Dan Shaughnessy: Taking a dump in your mouth one column at a time

tims4wins

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Here is some analysis from a Reddit post in the Patriots forum around the topic of an easy AFC East.

https://www.reddit.com/r/Patriots/comments/9vm86h/the_myth_of_the_easy_afc_east/
Thanks - this contains the data that I was referencing earlier:

2001-2017 Pats winning % by division:
AFCS .820
NFCS .773
AFCN .762
AFCE .741
NFCW .737
NFCN .727
NFCE .700
AFCW .660

Winning % by division from 2001-2017, when taking out the Pats, and taking out the first place team from every other division each year:
AFCE .457
NFCE .451
NFCS .439
AFCN .425
AFCS .422
AFCW .420
NFCN .417
NFCW .401

So the AFC East has actually been the best division in football from this perspective over the last 17 years.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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I would if people would fucking stop retweeting him or taking anything he says seriously. He's a troll and an asshole, and I'm disappointed you're giving his points the barest modicum of respect. He doesn't deserve it.
Agree to disagree on whether Shaughnessy "deserves" respect. He's not my favorite writer, but I don't think that he's quite as bad as a lot of people think -- different strokes and all of that. Plus, even when it's a writer that I really dislike (Cafardo comes to mind) makes a good point, I feel you have to give it to him/her. The Bills and Dolphins have been pretty bad and the Jets haven't been great. That's alright. Again, it doesn't diminish the Patriots' (ugh) legacy.

And Shaughnessy has said that. But I can't change your mind about whether he was being sincere and honestly I don't have the time or desire to do so. If the guy writes it, I tend to believe it. He's had thousands of examples of him being a dick, I don't know why he would all of a sudden turtle from this. But that seems logical to me.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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It's hard to take that tweet on it's own without considering dozens of tomato can digs he's made over the days. That's why him saying "it doesn't diminish..." sounds like sarcastic or disingenuous bs.
 

Humphrey

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What exactly was the point of today's (12/2) article? The Patriots had a bad team in 2000 and started 2001 poorly and columnist Shank shit all over him/them (who'd a thunk that) at the time. Was that worth rehashing in 2018?
 

TheoShmeo

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What exactly was the point of today's (12/2) article? The Patriots had a bad team in 2000 and started 2001 poorly and columnist Shank shit all over him/them (who'd a thunk that) at the time. Was that worth rehashing in 2018?
No value. Dan couldn't think of anything else negative to write.

Also, how many Pats fans are not acutely aware of the fact that they sucked under BB in his first year and that Mo Lewis/Brady turned it around in that remarkable 2001 season. This isn't exactly ancient history or a state secret.

Dan sucks so much.
 

PedroKsBambino

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What exactly was the point of today's (12/2) article? The Patriots had a bad team in 2000 and started 2001 poorly and columnist Shank shit all over him/them (who'd a thunk that) at the time. Was that worth rehashing in 2018?
A reminder that Shank knows nothing about sports whatsoever? Little doubt about that around here, but you’d be surprised how many people think he’s some kid of sports expert not just a shit-stirrer who happens to operate mostly in sports rather than politics
 

Euclis20

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Thanks - this contains the data that I was referencing earlier:

2001-2017 Pats winning % by division:
AFCS .820
NFCS .773
AFCN .762
AFCE .741
NFCW .737
NFCN .727
NFCE .700
AFCW .660

Winning % by division from 2001-2017, when taking out the Pats, and taking out the first place team from every other division each year:
AFCE .457
NFCE .451
NFCS .439
AFCN .425
AFCS .422
AFCW .420
NFCN .417
NFCW .401

So the AFC East has actually been the best division in football from this perspective over the last 17 years.
I generally agree with this viewpoint, but when people say the AFCE sucks, it can be taken in one of two ways:

1. MIA/NYJ/BUF are always terrible and the Pats fatten up on 5-6 divisional wins against inferior competition each year.
2. MIA/NYJ/BUF are always mediocre and the Pats never have serious competition for the division lead.

