Strange Days In Patriots Nation
It never fails. Just when I think I've seen every possible twist of fate the New England Patriots have to weather, something else happens that leaves me wondering whether to laugh, or simply sigh and shake my head.
The past few days have been filled with a whole new series of indications of yet another rift in the space-time continuum. The universe as we know it has shifted again.
It isn't bad enough that the team has lost three of its last four games, including last Sunday's loss to Miami that could have been won.
We haven't hit a stretch like this in a few years, and people are jumping off the bandwagon so fast, I can hear the axles creaking with relief.
On the plus side, we are getting better gas mileage out of this thing.
The team is done with the AFL legacy games and will not have to wear throwbacks again for at least another 25 years. Those things are just bad luck , I don't care what anybody says.
Now we have a whole new series of off-field events that range from "nice, but probably none of our business" to "what a bummer, but probably none of our business" to just plain, "huh?"
So Tom Brady is a father again, and the press loves it. Congratulations to the happy parents, but what does this have to do with football? Talk to me when the little guy is ready to take over the QB spot for our Patriots.
Seriously, name me another player in the entire NFL whose fatherhood is a topic of discussion. If Brady were married to his college sweetheart instead of Gisele Bundchen, they could have 30 rug rats and we wouldn't know anything about them.
None of our business.
Four players were a little late for a team meeting during a snowstorm Wednesday morning, and Belichick sent them home so fast, their engines hadn't even cooled down yet.
In years past, this sort of thing would have gone unnoticed, but once again the press made a mountain out of a molehill by beating the subject into the ground.
On Thursday, reporters swarmed around the locker of Adalius Thomas, already a beleaguered player, and one of the four who was sent home, and they would not let the incident go.
I have read enough to realize that the specific language Thomas used, made it clear that he didn't really want to talk about the incident, but the reporters finally got enough out of him to put a negative spin on it.
Like a dog with a prized bone, they ran with it, and now Thomas is the one in the doghouse.
Not to mention that fans are calling for Belichick's head for enforcing some discipline in the matter.
Do you remember a time when such matters were handled internally? We would have read a blurb in the Sunday Globe and chuckled over coffee.
Or, if you wish, the Herald would have made a big deal out of it for the knuckleheads amongst us. You know who you are.
It is a debatable point as to whether or not we should care, and I welcome such discussion. Everybody has an opinion.
Meanwhile, two of the other offenders, Randy Moss and Gary Guyton, have kept a low profile. And Derrick Burgess, he of the non-existent pass rush who just wants to hold onto his job, has publicly taken responsibility for his tardiness.
I understand his situation. I would be sucking up too.
But the whole thing is a non-story. None of our business.
Now comes the news out of Providence that one of the people that plays Pat Patriot has been arrested as part of a prostitution sting.
According to the Associated Press, Robert Sormanti, one of a rotation of individuals who dons that ridiculous costume from week to week, was one of 10 to 14 people picked up as part of an effort to thwart the practice of the world's oldest profession.
The Patriots organization has suspended him, and that will be the end of that. I hope.
In itself, this is not a sports story either. It is just another story about a guy who is willing to look ridiculous for money, getting into trouble away from the field. Pee-Wee Herman already did that, so there's nothing new here.
What I found interesting, was a Fox Sports explanation that Sormanti was charged with a relatively new Rhode Island law prohibiting "indoor prostitution."
As opposed to what exactly? They should do it in somebody's garden perhaps? Or right there on the Patriots bench, in the middle of a game?
I guess I shouldn't be surprised by anything that goes on in Rhode Island. But still, huh?
Meanwhile, the team is preparing for an important home game against the apparently de-clawed Carolina Panthers tomorrow. We can only hope that they have managed to get some meaningful work in as this chaos swirls about them.
The Patriots can ill afford to show up with anything less than their best game. The Panthers have been fairly successful against the pass, and pretty bad against the run.
So run the ball, right? Let us pray. I need the old universe back.
Considering numerous reports of players texting Richard Seymour in Oakland during the week to tell him how much he is missed, I am not sure about the collective mentality in that locker room. I haven't had any concern about that for a good while now.
Note to Patriots: just win the game. That, my friends, is our business.
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