Well, it seems to me that the NFL season up to this point has been, how do you say, excruciatingly boring. Parity is all well and good, but when 24 of the 32 teams are mediocre (9-7 or worse), combined with the poor quality of play (only the Chargers are a complete team, and not even they are a juggernaut), you've got a crappy product. It's almost like the salary cap, scheduling, and other parity-encouraging plans repressed opportunity rather than engendering it.
So with all that in mind, it's silly that all the sites today are proclaiming what a great weekend it was, with ESPN.com calling it "wild", and other sites following suit. One can argue (fairly easily) that the wildness was due not to great teams one-upping each other, but rather bad teams one-downing each other, with end zone fumbles, botched snaps, uninspired play, pure dumb luck, etc.
Perhaps the emblem of this NFL season was the New England Patriots' victory yesterday, 37-16, over the Jets. Not because the Pats played poorly, but because they embody everything this season was. If it's possible for a team to be both great and mediocre, it's the New England Patriots.
Football fans prepare for another great
Patriots playoff run.
Because even arguably the league's best team is totally uninspiring. They can beat anybody, they can lose to anybody, and they have no style in the process. People should stop saying the Pats are now definitely going all the way. Hey, when Chad Pennington, Leon Washington, and Jerricho Cotchery are the main opposing skill players, I'm not going to get that excited about your victory. Period at the end of that sentence. I'll definitely hand it to the Pats, though -- they played well. But at no time did I find myself thinking "wow, what a great team," or "I really don't want the last three hours of my life back." Although I can totally see them winning the whole thing by default.
I'll acknowledge that I'd generally rather see an underdog win, that the Pats' incredibly impressive run may have numbed me to their greatness, and blah blah blah. But I'm also tired of people saying "it may not be pretty, but you have to love the Patriots." Well....why? Why, exactly, do I have to love the Patriots? I'm not writing a term paper on football strategy. I'm just trying to be entertained for a few hours on a Sunday afternoon. I want to say "whoa, what a play!" Not, "wow, this game plan is sublime." After all, what do I care? I work hard all week, and I like to be entertained over the weekend. Is that too much to ask? I can't just enjoy sports on TV, now I've got to "appreciate" it? In the words of Aristotle, fuck that.
As Belichick and other high-horse coaches are so quick to point out, fans like me are stupid, and don't understand the extremely complex nuances of this game of football, which apparently is on par with quantum physics in degree of difficulty. So I'm going to root accordingly. Patriots, you're a warm bowl of pablum. You are parity personified. You are the anti-Phoenix Suns of professional American sports. And I hope your season goes the way of the dinosaur.
- NFL regular season standings [ESPN.com]
- Cowboys Fall Short on Romo's Mistake [Dallas Morning News]
- Dumb Plays from Start to Finished [NY Daily News]
- Don't Try to Understand it, Just Chalk it Up to Karma [Seattle Post-Intelligencer]
- Belichick Has 7-2 Record Against MVPs [ESPN.com]
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