Sunday, October 28, 2007

Weekends just keep on getting better for me, don't they? Next week I am forced at long last to root for the Indianapolis Colts to win a football game. I still hate the Colts, but far less so than I hate this incarnation of the New England Patriots. With each game, I like this Patriots team less and less.

The two images which will linger on longest in my mind from this "game" against the Washington Redskins will be Randy Moss committing offensive pass interference while the officials looked on without discharging their duties and Bill Belichick standing confused at midfield when the game ended and there was no opposing coach waiting to shake hands with him.

Imagine the audacity of Joe Gibbs, resenting the Patriots for scoring 44 points more than were needed to win. He should have been there waiting to congratulate Belichick for being God's gift to professional football. Even if he had to trample over widows and orphans to do it, Gibbs should have been there to render unto Belichick what is Belichick's.

I realize I'm in the habit of quoting or referring to Jimmy Johnson's response to Gerry Faust after the latter complained that Johnson had run up the score on his Fighting Irish team. Johnson's response was terse but to the point, as he said if you don't want to get blown out, then recruit better players. I am of the opinion that the Redskins should have taken steps necessary to ensure that they didn't find themselves on the wrong end of a 52-7 beating. But I don't blame Gibbs for not shaking Belichick's hand.

I am sure that I will be in the minority on this issue, since I am sure the sages of the Boston media like Shaughnessy, Ryan and the knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing troglodytes at their rival newspaper will rise to Belichick's defense. After all, the Boston media is exceedingly reluctant to question or criticize the pride of the NFL since they know they are less formidable adversaries for the team owner than certain eccentric heads of state.

Back to the point at hand, I don't blame Gibbs for refusing to shake hands with Belichick after this game. It is true that he could have, and probably should have, done something more to prevent this from happening. That said, I don't remember the portion of the Johnson quote that enjoined the defeated to enjoy their defeat. After all, would Belichick have been the model of graciousness had the situation been reversed? I hardly think so.

It seems strange, after the episode with Eric Mangini at the end of the rgular season last year, to see Belichick the victim of an episode like this. But can one fairly say that Joe Gibbs refusing to meet Belichick at midfield was any more classless than Bleichick leaving Brady in as long as he did, or when he replaced Brady continuing to pass the ball with Castle and Gutierrez? I don't think so, and not just as a Patriot hater but as a general football fan.

I appreciate that it is generally advisable to have a backup quarterback with game experience on hand in the event that the unthinkable should happen to Tom Brady. However, a half dozen completions against a Redskins team that had given up the ghost two and a half quarters before said backup quarterback left the bench aren't going to serve Castle or Gutierrez particularly well should one or the other be pressed into service next week. And it doesn't earn any karma points with the powers that govern the football universe.

But kudos to Joe Gibbs for not worshipping at the altar of Belichick and actually rendering unto him what is due. Going forward, I don't really know what to think yet, about the Colts game next week. I'm not going to make any predictions for a long time, now. I just know I'm rooting for Indy, even if it hurts my soul to root for Manning. And I'm looking forward to the Freeny matchup with Matt Light.

To any Patriots fans who take issue with my claim that the Moss play was offensive pass interference, consider this. What if Terrell Owens had made the same move in a theoretical game in Foxboro? Would you not call for the Norfolk County Sheriff's deputies to haul him off for arraignment for felony assault in Wrentham District Court? Or if Assante Samuel found himself the victim of such a play (even if it is stretching the imagination to the breaking point to picture someone puling a stunt like that without getting a beating to rival that which Bruce Lee threw on the Ohara character in Enter the Dragon from Assante for his trouble), would the fans not demand justice? Or at the very least a flag?

Of late, I've been thinking of the end of Moby Dick. The movie, since I never had the courage to face the book. Captain Ahab stabbed at the white whale from Hell's heart, and fat lot of good it did him. The whale just kept right on swimming. And the World Series is now over. And I have this to say to Red Sox fans: GET FUCKED. But remember, I mean that in the nicest way possible.

No comments: