Brady and wife via instagram

Deputy Sheriff of NottinghamI order you to lose

Robin Hood: My Lord Sheriff you seem to think I can win and lose as I please, that’s a very difficult shot, a person could not be blamed for missing that target entirely.

Adventures of Robin Hood the Truce 1960

For the last week I’ve been listening to sports radio where the primary topic of interest here in New England still remains how the Patriots apparently gave the superbowl away.

Oh there’s been some talk of the Spectacular Season resurgence that the Bruins are having or the Celtics prospects of making it to the finals or the upcoming Red Sox seasons, but the primary topic is still how Bill Belichick gave away Superbowl 52 by sitting Malcolm Butler.

Now the decision to sit Butler is a controversial move and worthy of debate but given the fact that it has been two weeks AND the fact that this team won 2 superbowls in the previous 3 years and have made it to the big game on avg every other year since the start of the 21st century the obsession on this defeat seems odd…but it’s not.

It’s basically the Hillary Clinton Democrat: “I’m Entitled” mentality.

As soon as Donald Trump was confirmed as the GOP nominee in 2016 Democrats decided that election 2016 was over and everyone from low level operative, to media folks to lobbyists were making plans based on that “fact” and were already counting the money from the gravy train they would be riding. Lobbying firms were already signing people based on their Clinton Connections and I suspect MSM members were preparing their resumes in anticipation of getting positions in the revolving door of government and media.

One the election was over all these plans were gone replaced by sheer outrage the likes we have never seen before. It’s wasn’t over actually losing an election. Elections have been won and lost before in America without people dedicated their entire lives to overturning them, so why now?

Well part of it is all the nasty stuff that was done that is now being exposed but the real problem is this. They didn’t consider this an election, they considered this a coronation. This was something that was already theirs and election day was just a formality.

In other words this wasn’t a contest that they lost, it was something that belonged to them that was taken away from them.

And nothing upsets a person like being deprived of something they were “entitled” to by right.

While Tom Brady has put this behind him and is apparently focusing on what actually matters in life, Patriots fans are still looking at this as if they’ve been robbed. They aren’t noting the excellent play of the Eagles, or the fine clock management (in contrast to the 2004 defeat) or the fact that at no time during the game did the Patriots defense come up big when it was needed. None of those facts mean a thing. In their minds that 6th ring was theirs and Bill Belichick took it away from them.

That’s how spoiled Brady and Belichick have made NE fans. A Superbowl titles isn’t something to be won, it’s an entitlement to be had that can only be legitimately lost if a miracle catch or play happens to take it from them.

No wonder the rest of the country can’t stand us.

If you are a person who believes in jinxes then Tom Brady’s 3rd MVP is a good sign for Philadelphia.

The Associated Press chose the New England Patriots star as the 2017 Most Valuable Player, announcing the award during Saturday night’s NFL Honors ceremony. At 40 years and 184 days, Brady is the oldest player to win the MVP, an award that goes back to 1957. Brady’s resume now boasts one Comeback Player of the Year, three regular-season MVPs, four Super Bowl MVPs and five Lombardi Trophies — with an opportunity for a sixth on Sunday.

The Patriots have never won a superbowl in a season where Brady won the MVP.

However if you don’ t believe in jinxes the Superbowl will come down to one salient fact, will Philadelphia play the full 60 minutes.

The Seattle Seahawks didn’t

After 59 minutes, both before and after the Malcolm Butler interception, the Seattle Seahawks played as if the outcome of the game was already decided.

After 59 minutes both before and after the Malcolm Butler interception the New England Patriots played as if the outcome of the game was in doubt.

The Atlanta Falcons didn’t

As I update this in the 3rd quarter with Atlanta leading by 25 so Roger Goodell is likely dancing in the streets but more importantly Lady Gaga decided her songs were liberal enough so she decided to shut up and sing meaning that the NFL was able to get sanctuary from the left meaning football fans won’t have to take sanctuary from the game.

Frankly if Brady & the pats were not playing I wouldn’t give a damn and if it wasn’t Brady on that field I’d consider this game over.

UPDATE: Unfortunately for Atlanta that was in fact Brady on the field and I suspect those extra four weeks of rest came in handy in those final 18 minutes. You have to go back to William Tecumseh Sherman to find a bunch of Georgia boys more manhandled by an invader from the North.

That’s what it really comes down to. It’s already been amply established that even down 25 late in the 3rd quarter or with the opposing team a single yard away with under a minute to go the Patriots keep playing to win and will not pretend that the Eagles have no chance to do so.

On paper the Eagles should have an OK chance, you have an excellent defense and a Quarterback who has shown flashes of brilliance, but if the Patriots go up early by a couple of scores (a very rare thing in a Superbowl) will they still have faith in their game plan to keep plugging away? Conversely if they go up early and Tom Brady starts to bring the Patriots back will they panic remembering what happened to both the Falcons and the Seahawks?

Or if the game is close all the way through, will they have the discipline to keep playing their game till the very end?

That is what we are about to find out as I pointed out last year

Again this is football and if the Patriots and Brady weren’t playing I really wouldn’t care what a bunch of overpaid athletes who don’t respect the country that gives them the change to make a fortune playing a game do or don’t do.

But as the MSM has decided that New England represents Trump and the Eagles represent the left I hope Brady and company pulverizes them into dust, given both the Patriots and the Eagles style, I think that’s highly unlikely, but it would be nice.

Even better maybe if the Patriots win the Superbowl again local sports radio will FINALLY get over the Garoppolo trade.

Yesterday Tom Brady once again came from behind in the 4th Quarter to once again lead the Patriots to the Superbowl, their 8th in the 16 years that he has been the starter (I don’t count the year he got injured in game 1) which is only surpassed by a fellow named Russell who used to play basketball in Boston back in the day.

Despite this success, even with Gronk hurt there have been a lot of various debates on if Brady has 2 year or 3 year or 5 years left in him and how many of those years does he have left at the Tom Brady level vs a human QB level and what do the Patriots do when it’s time for the transition. Everyone has an opinion, Tom says he wants to play to his mid 40’s but nobody has to my knowledge asked about a possibility that has been running through my mind for weeks.

The George Blanda Option.

For those too young to remember George Blanda came up as a Quarterback and kicker with the Chicago Bears in 1949 and played with the Bears till 1958 (with a one game stint in Baltimore as a Linebacker) as QB, Kicker punter and for one season a linebacker

After a one year retirement he came back with the new AFL (now the AFC) with the Houston Oilers leading them to the first two AFL titles in the pre-superbowl era as a QB while still kicking up a storm. In 1968 he signed with the Oakland Raiders as a kicker while still coming in occasionally to sub at QB. After the 1975 season he hung up his cleats still kicking at 61% which was considered respectable in that era of the game, playing his last game in January of 1976 at the ripe old age of 48.

What if Brady decided to do the same?

What if he spent part of the off season training as a Punter? Does anyone doubt for one moment that if Brady put his mind to it that he could not pick up the punting game and play for another decade as a kicker, a holder for field goals and emergency 2nd or 3rd QB once he decides he can’t start every day at the left he is used to?

Can you imagine the nightmare that would be for a special Teams coach coordinator or the defensive coordinator of a team playing a Patriots team with Tom Brady as a punter and holder for Field goals? All of a sudden every single punt and field goal becomes a potential pass play from the greatest quarterback of all time.

And even worse what happens in a playoff game when your defense has stymied the pats offense and suddenly the greatest QB of all time comes off the bench fresh without having taken any of the punishment of a full season?

Of course all of this is apparently years away, if Brady wins another Superbowl this year (and I see no reason why he won’t) it might not be until 2020 before the Blanda option comes into play and by then he might be out of fingers for rings.

I really wonder if Brady has considered this at all?

via ebay

Feldman: Ah yes, did you bring the um … the specimen of your um … and so on, and so on?
Martin: Yes I did. It’s in the car. [pause] There’s rather a lot.
Feldman: Good, good.
Martin: Do you really need twelve gallons?
Feldman: No, no, not really.
Martin: Do you test it?
Feldman: No.
Martin: Well, why do you want it?
Feldman: Well, we do it to make sure that you’re serious about wanting insurance

Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Royal Episode 13 1970

Last night on the way home from being the only temp who showed up for work I was listening to yet another breathless scoop about how things are falling apart in Patriots land and how the Jimmy G trade is the Patriot apocalypse

This is no surprise lately I’ve been listening to a lot of sports radio on my way to and from work and even without the new story today that’s all I’ve heard for weeks.  Brady in decline, Garoppolo the new king.  I’m rapidly reaching the limits of my patience with the people who are screaming bloody murder both over Jimmy Garoppolo success in San Francisco.

