Putting Up or Shutting Up
(Photo from Boston.com)
You know, Tom Brady made a really good point in his post game interview last night when the press was trying to bait him into saying something stupid or newsworthy about Anthony Smith's "guarantee" of a Steelers victory yesterday. Brady largely deferred to "executing the game plan" and "playing smart football" but he did finally say, "You know, he's the one who has to go back in that locker room." Fair point, Thomas. And I, for one, would not want to be Anthony Smith showing up at Steelers practice tomorrow.
Because the Patriots certainly would never claim that they don't respect the Steelers. The Patriots would never claim that they don't respect anyone because that would be bulletin board material and they don't so much do that. But this wasn't coming from Hines Ward. It wasn't coming from Willie Parker. It wasn't even coming from Ben Roethlisberger because, despite what I often find to be Baby Ben's, um, lack of intelligence, he at least appears smart enough not to let fly with something like that. But it came from a second year replacement safety who was picked on mercilessly throughout the course of the game. That, I'm sure, a result of his fast mouth. The Pats would deny it, I'm certain. But my guess is that if Troy Polamalu had been playing, they wouldn't have victimized him in the same way. That's largely to do with the fact that Polamalu keeps his mouth shut and plays excellent football. In fact, I consider him the Mariano Rivera of the Pittsburgh Steelers. The one guy who, if he were on my team, I'd totally dig, despite the fact that he currently plays for my enemy. So yeah, Polamalu not playing definitely helped the Pats. But after Smith's guarantee, I'm not sure they needed much help.
And I'm not gonna lie, it was indeed sweet to see him burned on two of those touchdown passes. Especially the wacky gadget play that Brady and Moss pulled out that resulted in a Gaffney TD.
And the fact that they both call him, "Jab?" Love.
Everyone seems to be saying that the whole perfect season thing is now a foregone conclusion, the Pats having gotten the remaining hurdle in the form of the Steelers out of the way. I, of course, won't look at things that way because, despite the fact that the next two weeks against the Jets and Dolphins are the definition of "trap game," I think---what? Stop laughing! Any given Sunday, people. I know I pretend that the Monday night game against Miami where the Dolphins dressed as traffic cones and blinded the Patriots and Brady into a confusion and forced him to throw interceptions from his ass never happened but the truth is, I remember it. I'm in no hurry to relive it. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't be at all surprised if Eric Mangini went AWOL before his sojourn to Gillette next week but, you know, perspective, people. Let's keep it all under wraps until it's all said and done.
However, if Randy Moss and Tom Brady don't record a duet of Bon Jovi's "I'll Be There For You" posthaste, I'm going to be very upset. Especially since I'm sure Billiam - who was wearing his special "Sunday go to meetin'" puffy coat yesterday - could pull some strings to get the rights for them.
What I wouldn't give for a microphone in the Pats locker room immediately after the game. They're so good at doing their talking on the field, as it were, but you just know that they let loose occasionally and I would LOVE to hear it. Just once. Especially Rodney. 'Cause you know Rodney was preachin'. After that 4th down stop at the goal line? Both the stop and Rodney's ensuing celebration were reminiscent of the stop Willie McGinest made on Edgerrin James a few years ago in Indianapolis. That year ended well if I recall correctly. Here's hoping.
Now, who wants a "Stephen Gostkowski has a posse" shirt?