Taylor McCloud — Pats Militia
When that game ended last night, I didn’t react how I expected myself to. I didn’t jump up and down, I didn’t lose my mind in ecstasy. I just sat there, basking in the glory of yet another AFC Championship for the New England Patriots.
A lot of people, however, did not react in the same way. And one that I want to single out is Donovan McNabb.
This morning, before I left for class, I caught the first couple minutes of ESPN’s First Take. Normally, nothing too juicy happens in that time, but today was different. In the first segment of the day, Donovan McNabb said some stuff that I just couldn’t help but disagree with.
At the 14:00 mark of this video, McNabb starts going into detail about the Patriots. First, he says the Patriots are the Hoosiers of football. They’re going run back screens to get easy layups, they’re going to talk on defense, they’re going to take care of business and let the other team make mistakes. To many, that sounds like a compliment. To me, because I know Donovan McNabb is a lowkey Patriot-hater, it sounds like a backhanded compliment, but that’s neither here nor there.
What is, though, is what he said immediately afterwards. Following the Hoosiers comment, he said that the Houston Texans should have beaten them in the Divisional Round, then he said the Steelers lost because of their own mistakes, THEN, he said that the Philadelphia Eagles, his team, should have won the Super Bowl in 2005. In doing so, McNabb took three highly-important Patriot victories, and crumpled them like a sheet of paper. He said that all three of those games were lost because of opponent mistakes, and that’s true, but he acted like those teams just went out and made those mistakes. (He forgot to mention that he threw three interceptions in the ’05 Super Bowl…) Uh, Donovan, did you forget who’s standing on the Patriots’ sideline? That’s right, Bill Belichick.
Bill Belichick doesn’t just let mistakes happen, he forces other teams to make them. BB is widely-considered the greatest coach of all time, but even those who don’t look at him as such, they acknowledge that he’s the smartest to ever do it. Every game, every quarter, every series, every down, he has his players in position to make the exact play they need to in order to win the football game. You wanna know what falls under that ‘have guys in the right position’ umbrella? Forcing the opponent into mistakes. If you know what the opposing team likes to do, and you put your players in a spot to throw a wrench into that? That’s not just the opponent making mistakes, that’s forcing the opponent into them.
And, I know this probably seems insignificant, right? Who cares what Donovan McNabb says on First Take? We’re in the Super Bowl, he’s not, right? Wrong, because it’s not just him.
Right as last night’s ceremonies at Gillette Stadium came to a close, I switched channels to NFL Network. I wanted to see BB’s presser, Tom Brady’s presser, and whoever else came to the podium. But, I also wanted to hear what the guys on the network had to say, too. However, the barely talked about the Patriots. Chris Rose, Deion Sanders, and LaDanian Tomlinson ran through the highlight package once, maybe twice, and that was it. For the rest of the time, they talked only about the Atlanta Falcons. And sure, they blew the Packers out, they’re going to their first Super Bowl since 1998, they’re more fun to talk about, but come on? It’s only a couple minutes after the AFC Title Game concludes, and there’s little to no mention of the Patriots. Does that make sense? No.
But, I guess it should just be something I’m used to. This run that the Patriots are on, the most historic and successful in football history, is boring. Every single year, they’re here, playing on the biggest stages. They’ve reached the last six AFC Championship Games, and have won three of them. In the past fifteen years, they’ve made seven Super Bowl appearances, but hey, who cares?
It doesn’t matter that Chris Hogan went for 180YD & 2TD,
Steelers not covering Chris Hogan at all on third down is an incredibly bold strategy pic.twitter.com/mFC1BFRCbf
— Barstool Sports (@barstooltweetss) January 23, 2017
— Chat Sports (@ChatSports) January 23, 2017
It doesn’t matter that this defense, the one Colin Cowherd and a million other media members said was overrated, held a highly-explosive Pittsburgh offense to just sixteen points (seven of which game in garbage time), nine points less than their season average.
— Spencer Linton (@Spencer_Linton) January 23, 2017
— Chat Sports (@ChatSports) January 23, 2017
And it CERTAINLY doesn’t matter that Tom Brady, the quarterback Colin Cowherd said was due for another ‘clunker’ went out there and murdered the Pittsburgh Steelers. He went 32-42, threw of 384YD (a postseason career-high), 2TD, won his 23rd playoff game, and seventh AFC Title Game.
Obviously none of that matters, though, because it’s all normal. It’s old news. The only time anyone needs to talk about the Patriots is when they’re accusing them of cheating, predicting the end of their dynasty, or foolishly picking against them in playoff games.
— James Stewart (@IAmJamesStewart) January 22, 2017
But hey, the more the merrier. The Pats are one step away from completing the revenge tour, and I want the opposition to be as big, and as mean as possible. It used to be just Goodell, then the Colts and Ravens joined on, then Mike Tomlin joined on, and now it’s everyone else. So, when that clock in Houston hits triple zeroes, I’m not just gonna see angry tears on the cheeks of the commissioner, I’m going to see them on everyone who’s jumped off the bandwagon — everyone who’s not on this side of the fence. And guess what? I’m gonna love it.
P.S. These are simply the words of a crazed Patriots fan. How people still don’t understand the greatness of this organization is beyond me. Obviously, there are a ton of people out there who shower NE with praise, but this isn’t about them. It’s about everyone who doesn’t.