What Jimmy Garoppolo has done in his first four starts with the San Francisco 49ers after coming over via trade from the New England Patriots before the deadline is unprecedented. Quarterbacks don’t simply switch teams midseason and then light the world on fire. Through that lens, Garoppolo has no equal.

and the so called “decline” of Tom Brady.  It’s time to tackle it.

There are two basic lines of complaints, let’s tackle them in order

#1  “We should have traded Tom Brady and kept Jimmy G”!

This argument has but a single basis, but it’s a strong one. Tom Brady is a 40 year old QB and even though he is clearly the greatest QB of all time (youtube arguments not withstanding) if not the greatest football player of all time it is inevitable that either age will finally catch up with him or he will decide that he just doesn’t want to do this anymore. After all the anger over being underestimated or disrespected can only drive a person for so long.

And they do have a point here, based on this page at statisca.com they can argue that Tom Brady is playing on borrowed time since he has already played:

OVER 5 x as many seasons as the average NFL player (5.45)
OVER 4 x as many seasons as the avg QB (4.09)
3 x as many season as the avg rookie who makes an opening day Roster (2000)
OVER 2 x as many seasons as the avg player with 3 pension credited seasons (2.53)
53% longer than players with at least once pro bowl selection

and in what must be his favorite stat

Nearly TWICE as long as the average 1st round pick (1.93) next year it will be over double

On the other hand as he has already blown every single longevity stat out of the water we’ve already established that these state are meaningless when it comes to Brady.  There is no reason to believe he can’t continue for as many as two or three more years he continues to move these stats up.

However while the “Shouda traded Brady” crowd are happy to talk about those stats in terms of borrowed time, nobody is talking about how these same Stats might apply to Jimmy Garoppolo.

Garoppolo has already played longer in the NFL player than the average player (3.3 years)
Garoppolo has already played over 90% as long as the average NFL quarterback (4.4 years)
Garoppolo has already played 67% as long as the average NFL player who makes an opening day roster in their rookie season (2014) (6 yrs)
Garoppolo has already played over 56% as long as the average NFL player with 3 pension credited seasons (7.1)
Garoppolo despite being a 2nd round pick as already played over 43% as long as the average 1st round pick (9.3)

And presuming Garoppolo makes the pro-bowl next year he will have played 42% as long as the average pro-bowl player. (11.7)

So unless you think that Brady will retire after this year or the next based on current averages unless you have some kind of magic 8 ball into the future you have no reason to believe that Jimmy Garoppolo will outlast Tom Brady by enough years to make it worth while.

They further point to the last five weeks claiming and this ESPN report that this is the beginning of the end for either Belechick or Brady

Let me remind everyone that Brady in December went 4-1 over those last five game in a situation where going 3-2 would have been the difference between the 1st seed or the second seed and anything worse might have been the difference between having a 1st round bye and not, and did so at the end of a season where he’s taken a bunch of hits but the leading contender for MVP

Jimmy G’s 5-0 run while very impressive came in games where the difference between going 5-0 & 0-5 was the difference between finishing last in their division, or finishing last in their division. Before I start crying over having Tom Brady as my QB in 2018 I’d like to see Jimmy and the 49ers win some meaningful games next year against Seattle, Arizona and LA when there is something on the line for both teams.

2.  We only got a 2nd round pick.  We didn’t get proper value for him.

This argument looks at the success of Jimmy Garoppolo as he takes  an inferior team and leads it to victories not only against multiple teams better than his, but defeating playoff bound/caliber teams and it drives people crazy. This take is typical:

With a second-round pick that keeps dropping in value with every win, the 49ers essentially drafted a more polished, experienced version of any passer available in this year’s draft class. They got a a 26-year-old veteran who spent more than three years learning from arguably the best quarterback in NFL history, all the while waiting for his time to shine.

The 49ers are finally giving Garoppolo that opportunity, and the early returns suggest they may have made a franchise-altering decision that could be ushering in a new era for one of the most storied teams in league history.

It’s too early to crown Garoppolo the next Joe Montana or Steve Young, but it’s not hyperbole to say the 49ers may have already won the 2018 NFL draft by spending a Day 2 pick on a polished veteran with all the physical and mental tools to transform their fortunes seemingly overnight.

We had this guy who is obviously great and gave him away for a 2nd round pick.  How badly did we get jobbed?

This argument has three holes that I will handle from the smallest to the largest.

