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BRM
11-06-2007, 06:17 PM
Per ESPN (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=3097057)



Shula: Spygate would diminish a perfect Pats season

Don Shula likes the Patriots' chances of going undefeated, but the Bill Belichick-inspired spying scandal has clouded Shula's thinking when comparing New England with his unbeaten 1972 Dolphins team.

"The Spygate thing has diminished what they've accomplished," Shula said in an interview with the New York Daily News. "You would hate to have that attached to your accomplishments. They've got it."

Belichick was fined $500,000 and the Patriots were fined $250,000 and lost a first-round draft pick for videotaping the Jets' opposing sideline during the teams' season-opening game.

"That tells you the seriousness or significance of what they found," Shula said, according to the Daily News. "I guess you got the same thing as putting an asterisk by Barry Bonds' home run record.

"I guess it will be noted that the Patriots were fined and a No. 1 draft choice was taken away during that year of accomplishment. The sad thing is Tom Brady looks so good, it doesn't look like he needs any help."

The way the Patriots have been playing, Shula and the '72 Dolphins might find themselves answering more questions than in past years about whether their record will stand. New England improved to 9-0 on Sunday by beating the previously unbeaten Colts (7-1) in Indianapolis.

There have been serious runs made at the Dolphins' record before. The 1985 Bears started 12-0, then lost on a Monday night to a Dolphins team coached by Shula. The 1991 Redskins started 11-0 and the 1998 Broncos and 2005 Colts opened 13-0 before losing. Although members of the '72 Dolphins have become known for sipping champagne after the last unbeaten team falls by the wayside each season, Shula says stories of that annual celebration "have been blown out of proportion."

"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."

BuckeyeRed27
11-06-2007, 06:21 PM
Great idea. Let's put an asterisk next to everything. Clearly they are beating teams by 24 points a game because they might have gained some advantage tapping first half plays against a team the Bengals beat.

MaineRed
11-06-2007, 06:32 PM
Belichick was fined $500,000 and the Patriots were fined $250,000 and lost a first-round draft pick for videotaping the Jets' opposing sideline during the teams' season-opening game.

"That tells you the seriousness or significance of what they found," Shula said, according to the Daily News.

I have to admit to being quite curious what folks here think of the above comment from Shula. When the incident happened a good number of people here called the penalty a slap on the wrist.

Shula clearly implies that the penalty was quite harsh. Guess he must actually be a Patriots fan. Afterall only a New England fan would consider it a severe punishment.

MWM
11-06-2007, 06:47 PM
Sour grapes from the coach of the team that is at risk of no longer being the only undefeated team in history. The sad thing is, outside of Miami, few people over considered that the best team.

Chip R
11-06-2007, 06:51 PM
I think Shula is full of it here. And I'm speaking as a Dolphins fan who is a great admirer of his. I'd rather not see any team go undefeated but if it happens, it happens.

I do think he has a point when he says it is going to be diminished in some people's minds because of the cheating but people are going to feel like that no matter what.

GoReds33
11-06-2007, 06:57 PM
I am more intrested in the comments made by somebody on NFL Live on ESPN today. I don't know the guys name, but he suggested that they have heard some strange stuff on their headphones during the games. He suggested that cheating may be more widespread.

paintmered
11-06-2007, 07:00 PM
Sounds like he is more interested in keeping his place in history as the last coach to go undefeated than seeking justice.

KronoRed
11-06-2007, 07:24 PM
Hmm, gotta love that bitterness.

Blimpie
11-06-2007, 08:24 PM
Just two things:

1) Barry Bonds has already mandated that there should be no asterisks in sports, so it should be a non-story

2) I despise all people who simply put the word "-gate" on the end of a word to convey something that is clearly not that important in the day to day operations of the world.

Blimpie
11-06-2007, 08:29 PM
Hmm, gotta love that bitterness.I'll never forget when I was living in Florida during the 1985 Chicago Bears run at perfection.

In the days leading up to (still undefeated) Chicago's trip in to the Orange Bowl (on MNF if I am not mistaken), all of the old, decrepit, 1972 Dolphins were EVERYWHERE on television that week.

It was almost like a pep rally to see if they could inspire the 1985 Dolphin fans to overcome the Bears juggernaut--just so that they could continue this sad trip down amnesia lane.

I will never forget those dudes all popping champagne corks on the sidelines as though they had suited up for a quarter or two. Complete tools, the whole lot of them.

GAC
11-06-2007, 09:19 PM
Sour grapes from the coach of the team that is at risk of no longer being the only undefeated team in history. The sad thing is, outside of Miami, few people over considered that the best team.

I agree.

Maybe he's concerned because his current alma mater could go winless. :lol:

RedFanAlways1966
11-06-2007, 10:07 PM
"The Spygate thing has diminished what they've accomplished," Shula said in an interview with the New York Daily News. "You would hate to have that attached to your accomplishments. They've got it."

I am not a Dolphins fan or a member of the Don Shula fan club. But what he says is true. The Pats, after being warned about it prior to the big bust, got punished for filming the other teams signals. Some will dismiss it as no big deal and others will bring it up when discussing this great team. BUT, as Shula says... it is there.

