Man in the Arena on ESPN Plus

DJnVa

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Finally watched the first episode. Anyone catch that they made an error with the timeline in the Super Bowl? Willie was talking about how he wanted to make up for the penalty, and about how he had a big sack of Warner. Both were true. But the episode made it seem like the sack of Warner happened after the Rams had tied the game. That was false. The game winning FG drive happened immediately after the Rams tied it.

For a series that is geared toward hard core fans, I don't like those types of errors.
Yeah, and Brady is one that said “and then they scored on the next drive” after the nullified TD. Which they didn’t. It was weird.
 

Cotillion

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I did notice that. A bit of fake news that rubbed me the wrong way, too.
I wish I could remember it, but I saw something like that recently in other things. It might have even been one of the most recent spygate/deflategate documentaries... where they laid out a sequence of events... and stuff was wildly out of order or important chunks were left out... the error of course actually altered the impact of what was happening... so it wasn't a meaningless error. It actually altered the narrative.
 

tims4wins

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Yeah, and Brady is one that said “and then they scored on the next drive” after the nullified TD. Which they didn’t. It was weird.
Right, Brady was wrong too. The sequence went Rams TD after the flag, Pats punt, Rams punt after the Willie sack, Pats punt, Rams TD to tie it, Pats FG to win it.
 

Shaky Walton

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I am for sure not an ESPN apologist, but ESPN Plus is a phenomenal and comprehensive service. It has a ton of stuff and now has a shitload of NHL, too.

Are you angry at Disney for making people pay for Falcon and the Winter Solider or Hawkeye? How about Amazon for The Boys or Wheel of Time? Or Apple for Ted Lasso ad For All Mankind? HBO chargers people to watch Mare of Eastown or Insecure. Paramount Plus charged people who wanted to watch The Stand or Star Trek or Twilight Zone. Peacock chargers for people who want to watch NBC shows and then other stuff like The Lost Symbol or Girls4eva. Hulu also charges for people who want to watch Normal People or Handmaid's Tale. Netflix charges for people who want to watch Locke and Key and The Witcher and Midnight Mass.

You can choose to opt in or not. But it's a normal part of the entertainment world right now.
One difference is that I am already paying for ESPN channels as part of my DirecTV package.

I take your point but I do continue to think that ESPN should have put this series on its regular channels. Yes, it's America and capitalism still reigns and they can do whatever the fuck they want to do. Make a buck, however you see fit. I just think it's a bad decision to limit the audience to this extent. The Michael Jordan series created way more buzz and conversation. I am not saying that the Brady series would have been equivalent to that. So many things about them are different, including the timing of the release, Jordan and Brady themselves and that Brady is still playing.

But I wonder in the end if this is really good business for ESPN to have such a relatively small fraction of their audience tuning in. Maybe I am wrong and this has lead to people buying ESPN plus. I have not and don't plan on it, and assume I will be able to catch this later on regular ESPN. If that proves to be wrong and I need to do something to watch, I will. But I have more than enough content to entertain me in the meantime, and I hope ESPN concludes that they would have been better off not opting for ESPN plus.
 

Bergs

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Episode 3 gave me the chills. And f-bomb dropping Tom Brady is fun as shit. The next one should be LIT.
 

RG33

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Episode 3 gave me the chills. And f-bomb dropping Tom Brady is fun as shit. The next one should be LIT.
“The 2004 season up to the end of 2005 was the end of that chapter of Patriots football. Then, it was time to rebuild.”

[Cut to Credits]

(Giddy smile and laugh at what comes in episode 4)
 

Preacher

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Just catching up on episode 3, Bruschi did the post game “Slater” huddle after the divisional round. “How do we feel about a playoff win?” “Ahhh yeeaaahhh!” I guess we didn’t get the tweets of locker room videos back in 2003. I thought Slater started that whole thing.
 

tims4wins

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Just catching up on episode 3, Bruschi did the post game “Slater” huddle after the divisional round. “How do we feel about a playoff win?” “Ahhh yeeaaahhh!” I guess we didn’t get the tweets of locker room videos back in 2003. I thought Slater started that whole thing.
Bruschi started it in 2003. We had video back then too. He did it all the way through his retirement. When he came back vs Buffalo in 2005, BB broke the team down. It was amazing.
 

