The Nation's Tears: Volume II

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TheoShmeo

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Who is saying they're invincible? They lost 2 games last year, after all.

Polian's such a salty asshole has-been.
He's a major asshole but he's probably reacting, at least in part, to the high Vegas Super Bowl 52 odds and the pretty unusual fact that the Pats are favored in every game next year as of now. And that they have had a silly great off season.

His comment about the SB reminds me of the Dan Duquette "more days in first" beauty.
 

tbb345

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Guys come on. Polian's not being biased at all, he's always been a fan of Brady! I mean, he had a 1st round grade on him when he was in the draft!
 

drbretto

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This reminds me of the Colonel Runaway speech on the Doctor Who episode "A Good Man Goes to War"

Colonel Manton: He is not the devil. He is not a god. He is not a goblin or a phantom or a trickster. The Doctor is a living, breathing man. And as I look around this room I know one thing: we’re sure as hell gonna fix that.

All that tells me is the league is scared shitless.
 

InstaFace

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Joke at Patriots expense to a hometown graduation crowd? Fine, no problem, who cares.
I mean, I don't have a problem with him making a joke at the Patriots' expense, but I kinda have a problem with what an incredibly poor attempt it was. Is there some other meaning possible there, other than some 5th-grade-level playground-esque comparison of "Patriots = ass"? That was the best Tomlin had to offer, in a prepared speech?

At least when BB insults someone, they know they've been insulted.

Who is saying they're invincible? They lost 2 games last year, after all.
To be fair, the two losses involved some pretty extreme scenarios:

1) ALL THREE quarterbacks being either seriously injured or suspended. Seriously, three of them. All at the same time.
2) The second-best-coached team in the league, only a year removed from back-to-back SB appearances, injuring our second-best player and then only securing the win on the game's final play

That's what it took to beat the 2016 Patriots. They were harder to kill than Vampire Steven Seagal. And next year's team may well be better. The nation's tears in the coming 12 months could be Cartman-esque in their deliciousness.
 

Curt S Loew

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I mean, I don't have a problem with him making a joke at the Patriots' expense, but I kinda have a problem with what an incredibly poor attempt it was. Is there some other meaning possible there, other than some 5th-grade-level playground-esque comparison of "Patriots = ass"? That was the best Tomlin had to offer, in a prepared speech?

At least when BB insults someone, they know they've been insulted.
As I posted above, it was an attempt at humor inspired by his locker room comment. And yes, a poor one at that.
 

pappymojo

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The thing I love about the Polian quote is that he assumes* that if the Patriots had lost then they would have lost pretty decisively. It's like his best case take down of the Patriots is this double fantasy world he's created for himself where not only did they lose but they lost big.




*Ah, but you know that old cliche. When you assume, you make a Super Bowl champion out of you and me.
 

PedroKsBambino

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Just think how much saltier Polian would be if Reche Caldwell hadn't dropped that pass?
 

snowmanny

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I just think it's hilarious that anyone on the planet thinks they can bring Patriots fans down to earth by reminding them that hey your team was LOSING late I n the game 28-3, don't forget that. Forget that? I've got a fucking t-shirt that SAYS 28-3 that I never want to take off.

The great underappreciated story of the past fifteen years is what an incredible bunch of crybaby sore losers we see with anyone and everyone associated with, reporting on, or rooting for the Colts, Steelers, Ravens or Jets. These are football (FOOTBALL!!!) executives, writers, coaches, players and fans who are in a perpetual state of poor me excuse-making complaining blaming like they were adolescent golfers or delicate muffins or something. So much whine it overflows.
 

Bowhemian

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Polian's hatred of the Patriots knows no boundaries.
I mean, the Patriots definitely would have lost the Super Bowl if it wasn't for the best comeback in Super Bowl history.

Suck it, Bill.
 

PedroKsBambino

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I just think it's hilarious that anyone on the planet thinks they can bring Patriots fans down to earth by reminding them that hey your team was LOSING late I n the game 28-3, don't forget that. Forget that? I've got a fucking t-shirt that SAYS 28-3 that I never want to take off.