I do not think Shula is dissing them. He is pointing out a fact. Fans talk about it (the spying thing) and the media talks about it (the spying thing). If it was today's Miami Dolphins or the St. Louis Rams, then no one would talk much about it. But when it is a great team with a legit shot at an undefeated record, then it gets talked about. Shula evens says that it does not seem that they need any help. But unfortunately someone in the organization decided to ignore the warning and now "it" will be mentioned by some when discussing perhaps one of the NFL's best teams in the history of the league.

Right or wrong for it being brought up when this great team is mentioned? It happened and they were wrong for doing it. Did it win games? Probably not. But they (not the talented players) did it and unfortunately have it attached to their great team by many.

RedsBaron
11-07-2007, 03:56 AM
Sour grapes from the coach of the team that is at risk of no longer being the only undefeated team in history. The sad thing is, outside of Miami, few people over considered that the best team.

I don't regard Miami's undefeated 1972 team as even being the greatest NFL team on the 1970s, let alone the greatest team ever. If it was possible to match up the 1972 Dolphins against the 1975 or 1978 Steelers, I would bet on Pittsburgh, and I hated those Steelers teams.

sonny
11-07-2007, 04:15 AM
I would put an asterik next to Shula's 35 pounds lost on the Nutrasystem, since it wasn't earned with excersise.

blumj
11-07-2007, 08:51 AM
I am not a Dolphins fan or a member of the Don Shula fan club. But what he says is true. The Pats, after being warned about it prior to the big bust, got punished for filming the other teams signals. Some will dismiss it as no big deal and others will bring it up when discussing this great team. BUT, as Shula says... it is there.

I do not think Shula is dissing them. He is pointing out a fact. Fans talk about it (the spying thing) and the media talks about it (the spying thing). If it was today's Miami Dolphins or the St. Louis Rams, then no one would talk much about it. But when it is a great team with a legit shot at an undefeated record, then it gets talked about. Shula evens says that it does not seem that they need any help. But unfortunately someone in the organization decided to ignore the warning and now "it" will be mentioned by some when discussing perhaps one of the NFL's best teams in the history of the league.

Right or wrong for it being brought up when this great team is mentioned? It happened and they were wrong for doing it. Did it win games? Probably not. But they (not the talented players) did it and unfortunately have it attached to their great team by many.

I'm not saying it shouldn't be brought up, but it's difficult to see the logic of putting an asterisk on their accomplishments that occurred AFTER they got caught, unless you make the assumption that they're still getting away with doing it after being caught and punished for it and presumably being more heavily scrutinized than they had been before and likely more closely watched than anyone else. Because they got caught in the first quarter of the first game of the season in question and never even had possession of the videotape they got caught filming. It makes more sense to question the Pats accomplishments from before they got caught. You can easily make the leap that they'd been filming other teams' defensive signals for years, it's difficult to imagine that they've continued doing it since that Jets game.

RedsFan75
11-07-2007, 10:20 AM
Not a Pats fan, but I would root for them to go undefeated just to shut up that Dolphins team.

But it probably wouldn't!

RedsManRick
11-07-2007, 10:22 AM
I say Shula's Dolphins should get the asterisk, given that they only had to win 14 games to do it.

NJReds
11-07-2007, 10:26 AM
I can't stand the Pats, but the undefeated Dolphins team annoys me even more. Go Pats.

By the way, the Pats 14th and 15th games are against the Jets and Dolphins, respectively. If I was a betting man, I'd take the over.

WebScorpion
11-07-2007, 10:58 AM
I'm also not a big fan of celebrating every year when a great team loses if you don't even take the field. Being involved in the annual hype, I can understand...but popping champagne corks? Come on...get over yourself! I see this as just Shula trying to say they'll still be the only 'real' undefeated team even if the 2007 Pats go undefeated.

Perhaps their first victory against the Jets is tainted, but the whole season? Come on Shula, you're grasping at straws. I watched the '72 Dolphins and just loved their grinding style of play. They came at you with both (Csonka and Kikk) barrels and dared you to stop them. But I really hate what they have become in their old age.

klw
11-07-2007, 06:05 PM
Has anyone reminded the Dolphins of all the previous undefeated NFL teams that happened to play before the merger?

http://www.profootballhof.com/history/decades/1940s/undefeated.jsp

MaineRed
11-07-2007, 06:29 PM
I'm also not a big fan of celebrating every year when a great team loses if you don't even take the field. Being involved in the annual hype, I can understand...but popping champagne corks? Come on...get over yourself! I see this as just Shula trying to say they'll still be the only 'real' undefeated team even if the 2007 Pats go undefeated.


Totally agree that Shula is being a dope.

But ..................

If the whole champagne thing was being done by a group of old Reds for something they had done we'd be eating it up with a spoon. Then if someone came along and said it was stupid that person would get attacked and probably run off the board.

Plus, I've heard the whole champagne thing is quite overstated. In case people hadn't figured it out, the 72 Dolphins don't sit around on Sunday's watching football together.

http://www.snopes.com/sports/football/miami72.asp

According to this 3 Dolphins, Nick Buoniconti, Bob Griese and another guy who live in Miami do get together.