Ralphwiggum

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Just catching up on episode 3, Bruschi did the post game “Slater” huddle after the divisional round. “How do we feel about a playoff win?” “Ahhh yeeaaahhh!” I guess we didn’t get the tweets of locker room videos back in 2003. I thought Slater started that whole thing.
Someone needs to watch Three Games to Glory II right away. Man I’ve watched that so many times I can practically recite the story when Bru randomly started that tradition.

Edit: I can’t get over calling it the Slater huddle. Slater has probably done more of them by now but to me it a,ways feels slightly off that it isn’t Bruschi.
 

Preacher

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Someone needs to watch Three Games to Glory II right away. Man I’ve watched that so many times I can practically recite the story when Bru randomly started that tradition.

Edit: I can’t get over calling it the Slater huddle. Slater has probably done more of them by now but to me it a,ways feels slightly off that it isn’t Bruschi.
Ok, ok. I get it. I guess the access to video was different back then. If you didn’t buy Three Games to Glory II you might not have seen it as opposed to now when I see one of those post SB videos and I’ve probably seen 75% of the footage because it’s been tweeted or was on Mic’d Up or one of the dozen other outlets.

Side note (from watching episode 3): the phrase “edger mentality” sort of weirds me out. It sounds like that team was a never ending circle jerk.
 

Ralphwiggum

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Ok, ok. I get it. I guess the access to video was different back then. If you didn’t buy Three Games to Glory II you might not have seen it as opposed to now when I see one of those post SB videos and I’ve probably seen 75% of the footage because it’s been tweeted or was on Mic’d Up or one of the dozen other outlets.

Side note (from watching episode 3): the phrase “edger mentality” sort of weirds me out. It sounds like that team was a never ending circle jerk.
I was mistaken, it was America’s Game which airs every year on NFL Network around the Super Bowl. I think the quality of these has declined since they started pumping them out after each SB winner, but the first three Pats ones are sublime and must-watches for any Pats fan. I think Tom Selleck narrated the 2003 one. Martin Sheen one of the others.

Edit: Sheen narrated 2001, Laurence Fishburne 2004. The Bruschi breakdown story is in the 2004 one. Again mixing up my Pats porn. Chris Evans narrated 2014 which was also pretty good. I thought 2016 and 2018 were not as good.
 
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tims4wins

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I was mistaken, it was America’s Game which airs every year on NFL Network around the Super Bowl. I think the quality of these has declined since they started pumping them out after each SB winner, but the first three Pats ones are sublime and must-watches for any Pats fan. I think Tom Selleck narrated the 2003 one. Martin Sheen one of the others.
Seconded, and each episode has 3 Pats giving commentary. I remember Weis, Willie, and Rodney being particularly awesome.
 

Bergs

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I was not expecting to be as gutted by episode 4 as I was. I thought that wound had healed better. Fuck the Giants indeed.
 

Preacher

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I was not expecting to be as gutted by episode 4 as I was. I thought that wound had healed better. Fuck the Giants indeed.
Do you not recommend? I’m thinking about skipping episodes 4 and 5. I was at the episode 5 SB and I don’t really care to see that season play out again.
 

Bergs

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Do you not recommend? I’m thinking about skipping episodes 4 and 5. I was at the episode 5 SB and I don’t really care to see that season play out again.
I mean...it's a really great piece of television, worth watching for f-bomb Brady and the Randy Moss stuff. I commend TB12 for being willing to do it. But the fucking Scottish Game. Goddamnit.

Also, seeing 55 always makes me sad. He was one of my favorite players (non-Pats division) before he joined the Pats. It all seems so long ago.

Also, the multi-angle super slow-mo of every motherfucker on the NYG holding on the helmet catch...fuck.
 

Preacher

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I mean...it's a really great piece of television, worth watching for f-bomb Brady and the Randy Moss stuff. I commend TB12 for being willing to do it. But the fucking Scottish Game. Goddamnit.

Also, seeing 55 always makes me sad. He was one of my favorite players (non-Pats division) before he joined the Pats. It all seems so long ago.

Also, the multi-angle super slow-mo of every motherfucker on the NYG holding on the helmet catch...fuck.
Maybe I just stop after the AFCCG? I think my biggest disappointment was not getting Moss and Seau a ring. Loved those guys. The perfect season would have been fantastic but Moss and Seau deserved to be champions.
 

