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Winter is Coming…

The jury’s still out on whether there was any chicanery on the part of the New England Patriots in the so-called “Deflategate” scandal, so I’m not going to speculate whether the organization is guilty of cheating; however, if it should turn out to be the case that the investigation concludes that tampering did indeed occur, the NFL has no choice but to come down hard on the Patriots organization.  Many pundits and fans alike have been guilty of poo-pooing this as a fake scandal; they’ve pointed out such facts as it didn’t make a difference in the outcome of the game and Phil Simms remarking that Arron Rodgers likes the football overinflated, even speculating that all of the teams do it.  These are all nothing but red herrings designed to distract from this one simple reality: it’s a violation of the rules, and if the New England Patriots intentionally did this, whether it was Bellichick himself or a ball boy, it will not be the first time the Patriots have been caught cheating.  Arguments such as these should be ignored as the product of a shallow an biased intellect that they are, and if made by a “journalist”, is worthy of a healthy flogging with ye olde’ cat ‘o nine tails.

Roger Goodell has no choice but to come down hard on the Patriots if the allegations turn out to be true.  It makes no difference if some lowly ball boy or equipment manager is the culprit or if Bob Kraft himself came down and deflated the balls; I repeat…it makes no difference.  This would make this organization repeat offenders and the violations are “integrity of the game” level violations, I don’t care what the politically correct crowd thinks, this is far more serious than the Ray Rice or Adrian Peterson incidents…this, if true, is something that actually affects the game of football and casts a shadow on the entire league, just like the “Spygate” scandal or the Saints bounty scandal.  Therefore, Goodell must pass harsh sentence if it comes down to that.  This is a situation the commish has put himself into, his tenure has been riddled of instances, especially this season, where he has acted more like Caesar passing “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” judgments on defeated gladiators just to appease the unruly mob of fickle football “fans” that have crawled out of the woodwork like filthy roaches during the NFL’s rise to supremacy of the American sports world.  He has used “player safety” as an excuse to neuter the hallmark of the game, defensive play, while hypocritically pushing for an 18 game season and extended post-season play by adding more teams to the playoff mix.  The convoluted rulebook that has been created during his tenure resulted in weekly officiating debacles that have been the deciding factor in games as much as the players.  He has, without a doubt, been the worst commissioner the NFL has ever had; frankly, I’m hoping that this scandal will be the end of him in that position.  Additionally, I’m also fervently hoping that the scandals and events of this season finally drive away the bandwagon fans who have leached onto the game over the last decade or so along with their “social conscience” drivel…Goodell’s Commissionership has truly been the bastard spawn of these despicable people.

Go back in time to the bounty scandal; Goodell told Sean Payton that “ignorance is no excuse” in, rightfully, passing a yearlong suspension on the coach.  Well, those words must come back to haunt him if this is found to be true.  Suspension for Bellichick should be a foregone conclusion, how long?  I don’t know, but four games sound about right to me.  Loss of draft picks?  Absolutely, they lost a first rounder for Spygate, multiple picks is the only appropriate penalty for a repeat offender.  Fines need to be levied against the organization, fines that will cause Bob Kraft some pain in the pocketbook and make him think twice about tolerating the “win at all costs” mentality that permeates his organization.

Regardless of the outcome, it is high time that fans call for the toppling of Goodell’s empire of shame.


Observations on Championship Sunday

Championship weekend is over.  For me, both games were nothing short of head scratchers; how could a team / coach with a pedigree like the Packers and Mike McCarthy play small ball the way they did in the Conference championship?  How could any NFL team look as lost and unprepared as the Colts did in New England?  Did they think Belichick was going to suit up the Titans in an attempt to throw them off their game?  That would explain the game plan, at least.  Today, the news broke that the Patriots are being investigated for ball tampering during last night’s game…I’d like to make one thing clear: even if it turns out to be true, it had nothing to do with the complete and utter humiliation dealt to the Colts last night.  I’m going to withhold my judgment until the league finishes its investigation; suffice to say though, it won’t surprise me and, once again if proven true, it will be high time that the league does something about it.  We have seen the Commissioner dole out harsh punishments on players this season, some of them before there was even any conviction of wrongdoing and some that were for first time offenders that far exceed what the league rulebook states that a first time offender is supposed to have levied; and these were for behaviors, though reprehensible, had no effect on the game itself other than a handful of fickle fans being OUTRAGED!™ about it.  That’s just a little teaser on what you can expect the Clown to unleash if these charges are found to be true.  Anyway, without further ado, here is the Clown’s take on the Conference Championship games.