Don't really see what is wrong with it.

Blimpie
11-07-2007, 06:33 PM
Totally agree that Shula is being a dope.

But ..................

If the whole champagne thing was being done by a group of old Reds for something they had done we'd be eating it up with a spoon. Then if someone came along and said it was stupid that person would get attacked and probably run off the board.

Plus, I've heard the whole champagne thing is quite overstated. In case people hadn't figured it out, the 72 Dolphins don't sit around on Sunday's watching football together.

http://www.snopes.com/sports/football/miami72.asp

According to this 3 Dolphins, Nick Buoniconti, Bob Griese and another guy who live in Miami do get together.

Don't really see what is wrong with it.They may not normally watch together, but when the undefeated 1985 Bears came to the Orange Bowl on MNF, it appeared that all surviving members were given sideline passes.

I am not exaggerating.

KronoRed
11-07-2007, 06:43 PM
Has anyone reminded the Dolphins of all the previous undefeated NFL teams that happened to play before the merger?

http://www.profootballhof.com/history/decades/1940s/undefeated.jsp

I bet they don't count because they didn't win the super bowl ;)

Chip R
11-07-2007, 06:54 PM
They may not normally watch together, but when the undefeated 1985 Bears came to the Orange Bowl on MNF, it appeared that all surviving members were given sideline passes.

I am not exaggerating.


So what? It was 1985. It's not like those guys were old and decrepit. It was 13 years after the perfect season. Most of those guys played for a few years after that so they weren't exactly going out there in their wheelchairs and walkers. They were just trying to give the Dolphins a little more incentive to win.

The Reds were the last NL team to win back to back pennants. Let's say the Rockies and the Reds faced off next year in the NLCS. Would you have any objection to the Reds bringing Perez, Bench, Griffey, et. al, and putting them in a luxury box to give a little extra incentive for the Reds to beat the Rockies?

It's the media that makes a big deal out of it, not the players.

MaineRed
11-07-2007, 07:09 PM
They may not normally watch together, but when the undefeated 1985 Bears came to the Orange Bowl on MNF, it appeared that all surviving members were given sideline passes.

I am not exaggerating.

All surviving members? The oldest guy at that time might have been 50. Anyone know what the life expectancy was for an American male back in 1985?

What were there, 5 or 10 of them left. Polio and the plague got the rest didn't they?

Seriously, are we going to be talking about the living members of the 2006 Colts in 12 years?

RedFanAlways1966
11-07-2007, 09:18 PM
The Reds were the last NL team to win back to back pennants. Let's say the Rockies and the Reds faced off next year in the NLCS. Would you have any objection to the Reds bringing Perez, Bench, Griffey, et. al, and putting them in a luxury box to give a little extra incentive for the Reds to beat the Rockies?

Not sure if you are just using this as an "example only thing", Chip, but since the REDS back-to-back in 1975-76...

Dodgers 1977-78
Braves 1991-92 & 1995-96

Okay... back to the football thing! :D

Reds Freak
11-07-2007, 09:56 PM
This really has nothing to do with whether or not there should be an asterisk next to the Pats record and in no way am I defending what Shula said. However, I am getting tired of those out there who have defended Belicheck and the Pats for blatantly cheating for who knows how long. I heard Phil Simms on Mike and Mike this morning. He said the Pats cheating is not a big deal because everyone knew they were doing it and you change your defensive signals every week anyway. Oh okay Phil, so you're saying it is okay to cheat, lie, steal, etc. as long as some people know you are doing it. Under his logic and the logic of others saying the same thing, it was okay for baseball players to use steroids because other players and those inside baseball knew about it.

And what's with everyone complaining about losing headset communication every time they play a close game in Foxboro? Who knows what else is going on, the whole thing is fishy to me so I'll continue to hate on the Patriots...

Blimpie
11-08-2007, 07:29 PM
The Reds were the last NL team to win back to back pennants. Let's say the Rockies and the Reds faced off next year in the NLCS. Would you have any objection to the Reds bringing Perez, Bench, Griffey, et. al, and putting them in a luxury box to give a little extra incentive for the Reds to beat the Rockies?Personally, I feel there is a big difference between them sitting in a luxury box and them standing on the sidelines. In my opinion, at that moment, it was not about them but they continued to interject themselves into the spotlight.

I am actually a Miami Dolphin fan, and I could not care less what the media say about the annual "celebrations" of the 1972 Dolphins. I have my own personal opinions about them and I think they should handle events like this with a little more tact.

Blimpie
11-08-2007, 07:33 PM
All surviving members? The oldest guy at that time might have been 50. Anyone know what the life expectancy was for an American male back in 1985?

What were there, 5 or 10 of them left. Polio and the plague got the rest didn't they?

Seriously, are we going to be talking about the living members of the 2006 Colts in 12 years?Wow....You have got me there. Instead of "surviving," perhaps a better choice of word would have been "available."

I was not offering any commentary about the collective health of the mighty '72 Dolphins. Sincerest apologies to all immediate family members who have been offended by my terrible breach of protocol.

