Sports Commentary 1/22/13
The Whiny Patriots end to their season –
POOR SPORTS PLAYING FOR TIME
Among the many things we learned in the NFL’s conference championship weekend is that the New England Patriots are poor losers. Now the question looms, is anyone ready to pick up the mantle in the AFC East? The Patriots haven’t necessarily fallen into also ran status in the AFC, but it may be a long time before their name is again combined with the word ‘dynasty’, and it may be their own realization of the passing of their peak and how much greater the obstacles are now to a return to the Super Bowl, that led to their reaction to Sunday’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship Game. The pats were legitimately hampered by the absence of tight end Rob Gronkowski, which removed a very big option, making their offense much easier to defend, particularly for a defense like Baltimore’s. A first half injury to cornerback Aqib Talib made life on the defensive side of the ball much more difficult for the Pats as well, but it wasn’t time for excuses, or for ducking the media, like Pats coach Bill Belichick did when he refused to do a post game CBS standup. With the money the networks pay to air these games it shouldn’t be optional. Quarterback Tom Brady played it coy with the media when asked about his travel plans to the Pro Bowl, the next day he pulled out citing an undisclosed injury discovered during his exit physical. The greatest display of poor sportsmanship came from Anna Burns Welker, wife of Pats reciever Wes Welker, who tweeted some uncomplimentary comments about the personal life of Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, who we all know is no role model and shouldn’t be the face the NFL puts on Super Bowl XLVII. Even the Patriots, it appears, know their better days are behind them, even Brady isn’t immune to age, and their chances of getting back to the Super Bowl are fading into the twilight. The one saving grace is their own division may buy them some rebuilding time. Who’s going to emerge to supplant them in the AFC East. The Jets had a golden opportunity to clean house and create a new attitude and a contender just as the Pats became catchable, but they decided on a different route, a plummet into chaos, when they put out the word that their new general manager would have no power, at least not to hire a coach, Rex Ryan, the chief clown, would continue to oversee the circus. With the powerlessness of the position the best candidates backed out and the Jets settled for a bean counter from Seattle, John Idzik, a salary cap specialist with no experience running an organization. Think “Moneyball”. Peter Brand, not Billy Beane, as GM of the Oakland A’s. Without Beane Brand’s anaylysis would be about as useless as a general manager with the Jets as long as Ryan is head coach by owner edict. The Miami Dolphins, Ryan Tannehill being no Tom Brady, not yet, offer the stiffest opposition while the Buffalo Bills annually turn high expectations into an early demise. The New England Patriots are poor losers and they’re running out of time to keep it from becoming an annual occurance. Fortunately, while they’re running out of time, they play in a division that keeps buying them more. They will be back. With a comment from the sports world, I’m Scott Gray.