Every so often with the Patriots, there comes an overarching story line that devours so much of your time and attention that it starts to wear you down, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and even physically. Spygate for sure, from Day 1 all the way today when someone repeats the lie that they taped the 2001 Rams' Super Bowl walkthrough or whatever. Deflategate, definitely. The drawn out conflict that was The Pliability War. Dozens of others, I don't care to list.
And while the latest narrative around this franchise is still just a newborn, I'm already exhausted by it.
That would be the perceived tension between Bill Belichick and Mac Jones. Which achieved terminal velocity with this report:
One that has been shot down by virtually every Patriots beat reporter:
Which has done nothing to slow the roll of the Belichick Hatred Industrial Complex:
Or stopped this nontroversy from filling the digital airwaves over the last 24 hours. Believe me, this is just a small sample:
These are the moments where I feel like I'm alone on an island. Not just because this ragtime wears me out to the point I'm losing weight, growing a beard and talking to the football on my shelf. But because I'm a lone voice in the wilderness, crying out against the madness. Like the imbeciles who are screaming for the best rookie to come out of the famed QB Class of 2021, who went undefeated in the toughest conference in football and won a National Championship, to be replaced by a guy with two career starts and who lost to the UTSA Roadrunners. People like these:
Me right now:
It's at moments like these, all I want is to feel less alone. To know that there's somebody out there who sees things the way I do. Someone who knows of what they speak. Obviously, that's not going to be anyone from within the Patriots organization. For better or worse, Belichick's marching orders are that it's better to remain silent and let this insanity burn itself out than to feed the flames by going on record about it. At some point in the near future, the head coach will be contractually obligated to take questions before the draft, someone will ask him about the Mac Jones trade rumors, and he'll say he doesn't talk about such things. That's the best we can hope for from inside One Patriots Place.
So I'm always grateful any time the football intelligentsia includes someone who used to be inside those walls, but is now free to talk sense to the great unwashed. So today, I'm thanking my Creator Jason McCourty talks rinto a camera for a living:
Thank you, J-Mac. I haven't appreciated this guy more since he was running a 5K to break up Brandin Cooks in the end zone to win Super Bowl LIII.
Granted, he's just shouting into the hot wind generated by the fake trade report. But somebody has to talk sense to the dopes ready to give up on Jones after one season of quarterbacking for coaches who didn't know what they were doing and got removed from their jobs.
It's Holy Week, so I want to be kind to those Zappe Stans outside Fenway. Judging by the looks of them, they're too young to have ever known a world where everyone falls in love with the backup quarterback. But trust me, going through life like that is not the way you want to live. For every Tom Brady replacing Drew Bledsoe … actually there's no way to end that sentence. There is no example that compares. But I've lived through a lot of these things. Where a guy you don't get to see much flashes, and you just assume that flash represents everything he's made of. And he'd bring us to the Promised Land … if only the coach would quit being so stubborn and recognize the brilliance of his QB2! That's how we spent most of the 1980s. Tony Eason replacing Steve Grogan and then everyone wanting Grogan back and then both of them getting replaced by the uninspiring likes of Marc Wilson, Tommy Hodson and Hugh Millen. And I'll say here again I went to Pats training camp in 2001, and counted a good two dozen people wearing the jersey of Michael Bishop. Who might have been the best August player I've ever seen. Before getting released halfway through camp, going to a Canadian team, and then getting released by them. And I'll confess I bought into hype of my own creation around Jarrett Stidham in 2020.
In short, as a wise man said a few hours ago, be careful what you wish for. To which I'll add, you ought to wish for the QB1 you have. Develop him under Bill O'Brien. And stop this trade talk insanity. If you won't listen to me (and you should), at least listen to the guy who went from the 0-16 Browns to Super Bowl champion in one season.