  1.  Yes we only got a 2nd round pick but not only will that be a higher level pick than the one that produced Jimmy G in the first place and there is no reason why a team wise enough to draft Mr. G will not be wise enough to select a QB with similar potential
  2.  It’s  a trade to a team outside our conference meaning that the Patriots will only have to face Mr. G once every four years max (or in a Superbowl) as opposed to at LEAST once every 3 years or more and have the possibility of having to go through a Jimmy G led team to make a superbowl.  It Mr. Garoppolo is as good as the critics think he is (and it’s very possible he is) then it’s  worth getting a later pick to keep Mr. Garoppolo out of our conference.
  3. Football is a sport were everyone is a single play away from being finished permanently.  Yes it’s likely that we might have gotten a 1st round pick perhaps even a top 3-5 pick for Jimmy G before game one.  But for the price of that drop of from a top 5 pick to a top 40 pick the Patriots had eight weeks of insurance if Tom Brady had to be replaced either due to injury or father time finally screaming “enough”.  If Brady had been injured in the 1st 8 weeks and Jimmy G had been traded the same fans and sportswriters screaming about how the pats got jobbed would be talking about how the Patriots threw away their Superbowl chances for 2017.

All of these are reasons why Pats fans have no business complaining about the Jimmy G trade. let me add on one more.

No Dynasty lasts forever, and even if this sensational ESPN story that nobody seems to be able to handle has any merit

As Brady and Belichick left the field, bundled up in the cold, the only thing clear was that the beginning of the end started a long time ago, masked by success and the joy and pain of the rise, leaving both men this year’s playoffs and their collective will to stave off the fall.

Your New England Patriots are two wins away from the 8th Superbowl appearance in 16 years and three wins away from their sixth superbowl victory in 17 years and enter this situation being led by not only the best Quarterback and the most experienced superbowl quarterback of all time, but with said QB being the #1 or #2 candidate for league MVP.

And you’re whining about the fact that next year you’ll be starting the Quarterback that made this possible AND have a top 40 draft pick vs one who has never played an all or nothing game with something meaningful on the line without said pick?

Seriously?

Closing thought. The biggest threat to turning Tom Brady numbers is him waking up one day and saying: “I’ve got nothing left to prove.” Conversely there is nothing that drives Tom Brady like disrespect from others.

I’d like to thank ESPN, WEEI and every Sports outlet for pushing this story as it is likely to not only motivate him in this years playoffs, but for 2018 and perhaps many seasons to come.



If you’d like to continue to support independent journalism in 2018, please consider hitting DaTipJar here.



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Finally might I suggest my book  Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer makes an excellent Gift for the person of faith after all it’s still the 12th day of Christmas.

The best way to descrive the effect of the tax cut bill that just passed will have on our already improving economy is to think of it as the difference between Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger and New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady.

By any standard Ben Roethlisberger is a great quarterback. His stats are impressive. He has thrown for over 4000 yards five times, has thrown 25 or more touchdowns a season seven times, had seasons with a QB rating over 100 three times, thrown less than 10 interceptions a season 4 times. Counting this season He has led the Steelers to ten playoff appearances, seven division titles and two Super Bowls both wins.

Any competent list of elite NFL quarterbacks over the last decade includes him and in different era a credible case could be made for listing him as said era’s top Quarterback.

But unfortunately for Big Ben this isn’t another era. It’s the Tom Brady era and as excellent as Roethlisberger’s stats are they pale before Brady’s. Tom has thrown for 4000 or more yards 9 times (over 5000 in 2011) He has thrown 25 or more touchdowns 13 times (including 50 in 2007) , ha seasons with a QB rating over 100 6 times (three seasons over 110), thrown less than 10 interceptions a season 7 times (only 2 last year)

And of course counting this season Tom Brady has led the Patriots to the Division every single year (15 seasons years) but one (2002) and has taken his team to the Superbowl seven times winning five.

Or to put it another way. While Ben Roethlisberger is a great quarterback, a Hall of Fame Quarterback, a quarterback any team would be proud to have, he is not even in the same league as Tom Brady who is the greatest and most successful Quarterback to ever play the game.

What does that have to do with the Trump Tax plan? Just this.

The Obama Economy was, put simply a disaster:

The latest numbers mean that Obama’s economic forecasters missed their growth targets every year that he was in office. And, once again, economists who had been promising that strong growth was just around the corner — most recently because of a relatively strong third quarter — had to eat crow.

It also means that GDP growth has not exceeded 3% for 11 straight years. . . .

