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Running Up the Blah Blah Blah

I stole this image. Try to stop me, world.

Thank Goodness for Bill Belichickmate. If he hadn't gone for that 52nd point like a bloodthirsty warlock seeking the dull-bladed decapitation of all lesser humans, then whatsoever would columnists have written about this week? I continue to see this as a pretty simple issue, not a matter of domination or weakness or imperial majesty or the expression of the human will to live, but rather as a matter of common sporting courtesy. You apologize when you win a point on a net cord in tennis, you apologize when you hit an inside straight on the river in poker, you kick the dang ball over the line when the opposing soccer team has a player injured, and you give bloody hat tips when you steal other bloggers' material. You don't say, "we're all professionals here, I'm stealing your content and if you don't like it, try to stop me." Well, unless you're Colin Cowherd.

But that's not the conventional sports columnist wisdom. The conventional sports columnist wisdom is "Now see here, I'm going to rip open your torso and make off with your spleen, and if you don't like it, try to stop me." Sports columnists are, perhaps, not particularly known for their torso-ripping abilities, and are in fact some of the most thin-skinned people in the world, by and large. But whatever, they're feeling especially macho this week. To make things easier and save you some work, here's a column I've composed by stealing lines from some of these columnists. If they don't like it, they can try to stop me.

The talk is out there, in the wake of the Patriots'' weekly destruction of opponents, that there could be a form of payback.

There are those who don't appreciate the Patriots, who find their dominance cold and unappealing. This is merely weakness, a common complaint from those whimperers and whiners who don't understand what dark beauty lies in dominion and the exercise of total power.

If teams don't like getting beat so terribly, maybe they should forfeit.

Can someone explain this to me? If Tiger Woods is leading a golf tournament by 33 strokes, no one grumbles if he birdies the 18th. If Roger Federer is ahead two sets and 4-0 in the third, no one suggests he should stop hitting drop shots. If the Red Sox are ahead by 12 runs in the ninth - and if the World Series was still going on, they probably would be - no one minds if David Ortiz hits a home run. Only in football do opponents expect a superior opponent to suddenly play nice. Respect for the game? Come on. Scoring 52 points doesn't disrespect the game; giving up 52 does.

You want the other team to stop running it up? Stop 'em yourself. Hit somebody in the mouth.

The pros play on mean streets. Vigilante justice. The Redskins had their chance to knock Brady into next week anytime he dropped back to pass, especially in the fourth quarter. They couldn't do it. They need to get better at their job.

Anyone who has a problem with what Bill Belichick is doing, there's a real simple solution. Just make him stop. Make him punt. Pick off a pass. Do something about it. In the ultimate uber-macho sport, Belichick is letting everyone know each and every week who the Alpha Dog is and how loud he can bark.

Face it, folks, Belichick plans to lay waste to the NFL. Commissioner Roger Goodell took away a first-rounder, so the Patriots will take away your firstborn. Belichick has assembled perhaps the most dominating team in NFL history, and he's intent on destroying all opponents in his path.

The Redskins are professionals, too. They need to make a play or stop somebody.

If Daniels and the Redskins are so mad, then stop Brady from falling forward for a first down, for gosh sakes.

It's high time for the Patriots' opponents to stop whining and start tackling. As legendary Florida State coach Bobby Bowden once said when his Seminoles were accused of piling up points against overmatched opponents: "It's not my team's job to keep the score down. It's the other team's job." Right on, coach. And that's especially true in the NFL.

Again, good for the Patriots. They've got a hair across their tush after the videotaping investigation and want Brady to set records.

It's painfully obvious to the teams left on their schedule and for the rest of the NFL that Belichick isn't going to let off the gas anytime soon and if you are a NFL defensive player and don't want them to run up the score - then do your job and take the loss like a man.

By Dan Steinberg  |  November 1, 2007; 12:19 PM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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Next: Joe Gibbs: Jets > Patriots


What the hell? Are all journalists that evil? He went for it on 4th and 2...when he was up a monstrous amount of points. It's not like it was just an accidental thing of throwing a bomb to Moss or something...a situation where you often would punt or kick a field goal, he decided to go for it.

Posted by: Ben | November 1, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Not only do the Patriots run up the score, but they cheat by playing games with the visiting teams sideline communications. Based on their recent actions and the Red Sox turning into the Evil Empire, I'm ready for the Big Dig to collapse.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | November 1, 2007 12:49 PM | Report abuse

pretty creative, i actually remember reading some of these lines in other articles.

some arguments:

1. you cant compare tiger to football because tiger isnt directly competing against another competitor. his performance doesn't affect that of his opponent.

2. baseball and tennis have infinite time limits, therefore as long as there is one more out to play or one more point to play, there is a possibility of a comeback. in football, you're not going to score 45 points in six minutes. that just won't happen.

