If you were to step outside and check the winds for any scent of residual angst left over from the Patriots videotaping scandal, you'd likely return having smelled nothing. I'd say about 99.9% of those angered by the situation have gotten over it. There's still that guy filing the class action suit against the Pats on behalf of the Jets fans--a guy who is soon to lose his license to practice law for filing frivolous lawsuits--but beyond him, it's kind of a dead story. That is unless you are ESPN.com's Gregg Easterbrook. According to Mr. Easterbrook, the Patriots cheating scandal story is not dead, it's just heating up. As the heat of the story rises, so does Gregg Easterbrook's blood pressure. And apparently Mr. Easterbrook's ability to deal with the Patriots in a rational manner is inversely proportional to his blood pressure level because his column in this week's Tuesday Morning QB is one of the most absurd pieces of textual tripe I've ever had the misfortune to lay my now weary eyes upon.
Easterbrook's central thesis of his column is that the Patriots are the spawn of Satan while the Colts are taking the EZ Pass line through the Pearly Gates (that's not an exaggeration. That is legitimately what he's saying). His reasoning, let's just say that bald speculation and irresponsible claims would be an improvement over some of the stuff he's using. Here's a taste:
Argument for the Indianapolis Colts as paladins who carry the banner of that which is beneficent: Sportsmanship, honesty, modesty, devotion to community, embrace of traditional small-town life, belief in higher power, even love of laughter."Love of laughter?" What the fuck does that mean? Do the Patriots not like laughing? I'm pretty sure they've laughed at the last 7 teams they've faced. And what the fuck does it mean to "embrace... traditional small-town life?" Is that code for Tony Dungy's hatred of gays? But there's so so much more:
The team's star, Peyton Manning, stands for love of family, constantly appearing in public with his brothers, father and mother. Manning is happily married and a major donor to a children's hospital.This is a blatant shot at Brady and his out of wedlock kid. That's pretty classy, triple G Gregg. And to imply that the Colts donate to charities and that the Pats stiff them is just ridiculous. Junior Seau has one of the largest athlete sponsored charity foundations in the world. Tedy Bruschi is a speaker at about a foundation a day while Tom Brady is involved with about a dozen charities and has even lobbied Congress for additional funding for ONE Campaign for the eradication of world poverty. Cripes, even Lucifer himself (Belichick) represents and donates his time and money to more charities than I have time to write about. I'm not saying that the Pats donate more than the Colts do, but to even insert charity work into the argument is just stupid. Athletes work with charities all the time. To say the Colts donate to charities is not a point in their favor. Every team and player does.
And if that wasn't bad enough, here's what he's got to say about the Pats:
Argument for the New England Patriots as scoundrels in the service of that which is baleful: Dishonesty, cheating, arrogance, hubris, endless complaining even in success.... They run up the score to humiliate opponents -- more on that below -- thus mocking sportsmanship. Their coach snaps and snarls in public, seeming to feel contempt for the American public that has brought him wealth and celebrity. Belichick and the rest of the top of the Patriots' organization continue to refuse to answer questions about what was in the cheating tapes -- and generally, you refuse to answer questions if you have something to hide. The team has three Super Bowl triumphs, yet its players regularly whine about not being revered enough. The team's star, Tom Brady, is a smirking sybarite who dates actresses and supermodels but whose public charity appearances are infrequent. That constant smirk on Brady's face reminds one of Dick Cheney; people who smirk are fairly broadcasting the message, "I'm hiding something." The Patriots seem especially creepy at this point because we still don't know whether they have told the full truth about the cheating scandal -- or even whether they really have stopped cheating.Let's take that last "point" first. If you know something we don't, G-Regg, lay it on me brother. But to baldy conject (that may be an improper usage of that word but I like it) that the Pats are still cheating is meritless. I understand the Pats don't deserve the benefit of the doubt with regards to cheating and if there were any legitimate accusations of such conduct they wouldn't get it. But to come out and speculate that the Pats may continue to cheat WITH NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER is fucking ludicrous. But getting to his other stuff: non-response equals lying... um, ok. What do you want them to say? According to the league, they did everything that was asked of them and nothing came of it. So is the league lying? Is the league complicit in this conspiracy to allow the Patriots to get an advantage over everyone else? Easterbrook, you are a fucking moron. I already went over the Brady charity thing, but the Brady - Dick Cheney comparison strikes me as so completely ridiculous that I can't even really deal with it. The argument, if you can call it that, is that because Tom Brady has a crooked smile when talking to the media, he is a lying cheat. I think it's fair to say that that supposition doesn't really deserve a response.
And lest you think that's it, he's got a lot more pent up rage oozing from his finger tips to his keyboard:
In the Good vs. Evil narrative of the Colts and Pats, running up the score is a telling factor: It reveals a team's sportsmanship or lack of same, and whether a team shows sportsmanship in public might offer insights into its character in private.... This is supposed to be impressive. But I think it's creepy, and New England's creepy on-field behavior is only underscoring the seediness of the Beli-Cheat scandal.Excuse me, what was that? Now the fact that the Pats are killing other teams without the help of video assistance is evidence that the Pats in private are "creepy" off the field and "underscores the seediness" of the video scandal? How exactly? What is the relationship between the two? Is it that Pats are a group of bad people so everything they do has malicious intent. When Sammie Morris lowers his shoulder, is he trying to injure the defender? When Matt Light straight jabs the d-lineman in the solar plexus, is he trying to kill the guy? Gregg, I'm not following here. Because they taped another team--something other teams are rumored to have done--everything they do has malicious intent? Chill the fuck out, GE. We get it, you don't like the Pats. I can just imagine Gregg sitting at home with the Pats game on saying, "Kill him, kill him... KILL THAT PRETTY BOY CLEFFED CHIN FUCKER AND HIS CREEPY HOODED COACH! KILL THE FUCKERS GODDAMMIT!!!" If either Belichick or Brady wound up dead or knee-capped, there would be no investigation. They'd take Eaterbrook directly to the chair and I don't think he'd put up a fight.
I could spend all day parsing through this but it gets a little tiring. Easterbrook's irrational arguments and abuse of the word "creepy" are just not worth further review. He's clearly lost his f'n mind (apparently, others agree: here and here). But the last thing I want to say about the matter is that I understand that the Pats are the new Cowboys, Yankees, Duke and Notre Dame. I do not deny it and find myself to be insufferable in the matter. To be honest, it's a hard thing to come to grips with when your team just starts dominating a league and people start to hate you. Especially when your team (or sports region) has been historically associated with losing for so long. So while I don't apologize for coming off as a complete Pats homer, I do realize that people are going to find any reason they can to hate my team. I'm comfortable with that and will have to deal with it until Brady retires. All I ask is that the criticism be reasonable or rational. And if that's too much to ask from regular fans, I'd at least ask of it of the people who are paid to write about such things. Gregg Easterbrook's published poop on ESPN.com was a poorly formulated and borderline irresponsible (and that's gotta hurt coming from a underwear in the basement blogger not encumbered by your journalistic "ethics...") piece of shit that if a friend of mine sent to me to publish on my site I'd ask that he tone down the anger a bit and find a citation or two for his unsubstantiated conjecture regarding the Pats continued cheating before I posted it. And I make outrageous claims all the time! SETTLE DOWN GREGG. YOU'RE GONNA SEND YOURSELF TO AN EARLY GRAVE.