Thank you, Anthony Smith for you have given the Patriots the wake up call they have needed since Week 10.
“We’re going to win. Yeah, I can guarantee a win.”
I ESPECIALLY loved the , most likely unwitting, slight he gave to Welker: “They’ve got Walker and Moss,” Smith said, referring to Patriots receivers Wes Welker and Randy Moss.
It’s been hard for the Pats to make good use of one of their trademarks – the disrespect card. It was believed that the Week One Camera-gate would provide enough “disrespect” to last the entire season but as witnessed in the last few weeks, it’s begun to wain. But another aspect of that is that no one has given the Patriots any choice words.
Prior to the “game of the year,” Patriots at Colts, there were so many pleasantries going back and forth between the two teams, it was as if they were going to hug instead of play football. You KNOW deep down they didn’t feel that way, but both teams know better. Especially the Colts.
In 2003, the Colts were flying high, not even using a punter. After defeating Kansas City in probably the best shoot-out I have ever witnessed, Colts then Tight End Marcus Pollard exclaimed, “The way we’re playing, they’re going to just have to give us the ring.” Tom Brady discussed the statement THIS YEAR, clearly showing that stuff like that doesn’t evaporate from memory. He describes Coach Belichick’s reaction and a dramatic speech that included pulling out the Super Bowl XXXVI ring. “No one gave me this,” Belichick stated. “I earned this every step of the way.”
The ensuing AFC Championship told the story as the Patriots held the Colts to three points. I even remember the surge when the Colts finally had to punt. “Punt! Punt! Punt!” we chanted.
Not to be outdone, kicker Mike Vanderjagt promptly inserted foot in mouth when he said the Patriots were “ripe for the picking.”
And the Patriots don’t just need actual statements to play the disrespect card. In 2002, when the Steelers had already booked hotel rooms in New Orleans prior to the AFC Championship. I remember Lawyer Milloy was livid about that one, so much so that after the game, he went to the Steelers locker room to ask if he could have one of the reservations. Or last year when a San Diego newspaper had printed a Super Bowl victory parade route before the Chargers even played a game.
Bulletin board material may be stupid, insignificant, and construed, but when you’re dealing with elite athletes like those in the NFL, sometimes it just takes that small statement to push the scales. Hell, it works on me. It gets me to cheer that much harder. Remember back in Week 2 when LaDainian Tomilson’s lips were flapping like a flag in the wind, I cheered as hard as if it was a playoff game.
So again, thank you, Anthony Smith. I never heard of you until yesterday but, at the very least, you have gotten me more excited about Sunday. Now, if only the dolts in the stands of Gillette could get excited enough to, oh I don’t know, cheer.