The former is pretty clearly not true, but the latter requires a closer look. The division rivals rarely bottom out, but in 17 years, none of them has won as many as 12 games, and only hit 11 wins 4 times in 51 tries. Compared to the other divisions, that stands out:

AFCN - 3 teams have hit 12+ wins, 4 teams finished in 2nd with 11+ wins.
AFCS - All 4 teams have hit 12+ wins, 5 teams finished in 2nd with 11+ wins.
AFCW - All 4 teams have hit 12+ wins, 3 teams finished in 2nd with 11+ wins.
NFCE - 3 teams have hit 12+ wins, 2 teams finished in 2nd with 11+ wins.
NFCN - 3 teams have 12+ wins, 3 teams finished in 2nd with 11+ wins.
NFCS - All 4 teams have hit 12+ wins, 5 teams finished in 2nd with 11+ wins.
NFCW - All 4 teams have hit 12+ wins, 4 different teams finished in 2nd with 11+ wins.

MIA/NYJ/BUF seem to be all be good for 5-10 wins each year. Good enough to not bottom out and roll over, but not good enough to provide a serious challenge to the Pats for the division lead unless NE stumbles. 32 teams in the NFL and all but 6 of them have won 12+ games at least once since 2001, and 3 of those 6 are in the AFCE. Give the Pats some credit for that (hard to get to 12 wins when you have to play a juggernaut twice a year), but there's a kernel of truth in the people bitching about the Pats always having a clear path to the division title.
 

shaggydog2000

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My sarcasm detector is broken. He literally wrote, "It does not diminish the Patriot greatness."

And you're right, the Pats have had trouble in Miami; I grant you that. And we can find all sorts of stats to prove that the Pats have had trouble against AFC East team A, B or C ("Have you checked how they do against Buffalo at home on Thursday nights after a full moon in December? Fucking brutal." -- I have no idea if this is true.) but the overall point is that the Dolphins, Jets and Bills have stunk over the last 20 years.

I mean we can all agree to that, right? That's the point.
Shanks saying that is like when somebody says "I'm not racist, but..." or "I don't mean to offend anyone, but..."

You know you're about to hear something racist or offensive.
 

TheoShmeo

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Good to see Alex Spieir make the money point this morning:

“Certainly, the Patriots routinely have wiped out their divisional opponents. Dating to the league’s move from a six- to an eight-division structure in 2002, New England has a .785 winning percentage in the AFC East — easily the best mark by any team against its division.

Yet the Patriots also have the NFL’s best record outside of their division, a .757 record. In other words, whereas New England averages 12.6 wins per 16 games against AFC East teams, they average 12.1 wins per 16 games outside of the division.”

Shank doesn’t get that no one really argues that the AFC East doesn’t suck. The question is relevance.
 

charlieoscar

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Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy has been named 2018 Massachusetts Sportswriter of the Year by the National Sports Media Association.
 

ifmanis5

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Tomato Can Dan is back today...

Dan Shaughnessy‏Verified account @Dan_Shaughnessy 7:55 PM - 15 Mar 2019
Tomato Can Formula never fails. Steelers and now Chiefs falling apart in front of our eyes. No good teams in AFC. Same old same old.


Before you scroll down, take a guess how many times Dan has tweeted 'Tomato Can.'











Okay, let's go to the big board..

Boston Sports Info‏ @bostonsportsinf 5m5 minutes ago
Did you know Shaughnessy has used the words "tomato cans" in 73 of his own tweets since 2013 Let's play a parlor game (once we figure out what a parlor game is) and break it down
2013- 3
2014- 16
2015- 15
2016- 11
2017- 16
2018- 11
2019- 1
 

TheoShmeo

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My e-mail to Dan in the wake of his Bob Kraft column today:

"Being a Patriots fan has become increasingly uncomfortable."

Not even close. The Patriots just won the SB. Their 3rd in 5 years. Their 6th.

And yes, the owner did something that was idiotic.

But the suggestion that being a Pats fan is uncomfortable in any way is pure wishcasting from a guy who has mocked Bob Kraft for years and clearly has an axe to grind.

