Happy stress-free Sunday morning! I found this article pretty interesting because I feel like I’m on the front lines of what Eric Wilbur talks about.
Bruce Allen does a really good job simplifying the different factions of fans that follow the Patriots. As you might guess, I do find myself in the first group described here by Allen, though I don’t despise the opinion side, I just want them to know what they’re talking about:
The first group of fans thinks the ‘reporting’ side of the media generally does an OK job covering the team. They despise the ‘opinion’ side, who they feel only find fault with everything the team does despite its record of success. Despise may not be a strong enough term. That second group of fans feels the opposite. To them, the ‘reporting’ side are a bunch of homers, while their heroes on the ‘opinion’ side tell it like it is. Both fan bases have very strong feelings about these groups.”
Here’s the thing for me, I’m fine with accurate, insightful criticism, there just isn’t much out there currently. Also, no matter which sport or team, there are always good fans and bad fans.
Some people just like to take out all their negative energy through their sports fandom and that’s fine.
So I accept that there will be people bitching about Josh McDaniels’ playcalling every single week. Someone will tell you “your a idiot” in the comments. Some people are angry. Okay.
I have been a Patriots fan since the 80’s. I’ve shot 3/4” video on the sideline of their ninth straight loss to open the 1992 season. I saw my first fight in the parking lot of Sullivan Stadium. I remember what it was like when the Pats sucked.
I’ve blogged about the Patriots since December of 2007. I know what is fair or stupid criticism. Yes, the Patriots have been very good over that stretch, but there were plenty of mistakes.
But the major talking points of the past few weeks were just entertaining speculation posing as journalism.
Wilbur certainly has the right to ask the question, but the answer to me is simple and immediate:
No. The Patriots should not trade Tom Brady.
I have followed the team with a microscope for eight years. I don’t need to read Wilbur’s reasoning of why it could make sense. It doesn’t, and really, it’s so obvious that it feels like Wilbur is just trolling Patriots fans.
And now with today he’s scolding them for calling him out on it.
That kind of discussion doesn’t really interest me and I don’t blame Brady and Belichick fans for sniping back at the hot sportz take.
There certainly are things worth discussing and debating. But that’s not what’s on the main airwaves outside of Greg Bedard’s weekly appearance on WEEI.
The biggest problem for the old-guard media is the emergence of football fans who are more knowledgeable than about the game than they are.
With the availability of All-22 gamefilm and more X-and-O-centric websites like SmartFootball.com and MMQB.SI.com, the game is no longer just a mystery of strangely-choreographed violence.
But the old media is still trying to get by on gut feelings and tired storylines. Those who want to know how much Cover-1 Robber the Pats are running just aren’t interested in what Dennis and Callahan are selling anymore.
Ultimately though, so what if not all Patriots fans are pissing and moaning about their team. Is that really the problem? Isn’t it okay to be loyal to your sports team? To give them the benefit of the doubt? Who cares. It’s a sports team, not some dictator.
We can all agree that someday these will be the good old days, and all the Patriots fans who are still left can enjoy being miserable about how it feels to be 1-6.
Until then, let’s accept that despite their flaws and mistakes, what we’ve seen the last 14 years from Belichick and Brady has been extremely special.
I’ll be enjoying it, win or lose, because I know they’ll go down swinging, not trading Brady five games into the season.