After receiving this email this weekend from a reader with whom I had previously had a discussion, I responded and thought I would put the response here, as it might address themes or issues other people bring up from time to time.
Two weeks ago I sent you an email and said that you always seemed to be an apologist for the Patriots organization, but didn’t ever pass up an opportunity to take shots at The Boston Globe and The Red Sox, to name two…
You were quite kind in your reply …We discussed it in a couple of emails and you asked for an example of how you were an apologist for The Patriots and how I claimed you never passed up a chance to defend them.
Your example is Friday’s web site. You said the Patriots are the story again and everyone in the media is waiting to go after them….. Are you kidding me ? Are you going to tell me that Tom E Curran, Mike Girardi, Bedard, Espn Boston, Channel 4, 5, 7, and Ordway, Holley, 98. 5 morning Duo, Mutt & Merloni, Bob Neumier or a host of others are salivating at the prospect of going after the Patriots ???? Really ? Really?
The aforementioned, including you, are seemingly all members of the Patriots PR Staff !……
You seemingly are prepared to defend the Patriots at the drop of a hat, as one would do for their child or spouse……
Is there not a double standard here…..If these 2 guys were on Red Sox do you not think the media uproar would be more intense ? Have you witnessed the 30 years prior to Red Sox 2004 ….and then 2011? Have you turned on the radio in those times….
To suggest that the negative media The Pats occasionally get is bad is laughable particularly if viewed through the Red Sox lens …..If the Red Sox had lost as many Game 7 World Series as The Pats did Super Bowls there would be a blackout in Boston as the phones would overheat and the media hot air would CONTINUE TO THIS VERY DAY….
Are there not legitimate questions that Bellicheck should answer in these 2 stories ? …..Or legitimate questions as to why no SB wins since last SB despite having ‘BEST TEAM IN NFL’ several times?
Come on ….Bruce
I welcome your reply
Here is my reply:
Hi [emailer] –
Thanks for the follow-up, I appreciate the opportunity to have a discourse.
I guess where we part ways, and that in my opinion where you rather betray where your loyalties are and where you’re coming from is when you label that entire list of people as “Patriots PR Staff.”
Are you kidding me? I guess you didn’t see Tom E Curran’s very strong columns and tweets about the need for the organization to speak and admit fault over the Hernandez case. Mike Giardi has no problems being critical of the Patriots, just read his timeline or watch his reports to see that that is true. Bedard? He’s been very critical of moves the team has made, and has had no problems stating early on when he feels they’ve screwed up. Mike Reiss always gets tagged with that PR label, mostly thanks to Felger, but it is extremely unfair. It sometimes seems to me that Reiss has had a running theme about looking back at the 2009 season, as if he believes that is when the franchise lost its way. The TV stations? Well, channel 4 has a partnership with the team, with the preseason games and the pre-post shows, they’re not going to go over the top, but 5 and 7? I’m not sure what you’re watching, but it’s not the Sunday night show on WHDH which regularly features the likes of Shaughnessy, Borges and others who enjoy pointing out failures.
The 98.5 morning show? Seriously? They love to make fun of the Patriots, and with Toucher being a devout Jets fan, he revels in anything that goes poorly for the Patriots. Lou Merloni can’t stand the Patriots, and has to follow every “damn” storyline he can dredge up about them. Bob Neumeier? Where did that name come from? He again is someone who loves the storylines.
The thing with the first few individuals on the list is that they actually know the meaning of the term “objective” – and I appreciate that about them. They’re critical of the team when it is deserved – and it IS deserved at times. For you to label them “Patriots PR Staff” really speaks volumes to me as to where you’re coming from.
Where I have a problem is when the likes of Felger and Mazz, Adam Jones, Mike Florio, Lou Merloni, Ron Borges, Dan Shaughnessy, Gary Tanguay et al pile onto storylines and use them to fill hours of radio time, and inches of column space with convoluted criticism which contains high amounts of revisionist history, moving goalposts and 20/20 hindsight.
You’re telling me that when Alfonzo Dennard gets arrested for suspicion of DUI that the above list of people is not salivating over the opportunity to sit in gleeful judgement and moralizing finger-wagging? I’m not sure what you’ve been watching or listening to.
Perhaps I painted too broadly in saying “the media” would be salivating. I tend to take for granted that readers of the site know who I am referring to when I make references of that sort.
I guess I’m also confused on your continual need to bring up the Red Sox. I’ve found in my experience that there are many people in the region who are Red Sox fans, but not Patriots fans, to the point of trying at length to publicly discredit and ridicule the Patriots while making sure the Red Sox get their due. These are the folks who always make sure to point out at every opportunity that “this is a baseball town.” To each his own.
It is possible to be both a fan of the Patriots AND the Red Sox. Not mention the Bruins AND the Celtics. If you’re accusing me of being biased against the Red Sox, then you clearly haven’t been following the site for very long. The entire genesis of the website came about in the days of the “curse of the Bambino” and how fans where getting hit over the head with that every single time something went wrong.
At that time, people wrote into me and accused me of being a Red Sox toady and oversensitive to the criticism leveled at them.
The difference between criticism of the Red Sox and their losses in the past (prior to 2004) is that the media was in general, not gleeful over losses. They commiserated and yes, it got ugly with frustrations of people and pointing blame at whomever, but it was totally different from what we see today both in content and tone.
I’m also a bit bewildered as to why individuals as yourself and others demand that Bill Belichick ANSWER for the Hernandez and Dennard cases. He’s a football coach. The owner of the team, has already spoken.
Did the Carolina coach ANSWER for Rae Carruth? Bill Polian, who drafted Carruth IN THE FIRST ROUND was one of those taking a moralistic victory lap over the drafting of Hernandez in the 4th round. Did Romeo Crennel and Scott Pioli ANSWER for Jovan Belcher?
By ANSWER, I don’t mean just talk about it to the media. I mean OWN IT, which what some of the people around here seem to want Belichick to do. They want him to grovel and admit fault.
As for losing Super Bowls with the BEST TEAM IN NFL as you put it, do all other coaches get subjected to this same standard? When the Giants beat the Packers and 49ers en route to that 2011 Super Bowl, were Mike McCarthy and Jim Harbaugh made to answer? Most “experts” felt those were the better teams, not only better than the Giants, but better than anyone in the AFC as well.
There’s a ridiculous double-standard there. In 2007, sure, the Patriots were the BEST TEAM IN NFL going into the Super Bowl. The Giants won the game. When else have the Patriots been the BEST TEAM IN NFL and lost? How does that compare to other franchises? When the Steelers went 15-1 and lost to the Patriots, did Bill Cowher have to ANSWER for that?
I’m sure I didn’t address all of your points to your satisfaction, but hopefully this gives you a better idea of where I’m coming from on things.