And despite th predictions of naysayers and experts galore:

Jason Furman, who chaired the Council of Economic Advisers under President Barack Obama, told reporters earlier this year that the chances of reaching 3 percent growth over a decade were about 1 in 25 — which is what many political experts said was Trump’s chance of winning the election. Another Obama economist, Alan Krueger, called the 3 percent growth forecast “extremely rosy.”

Larry Summers, a top economic adviser to Obama, questioned the “standards of integrity” of the Trump economic team’s forecast for 3 percent (or more) growth. “I do not see how any examination of U.S. history could possibly support the Trump forecast as a reasonable expectation,” he wrote in The Washington Post.

It took Donald Trump less than one year to change this achieving the 3% economic growth that others have said was not possible

President Donald Trump’s goal of 3 percent growth has been realized in two of the three quarters since he took office, and economists say the trend can keep going for at least another quarter and possibly longer.

Third-quarter GDP grew by 3 percent, well above the 2.5 percent expected by economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters and below the 2.8 percent in the CNBC/Moody’s Rapid Update. The third-quarter number comes on top of 3.1 percent growth in the second quarter, making for the best back-to-back quarters since 2014 and ending a long streak of sluggish 2 percent growth.

To put it one way. Trump’s first year Economic numbers are something to be proud of, particularly compared to Obama’s. Clearly above average and heading in the right direction. They are the Ben Roethlisberger of economic stats.

Now take that above average economy and add to it a tax plan that cuts corporate tax rates from 35% to 21% while cutting taxes on a resurgent middle class a package that produced this reactions from Germans:

“The tax competition will have a new dimension,” said Christoph Spengel, chairman of the corporate tax department at the University of Mannheim. Mr. Spengel, who is also a research associate at the Center for European Economic Research, and a group of tax experts at the university have done a detailed comparison of the two countries’ tax systems and published a report under the heading, “Germany loses out in US tax reform.”

Clemens Fuest, who heads the Ifo economic think tank, also said he believed German business would suffer. “Investments and jobs will migrate to the US,” he said.

Once the full effect of this tax bill hits we will go from a Roethlisberger economy to a Brady economy and leave that solid 3% growth in the dust.

Get ready folks, golden days are ahead.

The New England Patriots shocked their fanbase today trading backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to the winless San Francisco 49ers for a 2nd round draft pick.

This means that of the three backup quarterbacks the pats had at the start of the year, none are left, two have been traded and the #4 man Julian Edelman is out for the year, meaning New England has two weeks (thanks to the bye) to fill that role.

Now while I suspect that the 2nd round pick for next year might be used to find the replacement for Tom Brady for the 2020 season but for right now we need something different.  Someone is playing shape, who wouldn’t mind being a backup, that you can get inexpensively, someone who has experience starting in the NFL and as we are talking a backup for the Pats, someone with playoff experience would be a real plus and if it was someone with at least a little bit of familiarity with the system that would be awesome.

Finally you need someone without a big ego who would add to,  rather than disrupt the chemistry in the locker room and that you could release at the end of the year if you decided to go long on QB drafts.

That someone?  Why Tim Tebow of course.

I can hear the cries now:  DaTechguy you’re crazy, why on earth would  you sign Tebow except to beard all the  kneelers and their supporters, and I admit that is an appealing thought but there are a bunch of logical reasons why Tebow is the best choice for the job.

Tebow has been a backup before and would love another chance to play in the NFL.  Because of his season playing baseball he is in great physical shape, dare I say playing shape.  He has experience as a start both in the regular season and in the playoffs and has had success in both.  Furthermore he was in the Patriots camp a few years ago and thus has some familiarity with the system so he would be an easier fit as a backup than most people out there and has a reputation for hard work that would be a perfect fit for the Patriots way.

Financially not only would the Pats be able to sign him for peanuts (without trading anything of value) but Tebow is the ultimate team player, a plus in the locker room, a hard worker and with so little ego that the thought of making trouble for Brady or anyone on the team would be the last thing on his mind.  Finally if at the end of the season the Patriots decided to go a different route (which they certainly would) he would,  rather than complain, give a huge thank you to the organization for giving him another chance.

Lastly if God forbid Brady goes down, Tebow has experience in big game both at the college and pro-level.  While not a great mechanical quarterback he is a leader of men, a person cool under pressure and most important of all, he’s lucky and believe me if you lose Tom Brady in to injury during the playoffs the thing you are going to need more than anything else is luck.

For all of these reasons if I’m Bill Belichick Tim Tebow is the guy I sign to backup Tom Brady for the last 8 games of the season and the playoffs in the hopes that I don’t have to use him.

