Banks’ note: I wrote this blog before the 2014 Divisional Round game between the Ravens and Patriots. A lot has happened since then (see Gate, Deflate) that isn’t included in this blog. And yeah, that football game didn’t go so great but everything I said in this blog still rings true. Eat my ass New England.
Ahhh yes, Patriots fans. My favorite. Everyone’s favorite, really. The ones who talk about Super Bowls from long long ago. The ones who love to shove stats and wins and rings in everyone’s face until it’s time to play the Ravens (or Giants). But most of all, the ones whose shit never ever stinks because their team stands on the highest moral ground that’s ever existed on this planet. Yes, those delirious motherfuckers.
Let’s start with this. Why have the Ravens stuck with their players through thick and thin on many of these incidents? Is it because they choose to see the good in people as opposed to the bad? Is it because they believe that people deserve forgiveness and a second chance? Or could it possibly be that they’re willing to look past things and turn a blind eye to ones’ mistakes for the sake of winning football games? If you ask a Pats fan, that’s exactly why. The Ravens will do anything to try to win football games. So let’s talk about this little crock of shit that the folks up north like to champion called “The Patriot Way”.
“The Patriot Way is about trying to collect a lot of good people, having everybody in the organization on the same page; doing things in the community.” - Robert Kraft
Collect good people you say? ….
Corey Dillon – In August 2000 while with the Bengals, Corey Dillon was arrested in Washington on domestic assault charges for striking his wife and busting her lip open. He was placed in a diversionary program, made a $750 donation to a women’s shelter, and took required counseling. Hmm, that sounds familiar. In addition, he was arrested for a DUI in 1998. In 2004, the Patriots decided he was a RB who could help them win football games and invested a 2nd round pick in him. The Patriots rode Dillon’s coattails for 1,635 yards and 12 TD’s on the way to the Super Bowl XXXIX title.
Ben Coates - In July 1998, Ben Coates was arrested for domestic assault and battery. According to the police report, Coates shoved his girlfriend (and mother of his child) Jennifer Marshall several times and slammed her head against the hood of her car and told her “I’ll knock you out”. Marshall was treated at the hospital for a scrape on her arm. The charges were based solely on comments provided by Marshall and one minor injury, same as a certain player who still plays in Baltimore now. Coates was at practice the very next day, and Robert Kraft declined comment on the incident. Coates was only released from the Patriots after 2 more seasons when his play steeply declined and he was no longer contributing to a winning effort in New England. In 2008, Ben Coates was honored with an induction into the Patriots Hall of Fame based on a fan vote.
Albert Haynesworth - Albert Haynesworth had quite the rap sheet. 4 separate counts of reckless driving where he intentionally tried to run drivers off the road. FOUR SEPARATE TIMES! He succeeded in causing one other driver to crash, and punched another in the face. He was later indicted for sexual assault after groping a waitress in DC. Upon being indicted in April 2011, the Patriots decided beefing up on the defensive line might help them win more football games, and thought Haynesworth might just be the guy for them. So they took a chance on him by investing a 5th round pick to acquire him. “He’s capable of being the best defensive lineman in football! A true gamechanger!” said the Pats faithful. He was not. He was a bum.
Aqib Talib - While with the Bucs in August 2009, Aqib Talib was arrested for punching a cab driver in the back of the head multiple times. In March 2011, Talib pistol-whipped and fired gunshots (along with his mother) at his sister’s boyfriend. He was only acquitted when it was determined that the boyfriend’s child-molesting criminal history made him an incredible witness. In November 2012, the Bucs said “fuck this guy, he’s not a good person” and traded him (along with a 7th rounder) to the Patriots. They figured plugging a physical CB into their shaky secondary would help them win more football games, so they invested a 4th round pick in one Aqib Talib. “You should feel good about it!” preached the Pats faithful. And so it was.
Aaron Hernandez - Ah yes. Aaron Hernandez. The scummiest player of them all. We all know his story. He was a cold-blooded murderer, and a premeditated one at that. And there were red flags everywhere you looked. He was a phenomenal football player at Florida, a sure-fire late 1st-round/early 2nd-round talent. Yet he slipped to the 4th round as the 6th tight end taken because he was trouble everywhere he went. Heck, even the Ravens passed on him in the 3rd round to take an inferior (inferior enough to be left off this list) tight end named Ed Dickson because they knew he was trouble. But the Pats’ high-horsed front office looked past that for the sake of winning football games because of their mythical belief that they can somehow change people. So they drafted the Mackey Award winner and hoped his true colors wouldn’t show. Only after days of investigation when he was finally arrested and there was overwhelming evidence to suggest that Hernandez did indeed kill Odin Lloyd did the Patriots make the decision to cut Hernandez. Pats fans act like they deserve a goddamn medal for this swift decision, when the decision was an easy one. Why? Because you can’t win games from a jail cell.
