Appreciation with sports seems to come with time. Old timers call them “the good old days.” I find myself jealous when I hear old friends and family members reminiscing about sports greats who have gone down in history as mythical characters.
I was born in 1980 and was fortunate enough to catch the tail end of Larry Bird’s career. I remember rocking Air
Sports nowadays is different. Despite a recent resurrection in basketball, the sport has fallen into negative stereotypes and a playground style of ball. Hockey has fallen out of favor and can no longer be considered one of the three major sports (sorry hockey fans). And then there’s ”
’s sport is football. The NFL has done a fantastic job of modeling what an association should be. Within the NFL, the New England Patriots have become the role model of how an organization should be run. Within the Patriots we find this generations mythical champion: Tom Brady.
The ability to step back and appreciate greatness as it is happening is a talent. Our “good old days” are now. And one can argue, there is no better player in all of sports than Brady.
Where Fantasy meets Reality
The Patriots are out for blood in ‘09. Fantasy greatness comes from teams who don’t let up. Teams who will run up the score. Teams that throw in the red zone. Teams that say “we don’t care about the records” – but in reality they really do. Teams that are out to prove a point.
What’s to prove? After an undefeated season, and after posting unprecedented fantasy stats, the ‘07 Patriots lost in the Super Bowl to the New York Giants.
Everyone thought that ‘08 would be the year of redemption, but after a Week 1 season-ending injury to Brady, fantasy dreams were derailed, and it looked like Patriot fans would have to wait an other year for revenge.
Going 11-5 last season and being neglected of a playoff birth was absurd. The Patriots were better than any team in the playoffs with the exception of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Having been robbed in ‘08 with
The Holy Trinity: Belichick, Brady and Moss
The Father: Bill Belichick
The salary cap in football was to promote parade in the league. The Cowboys’ dynasty of the early 90’s was predicted to be the last. But the Patriots have proven otherwise. Unlike other sports, football promotes an equal playing field. With a limited amount of allowances and the loss of players to free agency, teams are lucky to win one championship in a decade, never mind three.
The Patriots success has come hand-in-hand with the arrival of Belichick.
Belichick once again put his mastery on display in this year’s NFL draft. The Patriots should open a clinic on how teams can not only improve the quality of this year’s team, but can also insure the future. Too many teams sell away the future for the here and now. The Patriots have remained relevant year in and out because of the organizations mastery on draft day.
The Patriots have signed veterans Fred Taylor and Joey Galloway this offseason. It is no secret that these players are in the twilight years of their careers and have come to
The Son: Tom Brady – Resurrection ‘09
Brady is an easy player to hate. He is a football God, married to the hottest women on the planet, has a child with another hot-as-hell actress, has your girlfriend screaming out his name in her dreams, plays incredibly under pressure and always seems to say the right thing in every interview and at every press conference. Just admit it … He is the Absolute Man! The definition of a “Golden Boy.” He’s the one guy it’s acceptable to have man-crush on. Brady needs a fourth ring to even things up with Mr.
Brady’s ‘07 Stats:
2007: 398 Completions, 4,806 Yards, 50 TDs with only 8 INT – no that is not a typo.
A repeat in ‘07 stats would be unrealistic. The Patriots will be out to prove a point, but I look for them to be a little more cautious around Brady’s fourth-quarter gun-slinging when they’re up 24 points. I look for
The Holy Spirit: Randy Moss
The greatest season in the positions history – Randy Moss’ 07 numbers: 98 receptions, 1,493 receiving yards, 23 TDs. With Brady’s injury in 08, Moss’ looks, touches and stats were all severely compromised. All watched and waited for Randy to become disgruntled. But Moss was most impressive, not on the field, but in the locker room. With Matt Cassel at the helm, Moss was still highly productive: 69 receptions, 1,008 receiving yards, 11 TDs. Moss was able to “tolerate” ‘08 with promise of greener pastures in ‘09. Only one year removed from a 23-TD season, Moss could be a bargain, possibly falling out of the Top 3 at the position. Brady appears to be completely recovered. I expect Larry Fitzgerald and Andre Johnson to have more receptions this season, but I think Moss leads the league in touchdowns. Brady-to-Moss reunited – Super high ceiling has me salivating as I type. I’ll leave it at that.
And then there is Welker …
Wes Welker was still atop the league in receptions with
Welker’s ‘07 and ‘08 Stats:
2007: 112 Receptions, 1,175 Yards, 8 TDs
2008: 111 Receptions, 1,165 Yards, 3 TDs
At the end of ‘09, one team could have the coach of the year, MVP, Highest Rated fantasy quarterback, Fantasy MVP, highest scoring receiver in all of fantasy and the reception leader in the NFL. The Patriots have become somewhat of the “Evil Empire” of football. There are those of you who hate the Patriots so much that you will let it cloud your evaluation come draft day. We all have had that dilemma of wanting to go with our hearts over our heads. Fantasy football is a cutthroat world. Your best friends become your enemies, lying and cheating is expected and production supersedes everything. Besides greed and glory, all feelings need to be put aside. Let me assure you that if you pass on Brady, Moss or Welker because of a “real world” hatred for the Patriots – your fantasies will be compromised.