Bergs

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Maybe I just stop after the AFCCG? I think my biggest disappointment was not getting Moss and Seau a ring. Loved those guys. The perfect season would have been fantastic but Moss and Seau deserved to be champions.
Brady's post credit line is amazing. And without spoiling it, there's a secondary character arc. Like I said, it's really good.
 

Willie Clay's Big Play

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It’s not easy and there are a few moments where you really have to commit to watch to the end. But it was well done and all part of the ride. Lucky for us, that ride is still going.
 

Caspir

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I watched it, and it just made me feel really sad for Randy. He deserved a ring. I don’t even remember what the last line was but man, that was tough. Amazing television, but tough.

And the amount of holding, the non whistle on the sack, fucking fuck. The near picks by Rodney and Asante. Torture porn.
 

GB5

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Re Vinateri, the suggestion that no Rams kick then maybe no HOF.
Curious, if I say Vinateri kick, is the first thought Snow Bowl or Super Bowl?
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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I had made it 14 years without seeing much more than the helmet catch play and Plaxico touchdown. Hell, I've talked about the Moss near miss at the end of the game a hundred times and have never once seen it since that night.

I hated waching this, but still found it more informative than the other episodes. It also left more of a bitter-sweet taste in my mouth opposed to simply bitter.

That was the best football team I'll ever see on a field.
 
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Kenny F'ing Powers

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Re Vinateri, the suggestion that no Rams kick then maybe no HOF.
Curious, if I say Vinateri kick, is the first thought Snow Bowl or Super Bowl?
Probably 60-40 superbowl for NE fans, 95-5 for non New England fans.
 

Cornboy14

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Has there ever been any talk about why the Patriots went for it on 4th and 13 from the Giants 31? It was 3rd quarter, Patriots were up 7-3. Just no trust at that point in Gostkowski from 49 yards? He had only 5 attempts from 40+ yards all season (none from 50+) which is wild.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Has there ever been any talk about why the Patriots went for it on 4th and 13 from the Giants 31? It was 3rd quarter, Patriots were up 7-3. Just no trust at that point in Gostkowski from 49 yards? He had only 5 attempts from 40+ yards all season (none from 50+) which is wild.
Plenty of talk over the years.

Nobody really knows but probably some combination of Ghost being unreliable from distance early in his career (6 of 10 from 40+ to that point) and BB/Josh being very frustrated with the way the game was going and making an impulsive, poor decision. When you break it down it just wasn't really a justifiable decision in any way. Even if they thought they had the absolute perfect play in their pocket for that situation you are always going to be a big dog to convert 4th and 13. And the line had been giving Tom little time to throw all day. And we ended up throwing to Jabar Gaffney.
 
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I had made it 14 years without seeing much more than the helmet catch play and Plaxico touchdown. Hell, I've talked about the Moss near miss at the end of the game a hundred times and have never once seen it since that night.

I hated waching this, but still found it more informative than the other episodes. It also left more of a bitter-sweet taste in my mouth opposed to simply bitter.

That was the best football team I'll ever see on a field.
I still can’t watch it. My only comfort is that in the multiverse, there’s a version of me that got to experience the undefeated season, not coil in disgust at every replay from that game that still gets sprinkled into random regular season games with obnoxious frequency.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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I get that we each experience sports differently but if the Patriots success post that game has rendered it just a sour memory at this point. Brady is great. Moss is great. Strahan is annoying but he earned every right to be.

I have to go back to see the post-credit scene but this episode is so worth it, even with the outcome, all the holds and the annoying football stuff (Tyree, Eli somehow becoming Ben Opeslithsberger and escaping a pretty firm grasp). If you can't handle it again, that is easy to understand but its as good, if not better than the other installments.
 

SoxinSeattle

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Is there any closure to be gained by watching this episode? I was going to avoid it but maybe it will help close this gaping wound I've had for all these years? Being a spoiled fan has lessened the sting but man I can even think about that game without being ill.
 

FL4WL3SS

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Is there any closure to be gained by watching this episode? I was going to avoid it but maybe it will help close this gaping wound I've had for all these years? Being a spoiled fan has lessened the sting but man I can even think about that game without being ill.
That game literally broke me as a sports fan and I've never been the same. Ever since that game, I haven't allowed myself to get that emotionally invested into sports again (not intentionally either). The fact that it was the book end to Spygate made it worse. I basically stopped watching any ESPN that year and each year I've grown more and more distant from professional sports.
 

