Home >> Write >> Sports >> Playing for Next Year
Playing for Next Year
Since the 2007 NFL season is nothing more than a formality, I would like to take this opportunity to bring up an issue that has plagued the sports world (and me) for years. For the most part, I have been rather accepting and subsequently tolerant of this nonsense. I have forced myself to live with it, letting my frustration fester inside of me as I head down the road towards another unnecessary ulcer. But not this year. I cannot take it anymore. I refuse to stand by idle as my precious NFL season was so cruelly taken from me even before the very first snap.
I am referring to the disgusting manner in which professional sports teams, specifically their management, show their blatant disregard for their fans by allowing great teams to get better. I can go down the list of teams in different sports over the last decade to hammer home my point. But, I really only need one example: the 2007 New England Patriots.
As of writing this article, the Patriots are flat out mopping up the competition. It is an absolute joke what they are doing this year. They may lose a game this season (I doubt it). They may even lose the Super Bowl (I really doubt it). But, you cannot ignore the fact that what they have been able to accomplish this year is none other than the management failures of every single NFL franchise.
So check it out…The Patriots are where they are this year due to their off season acquisitions. I can go down the list, but there’s really only one specific acquisition that comes to mind really worth mentioning. And yes, you know who I’m talking about and we will get to that in a minute.
To back up a little bit, I will admit Tom Brady is a great quarterback. Yet despite three Super Bowls, I hesitate to put him up with the likes of Manning, Marino, Elway, and Favre. Rather, he is an Aikman or a Bradshaw who ultimately flourishes in the right system. However, that system needs the supporting cast. And last year (to his defense), Brady had zero help from his receiver corps. So, as any great organization willing to win, the Patriot organization went out to get the necessary pieces to complete their puzzle. And what exactly did they do? Let me tell you…
THEY GOT RANDY FREAKIN’ MOSS FOR A 4th ROUND PICK!!!!
Ok, I know, despite having superhuman abilities, Randy Moss can be a cancer on a team (hence why he is on his third team in four years). I got it. But, one cannot deny the fact that he is a playmaker, a show-stopper, and potentially one of the greatest receivers who has ever played the game. And by the way, he is still in his prime (three years younger than T.O). Teams have no other choices but to alter their defensive scheme to hopefully contain him. But for some reason, that fact was ignored and the rest of the NFL accepted that a fourth round pick was worth over 10,000 yards receiving and over 100 touchdowns.
I guess you can first find fault with the Oakland Raiders. I still find it amusing that the Raiders traded him? They drafted a new quarterback!!! Who else would you want some young inexperienced quarterback to throw the ball to? Maybe the best the best receiver in the league? If anything, trade him to a different conference. Do not, under any circumstances, trade him to the team that is going to demolish you if for some reason you make the playoffs. But whatever, they did not need him. Got it. But, no other teams needed him? Apparently not…
Now, you cannot fault the Patriot organization in any shape or form. They want to win. They were one half away from going to (and probably winning) a fourth Super Bowl in six years. Bill Bellicheck is without a doubt the greatest mind in professional football. Sure, he may have some bad interpersonal skills, dresses terribly, and has questionable integrity, but Bill can flat out coach. Do you think he cares about anything else other than winning? How come other organizations do not seem to share this sentiment?
Fans around the sports world (Patriots fans not included), should be livid. They should be mad at everyone from the team owners on down to the assistant coaches to the freaking players for letting this go down. So come on management! It falls on you to make sure you have the best team available. You do not win over time, you win NOW! You owe it to the fans (that ultimately pay the bills) to present the best possible product you can. You have to not only understand but be able to forecast the second, third, fourth order effects of every transaction you make or fail to make. As a result, you must be willing to take the necessary risks and most certainly not let golden opportunities slip away. Because if you fail, others more willing to win (i.e. the Patriots), will jump all over it. The ending result, your failure shoved down your throat.
To combat what has essentially become a worthless season, I have the following proposal. If the Patriots win the Super Bowl this year, there will forever by an asterisk next to the win. At the bottom of the page, their will be a footnote that lists every other NFL team. Why? Because if the Patriots win the Super Bowl, it will not be the result of them winning it. It will be the result of the other teams LOSING it! To compensate the other teams though, I believe the Patriots, at a minimum, should at least send championship rings and percentages of the bonus money to other teams.
Oh sure, one can say that I have never been a football player, coach, owner, blah, blah, blah. And then one can say that this is transaction was a fluke, it was business, blah, blah, blah. But I know one thing. I would not have let Randy Moss go to the New England Patriots. With that been said, I look forward to next year’s headline that sounds a little something like this…
“Today, a major trade went down in the NFL. Looking to move into a different direction as an organization, the San Diego Chargers have traded LaDanian Tomlinson to the New England Patriots for a sixth round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.”
So now that this year is no more than a formality. Owners, general managers, coaches, whatever, please heed this bitter fan’s advice. Let the season be determined by the players on the field, not the terrible decisions of the front office management. Stop letting the rich get richer. It will only prevent your franchise from being where you want them to be. Instead, look out for the best interest of your organization in terms of winning. Then, you will be truly looking out for your fans, the heart and soul of the sports world.
Oh yeah, go ahead and let me know when the season is over…