No one has forgotten the repeated and foolish references to Kraft sitting on high chairs. You don't like him and are luxuriating in this low hanging fruit.

But that's fine, we know what's going on here, but don't make the mistake of extending that to Pats fandom becoming anything other than a freaking privilege.

Being a Celtics fan and watching your team give up a 30-5 run? And play well below its talent level? Even with a coach who everyone respects, and for good reason? Now THAT'S uncomfortable.

Nice try.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Dude, the Pats’ owner (worth billions) got a $60 handy from two Florida strip mall masseuses.

This hasn’t been red letter months for Bob Kraft. Shaughnessy isn’t wrong about this.
 

Sam Ray Not

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Remember that CHB column from a couple years back where he crankily mused that one of the four Boston teams had become the *least* likable/popular/admirable among fans? I can't even remember anymore which team he was attempting to sh*t on with the piece, lol; IIRC it was the Red Sox?

He really needs to keep a running "hate tally" so people can keep track. Assuming equal passion for all sports, I'd guess the average Boston sports fan right now would rank it Celtics-Pats-Bruins-Sox on the hate-o-meter, though I could see bumping the Bruins down a notch for pretty wildly overperforming expectations this season (I think?) and the Pats up for Orchids of Asia-gate

Overall, life is rough for CHB and Boston sports fans... ;-P
 

BJBSJ

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Kraft opened himself up to the Globe’s ongoing obsession with trying to drive negative coverage of the team. There’s no denying that he owns it this time.

Hopefully Shank will be mindful of the lessons being imparted upon Kraft by his newspaper when he’s on road trips this season. Hopefully not...
 

TheoShmeo

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Dude, the Pats’ owner (worth billions) got a $60 handy from two Florida strip mall masseuses.

This hasn’t been red letter months for Bob Kraft. Shaughnessy isn’t wrong about this.
No one is arguing it's been red letter months for Robert Kraft. Of course that’s not true.

But that is not what I was taking issue with. My problem was with the sentence:

"Being a Patriots fan has become increasingly uncomfortable."

The CHB is wildly wrong about that.

Hell, even with Gronk retiring yesterday, it's remarkably easy to root for the defending champions. That the owner has a PR nightmare on his hands doesn't make being a Pats fan uncomfortable in the least.
 
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John Marzano Olympic Hero

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"Being a Patriots fan has become increasingly uncomfortable."

The CHB is wildly wrong about that.
How is Shaughnessy wrong about this? The Patriots owner, the guy who talks nonstop about the "Patriot Way" and always doing things the correct way and making sure that the optics always look correct, gets publicly humiliated by getting pinched for getting a hand job from two women in a seedy Florida massage parlor on the day that his team is in Kansas City playing for the AFC Title Game.

That's not embarrassing? Even a little bit?

I mean, is this a hill that you're willing to die on?

Edit: I mean, you sound like a kid who slipped and fell in a pile a shit in front of his friends and when everyone is laughing at him, he's saying, "What? I wanted to do that. Feels good. Warm and squishy. Like sitting on a cupcake. It's nice. I should be laughing at you!"
 

PedroKsBambino

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You know what's better than emailing Shank and feeding the troll?

Never ever clicking on anything he writes. And being sure your friends don't either.

As soon as you clicked on his Bob Kraft article you endorsed it from the perspective of the Globe and Shank himself. You own that mistake---don't make it again :)
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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I'm not a Patriots fan, but does being a fan of a team require you to know that your team owner is an angel? If that were true, there would be a lot of teams with no fans.
 

dcmissle

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How is Shaughnessy wrong about this? The Patriots owner, the guy who talks nonstop about the "Patriot Way" and always doing things the correct way and making sure that the optics always look correct, gets publicly humiliated by getting pinched for getting a hand job from two women in a seedy Florida massage parlor on the day that his team is in Kansas City playing for the AFC Title Game.

That's not embarrassing? Even a little bit?

I mean, is this a hill that you're willing to die on?

