“Every team seeks an Us-Against-The-World, Nobody-Believes-In-Us mentality. They think it provides some kind of an edge even when a Super Bowl is on the line and you wouldn’t think any edge is needed. So it’s often invented.
New England is in its sixth Super Bowl with Belichick and Tom Brady, it goes to the playoffs every season, it’s always a league favorite. Trying to figure out a way to be the underdog, the doubted, the victim, it’s nearly impossible.
At least until now.”
Just remember where you heard it first, folks: from your pal JSG. See? Once you get past the fact that I swear a lot and make way too many references to drinking and I’m prone to run-on sentences and I don’t really remember all the rules of grammar, I’m basically right there as a sportswriter. YOU’RE WELCOME.
Not sure if you’ve heard yet, but the New England Patriots are in some measure of trouble after 11 of their 12 footballs were found to be under-inflated during last week’s AFC Championship massacre of win over the Colts. Altering the football — in this case by under-inflation — ostensibly makes the ball easier to grip and throw, especially during cold weather games. The thinking is that this can provide an unfair competitive advantage and/or is tantamount to cheating, which is something the Patriots have been accused of before.
You know what this all means, right? That’s right: it’s time for some good old-fashioned media histrionics!
I like the idea behind recognizing an unsung hero-type of person, like a football everyman who happens to hold the pretty cool distinction of playing in six Super Bowls. But is there any more patronizing way to refer to a small start-up peanut brittle business? If I were Mike Lodish, would I even take that as a compliment? I mean, I like peanut brittle and all, but the term mogul is usually reserved for ancient Persian empires, bumpy ski hills and, like, Jay-Z.
Also, there’s this, from our pal Dan Wetzel:
“It’s a tough business; ultra competitive, with market share captured one store at a time. So this is Lodish bringing the same battling mentality to peanut brittle that got him to all those title games.”
So there you have it, kids: all it takes to achieve your dreams is to work hard, keep your nose to the grindstone and then luckily manage to get drafted by the most dynastic team of the early 1990s and constantly propped up by the generational talent around you. Truly the American Dream!
A little late to the party on this, but Johnny Manziel started his first game in the NFL this last week. I should mention up front that I think he’s probably going to make a terrible pro, on account of he’s fairly short and doesn’t have a great arm. Moreover — and seriously, why does no one ever talk about this next part — he was propped up by the people around him at Texas A&M, most notably his offensive line (Luke Joeckel went 2nd overall in 2013; Jake Matthews 6th overall in 2014) and the skill positions (capable backup RB Christine Michael went in the 2nd round in 2013, and WR Mike Evans went 7th overall in 2014). Seriously, how do people not remember how much talent was on those teams beyond Manziel? A great college QB is usually enough to alleviate most of your team’s issues at other positions (see: Vick, Michael) — but Manziel, even with what was around him, never got Texas A&M even to an SEC championship game. To me, that suggests a player that is propped up by his system and by the talent around him.
All of that being said: can we stop pretending like the results of ONE GAME are a harbinger of things to come? Why does the NFL, of all leagues, tend to overreact so severely to results from small sample sizes?