NFL Network Might As Well Just Rename Itself Patriots Network

Aaron LiebmanAnalyst IMarch 6, 2008

Everybody likes to be on the winning team.  Especially when you’re not really on the team or doing any of the work but you can experience it vicariously through someone else. 

The Patriots became the NFL’s favorite team not out of love, but greed.  Every analyst and commentator who even at first condemned the Patriots and their cheating, now had changed their tune because they sensed all the money and perks the team would get not even if, but when they went undefeated.  And they all wanted a piece of that.

Down the stretch of the Patriots’ season, NFL Network began promoting itself, how else, but as pro Patriots.  First, in what was odd for a network promoting the toughest game on Earth, you have a male Patriots fan talking about how good looking he thinks Tom Brady is. 

Wait a minute, wasn’t this NFL Network?  The manliest game on the planet has now gone to the metrosexuals?  The final promotion came before the Super Bowl when that same Patriots fan was talking about going to the Super Bowl. 

Then, the Super Bowl comes and the Patriots choke worse than a guy who attempted to swallow a Big Mac with one bite.  Suddenly, no more promos.  But worse than that, no promos congratulating the Giants, let alone those diner promos that kissed up to New England. 

Perhaps NFL Network and all its affiliates are bitter over promoting to death a team that will not go down in history except for laying the biggest egg, not to mention probably betting their kids college funds on the Patriots to win...oops.

The NFL clearly wanted the Patriots to win the Super Bowl because it would be great publicity for the league to have the first 19-0 team in history.  That’s probably why commissioner Roger Goodell went from being Bill Belichick’s biggest foe to his best friend. 

First, he destroys the tapes he confiscated from Spygate, then he changes the Patriots last game from an exclusive NFL Network broadcast, to being televised not only on CBS, but NBC as well. 

To top it all off, he “allowed” for Bill Belichick to even be eligible to be coach of the year.  It seems to me that in the era of the Shawn Merriman rule, in which if a player tests positive for steroids he can’t win any significant award, there should also be a rule where when a coach is caught cheating he should not be even considered to be coach of the year. 

But, Goodell knows good business.  That’s why he tried to sweep this all under the rug.  There’s a scene in the movie “The Dead Zone," in which presidential candidate Martin Sheen (before he was president on “West Wing”), blackmails a reporter who plans to write a scathing piece on him.  We can only wonder what Belichick used to blackmail Roger Goodell.