Gee, does Mike Silver hate the Patriots or what?
This will be my last word on the Randy Moss trade to New England because, in all honesty, I really don't care that a lazy quitter who has been kicked off two NFL teams is going to a contender. Moss has been, and always will be, an inferior player to guys like Marvin, Hines Ward, Torry Holt, and even Patriots cast-off Deion Branch. No, these guys don't have Moss's talent, but unlike Moss they bring it every down, every play, every game no matter what. They make circus catches, incredible runs, and (oh, by the way) win Super Bowls. This is why I find the media ball-washing of Moss and the Patriots so funny, and it's also why I enjoyed reading Michael Silver's recent article bashing the "mystique" of the Patriots.
Before the Colts owned them, the Patriots and their fans used to sell all of us on this notion that their players were better, not just in terms of talent but in terms of character. It was as if the team had a right to win it all solely because their players and their organization were in the right. Unlike the winds that blow in Foxboro in December, this kind of wind was always just a bunch of hot air. Silver saw it that way as well, and so do many former-New England players. Silver also perfectly articulates the ignorant arrogance of the New England organization and its fans when it comes to Randy Moss's behavior the last few years:
We'll get to these half-baked (oops, bad choice of words) theories in a moment. Why the wait? Put it this way, homies: I argue when I want to argue.
Next rationalization from the new breed of Moss apologists? That Moss, who by his own admission lost interest because the Raiders weren't winning, can be forgiven for that apparent sin because it's a sign of his competitive nature.
Really? That's an interesting way of looking at sports. Try this exercise: Imagine you're playing a pickup basketball game, and your team is trailing by a large margin and in danger of getting bounced from the court. If one of the people on your team -- say, the most talented player -- loses interest and stops trying, how do you feel about him or her as a competitor?
Have you hurled the ball against the backboard yet? Or just plain hurled?
We agree with Silver that the notions of Patriots Nation regarding Moss are so pathetically homer they make Michael Kay sound objective when he announces Yankee games for the YES network. Let us first toss aside this silly notion that Randy Moss took a pay cut to join the Patriots, and that the Patriots were the only team Moss was going to re-structure his contract for. The Oakland Raiders had no intention of paying Moss the remainder of his 2 year, $21 million dollar contract. If a trade did not happen involving Moss, he was most certainly going to get cut. Because of his recent troubles, his injuries, and the fact that he is nothing more than a failed sack of horse poop, no team was going to offer Moss more than a one-year deal worth about $3-4 million with no bonus, and loaded with incentives, which is the re-structured contract Moss currently has with New England.
So, Moss certainly did not take a pay cut to come to New England, as so many pathetic Patriots fans have desperately tried to suggest. Moss knows this is his best chance to cash in and get the one last big long term deal of his career. Rest assured, after 2007, Randy Moss will not be a Patriot, especially if he has a great season. Moss knew he was getting cut by Oakland, and a deal was worked out to get him to a team that could give him the best opportunity to cash in when 2008 rolls around. This isn't about winning a Super Bowl. If Moss cared about stuff like that, he'd work hard, lift weights, run correct routes, and not try to run over cops with his car.
And can we please stop with the Randy Moss Hall of Fame talk please! Art Monk isn't in the HoF. If he isn't, then I don't want to hear jack squat about Moss in the HoF. Monk owns all kinds of records, always produced, and is an example of what a WR should be. Unlike Moss, Monk actually won something. So please, cut the Moss HoF crap. If Monk isn't in, discussing Moss in the HoF insults the HoF and everyone in it.
Now, from a business standpoint, I totally understand New England making this move. It is a low cap risk for them. From a talent standpoint, it greatly upgrades their WR group, but in the end that means nothing. From a talent standpoint, drafting Ryan Leaf in 1998 made total sense. Ryan Leaf was always more talented than Peyton Manning.
In the NFL, talent is highly over-rated.
The risks here for New England aren't financial as much as their internal. The Patriots locker-room will not change Randy Moss. He will play hard when he feels like it. He will take plays off. He will loaf. He will complain and undermine teammates. He will cost his team a key victory. It is not a question of if, but when. Unlike players like, oh say, Deion Branch, Moss has never come through in the clutch for his teams. He has never been a leader, a guy who can be there for his team when the chips are down. In short, for all the spectacular plays he makes on the field that get press clipping, he makes an equal number of stupid plays that often cost his team a win.
