Tarnished Patriots? Nope, Don Shula Is On Crack

Bryan GoldbergSenior Writer INovember 6, 2007

IconSo let's get this straight...

Don Shula, arguably the most respected living football coach, has gone on record saying that the Patriots' phenomenal accomplishments should have an asterisk next to them in the record book?

And, he's taken it one step further by likening Bill Belichick and Co. to Barry Bonds and other steroid-using individuals?

And, he's done all this with full knowledge that he, more so than anybody else, will be called upon to offer historical insight on the situation if the Patriots do indeed run the table?

Is Don Shula on crack?

Maybe I slept through the phenomenal game that took place 48 hours ago, but it didn't look to me like Tom Brady and the Patriots were cheating their way to a road victory over a very impressive Colts team.

It didn't look to me like Randy Moss's breathtaking ability to catch and hold onto the ball was being unfairly aided by Videogate.

It doesn't look to me like there's a football team that has done more to stun the American public than this New England Patriots team (and, no, I've never liked them, but still...)

To hear a great man like Don Shula make such sour-grapes comments is truly upsetting. I'm disappointed in him, and I'm disappointed that the same hurtful rhetoric that has sullied the last three baseball seasons is now making its way to football.

To draw an analogy, it was very painful to see a great legend like Hank Aaron get forced into the ring because he happened to be the record-holder.   

That's not to say that Hank Aaron's legitimate distaste for Barry Bonds was unjustified—Hank Aaron had to do something. He had no choice.

That's simply not the case with "Videogate." It's just not comparable. Not even a little bit.

Shula could have kept his big mouth to himself...and he opted not to.

With his words, and because of his stature, Don Shula has opened an enormous can of worms. It doesn't matter what happens now.

If the Patriots go 16-0, there will ALWAYS be a sense of controversy. It won't be as big as the 756  controversy, but there will be that little inkling of doubt.

And it's all because Don Shula opened his mouth and said some very dumb stuff.

Going forward, Patriots fans will no doubt harbor a lot of ill will towards Shula. And I'm here to let them know that even though I am not and never will be a Pats fan, I share their annoyance.

Why?

Because painful controversies are bad for the sports that we have spent our whole lives loving—whether those controversies pertain to our favorite coaches or players, or to our opponents.  

Don Shula has let everybody down, and his sage-like status should not deter anybody from putting him in his place.

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