Sound off on SNF: Week 1
Sept. 7: Tiki Barber and Jerome Bettis debate whether or not the Patriots can win the division.
“It will all be OK. I’m excited to see what our team is made of … I still like our chances,” wrote Tom Brady.
For a region that’s made a mantra of saying: “In Belichick and Brady We Trust,” that ought to mean something, right?
But it may be too soon, still. There’s a wake-like atmosphere in New England. Tom Brady’s season is officially over.
You didn’t know whether to ask Brady’s teammates what happens next, or walk through the locker room shaking their hands and saying, “Sorry for your loss … Sorry for your loss … Sorry for your loss …”
Brady’s out for 2008. Roll that around for a second.
The best player on the NFL’s best team didn’t make it through the first of 64 regular-season quarters. Go further if you want. Think of it this way: the best quarterback ever (arguably) is going to miss a season in his prime playing for (arguably) the best dynasty of the Super Bowl era.
Diehard Patriots fans are stiff-upper-lipping it. They're pointing out that this team has recovered from the loss of key players before. Seasoned and pragmatic New Englanders are holding their breath.
They remember Bobby Orr’s career ending because of a knee. They remember the daily trepidation about Larry Bird’s back, feet and heels. They remember Cam Neely and Tony C. and the other Hub sports superstars being ripped from their grasp by injury.
And even if medicine and circumstances may be different in sports today, that’s not enough to reason away that Brady will be just as good as ever. His convalescence is going to be as big a story around here as anything that happens on the court, ice, diamond or field.
Boston’s been the luckiest sports town on the planet since 2001. That would be when the hit that launched a dynasty — Mo Lewis’ sideline shot that severed an artery in Drew Bledsoe’s chest — opened the door for Brady. Patriots fans with short memories are wondering if the same thing can happen now as Matt Cassel takes over for Brady.
They forget that Brady outplayed Bledsoe by a fat margin in the 2001 preseason and that even if Bledsoe hadn’t gotten hurt, his days as the Patriots starter were numbered. Belichick had seen just about enough.
Cassel was not about to ascend Brady’s throne.
Defensive tackle Ty Warren, one of the team's leaders explained the mood.
“This is the way the game is,” he said. “It’s move on, man. You mourn for a second then you have to move on. It’s life. I can understand from the outside looking in you have a guy like Tom get hurt, but it’s happened before where guys get hurt and teams move on.”
There is, Warren said, no other option: “This is my livelihood. This is how I feed my family. When the Jets take the offense next week, it’s my job to help stop them. That’s the way it is.
And just like Brady, his teammates still like their chances.
The nation grieved for those hurt, killed and affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. After one of the suspects was caught on Friday — following a day-long lockdown and manhunt — sports returned to Boston over the weekend.
Linebacker Mike Vrabel was more succinct. “We’ve won a lot of football games around here. That’s not gonna change.”
CSN: Brian Urlacher, who played 13 seasons for the Bears, announced his retirement from football Wenesday on his personal twitter account.
2013 SNF Schedule
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