WHY THE PATRIOTS DIDN'T KEEP THEIR STEVE YOUNG

Andrew Brown
9 January 2018
Montana & Brady

WHY THE PATRIOTS DIDN'T KEEP THEIR STEVE YOUNG

I can't stand listening to Boston sports talk radio any more during Patriots football season (with the exception of Michael Holley). Because the Pats refuse to create any controversy of their own by losing games or off-the-field antics, the local media has taken the high road and elevated their game to match.

Just kidding, they make up their own controversies and run with it. Take the Jimmy Garoppolo situation as .a perfect example. This could have been a perfect chance to dig into the situation and evaluate what the possibilities could have been, but instead we get hours, days and weeks of "Is Billy B mad at Tom Brady because he made Bobby Kraft trade Jimmy Grapes!?" hot takes. Fucking great. And because the Patriots refuse to address such garbage (as they always do) it turns into an echo chamber of "what are they NOT saying!? HRNNNNGHHHHH!" 

That last noise was Michael Felger stroking himself to climax over the thought that this Patriots dynasty that he's been trapped in might actually be coming to an end. Either that or he's given himself a stroke trying to come up with something pithy to say the next time a beloved pitcher dies prematurely.

Goddammit Felgie for sidetracking me (and fuck Mazz for calling him "Felgie", for that matter). Back to the point.

I flipped over to the Felger and Mazz (while Holley was on commercial break) yesterday because I fucking hate myself. Just in time to catch them perseverating on...what else? How badly the Patriots handled the Jimmy G situation! 

Shocking.

The gist of the argument this time was that the Patriots had the chance to pull off what the 49ers did back in the 90s -- moving seamlessly from Joe Montana to Steve Young at QB. The Patriots had their chance to do exactly the same thing but [insert excuse here]:

  • Brady is a baby.
  • Belichick is too arrogant.
  • Kraft is a meddlesome owner.

That was all I could take. I flipped back over to WEEI; they were playing yet another K-A-R-S for Kids commercial. I left it on, it was less excruciating to listen to.

For those old enough to remember (Felger, theoretically), or those who can do 30 seconds of Google searching (me) it's blindingly obvious that the 2 situations are completely different. Here's how.

Montana and Young

Lemme take you back to 1990. Joe Montana is in his prime, having just last season won the league MVP and his second Super Bowl in as many years. On pace for their third consecutive Super Bowl appearance, Montana goes down in the NFC Championship game with an injury, allowing the Giants (with a young Bill Belichick as defensive coordinator) to win the game and subsequently the Super Bowl.

Coach Bill Walsh decides to cut ties with his legendary QB after the game to replace him with an untested Steve Young, and the rest is history.

Actually, no.

In fact, Montana had been plagued with injury problems in the previous years, allowing Young to play in ELEVEN of the 14 games in both 1988 and 1989. The 49ers won Super Bowls in both those years, and Montana actually won league MVP in 1989. Young even started 3 games both of those seasons. 

Montana sustains another injury in the 1991 preseason that causes him to miss the entirety of the 1991 season. Seasoned backup Steve Young (who's been playing so well in reserve that there was already a QB controversy) takes over and plays well enough through injuries of his own to lead the team to a 10-6 record. This is not enough to make the playoffs (2008, anyone?). 

The next year, with Montana still injured, Young won the league MVP while taking the 49ers to the NFC Championship. This was the point where the 49ers decided to part ways with Montana.

Brady and Garoppolo

Now let's contrast that with the current situation, shall we? Sure, Brady is getting old but he hasn't missed a game due to injury since...probably 2008.  He's on pace for yet another league MVP award and is favored to at least make it to the Super Bowl. Again. This is not an injury-plagued QB in the sunset of his career trying to come back after missing 2 consecutive seasons with injury. 

And Garoppolo. While I wish the best for him, he's not even close to being mentioned in the same breath as Steve Young -- even the Steve Young who was Montana's backup at the time. 

Young had started in the USFL before playing (starting!) for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Yuckaneers at that point) before coming to San Fran. Jimmy G, on the other hand, started 2 whole games while backing up Brady. And he didn't even finish the second one. 

Sure, he's played (and won) another 5 since being traded to the 49ers but let's not anoint him the second coming of Christ (né Brady). He managed wins against 3 teams in the horrible AFC South, the Bears, and a Rams team that was all but checked out. Let's see what he can do once teams have an offseason to actually watch film on him. 

Hopefully this puts a rest to this garbage about the Patriots falling apart behind the scenes, at least for a little while. If you want to hear more of a rebuttal about this shit, read Greg's response to the hot pile of crap that Seth Wickersham calls reporting.

 

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