Edit: I mean, you sound like a kid who slipped and fell in a pile a shit in front of his friends and when everyone is laughing at him, he's saying, "What? I wanted to do that. Feels good. Warm and squishy. Like sitting on a cupcake. It's nice. I should be laughing at you!"
It’s immensely embarrassing to Kraft, complete humiliation at this stage of his life, but to extend those feelings to fans presumes we drink the Kool Aid. Overwhelmingly, we do not. Everything good about that place remains there when the lights get turned off at night (assuming they do), and everyone walks out of the building a human being with the same warts and foibles as the rest of us. Everyone understands this at a gut level.

Shank’s problem is the complete absence of on field embarrassment. Makes his job more difficult. The tragedy, if there is one, is that Shank’s talent level is up to the task. But he is lazy.
 

dcmissle

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You really think the average fan gives a rat’s ass about the personal deportment of these people? About the circumstances of the termination of Bill Belichick’s first marriage, as another example.

Who is being naive Kay?
 

BJBSJ

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You really think the average fan gives a rat’s ass about the personal deportment of these people? About the circumstances of the termination of Bill Belichick’s first marriage, as another example.

Who is being naive Kay?
Or getting upset about the clubbies in Winter Haven buggering teenage boys?
 

dcmissle

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One of the team’s most popular players was convicted of first degree murder and nobody skipped a beat. So fan fatigue sets in over an elderly owner paying for a hand job? You people are hilarious.
 

BJBSJ

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What would you have liked them to do about Hernandez, disband? Propose relegation to the competition committee? Some sort of bloodletting ceremony in Copley Square?
 

dcmissle

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What would you have liked them to do about Hernandez, disband? Propose relegation to the competition committee? Some sort of bloodletting ceremony in Copley Square?
Exactly what they did — nothing.

But having done nothing, we’re now going to be fatigued-embarrassed out of our fandom over an owner paying for sex?
 

nattysez

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I have a 13 year-old son who reads the sports page every morning, so I am acutely aware that there is almost not a day that goes by without a player, coach or owner doing something questionable. If the fanbase of every team with a problematic owner, manager, or player needs to be embarrassed, then everyone is as miserable as Shank.
 

JohntheBaptist

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I was in a classroom the other day in LA and the teacher mentioned he was a Patriots fan. The entire class of adults--many from out of town--groaned audibly and started jeering him about cheating and the hand-job. The teacher had a well-worn bag of bits ready in response. You cannot mention the Patriots without absorbing this litany of reference points.

They can both be true. I'm sure rooting for the Patriots is fun enough that you'd tell yourself all manner of things, but the Kraft nonsense could certainly make things uncomfortable when living in the real world. You guys bitch about your co-worker the Pats hater all the time. This is another log on the fire. That's all he's saying. Writing letters to the guy over that? Even with all your joy from the winning and all?

Patriots fans not sipping Kool Aid from time to time though, that is an all-timer.
 

dcmissle

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Many fans drink Kool Aid from fire hoses with regard to every single aspect of what happens on the field. From the NFL Combine through the Super Bowl, each year, many fans are convinced that the next error the team makes will be its first since 2000.

That’s not what I’m talking about, nor does it bear any meaningful relationship to what Dan wrote. He went off field because the on field has been A level for almost 20 years.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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It’s immensely embarrassing to Kraft, complete humiliation at this stage of his life, but to extend those feelings to fans presumes we drink the Kool Aid. Overwhelmingly, we do not. Everything good about that place remains there when the lights get turned off at night (assuming they do), and everyone walks out of the building a human being with the same warts and foibles as the rest of us. Everyone understands this at a gut level.

Shank’s problem is the complete absence of on field embarrassment. Makes his job more difficult. The tragedy, if there is one, is that Shank’s talent level is up to the task. But he is lazy.
C'mon. When you found out that Jim Irsay got busted with enough pills to kill two stables full of horses, how did you feel? When Jerry Jones got into his mess with those women and the videos, what did you think? It was funny right? Maybe a little schadenfreude? You busted your Colts or Cowboys' friends balls a bit with this information. Why? Because it's a little embarrassing to be a fan of a team with an owner who does stupid things.

