RE: Pro Football Weekly
- ***** Any bets against him including at least one shot against the Patriots
and/or BB in every article he writes for PFW? He is such a transparently
bitter, vindictive man. I honestly don't consider anything he writes about
the Patriots worthy of comment, since his agenda is always the same. As for
his other writing, his plagerism says it all. He's a lazy, unprincipled,
poor excuse for a sports journalist. I'm sorry to see that an otherwise fine
publication like PFW has chosen to give him a forum.
Dogs have masters ... Cats have staff!
From: patriots-bounces@... [mailto:patriots-bounces@...] On
Behalf Of Ghost of Patriots Past
Sent: Sunday, May 27, 2007 7:31 AM
To: Kirk; da List
Subject: Pro Football Weekly
Patriots prove character doesn't count more than ability
Without question, "character" has become the most overused word in
In life, character is an important thing, to be sure. It just has little
or nothing to do with athletic performance. Not the real meaning of
There indeed might be something called "sporting character," which would
be analogous to game speed as opposed to straight-line, sprinter's speed.
But character, as in making the hard choices in life, has won few Super
Although we might wish it to be otherwise, great athletes do not perform
well because they have more character than the average man or even the
average opponent. They perform well because they have more skill or more
physical gifts, or often both, than their opponent. If character were a
profound issue on Draft Day, the seminaries and the Ivy League would produce
a lot more NFL employees than the ACC, the SEC, the Pac-10 or the Big Ten.
Character, you see, like most everything the NFL says, is a relative
thing. Character is certainly of importance when commissioner Roger Goodell
makes clear there is a new sheriff in town and that this one will crack down
on NFL lawlessness with a far harsher hand than his predecessor, Paul
Tagliabue, ever did. But character becomes a relative thing when
counterbalanced by factors like a 4.4 40-yard dash time or soft hands or a
strong arm. The more you have any of the latter traits, the more ill-defined
the word "character" becomes.
This spring the Patriots have been questioned roundly about their Draft
Day decisions to select troublesome Miami (Fla.) S Brandon Meriweather with
their top pick and to deal their fourth-round selection to the Raiders for a
once-brilliant but recently nonfactor of a wide receiver named Randy Moss.
Moss slipped noticeably himself on Draft Day nine years ago because of
character issues but erased all those questions by playing brilliantly for
the first six years of his career. Controversy, questionable actions off the
field and effort on it, as well as some ill-advised comments, followed him
to the Vikings, but so did touchdowns, 20-yard pass receptions and
1,000-yard seasons, and so character was suddenly replaced by, "That Randy
is quite a character."
But the past three seasons, his play has slipped noticeably. In two of
those seasons, including 2006, he fell short of 1,000 yards receiving, and
after grabbing 20 catches of 20 yards or more per season in those first six
years, that total slipped by half (10.6 per year, to be exact). Suddenly,
Randy Moss now was taking plays off, and Randy Moss wouldn't practice, and
Randy Moss was a clubhouse cancer, and Randy Moss didn't want to win.
Well, Randy Moss in '06 wasn't a whole lot different from Randy Moss in
'99 or '01 or most other years - with one noticeable exception. He wasn't
productive last season, having the worst year of his career and, in the
opinion of many, quitting on his team, the hapless Raiders.
Moss might tell you that they quit before he did. He might even be
right. Either way, Patriots coach Bill Belichick liberated him from a team
that will not win any time soon and that was not going to pay him, and
Belichick has given him a final chance to establish he has "sporting
character" - which would mean he can produce another 1,000-yard season and
double-digit touchdowns with Tom Brady throwing to him instead of Aaron
Brooks. If he does, his status as an Eagle Scout will be of little interest
to his public or to the Patriots.
Belichick is betting Moss will be on his best behavior because he has only
a one-year contract for $3 million with another $2 million in bonus money if
he hits certain numbers. In other words, for the first time in many years,
Moss' present and future income will be locked into what he does this season
rather than what he might have done some time in the distant past. This has
a tendency to focus the mind, even a sometimes mercurial one like Moss'.
As for Meriweather, his greatest fame came from a near riot between the
Hurricanes and some members of Florida International's team last season.
Meriweather was caught on video stomping one of his opponents as if he were
auditioning for a Michael Flatley Irish step-dancing revue. That and the
fact that Meriweather once pulled a gun on someone who was trying to shoot a
friend of his and allegedly fired three shots in the guy's direction in
self-defense understandably caused some NFL folks to grow a bit worried
about paying a large sum of money for his services.
The Patriots were not among them because (a) they needed a fast, young
safety who will knock your block off; (b) they believed they had enough
veterans with Super Bowl rings to keep both a rookie and a wayward wide
receiver with questionable work habits in check; and (c) they, like everyone
else, care a lot more about winning games than they do about winning a
commendation from the Peace Corps.
Time will tell if they are right in those assessments, but Belichick
believed it was a gamble worth taking, in part because he knows Moss has
long been a front-runner who performs well when he is not the center of
attention and when his team is winning. The Patriots believe they have
enough weapons where Moss can be just another armament rather than the
secret weapon, and enough talent to win with or without him. They just
believe they have a better chance to win with him, so they made the trade.
New England believes the same about Meriweather, which is why the
Patriots drafted him. If that impacts upon their public persona as a team
that does things differently, so be it, because the fact is that they really
As long as they win, they know nobody really will care about anything
else, because in professional sports, character issues only become real
issues when the wins stop and the losses begin.
by Ron Borges
Steve - He's Baaaaack
Sick sense of humor? Visit Yahoo! TV's Comedy with an Edge to see what's on,
patriots mailing list