The great underappreciated story of the past fifteen years is what an incredible bunch of crybaby sore losers we see with anyone and everyone associated with, reporting on, or rooting for the Colts, Steelers, Ravens or Jets. These are football (FOOTBALL!!!) executives, writers, coaches, players and fans who are in a perpetual state of poor me excuse-making complaining blaming like they were adolescent golfers or delicate muffins or something. So much whine it overflows.
For me, part of the beauty of the Patriots run is that teams feel like they 'should' have beaten them and yet, time after time, they didn't and the Pats won.

Why is this? The Pats have rarely (really, just in 2007 in many minds and perhaps also in fact in 2004) been such a visibly dominant team that everyone expected them to win. That's who teams usually are thinking they will lose to. Instead, they are flexible, tough, deep, and do better at prep and execution than anyone else. They rarely have had so many stars that change gameplans or fans/announcers focus on. That adds up to something different than 'overpowering' and doesn't leave a team thinking they can't beat the Pats coming into the game. Teams think they can win, and yet, they don't

And this is the team's legacy---no matter what they were giving up matchup wise, no matter what edges the other team should have had or did have, the Patriots planned and executed better almost every time. And that is going to continue to frustrate the hell out of other teams, other players, coaches, and fans....some of them know they lost it on prep and execution (the 'mental' stuff) and some won't realize it, but they all come away feeling it was theirs to win and they didn't

I love it.
 

BigSoxFan

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Maybe it's worth a separate thread but I've always wondered where all of this started from. It certainly pre-dated Spygate but I have a hard time understanding why teams are so confused by their lack of success going up against not only the greatest QB/Coach combo in league history but literally the best QB and Coach. Period.

The Patriots, to their credit, have always been complimentary of opponents when they lose outside of a few incidents (like SD in 2006). I get that nobody likes the team that always wins but there seems to be more whining about the Patriots than almost any other team I can remember.

It's like the pre-2004 Red Sox vs. Yankees complex but on a nationwide scale.
 

TheoShmeo

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I think a lot of it comes down to the fact that Belichick projects as someone who thinks he will win in large part because he will outsmart and maybe even outwork you. Brady has a smile on his face but he fits right in with that. It's got to be maddening to lose to a team that does it with brains and not just brawn.

And the media -- perpetually pissed off at how BB treats them -- fans the fires.

That the Pats so thoroughly get under the skin of their adversaries and opposing fans is indeed one of the many awesome things that characterize this run.
 
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Papelbon's Poutine

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Wait... what?

The coach who has never altered his defense against the Pats, despite Brady repeatedly carving it up... is the guy you would want as a coach? YVMV, but Tomlin would be a hard pass (and a soft 6) for me.
Fair point and one not considered by me. But of current head coaches (as in not a coordinator or a college guy), yes he would be top 5 for me. Every coach has flaws, every (other than NE) fanbase has gripes about their coach. We are certainly spoiled.
 

loshjott

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I think a lot of it comes down to the fact that Belichick projects as someone who thinks he will win in large part because he will outsmart and maybe even outwork you. Brady has a smile on his face but he fits right in with that. It's got to be maddening to lose to a team that does it with brains and not just brawn.

And the media -- perpetually pissed off at how BB treats them -- fans the fires.

That the Pats so thoroughly get under the skin of their adversaries and opposing fans is indeed one of the many awesome things that characterize this run.
Plus the revolving cast of non-Brady, non-Belichick interchangeable parts. Or at least they appear interchangeable to the media and most fans. Go back to that Jonas Gray cover and accompanying article.
 

OurF'ingCity

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It's got to be maddening to lose to a team that does it with brains and not just brawn.
I think this is the key. So many coaches (and members of the media, who are often former coaches or players) still exist in the rah-rah mindset of "you will win if you want it more." Belichick wouldn't be caught dead uttering any such thing or any other of the countless platitudes the Herm Edwards' and Jon Gruden's of the world spout nonstop.