Same thing with the Pats.

And it's pretty obvious that Kraft is nervous too because he has hired a super team of lawyers to get himself out of a slap on the wrist. BTW, the cops also have the whole thing on video, which I don't know about you, is not something that I would be really proud to watch.

I'm not saying that you have to burn your Patriots' shirt, throw out your Patriots' pennant and become a Buccaneers fan. And Shaughnessy isn't saying that either, but Kraft's episode from January is fucking ridiculous. Like I said, the guy is a billionaire and he goes to a Florida strip mall massage parlor for a $60 hand job hour before his team is in Kansas City playing for a chance to go to the Super Bowl. I don't know, for a person who is supposed to exude class and doing things "the right way" this seems really, really off brand for him.

And I'm not sure if you read the piece or not, but Shaughnessy had about three paragraphs of commentary the rest of his story was 12 paragraphs of recap. It really wasn't much to get all pissed off about.

Like JtB said about his friend, if you tell someone that you're a Pats fan the first thing you're going to get is a joke about hand jacksons and cheating.
 

dcmissle

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I get no psychic income out of whatever happens to another team’s owner. Jones is amusing, but the pertinent point is that his ego sabotaged his team for a full generation until his son began to assert himself. I root for no one in the NFC East, so I don’t really care. Irsay I feel badly for; he obviously has problems of the sort that damage each of us, if not directly then through family and friends.

I’d probably celebrate Mara bad fortune — but only because he is a real power behind the throne in the Commissioner’s effort to harm the Pats, which relates, again, to on the field performance.

As a group, I think all owners suck because of the way they treat their players. Because he was a relative dove during the last CBA negotiation, I think Kraft is better than most, but that doesn’t get him a trophy.

We just passed the 25th anniversary of Charles Barkley famously, and correctly, refusing to be a role model. In this sport alone, OJ Simpson’s double murder followed two years later. A few years after that came Rae Carruth’s contract killing. Then came Ray Lewis at the Super Bowl in Atlanta, and countless DUI’s, domestic assaults, illegal drug arrests, gunplay and owner and executive folly — and discipline flowing from it all.

People are pretty good discerning virtue on the field and getting psychic income from it. Beyond that, as nattysez says above, people read the newspapers.
 

Ralphwiggum

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I'm more bothered that Kraft cozies up to Trump than him getting a hand job at a massage parlor. Sure, it is more fodder for Pats haters but honestly none of that stuff remotely bothers me anymore. It was much, much more frustrating to battle the nitwits who thought/think Tom Brady was a cheater because some footballs were a little deflated. If you recall, there were people actually clamoring for the Pats to not be allowed to play in the Super Bowl in the immediate aftermath of deflategate. I've had people try to jab at me over the Kraft stuff, my response has been indifference. It has nothing to do with football, and I root for laundry like everyone else.

That said, I don't read Shag and certainly would never waste my time writing him an email over this or anything else.
 

dcmissle

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The guy made his living agitating and chronicling the fellowship of the miserable, mainly in football and baseball. His swan songs came when Victor Kiam sold the Patriots and Grady left Pedro in too long. During the dark days, Red Sox and Patriots fans would have happily paid for 100,000 hand jobs if just one conferred a title.

He’s 65 years old. His future appears bleak.
 

cornwalls@6

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Every fan of every team drinks the Kool Aid to some degree. Not unique to the Patriots. That’s what being a fan is. That said, it’s ridiculous to think that Krafts embarrassment over this is limited to him, and him alone. Of course some of the stink gets on the franchise, and by extension the fan base. As noted above, it’s not a crime against humanity, doesn’t require anyone to burn their Brady gamer, and disavow their fandom. It will fade into the background eventually. But it’s not nothing either. And it did cast, at least temporarily, a little bit of pall over the aftermath of one of the most unlikely, and enjoyable, championships. He deserves to get slapped around a little bit for it.
 