NortheasternPJ

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I get that we each experience sports differently but if the Patriots success post that game has rendered it just a sour memory at this point. Brady is great. Moss is great. Strahan is annoying but he earned every right to be.

I have to go back to see the post-credit scene but this episode is so worth it, even with the outcome, all the holds and the annoying football stuff (Tyree, Eli somehow becoming Ben Opeslithsberger and escaping a pretty firm grasp). If you can't handle it again, that is easy to understand but its as good, if not better than the other installments.
Had the last 3 Super Bowls never happened and the Pats never won another one, I couldn't watch this. The 2007 Season is the most fun I've ever had watching a team and it blows they lost, they had multiple chances to end it but couldn't, but at the end of the day the Pats are the best team for 20 years. It was great watching Brady, Moss and others on the fun they had. Loved this episode.
 

johnmd20

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Is there any closure to be gained by watching this episode? I was going to avoid it but maybe it will help close this gaping wound I've had for all these years? Being a spoiled fan has lessened the sting but man I can even think about that game without being ill.
It is hard to say. It's tough to watch but it is also an excellent episode of TV.

But it is tough. I don't think this will provide closure. It might make things worse, especially those dropped INTs and the ball off of Moss' fingertips. But I am personally glad I watched it, because you gotta take the journey. What's the point of joy if you avoid the pain?
 

BigSoxFan

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It is hard to say. It's tough to watch but it is also an excellent episode of TV.

But it is tough. I don't think this will provide closure. It might make things worse, especially those dropped INTs and the ball off of Moss' fingertips. But I am personally glad I watched it, because you gotta take the journey. What's the point of joy if you avoid the pain?
Do they show the play where our LB (forget his name - Pierre Woods?) recovered Bradshaw’s fumble deep in the Giants’ territory and somehow had it taken away?

That play bothers me almost as much as the Helmet Catch and associated OL holds, Asante near INT, Moss Hail Mary, etc.
 

johnmd20

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Do they show the play where our LB (forget his name - Pierre Woods?) recovered Bradshaw’s fumble deep in the Giants’ territory and somehow had it taken away?

That play bothers me almost as much as the Helmet Catch and associated OL holds, Asante near INT, Moss Hail Mary, etc.
No.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Just to add more color, the game features prominently at the end and it does include several plays that can be salt for wounds that haven't healed. If you are the type of person who tends to obsess about "what ifs", you may want to skip this one.

Again, given the Patriots success on the follow as well as the season they are having now (I find this series a fantastic companion piece to the current Pats season on a number of levels), its easy for me to watch those things even though it definitely evoked some faint pain. Its entirely understandable if someone just can't go there again.
 

JokersWildJIMED

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Do they show the play where our LB (forget his name - Pierre Woods?) recovered Bradshaw’s fumble deep in the Giants’ territory and somehow had it taken away?

That play bothers me almost as much as the Helmet Catch and associated OL holds, Asante near INT, Moss Hail Mary, etc.
Woods clearly recovered that fumble and Bradshaw jumped on top of him and rolled him over. After rolling him over Bradshaw managed to wrestle the ball away (I believe Woods later claimed someone grabbed his crotch). The refs screwed that up as Woods had the ball clearly and sure looked down when Bradshaw jumped on top of him. Mike Carey was overmatched (as usual) in that game.
 

BigSoxFan

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Woods clearly recovered that fumble and Bradshaw jumped on top of him and rolled him over. After rolling him over Bradshaw managed to wrestle the ball away (I believe Woods later claimed someone grabbed his crotch). The refs screwed that up as Woods had the ball clearly and sure looked down when Bradshaw jumped on top of him. Mike Carey was overmatched (as usual) in that game.
Thanks. I was at the game and had no idea what happened. All I know is we would have gotten the ball deep in their territory up 7-3. Punch that in and it’s likely a whole different ballgame. Would have forced Eli to throw more and we know how that would have gone.
 

Ralphwiggum

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I was at that game as well and like others have avoided watching any replays of anything related to the game since the second I stepped out of the stadium, so basically all I have seen on TV, ever, is the helmet catch when I can't avoid it, and maybe a couple of replays of Samuel's almost INT, although even with that play not really. I can't describe how miserable it was getting out of that stadium surrounded by Giants fans, it was an hour and a half ordeal from hell. I haven't taken the ESPN+ plunge yet but I'm sure I will watch these at some point. Not sure I can watch this one, though.
 

