But it made you click on this article didn’t it? That is what us pros in the blogging business call “clickbait” my friends. I know it might be a tough concept to understand but basically we just write salacious headlines to drive internet traffic which in turn increases advertising dollars (still waiting on those here). The best part is, you can write whatever you want based on unnamed sources and if you are wrong who cares? The clicks are still rolling in baby. Just tweet an apology the morning of the Super Bowl and everything will be neatly swept under the rug.
Let’s get to the article here though. I know a lot of Patriots fans get labeled as fan boys due to the whole “Belichick/Brady can do no wrong” mantra and I will admit there is some validity to that. We saw with DeflateGate how passionately (and blindly) the fans came to Brady’s defense. But on the flip side we also saw how quickly the rest of the league was to jump to conclusions at the first sign of Patriots weakness (I’m looking at you weepy Brunell). Tom Brady and the Patriots are polarizing figures on par with the politicians in the United States. So while we can hate ESPN for running this story, we still have to keep in mind the author is just following a tried and true path of driving clicks.
My biggest problem with the article was the length. 5,000 words Seth? This is 2016 and I am a millennial. Short and sweet buddy. With that being said he is my official review: TLDR
(Note: that means “too long, don’t read” for you non-millennials)
Fortunately for you though, I did read (skim) the whole article this morning. Most of it seemed to be Seth projecting on relationship problems within the organization based on unnamed sources. Sure they could be true or they couldn’t. The Pats have always been good at keeping those types of things behind closed doors so we will probably never know. There were a few excerpts that jumped out at me though:
"For almost two decades, Belichick has managed to subvert the egos of his best player, his boss and himself for the good of the team, yielding historic results. This year, though, the dynamics have been different."
This was in relation to the opening about Brady’s sideline outburst against the Bills. Is he trying to say that Belichick has managed to keep Brady from showing frustration up to this point in his career?
Just off the top of my head:
- Yelling match with Bill O’Brien on sidelines.
- Frustration with Aaron Dropson/Kenbrell Dropkins struggles.
- Chasing refs into locker room in Carolina after Gronk PI flag picked up.
Quick YouTube search (literally titled “Tom Brady gets mad compilation”):
You can tell how long it has been going on from the variety of Brady hairstyles in that video (I miss the flowing locks if I am being honest with myself).
"Why would the game's shrewdest long-term strategist trade two backup quarterbacks in a two-month span when his starter was 40 years old and banged up? And why did Belichick practically give away a quarterback whom the coaches saw as a potential top-10 player for much less than he could have gotten last spring? It made no sense."
Why does Belichick make any of the moves he does? Why did he trade pro bowler and core piece Jamie Collins for a 3rd round pick in the middle of the season? Why did he trade team leader Logan Mankins for a 4th round pick in the preseason? Why did he trade Richard Seymour? Why did he cut Lawyer Milloy? You can wonder if these moves made sense but you can’t tell me this is a new phenomenon.
"The looming uncertainty has taken a toll on everyone, even as the Patriots finished 13-3 and earned the top seed in the AFC playoffs."
This one is my favorite. It just sums up the article so perfectly. He almost refutes his entire piece with this sentence. You tell me that it has been such a burden on the coach and starting QB as they finish the season the best team in football and HEAVY Vegas favorites to win a 3rd Super Bowl in 4 years? I ain’t buying it for some reason Seth.
On a lighter note, I think the best part of this article is going to be the next Bill Belichick press conference. It is going to be appointment television. You know at least half the questions he is going to get will be about the article. And how do you think the always gregarious Mr. Belichick will respond to those questions? I CAN’T WAIT, I am getting all giddy just thinking about it. Also, sneaky low blow by ESPN for their choice of thumbnail picture for the article:
Couldn't they have gone with something a little more flattering, like maybe one of these?
By my count that it 867 words. Only 4,000 more and I could write for ESPN! Gotta have dreams kids.
Written by Greg Brown
1 December 2017
Written by Greg Brown
30 January 2018
Written by Greg Brown
15 December 2017