TheoShmeo

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I wish Kraft had not done what he did. He embarrassed himself and gave Pats Haters easy fodder. He also acted in a way that’s arguably inconsistent with his public acts of charity.

And he was stupid. If he’s going to pay for sex, he should have been a lot smarter about it. Not that I’m condoning that but he gets demerits for going about it about as foolishly as possible.

Last on this score, he opened the door for the over zealous and probably butt hurt Goodell to punish him and maybe even the team.

But aside from the low likelihood that the team gets punished, how can anyone talk themselves into this being tough times for Pats fans? Having to fend off jokes about the owner in no teeny tiny way diminishes the massive good and fun around rooting for this team. This is the fucking golden era in Pats fandom. I need not list out why other than to note the names Lombardi, Brady and Belichick. Anyone whose enjoyment is reduced over the owner getting caught up in an off the field, unrelated to football scandal is a lot more sensitive than I will ever be. And probably doesn’t remember or think about names like Fairbanks, Dreith and Rust. Now those names made it hard to be a Pats fan.

As to the commentary around emailing with the CHB, what can I say, I enjoy it. While I think he’s often an epic douche, he does usually reply, sometimes thoughtfully, and he even called me to discuss one of my emails. Which was nothing If not entertaining. Say what you will about him, and despite all the comments here, he’s part of the NE sports landscape and seemingly not going anywhere. So, to me, dialogue with him is, at the least, entertaining.

I’ve interacted with many other participants in that landscape over the years, including Bob Ryan, Ron Borges, Jeffrey Kessler, Larry Lucchino, Tom Werner, Terry Francona and many others. It’s been fun and resulted in some very cool experiences and connections.
 

shaggydog2000

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I think everybody getting hugely worked up about football inflation for the only time in NFL history, and then making incredibly wrong assertions about physics, air, and measurement methodology was much more annoying than the few pretty funny jokes people have made about Bob Kraft paying for a cut rate consensual session of hand and mouth help in a Florida strip mall. I think I made more jokes about it than my Eagles fan friend did. And that guy acted like Tom Brady had murdered a family of dogs when it came out that he liked slightly soft balls. As opposed to that time the Eagles employed an actual serial dog murderer.
 

Myt1

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That’s different than “wildly wrong.”

Doesn’t move the needle for me at all. But it’s hardly insane.
 

TheoShmeo

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That’s different than “wildly wrong.”

Doesn’t move the needle for me at all. But it’s hardly insane.
That seems to me to be needlessly parsing this thing.

But yeah, the notion that being a Pats fan right now is in any way uncomfortable for me -- and I daresay a good percentage of other Pats fans -- is wildly wrong, insane, ludicrous and many other like terms you might use.

Said differently, any "discomfort" I have with the team right now has to do with the usual football stuff. Not getting any of their WR targets in free agency. Gronk retiring and leaving a gaping hole in the passing and run blocking games. How they will replace their two stellar lineman. But even there, it's not really discomfort; it's just the normal sports fan personnel questioning and resulting angst. However one labels that, it's not what Dan was driving at.
 

dcmissle

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But you should feel discomfort with it, Theo, you really SHOULD, if you are a right thinking individual.

So there’s an old, grizzled baseball writer here, a boxing aficionado too, who is appalled at Coach Izzo, who comes to town later this week.

https://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/mar/24/tom-rizzo-meltdown-wrong-even-if-he-legend/

This notwithstanding Michigan State’s players, past and present, all being fine with the coaching, not to mention the fans. And the parents and kids into whose homes Izzo has gone and will go to recruit the next class.

But it is increasingly the knight’s job to tell you how you must feel, even though you’re the one impacted.

Shank, like Tom Loverro, is great at projection. And stirring the pot.
 

JohntheBaptist

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Projection, like "they're telling you how you SHOULD feel"?

I do see how being a fan of the NFL would force you into mocking the idea that you'd care about what the people involved may or may not do, though. You're watching grown men turn their brains into oatmeal for fun, so it isn't a huge leap to continue going from there I guess.