Whenever I get jealous over the absurd amount of success had by Patriots since the turn of the century, I remind myself of one very simple thing—what goes up must come down. It’s just that for 16 years, the Patriots haven’t come down. Yeah, there was a 10-year Super Bowl drought mixed in there, but that stretch still featured several deep postseason runs and was bookended on both sides by multiple championships.
Their success is mesmerizing, nauseating and almost impossible to comprehend. Think about it. The Eagles currently employ Doug Pederson because they’re attempting to recreate the success of the Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb era—one that feels like it happened 25 years ago. Meanwhile, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick had MORE success in that same era and they are STILL doing it. And all the while, small people, like myself, who deep down question whether they’ll ever get to experience even a fraction of that type of fun, have been left holding our garden-variety dicks as we feebly mutter, “Man, fuck those guys.”
I’ll admit when I read last night that an absolute bomb of a piece on the Patriots was dropping this morning, my initial thought was, “Awesome! What the fuck did they do now?” While there are no new accusations of the Patriots doing Patriots things, the story does finally give hope to those, like myself, who for years have said, “If not us, please anybody but them.” Yes, perhaps the end is near, writes ESPN’s Seth Wickersham in a fascinating piece that details a three-way power struggle between Brady, Belichick and Robert Kraft. It’s also a story filled with ego, dysfunction and hurt feelings that are threatening to crumble the Patriots’ castle:
…according to interviews with more than a dozen New England staffers, executives, players and league sources with knowledge of the team’s inner workings, the three most powerful people in the franchise — Belichick, Brady and owner Robert Kraft — have had serious disagreements. They differ on Brady’s trainer, body coach and business partner Alex Guerrero; over the team’s long-term plans at quarterback; over Belichick’s bracing coaching style; and most of all, over who will be the last man standing. Those interviewed describe a palpable sense in the building that this might be the last year together for this group.
God, I fucking hope so. Spygate, Deflategate, the dry condescending Belichick press conferences and the subsequent cutaway, chuckle and quip by whatever anchor and analyst are sitting there.
“That’s Bill being Bill.”
Please. No more.
To me, the most notable thing about the piece is that Belichick actually emerges as the sympathetic player of this mess. That speaks volumes to just how insufferable that organization has become.
As for the rest of the article, there had been previous reports about the budding tension between Guerrero and the organization, and I guess I’m not too surprised that Belichick’s act has worn thin on Brady, but I found the revelations about Kraft mandating a trade of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, and Belichick’s subsequent bitterness, particularly interesting:
Belichick believed that Garoppolo would excel under Shanahan, and when he and Shanahan connected on the phone, Belichick offered the quarterback for a second-rounder. It was a steal, leaving Patriots staffers stunned and confused.
It’s a story that will certainly dominate the headlines throughout NFL Wild Card Weekend and into next week as the Patriots get set to play in the Divisional Round. As for what it means on the field, this could be it! This could finally be the thing that ends the Patriots’ dominance once and for all! Or…they’re going to rally around it, feed off the doubters and glee of jealous assholes like myself and win the Super Bowl. Again. One or the other, but yeah, probably that.