While the Austin American-Statesman’s resident crank John Kelso is less than impressed with the New York/Boston rivalry (“it’s kinda like our war with Oklahoma. You’ve got two groups of people who hate each other’s guts because they’re pretty much identical”), The Telegram’s Robert Z. Nemeth (above) is the one man in Worcester, MA brave enough to write “I don™t happen to believe football is a religion, creed, human right or citizenship in an unruly tribe called Patriot Nation”.
Don™t get me wrong, I admire the skill it takes to throw that deformed ball with deadly accuracy in subzero temperatures, or catch it while a defender is trying to kill you. I appreciate the technique involved in booting the thing 50 yards between the goal posts, as a thundering herd of 300-pounders descends upon the poor kicker. I™m impressed by the significance of the moment when Bill Belichick rolls up his pant leg, reaches into his sock and pulls out a red flag to challenge the collective judgment of five officials dressed as zebras, while millions await the ruling on whether a player™s big toe was in or out of bounds.
But when I hear about people who pay $77,000 for a pair of tickets to the Super Bowl, I know something has gone wrong. I™m worn out under the avalanche of hype, hyperbole and outright hysteria surrounding 90 minutes of mayhem that is stretched into four hours of air time by commercial breaks. I™m tired of hearing about destiny, dynasty, dream, perfection and immortality. The greatest team in all sports. The greatest coaching genius in the history of mankind. The most magnificent owner who ever lived.
Truth be told, I was partial to the Colts because I like Peyton Manning™s sense of humor and because, as far as I know, he never fathered a child out of wedlock. (I™ve read that hundreds of newborn babies have been given the first name Brady by Patriot fanatics over the year. As far as I know, not all of them were his.)
Hate to sound negative, but I happen to believe that Bill œVideogate Belichick is the world™s most boring human being. Call me prudish, but in my book Tom Brady™s much-publicized escapades with supermodels and illegitimate fatherhood disqualify him as a role model. And I™m tired of insightful quotes by Tedy Bruschi, Junior Seau, Laurence Maroney and other inarticulate jocks. (œIf we put more points on the board than them, we gonna win this thing.)
Though Nemeth is correct in claiming Peyton Manning has never been charged with fathering a child out of wedlock, it should also be stressed that Tom Brady has never been accused of sexual assault, either.