Thus, despite being the greatest football coach of all time, Belichick doesn't come off as a "football guy" - he's just not the stereotypical image of the high school football coach screaming in players' faces (although we know he does put a great emphasis on discipline, just in a more quiet, ruthless manner). It's essentially fear of the unknown - other teams and fans cannot figure out why they are repeatedly beat by the Pats and so begin to dislike them and accuse them of cheating in innumerable ways.
 

loshjott

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After the first SB win, Paul Zimmerman wrote that instead of rah rah motivational tactics players most want competence in a head coach. They want the knowledge that the coach really knows what he's doing. Obviously BB does motivation too "nobody hands you the ring, you have to f'in earn it" but first and foremost players respect him because they know he knows what he's doing at pretty much all times.
 

reggiecleveland

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The only comparison I can make is to the Auerbach, Russell Celtics where a player and coach have such a run. Red did a lot more to tweak people though. I have read a lot about that era and people in the NBA did almost anything to beat them. Interestingly, by contrast though, the NBA owners recognised too much anger and jealousy hurt the league, and kepts things from getting too far out of control.
 

m0ckduck

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I think this is the key. So many coaches (and members of the media, who are often former coaches or players) still exist in the rah-rah mindset of "you will win if you want it more." Belichick wouldn't be caught dead uttering any such thing or any other of the countless platitudes the Herm Edwards' and Jon Gruden's of the world spout nonstop.

Thus, despite being the greatest football coach of all time, Belichick doesn't come off as a "football guy" - he's just not the stereotypical image of the high school football coach screaming in players' faces (although we know he does put a great emphasis on discipline, just in a more quiet, ruthless manner). It's essentially fear of the unknown - other teams and fans cannot figure out why they are repeatedly beat by the Pats and so begin to dislike them and accuse them of cheating in innumerable ways.
My theory is that dominant teams are always extremely polarising: they draw huge numbers of bandwagon-hopping casual fans and become hugely popular so long as they possess any one or more of the following: (1) a superhuman athletic specimen (think Jordan or LeBron in NBA circles); (2) an extremely fun-to-watch style of play (think the Spurs, who were widely disliked until they adopted the pace-and-space precepts of 21st century NBA basketball); (3) allegiance to a major costal US city (NY or LA); or, (4) perceived allegiance to heartland values ("you will win if you want it more"). These are the attributes that casual fans are prepared to associate with 'success'.

A team that possesses none of the above is perceived as somehow 'cheating the system'-- winning on the basis of a system over individual heroism, scheming over morals, smarts over brawn, etc. Most casual fans spend their daily working hours toiling for a successful system and invest in sports to see a different kind of skillset prevail. The Patriots, with the real-world-dominant system that Belichick has built, represent an affront to that escapism.
 

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I think part of it may be due to the fact that the Pats, for the most part, aren't winning by having the leagues biggest names and biggest stars. Sure, there's Brady, but there are many people who still don't think of him as being as good as Peyton or Rodgers. This isn't a team with a raft of Hall of Famers, All-Pros, or Defensive POYs. So on paper, it seems like they shouldn't be that good. Not as good as the 90s Cowboys or the 80s 49ers or the 70s Steelers or Dolphins. So how are they doing it? Must be luck or cheating.
 

Ed Hillel

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This is the top comment from the ESPN article on the Pats using the May 9th tender on Blount. It brings me so much joy:
No, this is just extremely, extremely callous. Blount just put up insane numbers for you on the most bargain contract in the NFL. And now since it's time for him to get paid, you give him an archaic tender so no one wants to sign him? And he has to play for you for a measly 1.1 million? Unbelievable, man. Not to mention y'all already have THREE legitimate RB's on your roster. This guy has put his heart, blood and soul for y'all, and now should be getting his huge contract. If this was anything but the Patriots, this would be catastrophic for their future Free Agent signings. It's complete crap how I bet BB faces no blowback from this.
 

