Friday, July 29, 2011

Haynesworth? Ocho? Belichick and the Patriots Can Make Anything Look Smart

You can tell by my face that this isn't a joke.
Sports reporters love to give praise. We all know John Madden would sell his house for two pairs of Brett Favre’s Wranglers, which he could then re-stitch into one leg's worth for himself. But with Favre’s dick now in the picture, the NFL’s only national treasures are the infallible New England Patriots. Is this because of Tom Brady’s pseudo-underdog story meets Michelangelic looks? Or Bill Belichick’s cool look of I--take-risks-that-always-seem-to-pay-off-because-I'm-a-genius-and-there’s-no-other-possible-explanation? Or just because the Patriots came up during the season of September 11th, 2001 and were called the Patriots and anyone who didn’t love the Patriots was an asshole and a terrorist? I mean, jesus, come on, just look at the logo for Superbowl XXXVI:  

2001-2002: When PATRIOTism Conquered America
Regardless, there are just some people out there that would eat their own dismembered balls if Bob Kraft anointed them with his saliva and packaged them as singles. Some folks, like Michael Lombardi at NFL.com, are praising the Patriots acquisition of Albert Haynesworth and Chad Ochocinco. Yeah, they’re two talented guys. The Patriots are good at harnessing talent. But unless the harness that Randy Moss flung off last year grew ten sizes yesterday, I don’t see this wishful magic happening.

The Redskins realized Haynesworth wasn't worth the hassle. But will the Patriots?
Michael Lombardi rode Bill’s Bellidick in his column about how much he loves the Patriots and how they’re the best in the world at turning degenerates into team players. Last I checked, they’ve pulled that off a whopping two times, with Randy Moss and Corey Dillon. And Moss was playing for the fucking Oakland Raiders. Of course Randy Moss can shape up when Tom Brady and a team with Superbowl-caliber (BUT NOT SUPERBOWL WINNING, HAHAHA) talent uses him for what he actually has. Then again, what happened to Randy Moss last year? Where’s that Bionic Man now?

What's that? The sound of a career screeching to a halt?
Belichick is not a mystical guru and “The Patriot Way” is no nirvana. It seems that they’re better than other teams at “fixing” broken players, between Moss and the former Bengal, Corey Dillon, but only for two reasons. One, Moss and Dillon were both great talents, coming off career slumps. Once surrounded by effective coaches and players, they were able to flourish again. They didn’t have either of those in Oakland or Cincinnati, but the Patriots’ repair-work only lasted for a couple years anyway (enough to count, for sure).
Bad Brad the Discipline Dad
Two, every other team that tries this sort of thing usually does it with a poor foundation and in desperation. The Redskins’ pick-ups of Haynesworth and McNabb were both shortcuts to rebuild a broken team. They didn’t have Tom Brady leading them or the cohesion provided by veteran player leadership and coaching staff. Brad Childress, the Vikings’ coach, tried to take the already re-disgruntled Randy Moss and contain him. But Childress could barely contain his team as it was, between Sidney Rice’s injury, Percy Harvin’s migraines, Favre’s age/sexting, and an early losing record.

Kevin and Pat Williams Agree: Star Caps Really Work
Haynesworth may be the same deal, certainly. He was a defensive star for a few years, enough to trick the Redskins into giving him $41 million guaranteed (for ten mediocre games over two season). He was a beast on the line. He still could be, the Patriots hope. Haynesworth and Vince Wilfork working in tandem could make the Vikings’ Williams Line look like those creepy twins from The Shining. 

Pre-Fat Albert Learns About Diabetes
But as with many monstrous athletes, the monstrosity didn’t end when the games did. Even without his fouls, suspensions, criticizing his coaches, and stomping on his opponents, the guy would still be a basket case. He partially paralyzed a guy in a car accident. He failed the Redskins’ conditioning test last year because he had to go to the bathroom. This isn’t just a matter of discipline and motivation, like with Moss and Dillon. Tony Dungy would be hard pressed to turn this man’s life around if he had a gay wedding with Bill Cosby and pulled some My Two Dads shit.

Who knows how long Chad can hang on for this ride?
Chad Ochocinco is another story. This is partly because of the difference between New England’s high-flying offense and its burgeoning defense. First, I love the guy. I really think he’s still got it. He had a 1,000 yard season in 2009 and still busted 12.4 yards per catch over 67 catches last year. That was despite an ailing Carson Palmer, ball competition from T.O., and six games against staunch AFC North defenses. He can pull a Randy Moss for sure, if he wants it. With Brady throwing at him, Welker in the slot, and the Patriots’ talented duo of tight ends, not to mention Ocho’s work ethic, it’s going to happen. Chad’s biggest problem will be himself: his craving for attention and the Patriots’ desire to keep things low-key. I doubt that’ll distract Ocho. But it may just distract the team, especially with Haynesworth inevitably causing some ruckus.

Ty's MMA Training Couldn't Save Him from a Layoff

The final piece of the Patriots’ pie is some breaking news from earlier today. New England released a slew of veterans, including Alge Crumpler and Nick Kaczur on offense, and Ty Warren, Tully Banta-Cain, Marcus Stroud on defense. The loss of such wisdom and leadership, especially Ty Warren, is going to put an extra burden on Haynesworth. Perhaps the righteous Prince Albert will accept this responsibility and mentor New England’s young guns. Or, perhaps it’ll be enough for him and Ocho to just shut up, keep cool, and work for their money.


-- Amorgz

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