Just how strong is that Kool-Aid that Belichick is dishing out up there in Foxboro? After reading the puff piece about Brandon Meriweather in the notoriously "glass half empty" Boston Globe, I'm pretty sure Belichick could pick up OJ to be his RB coach and the media would blush with optimism about it. Just listen to some of the spin on the Meriweather gun incident (remember, this is the Globe. A paper that found a way to put a negative spin on the 2004 ALCS comeback!):
The gun incident has been well publicized. What may be a revelation is that the home in which he and his teammates had been living had been burglarized during the 2005 season while they were away.On justifying Meriweather's stomping the FIU players:
Meriweather.... had stayed at his girlfriend's place, came home at 6:30 a.m. to pick [his teammate] up for an offseason workout. After hearing a noise, the two went outside and the shooting ensued. Meriweather's gun was legally registered, and he faced no charges.
On the black plasma television hanging in his office, (UM Coach) Shannon showed a reporter three plays on the coaches' tape from that game. The first showed Miami safety Kenny Phillips being hit in the back twice after the whistle and a player pulling Phillips back as he attempted to retaliate. It's Meriweather. The second play showed an FIU receiver delivering an open-handed shot to Meriweather's head, followed by a roundhouse right that missed, in the second quarter. The third play, which occurred moments before the brawl, showed the same receiver delivering another head shot to Meriweather, who turned to a nearby official in exasperation. No flag.On just how misunderstood Meriweather truly is:
Those who know Meriweather admitted he has made some bad decisions, but were adamant he is not a bad seed. They pointed out that those rushing to judge Meriweather don't know him. They don't even know his name -- William Brandon Meriweather.So let me get this straight, because his gun was registered, it was ok to get in a gunfight with someone; and because some penalties went uncalled, it was ok to cleat some guy on the ground; and lastly, and my personal favorite, because we don't know Meriweather's full name, we don't know enough about Meriweather to draw conclusions about his character. Ok, let me address these in order:
1. "The Gunfight:" If Meriweather was defending himself and his friend, then you can argue to me that it's justified that he carried a registered gun and shot at a guy who had shot at him or his friend. But to say that because the gun was registered and Meriweather wasn't charged with a crime that I should watch my step before drawing an inference that this incident reflects poorly on him and his ability to avoid trouble, I think that's a bit much for my tastes.
2. "The Cleating of the FIU player:" This to me is the most absurd. I don't care what happened in the game, you don't run into a pile start stomping someone on the ground with your cleats (a pretty funny video of the UM-FIU brawl played to the Cougar's "This is our country" can be found here). If you're gonna run into a brawl, throw a punch or body slam someone. Kicking someone when they are down is about as low as it gets.
3. "We Don't Know Enough About Brandon Meriweather to Draw Conclusions About His Character Because We Don't Know His Name:" Other than sports fans, who amongst the vox populi knows PacMan Jones's real name? Is it fair for them to judge him? Of course it is. That justification is ree-dick-u-luss.
Now, I don't want to come off as all high and mighty about this. I think Meriweather will have a chance to prove the skeptics wrong. I just think it's a little early to absolve him from his character issues simply because he chose to sign with the Patriots. There is no way he gets a pass like this if he signs with the Raiders or Bengals. I'm all for Meriweather, I'm just upset at the way he's being covered. But what upsets me most about all of this is that because of the Meriweather selection and because of his FIU bitterness, it is very likely that the Pats will be unable to draft this fella when he declares for the draft (this whole column was kinda just a cheap excuse to bring back to the forefront of public lore the infamous "Ned"):