MaineRed
11-08-2007, 07:38 PM
Wow....You have got me there. Instead of "surviving," perhaps a better choice of word would have been "available."

I was not offering any commentary about the collective health of the mighty '72 Dolphins. Sincerest apologies to all immediate family members who have been offended by my terrible breach of protocol.

Come on, most of these guys were probably 40 or older. The 7 or 8 who were still alive probably had to get written permission to leave the nursing home.

:beerme:

GAC
11-08-2007, 09:05 PM
Totally agree that Shula is being a dope.

But ..................

If the whole champagne thing was being done by a group of old Reds for something they had done we'd be eating it up with a spoon. Then if someone came along and said it was stupid that person would get attacked and probably run off the board.

And I agree. It's a record. Just like Cobb's hit record or Ruth's HR record. For a long time people thought they'd never be broken. Some still stand (Dimaggio's). So it's not uncommon or unheard of it there are some who want to see that record stand or not be broken. Call it tradition or whatever. And some get very "possessive" of those records and say or do things like what Shula has.

Records are made to be broken.

blumj
11-08-2007, 09:40 PM
Come on, most of these guys were probably 40 or older. The 7 or 8 who were still alive probably had to get written permission to leave the nursing home.

:beerme:
Between concussions and steroids, that's maybe a little too close to the truth for a lot of ex-NFLers to really be as funny as it should be. Unfortunately.

Razor Shines
11-09-2007, 03:52 PM
The only thing I think this means is that the Pats will beat the Dolphins 98-0 later this year.

westofyou
11-14-2007, 01:47 PM
http://joeposnanski.com/JoeBlog/


– Now, first of all, I like Shula, and it always makes me happy when people rip Bill Belichick. The guy did cheat during that Jets game, and if the NFL would make Belichick forfeit the game, I would laugh heartily and raise a glass to whoever the heck is the commissioner now. I would do the same if they decided to jail Belichick or deport him or banish him to the Arena League for a year. He might not be in the front row, but I’m quite sure Belichick would make the field at the NOGGIS 500*

*Changed the race name from “Not Especially Great Guys In Sports” or NEGGIS 500 to “Not Overly Great Guys In Sports” or NOGGIS 500 in honor of regular poster presidential candidate Rep. Dennis Kucinich and also the team formerly known as the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and also because I think Not Overly Great Guys In Sports is actually a little bit funnier name.

That said: Maybe we can stop with the asterisk talk already. Seriously, put down the asterisk, you’re going to hurt somebody with that thing. We have become such a hindsight, backward-looking sports culture. This is why I still despise using instant replay in all sports. I understand the point — the big idea is to get the call right no matter how long it might take. In football replay has become such an integral part of the game that you just can’t go back.

But I still despise it. Nothing is real. Instant replay gives us asterisk feelings. An amazing play happens — a quarterback throws a bomb, a receiver dives and catches it — the referee signals touchdown and … and what do you feel? You feel thrilled*

*Pending further review.

Then you see the replay and, oh oh, he may have not caught the ball. It may have hit the ground. Now there’s a red flag thrown. How do you feel? You feel worried*

*Especially because the announcers are saying they’re going to overturn it.

Then they show another replay on TV from another angle and this time, you know what? Yeah, it looks like he DID catch the ball, maybe. It looks like he may have had an finger under the ball so that it never hit the ground. Maybe. You feel hopeful*

*Because while we’re still not sure he caught the ball, it does look like there may not be enough visual evidence to OVERTURN the play.

Then, finally, the official comes out and he says, “After further review, the play stands as called.” Now how do you feel? You feel relieved*

*Which means in about 90 seconds of watching the same play over and over again, you went from thrilled to relieved, which isn’t the way you’re supposed to watch sports.

Anyway, this is everywhere in our culture now. It’s like we can’t enjoy anything we see because someone might take it away. It’s all pending. There’s an asterisk hanging over our heads every minute. Hundred meter dash world record? Asterisk it. Every single thing we saw in baseball from 1993 to 2003? Asterisk it. Bill Belichick’s sex, lies and videotape game? Asterisk it. And you can’t count on anything.

“Bob, I’m giving you a raise.”
“Really? That’s awesome. I want to thank …”
“Wait. I might not give you that raise Bob. I’m thinking about it.”
“But, um, wait, you said …”
“What did I say? I was sort of groggy just then. Sleeping pills last night.”
“You offered me a raise.”
“I did, huh? Can’t really remember that. Gonna have to look at the video.”
“There’s no video of it.”
“Well, Bob, you’re still doing one helluva job.”

I wonder if people have to ask someone to marry them twice now, you know, just to be sure.

There’s one other point about asterisks, and it’s related to something I was discussing with Bill James recently: He was saying that no matter how hard you try, you can never take bias completely out of data. You can use park effects, you can try to consider strength of schedule, you can neutralize until your head looks like the flag of Switzerland. But there will still be bias in there. No two players, no two teams, no two moments are alike. It’s just that way. Identical twins hit back-to-back home runs against the same pitcher on the same pitch to the same spot, and it’s likely that the wind was blowing 1-mph harder for one than for the other.

