It'd Be Great if Asante Samuel Could Hold an Eli Manning Interception Like He Holds His Grudge Against Belichick
In its long and glorious history, there are many contenders for Worst Moment in New England Pro Sports History. Volumes of books have been written about them. They're so well known by now they can be reduced to just a few keywords. Selling Babe Ruth. Johnny Pesky holding the ball. Roughing the passer. Too many men on the ice. Bucky Dent. Bill Buckner. Magic's Junior Sky Hook. Kicking to Desmond Howard. Aaron Boone. Rick Pitino. But there's only been one loss that cost one of the franchise's the chance at immortality. To do one thing that had never been done, and never will be. Which is to go 19-0.
And while that loss in The Super Bowl That Shall Not Be Named has been most associated with a drop by Wes Welker, the official's subsequent "Ballgame," and Gisele's iconic "My husband cannot throw the fucking ball and catch it at the same time!", it should never be forgotten that Welker was the Patriots offense that night. As a team they combined for 45 rushing yards. While Welker accounted for 11 of their 29 receptions and 103 of their 266 passing yards.
No, the play that should forever be remembered for costing us a perfect season and clothed much of the developing world in free "19-0" shirts was one pictured above. This first one:
To borrow a phrase, "Ballgame." At least Buckner's error was a bouncing ground ball in a tie game. This was the equivalent of him dropping a pop up with two outs, allowing the tying and winning runs to score. Samuel was gone weeks later, signing a lucrative free agent deal with Philadelphia. And even though Bill Belichick has never once publicly criticized him for the drop, Samuel immediately joined the ranks of the Belichick Hatred Industrial Complex.
Earlier this week I mentioned how people who owe a lot to Belichick are sensing weakness and turning on him:
Well Samuel was way ahead of that curve. And the years since Tom Brady left have been lucrative for him:
To mine this situation for yet more wordplay, it's a sin and a shame he couldn't clap his hands around that Eli pass as well as he claps at his old coach. The guy who drafted him in the 4th round, won him two rings, and developed him into one of the highest paid corners in the league.
I bring all this up because he's at it again:
So Meek Mill texts Mr. Kraft to say he spoke to Lamar Jackson directly, and he wants to come to Foxboro and work with Belichick. And the mutual respect between the two has been obvious:
But Samuel takes it upon himself to stick his facemask in where it doesn't belong. (Something he rarely did as a cornerback; he had two total tackles in XLII, while Rodney Harrison was taking out the trash behind him with 12.) Why? Who knows? The contract talks between Samuel and the Pats was contentious. But that hardly makes him unique. I mean, it was with Richard Seymour too, and he's a Hall of Famer. But I can't recall him jumping on Twitter to throw daggers at the guy who drafted him. I suspect it might have something to do with the guilt of knowing how badly he screwed the franchise with that drop. It's human nature thing. You tend to resent the people you let down. I mean, I'm sure somewhere Sam Bankman-Fried hates the people he ruined for trusting him with their life savings.
Whatever the reason, all this vitriol directed at the future Winningest Coach of All Time doesn't make Belichick look bad. It makes Asante Samuel sound petty and small. Credit to this guy for doing the math:
If 605 people work for someone, 604 appreciated them, and you find yourself an army of one that couldn't stand working for that boss? That's the ultimate example of a YOU problem. Kiss the rings.