Closing thought, if you’re the owners of the NFL this is the dream signing that would make the conversation shift dramatically and stay shifted.  It would have the potential to actually bring fans back who are upset.  It’s a win win.

That’s why you play till the end

Tom Brady

Sunday night I was watching superbowl with my wife before going to work. Each time Atlanta made a big play she was beside herself and we were seeing a lot of tweets like this:

which required this response

By the third quarter a lot of people, particularly on the left were crowing as if the game was over.

and I felt compelled to edit my scheduled post for Monday morning before I left for work to say the following:

When I started this post in the Am on Sunday the question was can the Atlanta Falcons and Roger Goodell will be able to take sanctuary from Tom Brady but more importantly for the NFL will be a sanctuary from the political conflicts for those who love the game. As I update this in the 3rd quarter with Atlanta leading by 25 so Roger Goodell is likely dancing in the streets but more importantly Lady Gaga decided her songs were liberal enough so she decided to shut up and sing meaning that the NFL was able to get sanctuary from the left meaning football fans won’t have to take sanctuary from the game.

Frankly if Brady & the pats were not playing I wouldn’t give a damn and if it wasn’t Brady on that field I’d consider this game over.

And to most fans watching the game WAS already over:

then Atlanta came back in the third quarter to score again on Matt Ryan’s pass to Tevin Coleman to make the Falcons’ lead 28–3 and, like everybody else watching the Super Bowl, I said, “Well, that’s the game— Atlanta wins.”
Nobody has ever come back to win the Super Bowl after trailing by 25 points…
This is how stereotypes work, you see. It is entirely natural to believe that the future will resemble the past, because that’s what usually happens.

And to be fair assuming that the Falcons would hold on given the facts in evidence at the time was just as rational an exception as was the expectation by most football people before the game that the Patriots would win in.

However there was more than a full quarter of time left on the Clock and the 2016 New England Patriots didn’t need a long memory to recall what happens when you think a game is not over until it is:

Bill Belichick is thinking the opposite. His team already has taken the lead and if Seattle wants it they’ll have to take it back. He isn’t using a time out in the hopes of preserving time for Tom Brady to take back the lead, he’s counting on his defense to hold it.

And when the snap is made Malcolm Butler, the same fellow who stopped Kearse from scoring two plays earlier recognizes the play and muscles his way forward to intercept the ball and give the Patriots the ball on their own 1 yard line with 20 seconds to go.

But even then, no matter what the highlight reels are showing, the game is NOT over and the Patriots understand this.

There is little or no space for Brady to take a knee and if he is brought down in the end zone not only is it a safety making the score 28-26 but the same Seattle team that drove down the field at the end of the 2nd quarter would just have to get within field goal range for a chance to win.

Meanwhile Seattle was in the same spot New England was in a mere 46 seconds earlier. They had been kicked in the chest by a stunning reversal. But unlike New England who put it behind them and got down to business Seattle did not.

The Patriots realized that there was plenty of time left on the clock but more importantly despite the lead the Atlanta defense which had to this point, been playing far beyond their normal level had been on the field a lot and was tired.

So rather than going through the motions as if the game was already over they played as if the game was on the line.

That the Atlanta defense was winded and were not able to hold on was not a surprise, but there are two sides to the ball and the Atlanta Offense took the wrong lesson from history.

Back in 1864 When William Tecumseh Sherman was marching toward Atlanta with the Union Army of the west Confederate General Joe Johnson knowing that Sherman’s forces were his superior in number, resource and supply took a conservative approach, parrying his thrusts and giving ground when flanked, bending but not breaking. The rebel leadership in Richmond thought this approach too timid and replaced him with John Bell Hood who instead proceeded to leave his entrenchments and recklessly attack the superior enemy army.

Atlanta could have decided to play a conservative ground game, running down the clock, minimizing the chances of penalties or sacks and forcing the Patriots to burn time out in the hope of keeping enough clock for a Brady comeback. Even late in the game when the Patriots had closed the gap to a mere 8 points Atlanta had the ball deep in Patriots territory and only needed to hand off the ball a few times to set up a field goal that would have required not just a Touchdown & a two point conversion by the pats but a successful onside kick and a second score to tie or win the game.

They did not, instead they gave the far superior Patriot defense the chance to make plays and they did driving the falcons out of field goal range and forcing a punt giving Brady the ball with under 3 minutes to go. As the Bleacher report put it:

This would prove to be a critical series because the Falcons chose not to run the ball inside field-goal range. Had they done so, they might have killed some clock and added three points to their lead. Instead, the Patriots got another chance with just over two minutes remaining.

