Well, I feel like I've put off this blog thing long enough. Time to weigh in and drop some thoughts on what has been one hell of a ride this season for the Patriots.
First, I'll get my bias out of the way. I'm from New England and I've been a Pats fan since I really started getting into football about 15 years ago.
Ok, now that that's out of the way:
Lets be honest with ourselves. Whether we love or hate the Pats... or even if you really don't have feelings about them one way or another, you have to admit there is something a little special about going 16-0. Some hater folk will point out that the Pats had a hard time winning over less than stellar teams, such as the Ravens and Eagles... I won't class the Giants in the same category as those two teams. The Giants are a playoff team, and even in the NFC, you have to respect that. However, if we look back at the great teams of the past, you know, those awesome championship dynasties, 70's Steelers, 80's 49ers, Giants, Redskins, 90's Cowboys (Bills maybe? I mean losing 4 superbowls in a row has to count for something) Well if you look at where those teams LOST games, a lot of those losses didn't exactly come off playing the cream of the NFL crop.
Going into those "trap" games and pulling out the win EVERY time where one of those other great teams of the past have lost... THAT is something special. But let's be realistic here. It's the regular season, and we're talking about championship teams here... superbowl winners (or losers if we want to talk about the Bills in the 90s). While this perfect regular season cannot be diminished by the "spygate scandal", it can be severely diminished if it does not become 19-0. Case in point? Before this year when was the last time we heard about the highest scoring offense in history, the 98 Vikings? Yeah think about it for a minute... go on... yeah that's right, they didn't finish the job.
No matter how many wins you get in the regular season, they don't award Lombardi Trophies for regular season accomplishments. If we don't win the Superbowl this year can we honestly say that this team is any better than the 03/04 squads that went 14-2 two years in a row and won back to back Superbowls? Nope. So with all due respect to my fellow fans in Patriot Nation, please hold on to the Greatest of All Time discussion for another 3 games.
Now moving along to the 72 Dolphins comparison. Yes, I know it's been done to death, but some semi final thoughts (I'll save the finals for if we win it all). While I agree it would be unfair to compare the 2 teams head to head based on the different rules and playstyles of different eras, I will say this. You look at the difficulty of schedule the Fins had in 72 based on the OTHER quality teams in the NFL that year, and the overall quality of teams the Pats had to beat in 2007, plus the added 2 games on the schedule. If the Pats make it to 19-0, the 72 Fins can say "Welcome to the mountaintop" all they want. They climbed Mount McKinley, no small feat to be sure, but the Pats will have climbed Everest, a somewhat taller and more difficult mountain to climb to be sure.
This year we've also been treated to a lot of journalism decrying our team for running up the score. Again this has been said (mostly by comment posters, not the professional writers) but where were you guys when the 04 Colts were blowing teams out every other week? I can't recall anyone crying foul when the 85 Bears beat the snot out of us 45-10 in the Superbow. There have been plenty of great teams in the past who have blown out other teams on a regular basis, but you don't get to read about how they were a bunch of meanies pouring it on.
News flash guys; this isn't Pop Warner. If you are a player in the NFL and complain after a game that the other team disrespected you by not stopping their own offense when your defense decided to roll over, please think about your hometown fans you are disrespecting when you cash your game check this week. You get paid to play 60 minutes of pro football, not 30.
And for the fans of said teams, I can tell you that there was a time when the Patriots were not so good. We lost some games... we lost some games BADLY, and while I can't speak for the rest of my fellow "Patsies" fans, I can tell you that not ONCE did I blame the other team for my team playing a terrible game. Maybe you should think about the players and coaches on your own squad who DIDN'T do their jobs before getting all pissy at their counterparts on my team that DID do their jobs.
Also, I don't know anyone who drops $200 on a game ticket to only watch 30 minutes of football. Just ask Indy fans who paid good money for front row seats to watch their practice squad hand the final AFC playoff spot to their division rivals tonight. You guys feel like you got your money's worth? Yeah, didn't think so. I'd be a little peeved myself.