The Average Fan cannot believe his ears when he hears Tom Brady complaining that fans have given up on the Patriots. Since he is Tom Brady, the Fan is willing to cut him some slack this time:
... If saying those hurtful things is what you need to do to motivate your team and prepare yourself for a third straight SuperBowl run then so be it. Ray Lewis visualizes someone raping and murdering his family to get pumped for games, Tom Brady claims a lot of people have given up on him. Hey, whatever wakes you up in the morning. But I am here to tell you that less people are counting you out than you think. ...
Bruce notes this isn't the first time Brady and the Pats have played the disrespect game.
Emma notes how the Patriots clinched their third-straight divisional win with a 28-0 win:
... HOT LIKE WASABI. STYLING LIKE SHAFT. ROLLING LIKE PORSCHE.
WE ARE THE TEAM NO ONE'S GONNA WANT TO FACE IN JANUARY. ...
... I need to take up skiing to break up the winter.
Denton notes good news related to Tedy Bruschi, Jason Varitek, the Celtics and the Revolution, although he admits Bruschi's comeback, while inspiring, makes him nervous:
... Certainly the Patriots need him on defense, I just pray he isn't risking more than his football career.
Mats is glad to see him (and Corey Dillon) back, but adds:
... The Patriots remain a mess of a team on both sides of the ball, and special teams isnâ€™t anything to write home about either. Luckily, thereâ€™s still enough season left for the Patriots to put together a post-season challenge.
Bruce rounds up all the columnist reaction on Bruschi's return.
Firestarter: We can breathe now:
... The team played more like superbowl champs than the sorry bunch that showed up against San Diego. My biggest complaint? Penalties. WAY TOO MANY!!!! ...
Firestarter reviews the Patriots victory:
... This is not the team that won the superbowl last year, this is the team that won the year before-after just barely scraping by all season. Not a complaint about the win per se-my feeling is if they do it they do it, and that's what is most important. It's just frustrating to see good opportunities wasted. ...
It was a bad day all around for Jennifer, who started out watching the Pats:
But, that, uh, didn't go so well ("Touchdown my ass!"), so I switched over to the Sox. Sweet baby Jesus, that was even worse. I was so upset, I had to watch golf to calm down. ...
Bruce does his usual exhaustive job analyzing all angles of the John Dennis / Ryen Russillo voicemail controversy:
... Does Dennis have the "juice" to make a phone call and get Russillo kicked off the WBCN Patriots programming? He denies it to the Inside Track, but c'mon. He does have that juice. He's been jokingly referred to as another one of the Kraft sons, and his relationship with the family goes back to the time when Robert Kraft partially owned Channel 7 when Dennis was the sports anchor/director for the station prior to Kraft buying the Patriots. ...
... I was lying on my couch last night, toggling back and forth between the games, with a plate of Sicilian pizza next to me and Brighams Ice Cream tucked in the freezer. Can it get any better? Yes! When it's fall, late September, cool weather, and the Champs are battling for real. Last night was just practice.
... It only happens eight or nine times, maximum, each calendar year, so each of these nights is precious.
I love my two sports. I love nothing more than when they're both going on. ...
Christine comes down hard on a woman who kvetched that the Patriots wouldn't let her newborn into Gillette Stadium for free. Even aside from the money issue:
... Who would bring a 3 month old to Gillette Stadium in the first place, for pete's sake! That is the thing that I really can't wrap my head around. I won't even take my 8 year old to a live game because the fans all are drunk and puking and throwing things. I love the Pats as much as the next fan, but really. Who wants to deal with a 3 month old in that kind of environment? What if the baby can't deal with the screaming and cheering? Where do you go to make it happy? I know the screaming baby won't bother the average Joe Fan who is also screaming his head off in the stands so that isn't an issue really. He won't be able to be heard above the din of the crowd as they freak out for two whole hours. ...
Firestarter says she's not surprised that Bruschi will sit out the coming season, but sad nonetheless:
... He is the ultimate Patriot-everything it means to be a New England Patriot. ...
Was there *anybody* west of Worcester who didn't think ol' Peyton would destroy the Patriots?
BWAH! Bring on a real competitor.