BaseballJones

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I think part of it may be due to the fact that the Pats, for the most part, aren't winning by having the leagues biggest names and biggest stars. Sure, there's Brady, but there are many people who still don't think of him as being as good as Peyton or Rodgers. This isn't a team with a raft of Hall of Famers, All-Pros, or Defensive POYs. So on paper, it seems like they shouldn't be that good. Not as good as the 90s Cowboys or the 80s 49ers or the 70s Steelers or Dolphins. So how are they doing it? Must be luck or cheating.
And then Spygate and Deflategate happen, and it totally gives them a "reason" to think the Patriots are cheating, and they solidify their stance. And when you point out their unparalleled success, they simply reply with "How do they do it? Obviously they're cheating. They've been caught twice. Who knows how many times they've cheated and NOT been caught?"

I have knowledgeable - really knowledgeable - football fans who were science majors in college who are CONVINCED the Patriots deflated footballs. It boggles the mind.
 

reggiecleveland

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It is far simpler. Dynasties come and go, and are usually 5 years or so in the NFL. bb/tb have been winning since 2001. Social media allows fans to express their jealousy and frustration, so the dynasnty message is not controlled by the NFL or the media.

Move the Torre Yankees run ten years later and it would be far less rosy and warm.
 

TFisNEXT

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There's definitely at least a partial parallel to the late 1990s/early 2000s Yankees (aside from the Patriots' run lasting another decade longer). With those Yankees' teams, you never felt like they were so studded with stars as to mail it in before the first pitch. They "looked" beatable when you look at the individual players. They didn't have an ace like Pedro or Maddux, they didn't have a slugger like Manny, and their star shortstop was worse than ours during the prime years...yet, they just ground you up with their depth and seemingly superior fundamentals. They didn't make a lot of stupid outs on the bases or bad decisions in the field. They also didn't have holes like Manny Alexander and Mike Lansing in their lineups. They just kept coming at you until you caved.

It's not a perfect analogy...different sports and Tom Brady is a superstar that hardly any team can get close to matching, but the rest of the team feels like that type of vibe. The competence and the depth especially as well as the lack of unforced errors.
 

tims4wins

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There's definitely at least a partial parallel to the late 1990s/early 2000s Yankees (aside from the Patriots' run lasting another decade longer). With those Yankees' teams, you never felt like they were so studded with stars as to mail it in before the first pitch. They "looked" beatable when you look at the individual players. They didn't have an ace like Pedro or Maddux, they didn't have a slugger like Manny, and their star shortstop was worse than ours during the prime years...yet, they just ground you up with their depth and seemingly superior fundamentals. They didn't make a lot of stupid outs on the bases or bad decisions in the field. They also didn't have holes like Manny Alexander and Mike Lansing in their lineups. They just kept coming at you until you caved.

It's not a perfect analogy...different sports and Tom Brady is a superstar that hardly any team can get close to matching, but the rest of the team feels like that type of vibe. The competence and the depth especially as well as the lack of unforced errors.
The last sentence nails it. I remember so many of those Yankee rallies that included a bloop hit or a seeing eye single or a swinging bunt infield hit, maybe an error by the other team, an executed hit and run, etc. Sure those MFY teams hit some clutch home runs but they won a lot by letting their opponent make mistakes. It is kind of similar to the "dink and dunk" Patriots. They don't hit you with 70 yard bombs (aside from 2007), it is a methodical approach. And similar on defense, they don't lead the league in picks or sacks or whatever, it is bend but don't break.
 

Salva135

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Maybe a good idea for a new thread, who would people take as a #2 behind BB? McDaniels and Patricia are excluded, only current head coaches.
Pete Carroll, no question. Despite his famous brainfart, he's played the Pats to the bitter end in their three encounters during the Wilson/Legion of Boom era, and the only team to dominate their A-team on both their and our turf.
 

Stitch01

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Sort of a non-standard use of the word dominated there, every Pats/Seahawks game has been pretty even and down to the last possession.
 

