Let me warn you right now that this article is lacking factual references to back up my point that Marshall Faulk is still, and apparently always will be, holding a grudge against the organization that beat the greatest show on turf in the Super Bowl and derailed his would-be dynasty.
Unfortunately, I can't seem to research his quotes over the years as a commentator, so this piece is more of me just spouting off.
For those of you too hung over to remember Faulk's ring history, here it is:
- 2000: Won a Super Bowl ring with the St. Louis Rams as a key cog to the greatest show on turf.
- 2001: Lost the Super Bowl to the most unlikely team to ever win a Super Bowl, the New England Patriots.
Marshall had a stellar career, obviously. I'm not hating on Marshall. I respect his outstanding talent, his fortitude to be a champion in a brutal game, and I also respect Marshall becoming a decent sports broadcaster. I'm not a professional caliber athlete, and I doubt I could handle the fame and the public eye nearly as well as Marshall has, so I give him his respect, but I wish he could get over his bias against anything Patriots.
The 2001 season was was the birth of Tom Brady's hall of fame career. In his second season, as a no-name to all but us fellow University of Michigan alumni, Brady hit prime time after Mo Lewis decleated Drew Bledsoe. Lewis hit Bledsoe so hard he landed in Buffalo.
In his first start, Brady demolished the Colts and Manning. After that, the team went on to win 11 games in the regular season, and also the Superbowl.
The Patriots were a team largely of subpar talent. Many times during the year they didn't even have the 53-man roster filled out because the team was so lacking. It was a very curious and strange year. Each game the Patriots won seemed to have some quirky, crazy event occur that enabled them to win a game they otherwise might have lost. The most famed such event was the "tuck rule." We all remember that one.
At the other end of the spectrum was the greatest show on turf. Although only two seasons under their belts as accomplished superstars, the Rams were spectacular and unofficially anointed as the next dynasty in the making. Kurt Warner rose from obscurity just two seasons before Brady did the same, yet his talent was clearly not a fluke and the team was unstoppable.
So I really can't blame Marshall for being bitter, or regretful, for having lost that game and having his dynasty derailed. Furthermore, that same Patriots organization then went on to become a dynasty. That should have been Marshall's dynasty, and he can't get past that.
Marshall's bias against the Patriots is very subtle. He doesn't bad mouth the Patriots aggressively, and he comes across as if he is an objective analyst.
However, Marshall always picks against the Patriots when they play a team that has a realistic chance to beat them in a given week.
Marshall always takes the other team, or the other player's side, when there is a debate about superiority or controversy.
He'll back up his opinion with some argument, of course. That's what I mean by subtle. He doesn't just pick against the Patriots as a anti-fan. He tries to justify his opinions, regardless of how many times the facts subsequently prove his opinion misguided.
He always chooses Manning, Rivers, Brees, Warner, Montana, Young or any other QB as superior than Brady.
He always jumps on the anti-Patriot slant in any controversy, especially Spygate. This one I feel is the most ridiculous.
For the record, let me explain Spygate for what it was, which was a lot to do about nothing. Why? The information that the Patriots were documenting, and possibly analyzing, was public information!
You, as a fan, if you were at a game, could have document the exact information the Patriots were documenting in its entirety. They didn't steal any information. They didn't spy on anyone.
The rule they supposedly violated—but according to the letter of the law, they didn't actually violate—was that you were not allowed to use a camera to record opposing team's signals if you were going to analyze that information during a game.
So using a camera was apparently the violation they got charged for. But again, they could have documented the same information without a camera. So they stole nothing. They spied on no one. Furthermore, they didn't look at that film during the game, so technically they violated no rules.
But Marshall, and many others, cling to that as a way to justify why they, or their team, lost. They simply can not admit to themselves that the Patriots were the better team each week, for the last decade. They are jealous. It's pathetic, but clearly the case.
So over the years, Marshall has picked against or taken the side against everything Patriots, and he keeps coming up short.
Today was his latest absurd perspective motivated by his anti-Patriots mindset.
Today, Marshall actually inferred that Brady was born with a silver spoon. That is, he said unlike the Mannings and Elways and the Aikmans, who were on a horrible team and rose from nothing to become champions, that they were somehow better players.
He inferred afterward that the Bradys, Roethesbergers and the Bradshaws were on good teams and were not asked to do much, nd after seven or eight years they learned to manage teams and became champions that way.
WHAT?! Marshall, I saw the smirk on your face when you said that. You could barely get out the ridiculous argument without laughing at yourself.
Brady was a sixth round pick. He was on arguably the worst Super Bowl team ever, in terms of individual talent. Brady is on the New England Patriots! Has there been a worse team in history than the Patriots? I guess a few had competed for the cellar as hard as the Patriots. Sure, they had a couple good years in the mid '90s before Brady got there, but Pete Carroll burned that team to ashes by the time Belichick and Brady came to town.
It's hard to say who is the single best QB of all-time. But it's clear to me among active players, Brady is the best QB. Manning is absolutely incredible and has segments of his game that are superior to Brady's, but overall, the best QB in the game to is Brady. Marshall just can't accept this. He is a Patriot hater and has to come up with one silly rationale after another.
I like Marshall. I admire Marshall. He's got everything life has to offer. He's challenged himself and he revealed a champion. He's had a hall of fame career and has what appears to be a spectacular life. But he needs to just let it go. Get past his Patriot demons and just admit that Belichick is a great coach and Brady is the greatest QB.