Monday, January 21, 2013
Too Corporate by Half
Your New England NFL franchise, like the Red Sox, has become too corporate by half. As my friend Ferde said this morning after Mass in disgust (I know that sounds contradictory but the Mass was after the Patriots game, and we were both disgusted): “You have to play this game like a pack of angry dogs. The Patriots looked like they were on a business trip.”
And afterwards Coach Bill sounded much like an aging CEO who should be kicked upstairs:
“Overall, it was a pretty positive season. Tonight we just didn’t do enough things well enough to win. The Ravens outplayed and outcoached us and that’s pretty much the story.”
Yeah, I’d say.
A transition must be made. From Robert to Jonathan Kraft. From Belichek the Head Coach to Belichek, president of football operations (general manager). And from Brady to Ryan Mallett, or whichever young six-foot-six greyhound is going to take over at QB in the new mold of Colin Kaepernick and Cam Newton and even Joe Flacco, who outplayed Brady badly.
Tom Brady should announce his retirement at the end of next season, and in 2013-2014, the Pats should give Mallett some real time in real games. That way, Brady will know he has one more desperate chance to equal the four Super Bowl rings of his hero, Joe Montana, and the Pats can see if Mallett is the next Steve Young.
Head coach? I’d give Josh McDaniels a three-year contract under Belichek’s tutelage, and he could help the transition to Mallett. Otherwise, the Pats lose him to the Browns, or some other hungrier team.
Above all, the Pats need to get hungry again, they need to play like angry dogs, not like a Fortune 500 company with one too many perks for its brass.
I don’t like Ray Lewis when playing against him, but I’ll root for his Ravens. They are 5-point dogs.