BEING SPORTING, THE RANT would like to note two particularly well-written essays from fans of the New England Patriots about the present scandal surrounding their team. Suffice it to say these die-hard Patriots fans aren't exactly happy with their team's alleged skullduggery.
First, I would note this excerpt from a long essay from Chris Weinkopf, my dear friend and Patriots fan. Mr Weinkopf writes:
Still, cheating is cheating, and now all of Patriot Nation is disgraced and disgusted.
Patriots Coach Bill Belichick -- a disagreeable genius who puts winning above all else -- has always been a master of finding new ways to get an advantage over other teams. In this case, I suspect, he thought some legalistic parsing of the words would make his offense amount to something less than a violation of the rules. But by all indications, that explanation isn't going to fly with NFL brass.
At last, Belichick's arrogance seems to have caught up with him. What he did wasn't just unethical; it was idiotic. The team he got busted for spying on was the New York Jets -- coached by his own former assistant, Eric Mangini, and boasting a video staff that included two former Patriots videographers. They knew what Belichick was up to because they were in on the gig when they worked for him. Trying the ploy against them was a recipe for disaster. But as they say, sin makes you stupid.
Which leaves us Pats fans ... where? Say it ain't so, Bill. How can we keep on rooting for you?
Mr Weinkopf goes on to look at the overall problems facing the NFL in general, and the essay is good reading for any football fan.
Secondly, I would note a more impassioned post from Patriots fan Basegirl, who is REALLY not happy with the Patriots for screwing things up. She writes, in part:
In addition, do you realize what this is doing to your fan base? We're very upset. You've put us in the unenviable position of having to defend the team's indefensible actions to freakin' Steelers and Colts fans (I've still never met an actual Colts fan), and Chargers players since The Danian obviously has something to say about this. WE WERE PERFECTLY HAPPY KNOWING THAT WE WERE WINNING BECAUSE WE WERE BETTER THAN EVERYONE ELSE. And I'm not saying that we're not. I still think we are, BUT I DON'T APPRECIATE THE ABUSE I'M GOING TO HAVE TO TAKE HERE. Do you understand?
As a Pittsburgh Steelers fan myself, I gladly admit that -- well, look, I'm loving this. I am hoping against hope it stretches out for weeks on end and distracts the Patriots from winning, and the team doesn't make the playoffs. After all, if the Pats do make the playoffs, there's a chance -- however remote -- they could open an industrial-sized can of whoopass on the Steelers and dash our hopes for a sixth Super Bowl victory.
Still, I must admit these two posts are fine examples of the class and decorum one generally expects from Patriots fans. Of course, many Patriots fans are convinced the rest of the league is out to get them and thus will refuse to acknowledge their team did anything wrong. But just because we are all out to get them doesn't take away from the gravity and wrongness of the sin in question. This is something these two writers realize, and it is to their credit and their team's credit that they do so.
And it must really stink to get crap from Colts fans. Ugh. The Colts. With their ONE* Super Bowl victory. God, the indignity of it all. I feel your pain, Pats fans. Really, I do.
* Super Bowl V doesn't count. That was the Baltimore Colts, which in The Rant's view was a different franchise, no matter how much one wants to parse it. They left that Super Bowl victory behind when they scuttled out of Baltimore in the dead of night.