3. you can't just say, if you don't want them to score, then stop them. that's actually one of the dumbest arguments i've ever heard, because the whole point was you couldn't stop them before, which is why the score was so high to begin with. what makes you think you'll be able to stop them at will once the game is out of reach.

to me the patriots are the guy that plays a great game in basketball to lead his team to victory, but in the last 10 seconds of the game, purposefully taps the ball off the rim to himself to get a 10th rebound and the triple-double. they do nothing more than try to pad their stats, which i'm sorry to say, if peyton were throwing deep late in the 4th quarter back in 2004, brady would be nowhere near keeping pace.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 1, 2007 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised at the lack of reference to the Ol' Ball Coach, who loved a good mudstompin' in his day.

Posted by: | November 1, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse

suuure...just link to the mainstream stuff

Posted by: Unsilent Majority | November 1, 2007 1:33 PM | Report abuse

At least you didn't link to Easterbrook. Hey, did you know his kid's team is undefeated?

Posted by: DLew On Roids | November 1, 2007 2:11 PM | Report abuse

As far as the sideline communications go...didn't the redskins have similar problems at Philly and Green Bay?

Posted by: prophet | November 1, 2007 2:38 PM | Report abuse

This is why I read less print and more Dan Steinberg. I don't need to relive that game ever again, because it never happened.

Posted by: Skin Patrol | November 1, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

prophet, they did, but let's not allow reason to get in the way of a good conspiracy theory

Posted by: J. Jones | November 1, 2007 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Patriots = Ricky Davis. Awesome.

Posted by: prophet | November 1, 2007 3:22 PM | Report abuse


I assume this was in some spurred by Sally Jenkins article.

First of all, who writes that kind of crap in the hometown paper?

Second, she doesn't get the point, and you clearly do: at a certain point, there's just no reason to be such a dick about it.

Lastly, agreed with the first poster...this wasn't a magical bomb like the home run analogy that's been suggested. Going for it on 4th and 2 would be like stealing a base up ten runs, and if you've ever played competitive baseball, you're coaches will always shut down the running game up 10 points.

Posted by: SuzyIWantToKissYou | November 1, 2007 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Suz: Yeah, and as a general rule if you steal when up 10 runs your next batter gets a little chin music. Where's that been all season? Either Baltimore or Pittsburgh's gonna hand Belichick Brady's ACL...

Posted by: Rob Iola | November 1, 2007 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Just a stupid argument to begin with. Whether or not you beleive in sportsmanship is an opinion. Trying to justify your opinion one way or the other is just stupid.

While you're at it give us the definition of porn.

Posted by: Retarded | November 2, 2007 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, complaining about going for it on 4th and 2? Wouldn't the same malcontents be complaining about the Patriots running up the score if they had kicked a field goal? And think back to the game, the same play was run on 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th down - Kyle Eckel up the middle.

Posted by: Duh! | November 3, 2007 1:48 AM | Report abuse

Re: Manning and 4th quarter. In 2004, Manning _was_ throwing TDs in the 4th quarter even when the Colts were winning big. By comparison, the Pats are doing the damage earlier and Brady sits out most of the 4th quarter. In the Bills game, the Pats offense scored ONCE in the 3rd quarter and ONCE in the 4th quarter (the defense also scored on a fumble). The Pats could have scored far more but they eased up on the throttle. Even so, they are accused of running up the score. When they won close games in the SB, pundits said they weren't as good as prior SB winners who won by wide margins, like the 49ers who won 55-10. (With the esteemed Steve Young RE-ENTERING THE GAME to throw his 6th TD pass. Run it up, Steve! Yea!) Now they are winning by wide margins in regular season games, and criticized for that. When Patriots fans mention the 49ers or other teams that won by wide margins in the SB, we're told "that's different because it was the SB." When we bring up the 4-straight regular season blowouts by the 2004 Colts, we're told that was different because "the Colts weren't performing at that level to get back at people for perceived slights." Give me a break. Belichick and the Pats are performing at an extremely high-level, and rather than being appreciated, they are being vilified.

Posted by: TBoneElbow | November 21, 2007 11:55 PM | Report abuse

I saw the Bears decimate my poor Patriots in their first Superbowl appearance. Nobody whined about that annihilation. I think the indominitable Patriots ARE respecting their opponents by playing hard against them, and not sending in third string players, or booting easy field goals. And they're giving them some good practice. I am shocked that anyone is complaining about the scores. Like Dan says, if you don't like it, PLAY BETTER! Go PATS!!!!!!

Posted by: Janet | November 23, 2007 6:54 PM | Report abuse

This blog plagiarizes John Clayton's ESPN article:

Running it up: Belichick, Pats take no prisoners
By John Clayton
Updated: October 28, 2007
Is the Rest of the NFL Getting Upset With Patriots?FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The Patriots' zeal for stealing opposing defensive coaches' signals in the season opener against the Jets cost the team a first-round choice and $250,000. It also made coach Bill Belichick's bank account lighter by $500,000.

Now, the only hand signals worth mentioning might be the possibility of obscene gestures coming from the coaches and players he beats.

