Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Superbowl? - Or 16-0

I'd like to start off by saying, that this is the only football related post you will see on the Baseball Aspect for a while. Anyway, this post is about the New England Patriots, currently 9-0, who face the dilemma of going for 16-0, over saving their players for the Superbowl.

So far this season the Patriots head coach, Bill Belichick, has been keeping his starters late in games, even ones they are winning by more than 30 points. (which is often) So it seems, Belichick is willing to risk injury to "run up the score".

Popular opinion is that Belichick should bench Brady, Moss, and Maroney when such beat downs occur because winning the Superbowl is more important than going 16-0 --- something only the '72 Dolphins have done.

Well what do I have to say in all of this? Simply, going 16-0 may be more important than wining the Superbowl. Does anyone remember who won the 1987 Superbowl? No. But people know the '72 Dolphins for going 16-0.

So I feel Belichick should be handling this differently than how he is now, and how most people think he should be. First of all, if the Patriots ever find themselves winning substantially, by all means bench Brady. Risking injury, is not worth in games your guaranteed to get the W in. However, if the Patriots are ever in a close game, do not bench Brady to save him for the Superbowl, keep him in to prevent getting a loss.

There is a Superbowl champion every year, but in 40 years of NFL seasons only 1 team has gone undefeated. When you also factor in that the Patriots recently won 3 Superbowls in a span of 4 years (2002, -04, -05), you have to wonder if one more Superbowl is more important than "tying" an NFL record.

Technically, the Patriots would not even be tying an NFL record, since in 1972 they only played 14 regular season games - meaning the Dolphins only went 14-0. If the Patriots remain perfect throughout the entire season, they would finish 16-0. So it's definitely worth it for the Patriots to go for it.

Recently, the coach of the '72 Dolphins, Don Shula, has said that if the Pats go 16-0, an asterisk should be placed next to that record. (Barry Bonds-esque?) This is because earlier this season, Belichick was caught illegally filming the other team's sideline.

There has been much speculation as to how the Patriots could have used this. Many feel he couldn't utilize this quickly enough to help him in a game, but rather for future use. I feel he definitely could have seen the coordinators signs, and signalled to Tom Brady the type of play before the snap. The NFL just wanted this issue to go away so they fined Belichick and the Pats, and confiscated all the tapes.

Now, in Barry Bonds' case, technically it has never been proven he has taken steroids. Trust me, I'm no believer that he never took steroids, but I believe that its not a bad as people think, considering that this era was riddled with people using performance enhancers. So we want to place an asterisk next to a player's record, in a case where he has never been proven guilty, and was doing something that many other players of his time were doing? Meanwhile Belichick has been proven guilty, and as far as we know, is the only man to commit this illegality? That doesn't sound fair to me.

Baseball has a double-standard when it comes to performance enhancers. Plenty of football players, including such stars as Shawne Merriman, have been caught cheating, yet their reputation has not been tarnished (recently was in a popular Nike commercial). Whereas if any significant baseball players gets caught, they are viewed as despicable in the public eye.

I say, if Barry gets a asterisk, Belichick must. Shula was 100% correct in his statement, and the "Spygate Scandal" has been blown under the radar too quickly.



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