Friday, December 23, 2005

Thoughts this holiday season...

All roads lead to South Philly...some are just a little dumber than others

Is it just me, or is the head of the Philadelphia chapter of the NAACP a moron that obviously A) Knows nothing about football? B) Is the worst sort of racist that has no place in a civil and human rights organization?
To intimate that Donovan MacNabb is a traitor to his race for being a pocket passer is tantamount to calling Doug Flutie black because he likes to scramble.
The man needs a career change...forced on him if necessary.

For $12 mil I'd work for the Yanks too...

Yeah, it's sacrilege for a dyed in the red wool fan like me, but this isn't about Damon screwing the Sox (he didn't - he took the money and the Sox didn't get him when they could have, nor did they offer him comparable money), or about the Yanks doing it either. This is about the Sox putting the ball on the ground like Chris Simms in a Foxboro backfield...speaking of which...

The Monsters of the Midway, The Killer Bees, The Big Blue Wrecking Crew, the Steel Curtain, The Purple People Eaters...and the Patriots...

In the history of the National Football League defense after dominant defense has made a name for itself...well, a nickname at least. There was the Steel Curtain in Pittsburgh, Doomsday D in Dallas...the list goes on. These were championship caliber defenses. The players and schemes dominated opponents, propelling the respective teams into the big game - often key components in who hoisted the Lombardi Trophy.
Of the great defenses that were dubbed with a nickname, only the Purple People Eaters in Minnesota never held the trophy, but they made it to four Super Bowls in the 1970's. They were tough, strong and dominant. They were loaded with players that would eventually be enshrined in Canton. It is one of the common threads between all of these squads.
Since 2001 no team has won more post season contests than the New England Patriots, no team is wearing more championship jewelry...and nobody has come up with a nickname that has stuck. There were efforts to call the unit The Homeland Defense, but it never stuck (thank god).
Somehow, a nickname doesn't fit with a Belichick coached team, and maybe it just doesn't fit the time. Most of those units of yore had players that spent their entire careers with the team and the units were together for multiple years - Jack Hamm, Joe Green, Jack Lambert were just some of the players that stayed together for the better part of the 70's on the Steel Curtain.
The Patriots starting backfield for the 2001 Superbowl - Ty Law, Otis Smith, Tebucky Jones, and Lawyer Milloy. Last year - Randall Gay, Asante Samuel, Rodney Harrison, and Eugene Wilson. Sure, Tedy Bruschi, Richard Seymour, Mike Vrabel, and Willie McGinnest were starters on all of those teams, but gone are major contributors and/or starters Keith Traylor, Bobby Hamilton, Ted Johnson, Ty Law, Lawyer Milloy, Tebucky Jones, Otis Smith, Terrell Buckley, Victor Green, Ted Washington, Antwan Harris, Roman Phifer, and Greg Spires. None of the teams of the 70's ever had to deal with that sort of turnover in a four season span. As such, there is no identity to be built over a span of time as a team, only over a season.
After ten games of searching for their identity, the Patriots look like they could be one of the most dangerous teams going into the AFC draw for the playoffs.
Pity the Jets, for Belichick doesn't believe in resting his starters, and the starters are just finding their stride. Notify Bollinger's next of kin, Bruschi, Colvin, Vrabel, and McGinnest will be introducing themselves on Monday. There will be no nicknames.