The Patriots, it turned out, only needed one more chance. Brady was making clutch throw after clutch throw at this point, and it only took 2 minutes and 33 seconds to drive 91 yards, ending with a one-yard touchdown run from White.

A pass from Brady to Amendola made for a successful two-point play, and the game was now tied.

The rest is history and while a few Falcons fans are taking it well

Like other Falcon fans, I’m still trying to figure out how Russians hacked Atlanta’s defense . . .

But the bottom line is the same thing that it was in 2014 and to paraphrase myself just after that game:

After 40 minutes, after Tevin Coleman caught a six yard TD pass from Matt Ryan, The Atlanta Falcons played as if the outcome of the game was already decided.

After 40 minutes, both before and after Tevin Coleman caught a six yard TD pass from Matt Ryan, the New England Patriots played as if the outcome of the game was in doubt.

I’ll give Brady the last word

That’s really all it takes, playing the game until it’s done.

Chicago’s South Side last autumn

By John Ruberry

Position wanted: Starting quarterback.

A dismal National Football League season will end tonight when between the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots meet in the Super Bowl in Houston, after of course our national anthem is performed.

Oh, Da Tech Guy himself, a Patriots fan, may not agree of my “dismal” assessment. His team is in the Super Bowl, not mine, the Chicago Bears.

The Star Spangled Banner has been one of the major NFL stories this season, much to the chagrin to league brass because San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the anthem, which of course is performed before every game. A few members from roughly one-third of the other NFL teams followed his unpatriotic lead, along with some college and high school athletes. Kaepernick’s beef with the anthem is that he believes America stands for racial prejudice and police brutality, which are ideas you’ll find in the playbook of Black Lives Matters radicals, not the 49ers. Kaepernick, who is black but was raised by white parents, is a millionaire. Although NFL rules prohibit him from making it official until next month, Kaepernick will be a free agent next month, an ESPN reporter reported Friday. The timing is curious–I suspect that two days before the Super Bowl was chosen because of hyping of the game itself, and the revealing of the new NFL Hall of Fame inductees on Saturday, would bury the Kaepernick self-firing, as his anti-anthem, and yes, anti-America protests have been an embarrassment to the league.

TV ratings were down eight percent for the 2016 season, more so earlier on as the Kaepernick story was festering. While some liberal journalists chose to ignore the Kaepernick factor when reporting the ratings decline, pointing out that concerns over concussions, the lack of NFL star power, particularly in the first four weeks of the season when Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady was under suspension because of Deflategate, and viewers being more interested in the raucous presidential election were the real cause, an early October poll by Rasmussen found that nearly one-third of Americans said they’d be less likely to watch an NFL contest because of the anthem protests.

Soon the bidding war will begin for Kaepernick. Or maybe not. While he did take the 49ers to the Super Bowl four years ago, he performed poorly during his last two seasons; in 2016 Kaepernick was 1-10 as starter. I only watched him play once on television in ’16, on a snowy day against another rotten team, the Chicago Bears, Kaepernick completed just one pass out of five attempts with four yards gained. He was sacked five times.

The 49ers signed Kaepernick to win football games–not to be a radical.  The other 31 NFL teams will be looking to sign a winner as quarterback, not someone who gets sacked more times than the yards he passed for. Oh, some team will sign him, only because of his Super Bowl pedigree. But can Kaepernick survive training camp roster cuts?

NFL: Your long Colin Kaepernick nightmare may soon be over.

On a personal note, I will be rooting for the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. I usually line up behind the NFC champion, but because Tom Brady is under attack by leftists for not backing out of his friendship with President Donald Trump, I am part of the Patriots Nation today. Go Pats!

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Today is superbowl sunday and while doing my best to ignore Lady Gaga and the other anti-Trump nonsense I can’t help but notice they seem to dominate the coverage, likely because most people don’t give Atlanta a chance.

Given both the history and the work ethic of the Patriots Dynasty this is not a fault likely shared by the team. They understand that in a single game anything can happen, furthermore they know that the Atlanta Offense is explosive and while the Atlanta Defense is not highly rated they were able to stop two Superbowl Champion quarterbacks in their last two games.

Despite these concessions I am picking the Patriots and the reason for that is not only their superior defense and the possession of the greatest quarterback in the history of the game, but I give the ultimate credit to Roger Goodell and deflategate.