Salva135

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Maybe it's worth a separate thread but I've always wondered where all of this started from. It certainly pre-dated Spygate but I have a hard time understanding why teams are so confused by their lack of success going up against not only the greatest QB/Coach combo in league history but literally the best QB and Coach. Period.

The Patriots, to their credit, have always been complimentary of opponents when they lose outside of a few incidents (like SD in 2006). I get that nobody likes the team that always wins but there seems to be more whining about the Patriots than almost any other team I can remember.

It's like the pre-2004 Red Sox vs. Yankees complex but on a nationwide scale.

Not really. Prior to Spygate, Belichick and Brady were an NFL marvel. Spygate rocked the NFL landscape and gave everyone who hated how successful they were a recipe, or better yet, an explanation for their frustration and hatred. "Why are they so good? Because they cheat." It's simple, populist, and comforting. And it will linger forever, whether anyone likes it or not. They deflate the balls, they make up obscure rules on the field, they pay guys under the table... the list goes on and on and it all started the day Mangini decided to make his mark.
 

BigSoxFan

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Not really. Prior to Spygate, Belichick and Brady were an NFL marvel. Spygate rocked the NFL landscape and gave everyone who hated how successful they were a recipe, or better yet, an explanation for their frustration and hatred. "Why are they so good? Because they cheat." It's simple, populist, and comforting. And it will linger forever, whether anyone likes it or not. They deflate the balls, they make up obscure rules on the field, they pay guys under the table... the list goes on and on and it all started the day Mangini decided to make his mark.
That is not true at all. Kordell's "sometimes the best team just doesn't win" comment was from 2002. Sure there are others that I am forgetting. Spygate intensified everything but the whole "how are we losing to these guys" thing started well before 2007.
 

Salva135

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Sort of a non-standard use of the word dominated there, every Pats/Seahawks game has been pretty even and down to the last possession.
Perhaps "dominated" is being used loosely here, more like they've had enough of our number to make us play to the final whistle. And it's more than anyone team has come close to recently.
 

Salva135

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That is not true at all. Kordell's "sometimes the best team just doesn't win" comment was from 2002. Sure there are others that I am forgetting. Spygate intensified everything but the whole "how are we losing to these guys" thing started well before 2007.
Yes, but no one used the term cheating until this story broke. Marshall Faulk claims he "knew something was up" or whatever, but funny that I don't remember him making this claim anytime publicly between 2001-2007. And then Kurt Warner talks about things he was suspicious about, and Peyton starts talking about suspecting bugs in locker rooms. None of this started until Spygate. The Pats became the sketchy person living down the street and all of a sudden the old neighbors living next door "always suspected something."


The Pats from 2001-2004 were "too good to be true," and then confirmation bias kicked in.
 

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That is not true at all. Kordell's "sometimes the best team just doesn't win" comment was from 2002. Sure there are others that I am forgetting. Spygate intensified everything but the whole "how are we losing to these guys" thing started well before 2007.
I'm pretty sure that LDT was making this same case in 2006, but it may have been later. Which year did Troy Brown cause the fumble on the INT return to save the playoff game?
 

NortheasternPJ

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I'm pretty sure that LDT was making this same case in 2006, but it may have been later. Which year did Troy Brown cause the fumble on the INT return to save the playoff game?
What else was he going to do during the playoff game when he was sitting on the bench sulking? Play?

 

tims4wins

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Yeah I think the Titans were also pretty salty about losing in 2003. "Best team didn't win" etc. It continued in 2004 as well. But then Spygate changed the narrative retroactively
 

Salva135

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There was surely animosity and hatred of a team that consistently wins, but "integrity of the game" never entered our consciousness until then. It went from "damn, they're good and a-holes about it" to "maybe none of this is real." And we as fans live with it to this day. And will always.
 