Finally, with this acquisition, I don't want to hear anymore of this "Patriots mystique" crap that was force fed to us NFL fans during the dynasty years in New England; this notion that they were a high character team full of guys who would take less money just so they could win. It was always bogus, and it's nice to see many former-New England players realize this as well. Mike Silver details:
And that, of course, will be complete and utter crap.
"I'm not mad that they did this," [a] former Patriots player said. "I'm mad that for all these years, when everyone wrote that their values were different, they ate it up. They're no different than anyone else, and they never were. We had a run, and the rest is just propaganda.
"I bought into all that stuff about the 'Patriot Way,' and then when I went to [a new team], I was blown away by how loudly guys outside of the organization shot it down. They'd say, 'You guys don't do s--- different -- you've just got Tom Brady.' I argued with them at first, but looking back, there was no lower percentage of jackasses there than on any other team. Some of the guys they drafted, even in early rounds, were selfish and unreliable and horrible to have around."
Classy, we know.
When it is all said and done, the Moss trade makes sense for both parties. What I don't want to see is the same, tired BS coming out of Foxboro that their team and organization is made up of "high character" people. And while the Moss trade certainly upgrades the Patriots offense, it doesn't seem to address the major issues the Patriots had last year and still seem to have this year: Their old linebackers and shattered secondary. The Patriots choked away the AFC Championship game against Indy because they couldn't get to Peyton Manning, couldn't cover Dallas Clark, and they couldn't stop the run. It was evident that Tedy Bruschi and Mike
Vraebel Vrabel are old, and their secondary is simply not that good. Aside from Asante Samuel (who still is unsigned despite being franchised, and has made it clear he doesn't want to play for New England), the Patriots secondary is simply not that good. Rodney Harrison is done, and while New England's first round pick Brandon Meriweather could one day replace Harrison, he is a rookie and QBs like Manning, McNair, and Palmer feast on rookie safeties.
The narrative we Colt fans will hear all year will involve New England being the #1 team until Indianapolis beats them again in the playoffs. All year long, the Colts (who beat New England and went on to win the Super Bowl) will be considered second-fiddle to the Randy Moss-led Patriots, who have grabbed headlines and made sports writers happy with their free agent spending and draft day super trades.
As a Colts fan, I am a-okay with this. In fact, I'm downright giddy.
Let the Patriots and their arrogant fans bask in the warm glow of media attention that will crown them #1 when the season starts. Sadly, for them and their fans, they aren't, and the excuse-machine that often rumbles out of New England after yet another bad loss to Indy is running out of steam. These off-season moves by the Patriots have smelled of desperation. They know Indy owns them, and will continue to own them as long as Manning is under center. New England is making uncharacteristic moves to try and do something about it. In the end, it will result in the same: Another loss to the Colts, and more conspiracy theories from the pathetic boobs in New England (Roger Goodell wants Manning to win because Archie Manning secretly runs the NFL from his underground bunker in Mississippi). Moss or no Moss, this team does not have the defense to stop Peyton Manning and a Colts offense described by John Clayton of ESPN as "scary good" after drafting Anthony Gonzalez. The great irony here would be if Gonzalez, a rookie, ends up providing more production for Indianapolis than Randy Moss does for New England.
I still think the NFL is a world owned by Indianapolis and New England, and everyone else is living in it. But it is now clear that the organization that prides itself in high character people, and backs it up, is not New England. Indianapolis has usurped them in that title, and many others. While I also don't think the Colts are full of angels (I've already written about my dislike for Tony Dungy's anti-gay comments, insulting Colts fans everywhere), you do not see the same arrogance and BS exported out of Indy that you saw spewing from New England. Now, they look desperate, trying anything they can to get back at the team that has owned them two years in a row. The Patriots are an excellent organization that evaluates talent very well and wins a lot of football games. Just don't sell me on the hollier-than-thou's team crap.
It has been, and always will be, a steaming pile of Moss.