Bush league (cont.)
Posted: Thursday May 10, 2007 5:34PM; Updated: Thursday May 10, 2007 5:40PM
Trippin' On E(Mail)
"'As much as I respect McGinest, I don't quite buy the Dillon-Moss analogy. As miserable as Dillon was during the Bengals' dark era, I don't ever remember him being accused of quitting.' I must have seen the clip of him taking himself out of a game and Bruce Coslet ineffectually waving him back on the field 300 times when the Pats picked him up. But don't strain your memory too much. As a Pats fan I'm actually glad you wrote what you did. I challenge you to find one time the Pats said anything about their 'way' being better than others. This a media creation, and now the media is jumping all over itself to tear it down. Nice work on the churn. I look forward to your next column on your trip to a SoCal restaurant with Keyshawn."
You are not the only one to issue this challenge, and I happily accept it, with the help of crack SI librarian Natasha Simon. Here you go:
"We have good people in the locker room, real good character guys.'" (Rodney Harrison, to the Boston Herald in Sept. 2004.)
"This business is not unlike our other businesses: You try to get good people, people who share your values. When we hire people, the most important thing is loyalty, integrity and character. No. 2 with us is work ethic. And No. 3 is brains. But if you don't have Nos. 1 and 2, No. 3 doesn't matter." (Owner Robert Kraft, before Super Bowl XXXIX in Jacksonville.)
"You have to be a special individual to be part of this team." (Tedy Bruschi, also before Super Bowl XXXIX in Jacksonville.)
"What we look for as much as anything are players who aren't going to create problems, because all football people work too hard at their jobs. And we just don't have time for headaches." (Vice President of Player Personnel Scott Pioli, to the Boston Herald's Michael Felger, before Super Bowl XXXVIII in Houston.)
"are you serious? the pats lose their sole? you sound like another peyton manning fan boy who is angry that the colts wont repeat this year. sorry pal but jealosy is a bitch huh?"
On a positive note, thanks to fine establishments like Legal Sea Foods and Turner Fisheries, the Patriots have yet to lose their scrod, scallops or lobster.
"Yes, please remove the label of 'high character' from the Patriots, because it was the media (read: you) who saddled them with that stupid moniker in the first place, and the media (read: you) that is taking them to task for diverging from it. Actually, I think I speak for every Patriots fan when I say PLEASE STOP TALKING ABOUT THE PATRIOTS LIKE THEY ARE BOY SCOUTS JUST SO YOU CAN CONDEMN THEM WHEN THEY CONTRADICT THAT IMAGE. Thank you. The Patriots are jerks. We get it. Can we move on now?"
Absolutely. Again, I have no problem with the Moss trade as a relatively low-risk business move, and I believe the Patriots are the best-run organization in sports. I just quarrel with the idea that the culture of the team can somehow convert a guy like Moss into becoming a team player. And for all of you other Patriots fans who took the time to e-mail, ask yourselves this question: Had the Colts made the Moss trade and, through voices like Bill Polian's and Peyton Manning's, subjected you to a similar line of reasoning, how violently would you be bashing your head against the computer screen right now?
"I've never been a Moss fan, but I can empathize with his attitude the past few years. Picture yourself as the best columnist (that's a stretch, but try anyhow) at a second-rate sports magazine, and for a few years your boss runs only a handful of your pieces, and only after he edits them into an unrecognizable mess. You've got the talent to handle the Super Bowl, but your assignment is always a pre-Christmas bowl game. How motivated would you be to keep writing the 'A' stuff KNOWING there is little chance it will get printed? Keep in mind the facts you can't quit and go work for someone else, and your writing career is completely over in 3 or 4 years. Just think ... Sports Illustrated has recognized your talent and would love to hire you (you might even win a Pulitzer at SI), but you're stuck right where you are!! Tell me you'd work your butt off to keep such a dream job."
Hey, how do you think I made the jump from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat (where, as you might imagine, I was getting paid slightly less in the early '90s than Moss was in 2005 and '06) to SI in the first place? I won't bore you with the specifics, but I do want to thank you for giving me a chance to talk publicly about my favorite subject: My career.