On Sunday, Belichick kicked a Hall of Fame coach while he was down, running up the score on Joe Gibbs' Redskins in a 52-7 win. This comes a week after Belichick reinserted quarterback Tom Brady midway through the fourth quarter of a 49-28 win over the Dolphins.

What seemed cute three weeks when Kyle Eckel scored late on a 1-yard run during the Pats' 48-27 win in Dallas has turned ugly.

Welcome to Belichick's no-mercy policy.

Although criticism and questions about Belichick's moves will further paint him as the bad guy in his showdown against Tony Dungy and the Colts next Sunday, the Pats coach simply doesn't care. He wore the black hoodie in the Week 1 spy incident and accepted his punishment. Now, he's making the league pay with blowouts.

That's why, on Sunday, he ...

• ... kept Brady on the field for an 88-yard drive six minutes into the fourth quarter despite already leading 38-0. On that 14-play drive, the Patriots went for a fourth-and-1 at the Redskins' 7 and ordered a 35-yard bomb to Randy Moss.

• ... went for a fourth-and-2 at the Redskins' 37 on the next possession while leading 45-0. Backup QB Matt Cassel hit Jabar Gaffney with a 21-yard pass. Two plays later, Cassel scrambled for a 15-yard touchdown run to open up a 52-0 lead.

Asked why he would go for two fourth downs in a blowout, Belichick responded, "What do you want us to do, kick a field goal?"

Pressed further, he said, "It's 38-0. It's fourth down. We're just out there playing."

Still, there's no doubt what he's really doing. Redskins veterans Phillip Daniels and Marcus Washington, who have 18 years combined NFL experience, both said they had never seen a team run up the score the way the Patriots are doing.

Face it, folks, Belichick plans to lay waste to the NFL. Commissioner Roger Goodell took away a first-rounder, so the Patriots will take away your firstborn. Belichick has assembled perhaps the most dominating team in NFL history, and he's intent on destroying all opponents in his path.

Will the Colts be next? Although Indianapolis is also undefeated, has beaten Patriots in their past three meetings and is the defending Super Bowl champ, New England is the early 4½-point favorite.

Sunday's game shows how Belichick plans to handle the rest of the season. Anyone thinking he will rest Brady in the final month before the playoffs is wrong. He will allow his future Hall of Fame quarterback to shatter every record imaginable.

Against the Redskins, Brady threw for three more touchdowns, bringing his eight-game total to 30 and increasing his team's scoring average to 41.3. Oh, and Brady also ran for two touchdowns.

[+] EnlargeJim Rogash/Getty Images

Joe Gibbs said he didn't mind that Bill Belichick maintained his aggressive nature late in Sunday's blowout.

Yes, Belichick did rest a few defensive starters in the final six minutes, but he blitzed and did everything to keep the Redskins out of the end zone. Veteran players who weren't on the field encouraged those on the field to maintain the shutout. Belichick was clearly disappointed when the Redskins scored with three minutes left.

As for Gibbs, he didn't have a problem with Belichick's tactics, The two coaches shook hands after the game, although they certainly didn't make a lot of small talk.

"No, I have no problem with anything that they did," Gibbs said. "Nothing, no problems from me."

But Redskins players such as Daniels did have a problem, saying flat out that Belichick was running up the score.

Of course, the Redskins didn't have the ability to stop it. Their defense entered the game short-handed and left beheaded. Fred Smoot, the team's third cornerback, couldn't play because of a hamstring injury. Linebacker Marcus Washington was limited to passing plays because of a sore hamstring. On the Patriots' first touchdown drive, starting cornerback Carlos Rogers suffered an injury that could range from a sprained MCL (out for a few days) to a torn ACL (lost for the season). Linebacker Rocky McIntosh also was injured.

Consequently, the Redskins lost their opportunity to match up with the Pats' top four receivers. Gibbs had just three true corners left on the active roster -- Shawn Springs, Leigh Torrence and David Macklin. Brady completed 29 of 38 for 306 yards and three touchdowns.

To make matters worse, Gibbs and the coaches lost their communication system during the game. They couldn't work the headsets.

"There were issues," Gibbs said. "It's a problem across the league. I don't want to use that as an excuse for what happened to us today. We'll just continue to let the league know what happened to us today, and we'll just have to see how they deal with it."

Belichick was aware of the problem but, naturally, didn't care. He was communicating his own way -- sending a message to the 31 other teams that the Pats will take no prisoners.

It's an attitude that's going over big in the Patriots' locker room.

"It's just something the coaching staff wants to do," wide receiver Donte' Stallworth said. "We're behind them for whatever they want to do. Whatever play they call, we are going to run it.

"We've been attacked since the start of the season, so we don't care. Whatever is going on out there, we just go out and play and try to execute what we are doing."

That's exactly what the Patriots are doing. They are executing everyone. Next stop is Indianapolis.

Hide the kids.

Posted by: Joe | November 23, 2007 7:10 PM | Report abuse

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