The above statement is the refuge of the weak-minded, it is usually stated in a condescending, exasperated tone.
I’ve heard this statement from a number of media members and supposed “fans,” usually when someone attempts to put a stop to the endless negativity and point out that, you know, the team is actually pretty good, and has as good a chance as anyone in the AFC to go to the Super Bowl.
Is there reason to be critical of the Patriots?
Lets get this straight: YES.
The team has definite flaws on defense, and their decision-making personnel-wise can certainly be questioned. Have they made the best use of the prime years of Tom Brady’s career?
All of those things are valid criticisms, yet how come it is ALL we hear on radio and television? Well for one thing, it is easy. Sports radio hosts are always going to take the easy position. For another thing, they know it will piss people off. Only in media is pissing off your customers considered good business.
I’m excluding the beat writers from this discussion. With rare exceptions, they are a hard-working, objective group, who do a fine job. The Patriots beat is filled with people I enjoy reading – even when they’re critical of the team. Mike Reiss, Tom E Curran, Chris Price, Ian Rapoport, Karen Guregian, Greg Bedard, Rich Garven, Glen Farley, Jeff Howe - they all do a very good job at covering the team, and all of them have been critical of the team from time to time. They’re not the ones I’m talking about here.
Things reached something of a tipping point yesterday, when someone I thought I was friendly with, referred to me as “Psychotic” on their radio program. The argument was the usual, tired, hyperbolic-ridden one – “Bruce attacks anyone who dares to criticize the local teams. He wants the media to be positive all the time.” If the Patriots were 3-11 instead of 11-3, you wouldn’t hear me complaining about the negativity. It would be warranted.
I’ve said it million times, and apparently haven’t been clear enough for some people. I don’t want to hear only positive things about the team any more than I want to hear hour-after-hour, day-after-day about how this defense SUCKS, this player SUCKS, this coach SUCKS at drafting, hour-after-hour, day-after-day.
The weird thing to me is that there are those who do exactly what I just described, yet when I throw my hands up in the air and say Enough! I get the “psychotic” label slapped on me. Makes sense.
It’s called balance, people. Balance. Try it sometime.
Links? Not a ton this morning.
Belichick talks in-game machinations - Curran has Belichick talking about adjustments on the sidelines.
Teams have hit ground running - Julian Benbow has the Patriots understanding that they need to play the run better right out of the gate this week.
Celtics will go as far as J.O. takes them - Peter May says that Jermaine O’Neal is the key to the Celtics title hopes. Wait, what?
Doc Rivers C’s through fog - Mark Murphy says that Doc Rivers is the best choice to coach this team both short and long term.
Where the Red Sox stand in the starting pitching market - Alex Speier with a Red Sox update.
Valentine’s coaching staff near completion - Peter Abraham has the coaching staff taking shape.