The Patriots Are Dealt Karmic Payback
It was a classless move by a classless coach, but there was also much more to it than that. It was a microcosm of the entire Patriots season. Because whether you believe in karma or not, the truth is that this year's Patriots team, and their fans, pushed the envelope like no team ever has before. And in the end, it came back to nail them in crushing fashion.
So let's go over what happened this year that put the Patriots in prime position to receive "karmic payback."
1. Spygate: We learned the Patriots had been cheating to get an illegal edge on their opponents. And that they had probably been doing it for years, throwing their previous three Super Bowl wins into question.
2. Response to Spygate: Rather than just brush Spygate off and move on, the team decided to prove to the league that they didn't need cameras to win. As a result they hung up embarrassingly high scores on teams that had nothing to do with Spygate, like the Bills (38-7, 56-10) and the Redskins (52-7). And it wasn't just Belichick who seemed intent on doing this, it was the players as well. Tom Brady running a pump-and-go to Randy Moss when up by 40 against the Skins is one such example. Continually going for it on 4th down when up by 30 in the 4th quarter against everyone is another example. Bill Belichick taking a dump in Joe Gibbs's locker was bad as well, but I can't actually prove that last one.
3. Bill Simmons: Single-handedly became the most annoying, arrogant sports writer in America by forsaking his "national" column to continually beat us over the head about how great the Patriots were. He openly mocked Peyton Manning, and was even more brutal on Eli. And to top it all off he continually wrote sentences like this one, where he took shots at anyone reading his crap: "Maybe the Pats can be beaten, but not by these guys[Jags]. In fact, I'm insulted that you even think this might be close." Personally, I'm insulted that Simmons seems to think I care what he says.
4. Helmet Tattoo Man: This idiot below decided to get the Patriots' entire helmet tattooed into his head. The kicker - he was going to get the Lombardi Trophy tattooed into his head after the Super Bowl. So much for that.
5. Pissing Off Fanbases: Not content to leave well enough alone before the Super Bowl, a Boston Herald columnist writes an article proclaiming that Patriots fans are smarter, classier, healthier, and own pricier homes than their Giants counterparts. Nothing like openly antagonizing entire fanbases.
6. The Trademarks: Three days before their playoff game against the Chargers, in an example of incredible arrogance, the Patriots applied for trademarks on "19-0" and "19-0 The Perfect Season."
7. The Parade: Yes, Boston Mayor Tom Menino began planning the victory parade about a week before the Super Bowl. Menino said he had no option but to start planning for it. Funny, I don't remember New York doing this.
8. Dumb Book Ideas: Before the Super Bowl, the Boston Globe already had a book up to buy on Amazon entitled 19-0: The Historic Championship Season of New England's Unbeatable Patriots. Hey, it's still up, and slightly discounted now!
9. More Spygate: It's revealed the day before the Super Bowl that New England apparently videotaped the Rams' final walkthrough before the 2002 Super Bowl. Guess they didn't manage to do that against the Giants.
10. Party Invites: According to Amani Toomer, Patriots players were inviting Giants players to their victory parties before the game. Classy.
In the end, it doesn't really matter if you believe in karma or not. The Patriots, their fans, and numerous hometown writers, including Simmons, all let classless arrogance get the better of them this season. And it finally caught up with all of them in the Super Bowl.