And this is how it is for asterisks. Should there be an asterisk for every baseball game prior to 1947 because African Americans were barred from the Major Leagues? How about an asterisk for every game after 1968 because the mounds were lowered? How about saying that a .300 hitter today is much better than a .300 hitter in 1927 because baseball gloves are so much bigger? How about saying that a .300 hitter in 1965 is better than a .300 hitter in 2007 because there were fewer teams. And if that’s the case what do you do with relievers? Night games? Greenies? Better bats? Different kinds of astroturf? Domes? Better lights? Sliders? Video tape? Steroids? Weight rooms? Tommy John surgeries? Lasik eye surgeries? Air travel? New Stadiums? You could go on and on forever really. You could slap an asterisk on anything. So maybe it would be best to stop bringing up asterisks every five minutes and let us enjoy these moments without worrying about them being overturned.

Also, I think this has to be said: Don Shula and that 1972 Dolphins team should appreciate that they had a special season, and we all admire them for it, and they would lose to this Patriots team by about 278 points. Come on. Times have changed. Their best defender was 5-11, 220 pounds (Nick Buoniconti), their best offensive linemen (Bob Kuechenberg, Larry Little) weighed less than 270 pounds, their quarterback most of that year was 38-year-old Earl Morrall, their best receiver (Paul Warfield) caught 2 passes and they did not face a single playoff team that whole regular season.

I do not come bearing asterisks, you 1972 Dolphins. It was a great season. You have your place in history. And if you want to root against the Patriots this year so you will be alone in the undefeated column, please, root away. Anything that makes Bill Belichick suffer humiliations galore makes me happy. But really, honestly, it gives me no joy to say this, even if the Patriots somehow lose a game, they would have destroyed you guys. Even if they had an asterisk at left guard and another playing middle linebacker.

Blimpie
11-14-2007, 07:26 PM
Posnanski rawks...

Do you know if he is still writing for the Kansas City paper?

westofyou
11-14-2007, 09:49 PM
Posnanski rawks...

Do you know if he is still writing for the Kansas City paper?

Yes he is.

And seriously.. he is by far my favorite writer right now. His stuff is intelligent, classy and funny.

Blimpie
11-14-2007, 11:10 PM
Yes he is.

And seriously.. he is by far my favorite writer right now. His stuff is intelligent, classy and funny.I agree. Our local paper here used to feature a columnist named Chuck Culpepper (who has since moved on to greener pastures than Lexington).

Culpepper was hysterical in his own right; however, he used to quote Posnanski quite often within his weekly columns. That endorsement by itself was enough to get me looking online for Posnanski years ago.

With the talent he has, Posnanski could grab Rick Reilly's job at SI in a New York minute...I'm glad to hear that he is content with the "small town" attributes of KC.

RedsBaron
11-15-2007, 04:59 AM
Posnanski's article is great, but either he erred or there is a typo-Paul Warfield caught more than two passes in 1972. Warfield had 29 receptions for 606 yards, an average of 20.9 yards per reception, with 3 TDs. Miami didn't pass much. Put Warfield in his prime on a team such as New England or the Colts and he'd catch 80+ passes with 15 TDs.

Hoosier Red
11-15-2007, 09:48 AM
He probably means 2 passes per game.

WebScorpion
11-15-2007, 12:08 PM
...you can neutralize until your head looks like the flag of Switzerland.

I love that line! :thumbup:

Thanks WOY. Excellent article.

MWM
11-15-2007, 01:42 PM
I liked the article as well, although I disagree about replay. I do wish they'd figure out a way to make it shorter, but I prefer getting the calls right to sustaining an emotion.

blumj
11-15-2007, 05:35 PM
I liked the article as well, although I disagree about replay. I do wish they'd figure out a way to make it shorter, but I prefer getting the calls right to sustaining an emotion.
Yeah, the problem is, the audience sees the replay, and the emotion still changes whether it counts officially or not.

gm
11-19-2007, 01:35 AM
If the 'Fins go 0-fer-2007 would that cancel out '72?

KronoRed
11-19-2007, 03:29 AM
Do the 76 Bucs get together and toast the last team to get a win? :D

RedsBaron
11-19-2007, 07:33 AM
I do not care for Belichick, nor am I particularly a Patriots fan, but I would somewhat enjoy seeing New England go 19-0 just to shut up Shula and the rest of the 1972 Dolphins.

MWM
11-19-2007, 08:57 AM
No one is going to touch NE. After the Indy gam, I'd venture to say no one is going to come within two touchdowns of them. They're just so much better than everyone else. They're going to mkae the post season the most boring in recent history. I"ve never seen anything like this.

westofyou
11-19-2007, 10:35 AM
http://joeposnanski.com/JoeBlog/


Let’s get this out of the way: Patriots … undefeated or no?

Naw. I spent a lot of time with Tony Dungy the year the Colts almost went undefeated and while we all like to speculate, the truth is the players and coaches don’t really care all that much about 16-0 and they certainly won’t risk wearing out their starters or getting them injured before the playoffs just to get 16 wins. I could see a Ditka or a Wyche going for it but, sadly, those kinds of coaches aren’t around anymore. Instead we get sourpusses like Belichick who will derive some kind of sick pleasure from depriving fans and media a chance to see this happen.