Euclis20

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It's amazing Drew Bledsoe is 5 years older than Brady and he retired in 2006.
Also remarkable that Bledsoe (a very good, if not quite HOF level QB) played in 119 fewer games than Brady (and counting), yet Bledsoe has more career interceptions. That won't hold up for much longer (206 to 201), but still interesting to note.
 

rbeaud

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Woods clearly recovered that fumble and Bradshaw jumped on top of him and rolled him over. After rolling him over Bradshaw managed to wrestle the ball away (I believe Woods later claimed someone grabbed his crotch). The refs screwed that up as Woods had the ball clearly and sure looked down when Bradshaw jumped on top of him. Mike Carey was overmatched (as usual) in that game.
If called properly the play is dead immediately upon Woods being touched by the opposing player? Terrible miss as that’s the same call in the Pats v KC AFCCG?
 

BigSoxFan

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I was at that game as well and like others have avoided watching any replays of anything related to the game since the second I stepped out of the stadium, so basically all I have seen on TV, ever, is the helmet catch when I can't avoid it, and maybe a couple of replays of Samuel's almost INT, although even with that play not really. I can't describe how miserable it was getting out of that stadium surrounded by Giants fans, it was an hour and a half ordeal from hell. I haven't taken the ESPN+ plunge yet but I'm sure I will watch these at some point. Not sure I can watch this one, though.
I had drunk Giants fans literally getting within 6 inches of my face when I was quietly walking out of the stadium. No idea how I didn’t end up in a holding cell for the night. Think it was the shock. The anger came later.
 

FL4WL3SS

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I had drunk Giants fans literally getting within 6 inches of my face when I was quietly walking out of the stadium. No idea how I didn’t end up in a holding cell for the night. Think it was the shock. The anger came later.
I was at the Indy game that year and had several Indy fans try to pick a fight with me and my dad. It turned into them fighting with each other after the game in the concourse as every single Indy fan was pissed and yelling at each other. I couldn't imagine the hell that you went through. That situation sucked and we won.
 

BernieRicoBoomer

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I had drunk Giants fans literally getting within 6 inches of my face when I was quietly walking out of the stadium. No idea how I didn’t end up in a holding cell for the night. Think it was the shock. The anger came later.
Reminds me of the Jets fans in my face walking out of the Divisional round loss in 2010 season.
 

54thMA

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I give each and every one of you immense credit to be able to watch that/rehash it.

Once that game ended, I've done everything humanly possible to block it out of my mind, no ESPN, newspapers, highlights, Super Bowl game replays, nothing.........whenever a highlight from that game pops up, like a car crash, instead of rubber necking, I look away/change the channel.

I've done everything possible to literally go through my sports life thinking it never happened.

I could never, as in ever, watch a show like that and have all the if's, buts, what if's, coulda beens, shoulda beens thrown in my face, it would wreck me.

Sports is my great escape from reality, it brings me shit tons of joy, I don't want to purposely bring pain into my life if I can avoid it.

Again, kudos to all of you, you're better people than I am.

Fucking Giants; I will hate them for the rest of my remaining days above ground.
 

McBride11

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Finally watching the Goliaths ep.
I really wanna punch Strahan in his gap tooth, but just saltyness.
Plax just made his 17 point prediction

im gonna open a beer for the next 20 min

edit - funny on watching the Giants dline and how many hits to the head on Brady that occurred.
And that fucking helmet catch with all the holding and in the grasp.

edit2. Gahdd. Seeing all these almosts. The 70yd bomb from Brady would have been talked about for a long time if completed. This is true masochism
 
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JokersWildJIMED

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If called properly the play is dead immediately upon Woods being touched by the opposing player? Terrible miss as that’s the same call in the Pats v KC AFCCG?
Not sure when they changed the rule, but it was a clear recovery by Woods, followed by Bradshaw jumping on him and flipping him over and taking the ball. I think Carey blew it and should have blown it dead, and awarded the ball to NEP, but it would clearly be Pats ball in 2021.
 

RG33

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That game literally broke me as a sports fan and I've never been the same. Ever since that game, I haven't allowed myself to get that emotionally invested into sports again (not intentionally either). The fact that it was the book end to Spygate made it worse. I basically stopped watching any ESPN that year and each year I've grown more and more distant from professional sports.
This is the saddest thing I have read on SoSH in a long time. I feel genuinely bad for you, you’ve missed out on quite a lot the last 15 years.