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Missing The Patriot Way

Yeah I said it.

May 01, 2018 - 1:04 pm

I never thought I’d say this. In fact, on the list of things I thought I’d never say, this is right near the top, but I’m all about the REAL. And being totally transparent. That’s my commitment to you. I call it like I see it. And if I see something or feel something, I’m going to say something. So here goes…

I’m starting to miss the Patriot Way. 

Yeah I said it. And if felt pretty good to say, even if I thought I never would. Honestly, it feels like a giant weight off my shoulders. 

Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t like the Patriot Way. I always thought there was nothing more boring than a group of guys who leaked nothing and said even less. But I was wrong. Because the only thing worse than no news ever coming from the Patriots is the constant drip of lame news or fake news coming from Foxborough. 

Practically every week since the Super Bowl, there’s been something. Malcolm Butler not playing in the Super Bowl. Josh McDaniels becoming the new Colts head coach. Gronk is thinking about retiring. Josh McDaniels won’t become the new Colts head coach. Belichick doesn’t like Tom Brady’s trainer. 

Tom Brady’s contract. Gronk is being traded. Gronk is still thinking about retiring. Malcolm Butler is leaving. So is Nate Solder. And Dion Lewis. And Danny Amendola. Gronk is bent about being chastised in front of the team for being a TB12 client. Tom Brady might not play this year. Gronk is going to play this year. Tom Brady will play this year, too. And that’s just a shortened list. 

And now you can add more drama to the list. Tom Brady was interviewed by Jim Gray at the Milken Institute Global Conference yesterday and he dropped a couple gems. 

When asked about Butler’s Super Bowl benching, Brady said: "I wish he would've played, but the coach didn't play him and we still had a chance to win."

Brady said he never received an explanation for why Butler didn’t play and when Gray asked him if the fans deserved an answer, Brady said: "I don't know. That's probably a better answer for the guy who owns our team."

Oooooooooohhhhhhh. STRAIGHT FIRE. Boom!

Actually, not really. Because that wasn’t straight fire. That’s the straight petty, the straight lame, that’s defined the Patriots offseason. Guys giving cute answers and just adding fuel to an already hot fire. Just petty. And not the good Terry Rozier trolling kind of petty, either. 

And we might as well get this out of the way, too: Tom Brady wants to play for a few more years. According to ESPN, Brady said I have personal goals. I want to keep playing. I’ve said for a long time I want to play to my mid-40s. I was told three years, when I was 36-37, ‘You can’t keep playing; no one wins Super Bowls [at that age].’ It’s a great challenge for me. I think I’ve been challenged my whole life. I feel like I can do it.” 

This should come as a surprise to absolutely no one. I see no reason why he should stop. Well, actually, one reason and it has to do with this next exchange with Jim Gray.  

That’s why Tom Brady should stop playing. Not because Belichick doesn’t appreciate him, but because I don’t appreciate this. And what’s this? The non-stop, relentless drama that is swirling around this team for months now. It is so incredibly tedious. What Tom Brady does on the field is incredible. And just like LeBron, the fact that he is doing this at this point in his career, is amazing. Everyone should really step back and appreciate it. But it’s getting harder and harder to appreciate it when we have to hear about how he and other guys on the team don’t feel appreciated. 

And because we have to suffer through dramatic answers like the one he just gave. Play that again.

First off, let’s just ignore the fact that the delivery on “I plead the fifth” could not have been more wooden or laconic. I’m not sure what role Tom was auditioning for with that line, but it was terrible. 

Then let’s move on to the rest of his answer: “Man, that is a tough question.” No, not really. It’s a tough question only if you don’t want to answer it. If you feel appreciated by the team, it’s not a tough question at all. It’s a really easy question with a really easy answer.

And then listen to the random gibberish about everyone wanting to be more appreciated at work. Honestly, I have no idea what he means by that, other than the fact that he’s passively-aggressively saying that no, he doesn’t feel appreciated by the Patriots or by Bill Belichick.

And then listen to that final answer when Gray asks him, “Are you happy?” And Brady says, “I have my moments.”

This is all just so un-Patriot and so incredibly boring. We get it. You don’t really like Belichick. Belichick doesn’t like your trainer. You don’t feel appreciated by Belichick. Either blow it up or don’t. But stop doing this. The Patriots are turning into that couple you go out to dinner with and they just spend the whole night passively-aggressively bickering with each other in front of you.

“I don’t know, Terry, do you really think you should order that third gin?”

“Maybe if you’d get off my case, I wouldn’t have to have it, Susan.”

Meanwhile, everyone else at the table is just sitting awkwardly and hoping that nobody wants dessert so we can just get the hell out of there. 

That’s what the Patriots have become. Every time one of them gets near a microphone, they’re taking these lame shots at each other. If you’re going to break up, break up already. Whatever you do, stop with these coy wink-wink shots at each other. Just get in a room and hash it out or break up. Someone call someone. Someone fire someone. Someone quit. I don’t care. None of us cares, just stop doing this. Because it’s awful. Just awful.