Now I’m sure many of you are thinking that I’m referring to the revenge factor that is often the subject of stories and analysis from Rush Limbaugh on down. It’s no coincidence that the title on the Boston Herald epaper supplement on the game is titled This Time It’s Personal and to be sure that has provided some motivation for a Patriots team that frankly needs little motivation than the potential of a championship.

But Ironically Roger Goodell has (thanks to an able assist from the Patriots backups who went 3-1 during the Tom Brady suspension) given the New England Patriots the single most critical advantage in the game.

Football, despite having the shortest season of the 4 major American sports is by far the sport most conducive to injury. Every single play involves physical contact and being hit. By the end of the season its said that everyone is in pain, it’s just a question of how much. Thus if you can avoid taking repeated hits it can make a huge difference. Franco Harris might have taken grief by running out of bounds for example but as NFL.com puts it while naming him the 3rd best running back in playoff history

Harris totaled 1,556 yards and 16 rushing touchdowns in the postseason. Those totals are second to only one other running back in NFL history (more on that guy later). Harris was a key component to the Steelers‘ dynasty, helping the team to four Super Bowl championships.

In Super Bowl IX, Harris rushed for 158 yards and a TD. He was named Super Bowl MVP. Harris also ran for 343 yards in that playoff stretch. That was a Steelers‘ record for rushing yards in a single postseason, until it was broken just this year by Le’Veon Bell. It’s clear that regardless of what is thought about his running style, Harris was a monster in the playoffs.

It’s also worth noting that in a 1996 profile the Baltimore sun noted that Harris was “without the disabilities of many former pro football players”, I suspect his avoidance of unnecessary hits had a lot to do with that.

Now Consider Tom Brady.  while he is a dedicated, one might even say obsessive when it comes to conditioning the fact remains that he is 39 years old, an age where the vast majority of players have been safely retired rather than putting impossible numbers (28 TD vs 2 Int this season) playing for their fifth ring in seven tries and finishing 2nd in the MVP vote to his opposite number Matt Ryan of the Falcons.

Brady may be spotting  Matt Ryan 8 years and the MVP award but thanks to Roger Goodell Brady has one thing that Matt Ryan does not:  Four extra games / weeks of rest, four weeks of not getting hit by opposing linemen, four weeks of not being chased out of the pocket and four weeks of not hitting the ground hard.  Brady is four weeks fresher, four weeks stronger and four weeks less in pain.

Furthermore thanks to the suspension both of his backups have been tested by fire and rest assured if something happens and Brady goes down you can be sure Bill Belichick will be ready with an offensive scheme designed for Jimmy Garoppolo’s strengths based just on practice but on game experience against actual NFL competition.

None of this is possible without Roger Goodell’s over the top excessive punishment of Brady and the Patriots for their Deflategate sins, so if Brady, Belichick and Robert Kraft take the podium as I suspect they will, they should thank Roger Goodell for making sure their 39 year old QB was one month fresher than the other guy.

There has been a lot of talk about who is more important Brady or Belichick as the Patriots, much to the delight of New Englanders and the dismay of the Anti-Trump crowd (excepting those in NE that is) reach their 7th Superbowl, but if you really want to understand how much Brady & Belichick each of them mean to each other, think Yogi Berra & Casey Stengel.

Unlike Belichick, Stengel has been a champion player but like Bill, as the man in charge he never had much success until he was paired with Berra. As he once said when asked about the secret of his success. “I never play a game without my man.”

Like Brady who had a year with a very good Drew Bledsoe, Berra had a Bill Dickey as a teammate and coach.

Of course there are differences, off the field Brady is known for his strict physical regimen, Yogi was an odd looking sort. Yogi was known for being a bad ball hitter with an odd style, Brady is considered methodical.

And both Brady

and Yogi

were popular with advertisers.

All four of them belong to teams that were hated for their success and both had success long into their tenures.

But when it comes down to it the real answer to the question oft asked is Belichick’s success only due to Brady will not be answered until either Brady or Belichick leaves.

When Stengel was fired Berra won two more world series titles under a different manager while Casey took over the expansion Mets and led them to new heights of ineptness.

It’s unlikely that Belichick will be going anywhere anytime soon and even less likely, thanks to the health regime of Brady that he will be replaced right away, but until we see either a Belichickless Patriots under Brady or a 40 something Tom Terrific playing elsewhere the answer to that question will have to remain speculation reserved for sports talk radio.

And we Pats fans will just have to settle for winning.