KEN POWERS UNDER INVESTIGATION FOR BLATANT KING RIP OFF

This Ken Powers stuff is unbelievable.

The T&G did issue the following statement in today’s paper:

Substantial portions of a column originally written by Peter King and published Jan. 24 on the Sports Illustrated Web site were printed Jan. 30 in the Sunday Telegram under the byline of Ken Powers, a staff member of the Telegram & Gazette.

The Telegram & Gazette takes plagiarism seriously and is conducting a full investigation. We apologize to our readers and to Sports Illustrated.

How egregious was this plagiarism? The Peter King article is his Jan 24th Monday Morning QB article. Power’s original article has of course been pulled off the T&G site, but thanks to the power of the Internet, the article is still out there in cyberspace should you know how to look for it. Ready for some snippets? (Thanks to Jeff for helping put the comparisons together)

King: Remember the last time these two teams met? Very controversial day for both.

Powers: The last time the Patriots and Eagles met was a contentious day for both clubs.

King: Sunday, Sept. 14, 2003. Second game in Lincoln Financial Field history. Each team was 0-1, and each had fallen to 0-1 in rather humiliating fashion. The Patriots got shut out in Buffalo 31-0, just four days after whacking very popular defensive captain Lawyer Milloy because he wouldn’t take a major pay cut. The Eagles had been shut out by Tampa Bay 17-0 in the Linc’s first game ever.

Powers: It was Sunday, Sept. 14, 2003, the second game in Lincoln Financial Field history. Each team was 0-1, and each had fallen to 0- 1 in rather humiliating fashion. The Patriots had been shut out in Buffalo, 31-0, just four days after releasing very popular defensive captain Lawyer Milloy because he refused to take a substantial pay cut. The Eagles had been shut out by Tampa Bay, 17-0, in the first game in the history of the stadium.

King: The Patriots were in their Philadelphia hotel rooms — kickoff wasn’t until 4 p.m. ET — when the first one was uttered. ESPN football analyst Tom Jackson looked straight into the camera and said the New England players hated coach Bill Belichick. Because Jackson is such a respected voice in football, and because ESPN is such a media power, the statement made the rounds among the Patriots by the time everyone got to the stadium that day. Whatever has been said in the intervening time about the New England players just shrugging their shoulders over Jackson’s statement is a bunch of bunk. Many in the organization were stunned, and Belichick was really surprised. You have to remember that, at that time, Belichick was embattled after cutting Milloy. Whispers about a rerun of Belichick’s Cleveland days were circulating around the media.

Powers: The Patriots were in their Philadelphia hotel rooms – kickoff wasn’t until 4 p.m. – when ESPN football analyst Tom Jackson looked straight into the TV camera and said the New England players hated coach Bill Belichick. Because Jackson is such a respected voice in football, and because ESPN is such a media power, the statement made the rounds among the Patriots by the time everyone arrived at the stadium that day. Whatever has been said since that day about Patriots players just shrugging their shoulders over Jackson’s statement is a bunch of bull. Many in the organization were surprised, and Belichick was stunned. At that time, Belichick was under fire for cutting Milloy. Whispers about a rerun of Belichick’s Cleveland days were circulating through the media.

King: Since that morning New England has gone 33-3.

Powers: Since Jackson made his bold, brash statement the Patriots are 33- 3.

King: That afternoon, as the Patriots were finishing a 31-10 whipping of the Eagles, dropping Philly to a barely-with-a-pulse 0-2, a chant rose up from the crowd. The fans wanted A.J. Feeley to play quarterback instead of Donovan McNabb. “Of all the things you could possibly do as a fan,” Mitchell told me last week, “chanting for A.J. to play over Donovan was about the dumbest.” But that’s what the fans were doing, and McNabb and the falling Eagles just had to sit there and take it — with their bye week ahead, meaning they had to stew about their 0-2 record even longer.

Powers: As the Patriots were finishing a 31-10 whipping of the Eagles, dropping Philly to a barely-with-a-pulse 0-2, a chant rose up from the crowd. The fans wanted A.J. Feeley to play quarterback instead of Donovan McNabb. “Of all the things you could possibly do as a fan,” an Eagles player said last week, “chanting for A.J. to play over Donovan was about the dumbest.” But that’s what the fans were doing, and McNabb and the falling Eagles just had to sit there and take it – with their bye week ahead, meaning they had to stew about their 0-2 start even longer.

King: McNabb had a bad throwing thumb at the time of the 2003 meeting with the Pats, which was part of the reason he was stinking up the joint. All he’s done since is have his best regular season ever, and take this star-crossed team to its first Super Bowl since the Dick Vermeil days.

Powers: What those vocal Philly fans didn’t know then was that McNabb had a bad throwing thumb, a large part of the reason he was stinking up the joint. All he’s done since is have his best regular season ever, and take this star-crossed team to its first Super Bowl since the Dick Vermeil days.

King: Since that evening Philadelphia is 28-6.

Powers: Since that evening, Philadelphia is 28-6.

King: Three conference titles among the two franchises over the past two years, and a combined record of 51-9 since those Waterloo moments. All in all, they’re the two best teams in football over the past two seasons — two Swiss-watch-run organizations with excellence from the top on down. Eagles owner Jeff Lurie, a Bostonian, once tried to buy the New England franchise and is good friends with the Kraft family, who now own the Patriots. Both Lurie and Bob Kraft learned the hard way that the best approach to running a football team when you really don’t know football is to get a masterful coach on the premises and let him run the show. That’s what Lurie did with Andy Reid in 1999, helped by business-wise GM Joe Banner. And that’s what Kraft did with Belichick in 2000, helped by football-wise director of player personnel Scott Pioli.

Powers: The teams have combined to win three conference titles over the past two years, and have a combined record of 51-9. They’re arguably the two best teams in football over the past two seasons. They’re also two of the best-run teams, and the owners have a history. Eagles owner Jeff Lurie, a Massachusetts native and Clark University graduate, once tried to buy the New England franchise. He is friends with Patriots owner Bob Kraft, whose wife, Myra, is the daughter of the late Worcester philanthropist Jacob Hiatt. Both Lurie and Kraft learned the hard way that the best approach to running a football team when you really don’t know football is to get a masterful coach on the premises and let him run the show. Lurie did that in 1999, hiring Andy Reid. Lurie’s ownership of the Eagles is aided by his partner, business-wise GM Joe Banner, also a Bay State product. Kraft did it with Belichick in 2000, and also is helped by football-wise director of player personnel Scott Pioli.

King: The Patriots will try to pound Corey Dillon. McNabb will move Brian Westbrook everywhere and try to get him to make plays in the open field. But the New England defense is as disciplined as a unit can be. Philly’s defense is second in that category. I think it’s going to be a great game, without many mistakes. The only bad thing is we have the silly two-week gap before the game.

Powers: The Patriots will try to pound Corey Dillon. McNabb will move Brian Westbrook everywhere and try to get him to make plays in the open field. But the New England defense is as disciplined as a unit can be. Philly’s defense is second in that category. It all seems to add up to being the perfect recipe for a great game without many mistakes. Don’t you wish they were pulling on the shoulder pads and buckling up the chinstraps today instead of next Sunday?

Ouch. Seriously, what the hell was Powers thinking? Did he think no one would notice? Peter King is perhaps the most-read football columnist in the country. What is there to “investigate”? His previous body of work? The T&G already issued its statement and apology. Powers has probably thrown away his career here.