Stay on Target...Stay on Target...
While not the tragic ending, I fear that this might be the beginning to the end.
You know the ending. The fight between the two warriors, in the nearly-complete most powerful weapon in the Universe.
Father and son - established ruler and up-and-coming star. Jedi vs. Jedi.
Father stumbles. Son capitalizes.
I've always liked the Melvin Udall line in "As Good As It Gets," that people who speak in metaphors can shampoo my crotch.
So I apologize, with a bottle of Pantene Pro-V close by.
But is this Star Wars-New England Patriots videotape-gate allusion warranted?
I dunno. But the luster of the world's most perfect franchise is gone.
(on an aside, how do you think this book
and this book
Bob Kraft - would we call him the Emperor in this? - gives Belichick free reign to do his thing. And why wouldn't you? No head coach's record over the last 6-7 years has been better than Belichick's. In fact, it might be one of the best in NFL history.
But now, with the numerous allegations of his illegal taping and - let's call it what it is - cheating, how much does all this get affected?
The Ron Borges' of the world - and far be it for he who commits the biggest cheat (plagiarism) of journalism to cast his first stone at the big glass house in Foxboro - will love this.
So will all the arrogant media-folk who continually get stonewalled by the veil of silence of Belichick and his team.
What will Belichick do? The same thing(s) he's always done.
Win. Say nothing. Then prepare to win the following week. And say nothing in the days leading up to that game. Lather, rinse, repeat. (editor's note: no shampooing of crotches when the metaphor in use is a shampoo metaphor.)
Take a look at the transcript from today's press conference, one in which Belichick began by issuing the following statement:"Earlier this week, I spoke with Commissioner Goodell about a videotaping procedure during last Sunday's game and my interpretation of the rules. At this point, we have not been notified of the league's ruling. Although it remains a league matter, I want to apologize to everyone who has been affected, most of all ownership, staff and players. Following the league’s decision, I will have further comment."
Upon opening the presser for questions - and you knew they weren't going to be about LaDainian Tomlinson - Belichick laid down his usual law. And stonewall.
And try as they did, the media gathered there got nothing:Are you worried at all that the investigation will be a distraction?
"We have a big week here with the Chargers. We know that. That's what we're working on."When you spoke with Roger Goodell, did he give you an indication of when the decision would be made?
"I don't have anything to add. I said all I can say about it for right now. When something comes in, I'll have another comment on it. Until then, that's it."Are you making any contingency plans should you be suspended and unable to coach the game on Sunday?
"I don't have anything else to add. I've said all I can say right now."Are you embarassed by it?
"Are there any questions about the Chargers? Do you want to talk about the football game? That statement pretty much covers it."Do you think you put the players in a tough situation?
"I think we're getting ready for San Diego, that's what we do on Wednesday. That's what we're doing today. OK, any questions about the game?"
I don't know how it will play out. From Rodney Harrison's HgH admission a week or two ago, to this, the Patriots have taken quite a few hits.
In New England, it doesn't make many waves. Rodney was a "stand-up" guy for admitting his cheating (Giambi is a cheater, Rodney's a man. Interesting). There's probably a countdown somewhere for when he can return to the field and he'll get some sort of standing O.
With the videotaping hullabaloo, there are many who just view it as part of the game and would like to see Matt Estrella back out there, keying on the Chargers' blitz calling.
With more than a few "Patriot haters" on the committee charged with meting out punishment - Bill Polian, Jeff Fisher, et al - and with Law & Order Commish Roger Goodell making the final call, Patriot fans should expect the worst.
Expect loss of draft picks. Expect hefty fines. Expect suspensions.
But there's one thing you shouldn't expect: answers from the Patriots.
Mangina, er sorry - unfortunate typo there - Mangini might have been able to battle his Darth Vader and might end up with a victory. He took his shots - took his tumble down the ventilation shaft at Cloud City last year in the playoffs - and came back, dressed in all-black, and delivered the blow that took off a part of his former mentor/current nemesis.
Time will tell the fate of Vader and the Emperor. But there is a disturbance in the force.
yh&os,(statement text and Q&A text courtesy of the Boston Globe..see Borges, that's how you attribute sources...)