Knowing blitz is coming, very helpful
May of even helped Patroits win three super bowels by cheating
Saying every team/player cheats bunch BS. Patroits caught cheating red handed, NFL came down hard them
All Patriot wins under cheating coach Belichick need * after them
what about the 1972 dolphins?
Shula on wrong foot
By Eric Wilbur, Boston.com Staff
Don’t they learn?
I can just imagine how many of Don Shula’s former Dolphins players are calling him today, wondering just what he was thinking with his inane asterisk talk. For all intents and purposes, he pretty much assured the Patriots are going to run the table this season -- matching the perfection done only by Shula’s ’72 squad -- by calling into question the validity of their accomplishments.
This is a team that finds disrespect when they’re not a two-touchdown favorite. Bring up asterisks, validity, and cheating accusations and, well, you’re actually watching what happens: A convincing 9-0 mark and very few standing in the way of perfection. The 2007 Patriots will go down as the best team in the history of the NFL, a powerhouse in the dynasty they've already created for themselves this decade.
But...oh, right. The camera stuff.
"The Spygate thing has diminished what they've accomplished. You would hate to have that attached to your accomplishments. They've got it," Shula told the New York Daily News. "Belichick was fined $500,000, the team was fined $250,000, and they lost a first-round draft choice. That tells you the seriousness or significance of what they found.
"I guess you got the same thing as putting an asterisk by Barry Bonds's home run record.”
Ah, yes, the old asterisk, our nation’s crutch to be forever attached to records and marks we deem not to have been accomplished the same way as our sporting forefathers. Now Shula, the architect of the only team to go undefeated for an entire season, wants one attached to the Patriots for what they’ve accomplished (9-0) in the wake of Spygate.
But shouldn’t his precious Dolphins have the same stigma attached to them?
Writes the Associated Press’s Jim Litke, “If Shula believes that, then he ought to negotiate a twofer and paste the other asterisk next to his own undefeated team. He was still the coach of the Baltimore Colts at the end of the 1969 season, when then-Miami owner Joe Robbie approached him and signed Shula to a contract. The NFL charged the Dolphins with tampering and awarded their first-round pick to the Colts. Undaunted, Miami reached the Super Bowl in 1971, then rebounded from a loss to the Dallas Cowboys by winning the next two, including the perfect 17-0 campaign.”
The team lost a first-round draft choice. That, oh, and I quote, “tells you the seriousness or significance of what they found.”
The 1972 Dolphins might as well have played a schedule full of high school teams based on their strength of schedule. Their opponents had a winning percentage of just .400, and let’s not forget that there was no salary cap in Shula’s era. Asterisk? The 1972 Dolphins ran up the score against the Patriots, 52-0, that season, but you don’t hear anything in regards to a “lack of class” on Shula’s part. Asterisk?
As we’ve learned time and again, in lieu of getting all riled up by a lack of respect, Patriots fans should embrace the ill-advised comments of guys like Shula, whose words only do more to fire up the New England players in the quest that they all tell us isn’t a primary goal this season, but in reality is a primary goal this season.
Mind you, this isn’t Cris Collinsworth, Shannon Sharpe, or some other TV talking head questioning the team’s past glory. This is one of the most respected head coaches in the history of the game calling out the best team in the NFL. As weeks pass, it’s no longer the rest of the NFL that’s in jeopardy of watching the Pats steamroll the rest of the league, it’s the very proud members of that 1972 team who very well might watch their claim to glory fall in a matter of eight weeks.
And yet, here’s how many games in which the Patriots have demoralized the opposition without the use of cameras: eight. And the ninth, the New York Jets, are in for some kind of beating when they come to Foxborough next month. Belichick might insist that Eric Mangini use cameras just so that fewer players leave the field on a stretcher.
Spygate was an embarrassment for the franchise, no question. But it has no bearing on what the team is doing now in its shadow, and those who can argue otherwise are probably still tracking Sasquatch, obsessed with the makeup of Dallas grass seed, and planning family vacations to Roswell.
But let’s go easy on ol’ Don. After all, it won’t be easy for him to watch a team go 16-0 the same year his former team goes 0-16. It has never been a worse time to be a Miami Dolphins fan.
“Every year, the 1972 Miami Dolphins pop champagne when the final undefeated team loses, preserving their 17-0 squad as the last to enjoy a perfect season,” writes Yahoo’s Dan Wetzel. “ It's a rite of autumn in the NFL.”
Actually, it’s not. The assumption of a big party every time an undefeated NFL team goes down late in the season is an urban myth. Oh, sure, glasses may clink here or there where former teammates reside near one another, but it’s not the revelatory get-together that we were once led to believe.
"You guys put forth the myth that we are pathetic losers down here clicking champagne glasses and clinging desperately to a record set 35 years ago," former Dolphins tight end Jim Mandich told the Daily News. "Somehow we've been portrayed as being evil. We don't ever blow our own horn. It's a great record, but the record doesn't get beaten. The Patriots have assembled a powerhouse of a team. They are a classy bunch of guys and play ball the right way. If they want to join the unbeaten club, come on aboard."
That’s good of Mandich to try to clean up the mess Shula left for him, but it’s too late now. The ’72 Dolphins can thank him for assuring New England’s train doesn’t derail.
And in case they forget about it over their bye week, I’m sure someone else will be dumb enough to further question things in the next 10 days so that there’s a fresh new reason for motivation. Nobody ever learns. And the Patriots only get stronger the more people doubt them.