I can’t speak for its total accuracy, but I found this piece in The Ringer a good read: The Last Bad Patriots Team I also clicked on some of the embedded links and enjoyed the prose stylings of folks like Jim Donaldson. There’s a lot there about the hiring of Belichick (and the deterioration of the team under Pete Carroll and with Bledsoe at the helm). Happily, Tom Donahoe’s name does not appear (sorry, Nick) as the True Savior of the Patriots’ Franchise. Years ago, I read Pepper Johnson’s memoir of the 2001 season (Won For All), plus Halberstam’s book and Holley’s first book. But has the story of 2001 really been told? Not just Brady’s takeover, but the building of that defense (with Seymour and the FAs) and O-line (with Light and the FAs). Ian O’Connor, who wrote a now-infamous column in January 2000 (“Patriots Will Regret Belichick Hire”) says he’s now working on a book about why he was so wrong …
It all sounded pretty spot-on to me. Loved this Donaldson righteous indignation (link) at Belichick releasing Armstrong.
Armstrong started every game, including the last eight with a knee that would require off-season surgery; he was the best lineman on the team; he was, at the age of 34, the highly-respected elder statesman — a role model for younger players, a team leader.
And always ready with a quip.
The Patriots had the opportunity to both pay Armstrong his due, and to pay him the money he’d earned through 13 seasons of playing through pain.
Yes, paying for past performances. That’s sure to get the Pats over the hump.
On Thursday, the Patriots refused to put the money on the line for Armstrong. Strictly business, they said. It was business, all right. Dirty business. Shoddy business. Shameful business.
Makes you appreciate how much of a culture change Belichick had to institute.
Paying for past performance is a fundamental tenet of the Hot Sportz Taker Philosophy. The second anyone mentions it even in passing they’re dead to me.