So what we learned here is that the Patriots collect scumbags, even seek them out and welcome them, if it helps them win football games. Open your eyes Pats fans, your team’s hands aren’t clean. Which is no different than any other football team in the NFL. Everyone does it. It’s all about whether the juice is worth the squeeze. I could go through every single NFL team and nitpick incidents with the law. Some teams will have more and some will have less. Since 2000, the Ravens have 22 arrests and the Patriots have 17 arrests. Those are the facts. I’m not here to say my team is roses. I’m here to say the Patriots aren’t either.
While we’re at it, we might as well call a spade a spade. Bill Belichick is the John Calipari of the NFL. And I don’t mean that in the accusatory sense that you think. He’s just a sneaky scumbag who will do anything he can to get wins on the field, but you already knew that. I can respect that. If we didn’t already have a top notch coach already, I might be a little jealous. But I’m not. We’re all set. Perhaps he’s done his fair share of criminal-harboring to have a better football team, but John Harbaugh has nowhere near the scumbag track record that Belichick has when it comes to getting ahead on the football field on Sundays. Now let’s beat New England’s favorite dead horse:
Spygate – I’ll cut to the chase. If you think taping an opponent’s signals only gives you a minor (or even no) advantage, you are an idiot. Robert Kraft even said as much. And if Belichick really believed it didn’t provide a material advantage, he wouldn’t have gone to such elaborate measures for 8 years to do it. He instructed his cameraman to avoid detection and to use cover stories if he was asked what he was taping. That sure as shit doesn’t sound like the actions of somebody who interpreted a rule as “a gray area”. Or a leader of a “collection of good people” for that matter. Only when more evidence was revealed did it become a black and white issue to Belichick, and suddenly “he was wrong”. On top of that, Patriots fans were the first people to jump on Roger Goodell for a lack of due diligence in the Ray Rice case because he was “protecting the shield”. Well what in the FUCK do ya think that whole videotape destruction thing was about?? No shit he was protecting the shield! The Patriots are 1000% a major benefactor of Goodell’s corruption in the past. Do you really think he would let any sort of evidence that might tarnish the final result of 3 NFL seasons reach public eyeballs? Get reeeeeeeeeal. I’m not dumb enough to say Spygate definitively won the Patriots any of their Super Bowls, but the whole thing stinks to the high heavens and it starts with your lord and savior Belichick.
Okay, so not even mentioning accusations of conspiring with the team doctor to alter medical treatment so he can recoup signing bonuses or just flat out fudging injury reports, it’s plainly clear that Belichick’s motives lack the moral standards and class that are supposed to embody whatever the fuck “The Patriot Way” is supposed to be. I honestly don’t care that he breaks rules, dude’s just trying to win. And that’s why Robert Kraft keeps him around. But let’s stop pretending he’s something that he’s not.
None of this would need to be said if Patriots fans could just admit what everyone else knows- your shit stinks like the rest of us. You have no morals off the field. You have no morals on the field. The Patriot Way is a complete pile of garbage. It’s just a grand PR production, and a good one at that, because all the brainless sheep eat it up. Every single NFL team gives back to the community. Every single team pretends they’ve got a collection of good people in their building. And every team, especially the Patriots, will pile in the scumbugs and turn a blind eye to everything if it gets them closer to winning a Lombardi Trophy.
So to summarize, the Pats have a cheater of a coach, a legendary QB who peaked long ago, a PR wizard who’s phenomenal at controlling the narratives that surround the team he owns… and the same supporting cast riddled with scumbags that exist on every NFL roster. I don’t get chirps from Steelers fans because their QB (probably) raped a chick in a bathroom. I don’t get chirps from Bengals fans because they had about 8,000 arrests (give or take) that one offseason. They know their place. They actually understand that being a football fan isn’t about being that douche who loves to shove their good deeds in everyone’s face. Everyone’s got skeletons, and it’s time that Patriots’ fans realize that. The Ravens don’t have a good history when it comes to moral issues. Far from it. But get the fuck down from your high horse New England because the Pats put winning before everything else, just like the Ravens. But yea, keep going on and on about a statue to Ray Lewis, who didn’t kill anyone, according to the witnesses in the victims’ party.
You know where to find me.