which is not nice. It won't work well with a fear of flying, and a fear of dying with 150 tools. I assume there will be at least that many tools on the flight, as the American tool is one of the world's great wonders. It is the great cross-cultural leveler, and one of our only renewable resources. Wish me luck. Flying is very hard for a misanthrope with aviphobia, but it beats driving, the bus or a train.

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