Plus, fast forward to Week 17. The Pats will have the No. 1 seed wrapped up, with no incentive to play hard and they’ll be playing their backups in New York against the Giants who will be fighting for their post-season life. As much as I hate that Miami champagne ritual, 16-0 is not gonna happen. (Did you know the 1972 Miami team had the second easiest schedule of any Super Bowl champ?) So if they keep going the way they are and win the Super Bowl, the Patriots won’t need 16-0 to be considered the best team ever. You don’t define greatness with a stat, anyway.

blumj
11-19-2007, 12:12 PM
I love Posnanski, but I don't think he necessarily "gets" Belichick especially. Plus, I think there's probably a decent chance that the Giants won't have anything left to play for by then, either. They're 7-3, but with almost no shot to win their division. I don't know why he expects what looks to me like the 3rd best team in the NFC to have to still be playing for their playoff lives on the last day.

westofyou
11-19-2007, 12:17 PM
I love Posnanski, but I don't think he necessarily "gets" Belichick especially. Plus, I think there's probably a decent chance that the Giants won't have anything left to play for by then, either. They're 7-3, but with almost no shot to win their division. I don't know why he expects what looks to me like the 3rd best team in the NFC to have to still be playing for their playoff lives on the last day.

The quote was from Dave Fleming, who Joe was interviewing.

Blimpie
11-19-2007, 09:00 PM
Do the 76 Bucs get together and toast the last team to get a win? :DIf only Coach McKay was still around to pop the cork...

He is still the author of one of my all-time favorite quotes from a pigskin coach:


John McKay was the first coach of the Tampa Buccaneers. Like most expansion teams, the Bucs were terrible. Unlike the coaches of most expansion teams, John McKay had a track record as the highly successful coach of the USC Trojans. A sportswriter caught McKay right after a particularly ugly loss:


"Coach McKay... What do you think of your team's execution?"


"I'm in favor of it."

Razor Shines
11-20-2007, 12:29 AM
No one is going to touch NE. After the Indy gam, I'd venture to say no one is going to come within two touchdowns of them. They're just so much better than everyone else. They're going to mkae the post season the most boring in recent history. I"ve never seen anything like this.

After that Indy game I think the Colts will at least give the Pats a good game in the playoffs. They played them close missing a bunch of starters to injuries. Injuries are part of the game, no excuses, but I think if(and that's a big IF) the Colts are healthy in the playoffs they have a chance to beat the Pats even in New England. Of course the Colts could get blown out as punishment for giving the Pats a close game during the regular season.

MWM
11-20-2007, 12:43 AM
Not without Freeney, and not in NE, IMO.

I think they're going to win in the playoffs by similar margins to what they're winning now. The only thing that cold derail the Pats are injuries to the offensive line or Randy Moss (or obviously Tom Brady, but I can't imagine him getting hurt).

Yachtzee
11-20-2007, 05:23 AM
Not without Freeney, and not in NE, IMO.

I think they're going to win in the playoffs by similar margins to what they're winning now. The only thing that cold derail the Pats are injuries to the offensive line or Randy Moss (or obviously Tom Brady, but I can't imagine him getting hurt).

Or hubris. I keep waiting for Tom Brady to say something silly to offend the football gods, so that they may smite him. Actually, Ben Roethlestburger has done plenty to incur the wrath of the football gods and they have yet to smite him. Oh football gods, why have you foresaken me?

;)

RedFanAlways1966
11-25-2007, 10:34 PM
Wow... who woulda thunk the Eagles, with AJ Feely at QB, would be leading 21-17 with 3:00 left in the 1st half (at NE)?

Pretty interesting, but the Pats might still cover the spread in the end! :p:

blumj
11-25-2007, 11:02 PM
Wow... who woulda thunk the Eagles, with AJ Feely at QB, would be leading 21-17 with 3:00 left in the 1st half (at NE)?

Pretty interesting, but the Pats might still cover the spread in the end! :p:

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/boxscore?gameId=241220015
AJ Feeley owns the Pats.

SteelSD
11-25-2007, 11:14 PM
Or hubris. I keep waiting for Tom Brady to say something silly to offend the football gods, so that they may smite him. Actually, Ben Roethlestburger has done plenty to incur the wrath of the football gods and they have yet to smite him. Oh football gods, why have you foresaken me?

;)

Wha??? The football gods tried to kill Roethisberger twice (motorcycle accident, ruptured appendix) in 2006. Does he actually have to be killed in a horrible pre-game goal post accident to be truly "smote"?;)

MaineRed
11-25-2007, 11:20 PM
God doesn't affect football games and the football gods don't affect motorcyle rides, just football.

I saw it on ESPN 360. Jeremey Schapp, ESPN, got interviews with a couple of them. They were cast in shadows so you couldn't see them but it was still pretty interesting. I won't give away too much in case anyone hasn't seen it.