BigSoxFan

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Yeah I think the Titans were also pretty salty about losing in 2003. "Best team didn't win" etc. It continued in 2004 as well. But then Spygate changed the narrative retroactively
Yeah, I guess we're talking about two different opponent whiny narratives. First, it was these guys aren't that good and I can't believe we're losing to them, Brady is a system QB, etc.. Then, it was ha, they're cheaterzzz and that's why they won! Now, it's ok they're good but they still must be doing some shady stuff because Spygate and Deflategate and whatever Tomlin's excuse du jour is.
 

rodderick

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I'm pretty sure that LDT was making this same case in 2006, but it may have been later. Which year did Troy Brown cause the fumble on the INT return to save the playoff game?
LDT was fuming about some Patriots jawing at Chargers players and doing the Shawne Merriman "lights out" dance over the Chargers logo after the 2006 AFC Divisional Round game. He implied the Patriots' lack of class stemmed from Belichick's behavior (and also gave us the "you know me, I'm a classy guy" gem of a quote). Didn't have anything to do with cheating or a sense that the better team didn't prevail, just a sore loser who was upset over the Pats celebrating a little too much in his stadium.
 

Ed Hillel

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"They classless, and it starts with they head coach" was a classic line from that LDT whinefest. I'm pretty sure he had a couple with the Jets, too, and I distinctly remember there being a reference to him crying after the 2010 playoff loss to the Jets because he had finally made it to the top of the mountain or some such.

Then Julian Edelman ended his career while playing defensive back.
 

Bergs

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LDT was fuming about some Patriots jawing at Chargers players and doing the Shawne Merriman "lights out" dance over the Chargers logo after the 2006 AFC Divisional Round game. He implied the Patriots' lack of class stemmed from Belichick's behavior (and also gave us the "you know me, I'm a classy guy" gem of a quote). Didn't have anything to do with cheating or a sense that the better team didn't prevail, just a sore loser who was upset over the Pats celebrating a little too much in his stadium.
Exactly.
 

Mystic Merlin

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There was surely animosity and hatred of a team that consistently wins, but "integrity of the game" never entered our consciousness until then. It went from "damn, they're good and a-holes about it" to "maybe none of this is real." And we as fans live with it to this day. And will always.
The walls are closing in, it's tainted!!11
 

Kid T

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Yes, but no one used the term cheating until this story broke. Marshall Faulk claims he "knew something was up" or whatever, but funny that I don't remember him making this claim anytime publicly between 2001-2007. And then Kurt Warner talks about things he was suspicious about, and Peyton starts talking about suspecting bugs in locker rooms. None of this started until Spygate. The Pats became the sketchy person living down the street and all of a sudden the old neighbors living next door "always suspected something."


The Pats from 2001-2004 were "too good to be true," and then confirmation bias kicked in.
Pretty sure they accused the Patriots of filming their walkthroughs as the Patriots "seemed to know their routes" on some new plays. There was also lots of whining over how they got held and hit during the SB game.
 

Jimbodandy

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Pretty sure they accused the Patriots of filming their walkthroughs as the Patriots "seemed to know their routes" on some new plays. There was also lots of whining over how they got held and hit during the SB game.
It's important to be precise about this stuff.

Yes, the Rams were whining at the time about how they were manhandled.
No, they weren't talking about how anyone knew their routes. Not in 2002, they weren't.
 

Ed Hillel

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Oops, sorry didn't read a couple posts and missed context. Yeah, Faulk didn't start whining about Cheatriots until after Tomase's assholery. Warner did a little in the immediate aftermath, which is understandable, but he's backed off quite a bit since.
 

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I remember a few distinct phases from a highly subjective PoV in NYC/NJ--After beating the Rams, the Pats were gritty, scrappy underdogs, coached by a near-genius who took a middling team with a boy-band cute QB all the way. The book on Brady, as late as the 2003 playoffs, was that he was cool under fire but was never asked to do much beyond what BB and Charlie Weis carefully laid out for him--"He's a system QB!" It wasn't until the 2004 team was dominating that many people outside NE and/or who hadn't been watching very closely recognized that something special was happening--and that Brady was a huge part of it.