NFC Championship Game Seattle 28 Green Bay 22

The Packers jumped out to 16-0 lead by halftime, and their fate was already sealed.  Face it…some losses are bad and some just make you sick, and then there’s…this.  You can point out a lot of different points in the game where the Packers lost control of this game; Rodgers second pick mid-way through the second quarter, the 3rd and 19 conversion by Seattle that left the Packers defense looking more like a bad Pop Warner squad than the NFC’s 2nd seed; Clinton-Dix’s dropped pick; Burnett’s slide after his interception with about 5:00 minutes left in the game; the onside kick debacle or the 2-point hail Mary conversion.  Without a doubt, these plays made a big difference in Green Bay handing this game, all gift wrapped with a pretty little bow, to Seattle, but none of them would have made a difference, hell…some of them wouldn’t even have happened if not for one simple fact: Mike McCarthy played small ball in this game.  Green Bay’s defense produced turnovers on Seattle’s first two possessions Sunday afternoon, promptly driving to Seattle’s one yard line both times.  McCarthy shrunk when Seattle’s defense stopped them short on 3rd down both times and opted for the field goal.  Some advice for ‘ya, coach…championship teams are led by coaches with big brass balls, they get their boot on the opponent’s neck and they don’t, under no circumstances, take it off.  Coach McCarthy…yes, your team played like a second rate JV squad in the second half yesterday, but, the only reason that made a difference in the game is because you didn’t have the stones to take it to the Seahawks when you had the chance.  This one is on you and you earned it.

AFC Championship Game New England 45 Indianapolis 7

Where do I even start?  I think most Colts fans were biting their nails, just waiting for that first disastrous play that would snowball into yet another defeat at the hands of the New England Patriots, and Josh Cribbs didn’t make them wait long.  I don’t know why, but we all knew that Cribbs was a disaster waiting to happen after last week, and, sure enough, the moment he actually calls for a fair catch, the ball hits him in the face mask and it’s off to the races.  That being said, that was an irrelevant drip in the bucket of incompetence displayed by the Indy squad last night while the Patriots thoroughly curb stomped them into humiliation.  Twice…twice this team ran the ball with impunity against this Colts defense in their previous meetings and still the Colts defense allowed them to run it right down the throat and out the anus of the defense…time after time after time after time.  How many times did we see Colt defensive lineman shuttled between offensive linemen away from the runner like some primo ganja being passed down a toke line?  How often did we see Colt linebacker swallowed up by blockers?  How often did we see defenders blow their gap assignments or fail to make a tackle when they actually did display enough discipline to fill their gap?  Bill Belichick made a statement last night: “I have no respect for your defense.  In fact, I have so much disrespect for your defense, I didn’t even put any work into coming up with a game plan.”  The run defense was nothing less than a defense simply getting owned, abused and gang raped by a superior foe who had set their mind to not allowing them to leave Gillette Stadium with anything resembling a shred of dignity.  The pass defense wasn’t any better; I’m pretty sure that the only reason Tom Brady didn’t throw for more yards and touchdowns last night was because he was awestruck by the Colts ability to be so utterly and thoroughly lost that he was partially blinded by the sheer ineptitude on display in front of him; either that or he was afraid that if he continued to throw the ball on Indy’s secondary they might spontaneously combust in a massive fireball that would leave Gillette Stadium a charred and smoldering heap of rubble.  Some people like to say that Bill Bellichick plays chess while everyone else plays checkers; last night, Bellichick played the Colts while Indy played someone else.  The defensive game plan was simply wrong from the start, but I’m pretty comfortable stating that whoever Greg Manusky game planned for, they would have beat his defense too.  Offensively, Pep Hamilton continued to show how he will continue to be nothing more than the token minority that teams have to interview to show they are in compliance with the Rooney Rule.  The offensive line offered nothing more than a pocket that was collapsing upon itself so rapidly that it seemed to be at risk of crushing into a black hole.  Sure, Luck had time to throw, but he couldn’t step into those throws at all; consequently, they were all over the place…except when they were accurate, then they were simply dropped.  I could go on, but, really…what’s the point?  It’s merely becoming and exercise in kicking guys while they’re down…frankly, I don’t think that the Colts performance was worthy of the time I’ve already dedicated to writing about it.