Yachtzee
11-25-2007, 11:32 PM
Wha??? The football gods tried to kill Roethisberger twice (motorcycle accident, ruptured appendix) in 2006. Does he actually have to be killed in a horrible pre-game goal post accident to be truly "smote"?;)

As MaineRed said, I think motorcycle accidents and ruptured appendices are beyond the jurisdiction of the football gods. Those would have to be attributed to either bad luck or a smiting from a non-football-related diety.

;)

SteelSD
11-26-2007, 12:18 AM
God doesn't affect football games and the football gods don't affect motorcyle rides, just football.

I saw it on ESPN 360. Jeremey Schapp, ESPN, got interviews with a couple of them. They were cast in shadows so you couldn't see them but it was still pretty interesting. I won't give away too much in case anyone hasn't seen it.


As MaineRed said, I think motorcycle accidents and ruptured appendices are beyond the jurisdiction of the football gods. Those would have to be attributed to either bad luck or a smiting from a non-football-related diety.

;)

I see...

So you guys are looking for something akin to Joey Porter rushing through Pitt's porous offensive line to hit Ben low in order to cause a torn ACL.

I stand corrected. ;)

Caveat Emperor
11-26-2007, 12:23 AM
Do the 76 Bucs get together and toast the last team to get a win? :D

They all crack a case of Milwaukee's Best and drink until it stops hurting.

deltachi8
11-26-2007, 12:38 AM
I see...

So you guys are looking for something akin to Joey Porter rushing through Pitt's porous offensive line to hit Ben low in order to cause a torn ACL.

I stand corrected. ;)

:laugh:

Yachtzee
11-26-2007, 11:21 PM
I see...

So you guys are looking for something akin to Joey Porter rushing through Pitt's porous offensive line to hit Ben low in order to cause a torn ACL.

I stand corrected. ;)

That seems more like irony than football gods at work, considering where Joey Porter cut his chops. Besides, nobody wants to hear about how Joey Porter almost killed him and how it will be the most amazing comeback from a torn ACL and what a brave performance he is making in coming back from such a horrid injury. I think a good case of the yips would suffice.

;)

For the record, I don't wish injury upon anyone.

Blimpie
01-30-2008, 10:11 PM
As a Dolphin fan, I can honestly say that Mercury Morris needs to shut his mouth and begin his preparation for Del Boca Vista: Phase IV. What a bunch of tools the '72 Dolphins are....

http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/7718954/'72-Dolphins-don't-want-to-face-the-truth#


'72 Dolphins don't want to face the truth
By Mark Kriegel

Updated: January 25, 2008, 8:01 PM EST

A champagne toast is in order. Raise a glass for the 1972 Miami Dolphins, a team that has finally succeeded in diminishing its own perfect season.
The latest silly salvo directed at the undefeated New England Patriots comes from Mercury Morris, now 61, who went on the radio the other day and spoke his apparently deteriorating mind.

"They win on February 3, and they're the second-best team in the history of the NFL," said Morris. "We're the first team. ... If they win, they're going to be the second team."

So there.


Of course, every team deserves to be judged in the context of its time. That said, a 19-0 season — New England's record should it win the Super Bowl — would be more impressive than Miami's mark, 17-0. Anyone not named Mercury Morris can do the math on that one.

What's more, Dolphins alums like Morris were not well-advised to call attention to themselves, or else someone like me would remind you of their dirty little secret. The '72 team benefited from one of the easiest schedules in NFL history. Bash the Patriots and their coach all you want. I do. Just understand that with a game left to play, they are nothing if not tested, as their regular season included victories over six playoff teams — the Colts, Cowboys, Chargers, Steelers, Giants and Redskins.

Now, go back and check the '72 Dolphins. Their regular season included only two games against teams that finished better than .500 — the Vikings and the Giants, who were both 8-6 that year. The combined won-loss record of their opponents was 43-86-3. Let me rephrase. Their average opponent had a winning percentage of .333.

There are some notably sane Dolphin alums. Jim Mandich, a tight end on that '72 team, comes to mind. When recently asked how that team would do against these Patriots, he responded: "They would kick our (butts) from one side of the field to the other."

There's no shame in that, just common sense. As a rule, ballplayers get bigger, stronger and faster every year. The Patriots have 35 years of athletic evolution (not to mention a little HGH, in the case of Rodney Harrison) on their side. The Dolphins offensive line averaged 253 pounds. The front three starters on New England's defense range from 300 to 325 pounds.

Still, Mandich's teammates seem incapable of acknowledging the obvious.

"The weight issue is overstated," the Dolphins' old center, Jim Langer, told The Miami Herald. "Another 50 pounds doesn't mean a damn thing. It's all about leverage."

Said Bob Kuechenberg, once a guard: "If we play under the old rules" — basically enabling the defense to beat up receivers all over the field — "we win going away."

Fifty pounds doesn't mean a thing. We win going away. Lines like these — so contemptuous of an obvious truth — could be dismissed as a mere goof if they weren't also a little sad. No one wants to hear old men sound like little boys. But then again, maybe that's what this is about. It says right here that these ex-Dolphins don't resent the Patriots nearly as much for cheating as for making them feel old.