Following 39, I think they were seen as a highly respected dynasty. I also recall this as the period when the 'TB or Peyton' debate began in earnest--Brady had the rings, the perfect playoff record, and an emerging rep as the best big-game QB since Joe Montana while Manning had the passing stats and a rep as a brilliant regular season player who wilted in the playoffs, especially against New England. Some of this began to shift after the Pats lost to Denver in 2005 before really getting interesting after the flu-immersed loss to Manning's Colts in the 2006 AFCCG. That loss, however, also had the curious effect of galvanizing the pro-Brady camp, who began to argue that Brady accomplished much of what Manning had with vastly inferior talent at the skill positions, Corey Dillon and, to a lesser extent, Troy Brown notwithstanding.

Then came Spygate and the revenge-for-Spygate dominance of 2007 followed by the crushing loss in 42, Brady's lost season, two consecutive playoff humiliations in 2009 and 2010 and another heart-breaker against the NYG. I remember a lot of nonsense about how the Pats couldn't win without cheating in those years--as if the majority of 2007 wasn't played after Spygate. But from then until they beat Seattle in SB 49, I think most saw them as a consistently very good, occasionally great franchise while a few idiots muttered things about video cameras and taped walk-throughs. I think that's pretty much how it stands now--except the very good/great balance has shifted--the Pats are seen as a great team that every few seasons manages to be 'merely' very good. The pinheads who bleat, "Cheatriots" have been thoroughly marginalized, it seems to me.
 
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BigSoxFan

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SoSH Member
May 31, 2007
46,199
I remember a few distinct phases from a highly subjective PoV in NYC/NJ--After beating the Rams, the Pats were gritty, scrappy underdogs, coached by a near-genius who took a middling team with a boy-band cute QB all the way. The book on Brady, as late as the 2003 playoffs, was that he was cool under fire but was never asked to do much beyond what BB and Charlie Weis carefully laid out for him--"He's a system QB!" It wasn't until the 2004 team was dominating that many people outside NE and/or who hadn't been watching very closely recognized that something special was happening--and that Brady was a huge part of it.

Following 39, I think they were seen as a highly respected dynasty. I also recall this as the period when the 'TB or Peyton' debate began in earnest--Brady had the rings, the perfect playoff record, and an emerging rep as the best big-game QB since Joe Montana while Manning had the passing stats and a rep as a brilliant regular season player who wilted in the playoffs, especially against New England. Some of this began to shift after the Pats lost to Denver in 2005 before really getting interesting after the flu-immersed loss to Manning's Colts in the 2006 AFCCG. That loss, however, also had the curious effect of galvanizing the pro-Brady camp, who began to argue that Brady accomplished much of what Manning had with vastly inferior talent at the skill positions, Corey Dillon and, to a lesser extent, Troy Brown notwithstanding.

Then came Spygate and the revenge-for-Spygate dominance of 2007 followed by the crushing loss in 42, Brady's lost season, two consecutive playoff humiliations in 2010 and 2011 and another heart-breaker against the NYG. I remember a lot of nonsense about how the Pats couldn't win without cheating in those years--as if the majority of 2007 wasn't played after Spygate. But from then until they beat Seattle in SB 49, I think most saw them as a consistently very good, occasionally great franchise while a few idiots muttered things about video cameras and taped walk-throughs. I think that's pretty much how it stands now--except the very good/great balance has shifted--the Pats are seen as a great team that every few seasons manages to be 'merely' very good. The pinheads who bleat, "Cheatriots" have been thoroughly marginalized, it seems to me.
I think this recap is pretty spot on. SB51 basically killed the spirit of any hater. There is still a smattering of people who are basically the sports fan equivalent of Trump supporters who will call the Patriots a bunch of cheaters forever.
 

Boston Brawler

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Jan 17, 2011
9,714
Not sure where to put this, but Brady was just named as the Madden 18 cover guy and it's being called the GOAT edition
 
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