The Patriots, The Eagles and the Rest

January 29, 2018

If you are a Patriots fan, Super Bowl 52 will be a cakewalk; if you are an Eagles fan, the Super Bowl will be a upset of epic proportions.  The Vegas wiseguys have the Patriots as a little under a touchdown favorite. Football fans outside the “Athens of America”, i.e. Boston and the City of Brotherly Love, i.e. Philadelphia are showing signs of boredom and disinterest as Belichick’s Boys go for their sixth ring against a team the Patriots last beat in a Super Bowl in 2002. The game could be a ratings fiasco.

The story line of this year’s Super Bowl, however, is not  so much about the two teams vying for the Lombardi Trophy, but rather the woeful competition within the ranks of the National Football League. Football fanatics may complain that the Patriots are arrogant and cheaters, yet the facts remain that the team from New England usually wins with relative ease or is so confident that they pull out a potential loss with a dramatic win in the waning minutes of the game.

Tom Brady may look like a male model who opposing players think is a bit too “pretty boy”, Bill Belichick will never win a Mr. Congeniality contest because he answers most media questions with a grunt, and owner Robert Kraft is an unabashed supporter of Donald Trump and Trumpism.  But taken together the Big Three have devised a football system that for some unknown reason the other teams in the NFL have failed to follow or implement.

At 40 Brady is a picture of youthful energy and confidence; he is a fierce competitor who his teammates respect and admire. Coach Belichick is a no nonsense tactician; he has a brilliant football mind and gets the best out of his players. Kraft is the wise money man who stays out of the fray, trusts his football staff, and takes pride in a team that is thoroughly professional.

As to the rest of the NFL, many if not most of the teams, can’t seem to find the leaders and role models that form the foundation of a winning team; too often they go for the glitz rather then quiet competence (Tom Brady was the 199th pick taken in the 6th round of the 2000 draft). The rest of the NFL teams bounce around from head coach to head coach never seeming to find the guy who knows how to run a team and prepare for every challenge. The rest of the NFL teams have owners who are simply out for the money, the good seats and the hoopla rather than seeing their job as investing in quality personnel.

As a Patriots fan, I of course will be rooting for the guys with Elvis on the side of their helmets. I agree with the Vegas bookies that the game will be close but eventually the Lombardi Trophy goes back to New England. The Eagles are without question the toughest team the Patriots will play this year and will certainly make the game a real knock out drag em out battle. But in the end the Patriots have a winning system that may be annoying to the rest of America but a system that brings victory. You’d think by now teams in the NFL would catch on to the system and follow the lead of Brady, Belichick and Kraft. The system is right in front of their eyes, why they haven’t copied the system is a football mystery that is easy to solve.