The undefeated season seemed to confer an eternal standing. But faced with the prospect of an even better undefeated team, the aging Dolphins are being forced to confront their own mortality.

As Charlie Babb, the former Miami safety, told my colleague Alex Marvez, "The older I get, the more it means. More than anything else, that's all that we have left."


They've spent months trying to rationalize their everlasting superiority, building hypothetical constructs that might favor their cause. They neglect their soft schedule, of course. Instead, they dwell on the old rules, as if that could possibly help them. They talk of having to play with their second-string quarterback, Earl Morrall, for 10 games. And, of course, there was the suggestion — first advanced by Don Shula — that an undefeated Patriots season should be designated with an asterisk.

New England was caught illicitly stealing defensive signals in the first week against the Jets. That alone is reason enough to root against them and to dislike the coach. Spygate might cast suspicion on Bill Belichick's career -- what of a coach who made cheating part of the game plan? -- but not this season. Again, the Pats were busted in Week 1 against the Jets, a team they beat by 24. It's not as if Belichick got caught in, say, Week 10. He never got a chance to study and make use of the stolen signs.

So there goes Shula's asterisk. It bears mention, by the way, that Shula wasn't always comfortable with hypothetical scenarios. Back in 1989, Steve Sabol of NFL Films came up with an elaborately modeled computer program featuring 20 of the greatest NFL teams in an elimination tournament. According to Dave Hyde's Still Perfect: The Untold Story of the 1972 Miami Dolphins, Shula detested the idea, and kept calling Sabol to see how the computer was treating his legacy.

"That team never got the credit it deserved," he would say.

Still, the computer Dolphins won every "game" until the very last, when they lost to the '78 Steelers. Not long after that Dream Bowl, as it was called, Sabol made the mistake of picking up his phone. It was Shula, hollering in what Hyde would describe as "a voice of rage."

"What kind of computer is that?" he asked.

Shula and his former players have made it a habit to pop of bottle of champagne following the first defeat of each season's last undefeated team. They might find themselves toasting the Patriots' loss on Feb. 3. The Giants have a legitimate shot. More likely, though, the 1972 Dolphins will learn of their fate the hard way. This is no Super Bowl for old men.

WMR
01-30-2008, 10:23 PM
Didn't Mercury Morris and a bunch of the Dolphins get busted for cocaine?

RedsBaron
01-31-2008, 06:31 AM
I'm not particularly a fan of either the Patriots or the Giants, nor do I really "hate" either team. In that situation, I usually end up rooting for the underdog, but in the case of this year's Super Bowl I may wind up rooting for the Patriots solely because of all of the idiots on the 1972 Dolphins.
The 1972 Miami Dolphins are not even the greatest NFL team of the 1970s, let alone the greatest NFL team ever.

RedsFan75
01-31-2008, 09:36 AM
...
The 1972 Miami Dolphins are not even the greatest NFL team of the 1970s, let alone the greatest NFL team ever.

Totally agree with everything you said RB, and I know we'll have to hear of the "Dynasty" for a long time...

But I'll be rooting for the Pats just so the 72 Dolphins will fade away, but it seems that they still have an overblown sense of themselves and I fear they will not go quietly into that dark night.

Yachtzee
01-31-2008, 09:46 AM
I'm torn between who I want to win.

1. I'd really like to know what was on those tapes from the Patriots that the NFL found to be so dangerous they had to destroy them so quickly. If there was serious evidence of cheating on there, then the public, as a consumer of professional football, has a right to know about it. If the tapes showed cheating, but the level of cheating wasn't so great, why destroy the tapes? Seems like a cover up to me. It may not have much effect on what they did this season, but it certainly casts a shadow on their legacy in the Belicheck era. It also makes you wonder if they aren't cheating in other ways and just haven't been caught. They also like to play very dirty, with guys like Rodney Harrison, Vince Wilfork, Richard Seymour, and Matt Light being singled out in the media lately. Maybe they aren't any more dirty than the Denver Broncos offensive lines when Alex Wood was still coaching there, but it does seem like the Pats like to collect dirty players.

2. That being said, the '72 Dolphins really need to shut their pie holes and put the champagne away for good. They are probably the worst group of sore winners I've ever heard of. The way they act, I'd almost like to see the next five seasons have some team go undefeated, just so that we never have to hear about these jerkstores ever again.

Deepred05
02-01-2008, 02:02 AM
Didn't Mercury Morris and a bunch of the Dolphins get busted for cocaine?

Morris spent a few years in prison if my memory serves me correctly.

I also seem to recall that the Dolphins had three 1,000 yard rushers that season. (Mercury, Kiick, and Csonka.) I might be mistaken about that though.

KronoRed
02-01-2008, 03:20 AM
Nah only 2
http://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/mia/1972.htm

cumberlandreds
02-01-2008, 08:25 AM
You would think these guys (72 Dolphins) could enjoy the fact that they were the first to accomplish an undefeated season. That's something no one can ever exceed. I just don't understand their mentality at all. They had to know someday,someone else would go undefeated even though the Pats aren't quite there yet.