Honestly, what else could it be? In a year when we witnessed a juiced-up villain steal the all-time homerun record ….. a superstar football player head to prison ….. Major League Baseball toss out a sham of a disclosure on its problem ….. and the untimely deaths of young men ….. we’re forced to really scrutinize the sporting landscape for positive stories, right?
There’s key stories that didn’t make my top list. However, relevant events, like the Euthanization of Barbaro ….. the NBA scandal regarding Tim Donaghy ….. the Yankees amazing comeback to win the wildcard ….. and Boise State’s awesome bowl win were all very credible and deserving of recognition.
Let’s not forget the referenced good stories, as well. Talking about the Colorado Rockies and Super Bowl XLI was heartwarming. And, referencing Dale Earnhardt Jr’s. move to Hendrick Motorsports is a classic example of change being for the better. Obviously, bad news and adversity gets more reaction. But, the top story on this list is a good story ….. about hardwork, determination and success.
You can love ‘em or you can hate ‘em ….. and the latter seems to be a growing sentiment these days. But, the achievements of the New England Patriots during the 2007 season are simply amazing. They “ran the table” through the regular season schedule and are a clear, overwhelming favorite to win the Super Bowl.
It’s been 35 years since an NFL team won every regular season game. The last time it occurred, the schedule only consisted of 14 games. The Patriots did have some struggles during the course of the season, and one of their toughest challenges happened in this city. However, for the most part, they have absolutely throttled the opposition.
In examining the Patriots roster, it’s quite visible to see they’re “deep” in talent and experience. They’re led by arguably the best quarterback in the game ….. and he’s climbing that ladder of all-time greats. They’ve got an arsenal of receivers and an awesome supporting cast that gets wrongfully overlooked on a consistent basis.
The Patriots are also commanded by one of the shrewdest minds in the game. “Haters” can say Bill Belichick’s success is directly tied to Tom Brady, or that anyone could win with that roster. He’s been doing IT for the better part of this decade, and Brady is certainly the key ingredient in what makes this team. But, Belichick deserves much of the credit.
Why do fans wanna tear coaches down? Is it the spirit of being a fan? Bill Belichick is on a helluva run with the Patriots. His “message” hasn’t become stale, right? He hasn’t “lost” his team as we’ve asserted with some other coaches. He’s superb at managing the clock and gameplanning for the opposition. Why not label him what he is ….. a GREAT coach.
I’m certain this blog will attract a comment or two regarding “spy-gate” and the video taping incident from earlier in the season. Let’s put things in perspective, the Patriots have rattled off 15 wins, since getting caught with “their fingers in the cookie jar.” Since then, they’ve continued to dominate the competition. And, if they’re still cheating ….. then they’re simply smarter than everyone else.
I’ll dare to say it’ll be a long time before we see another team go undefeated through the regular season, again. This achievement is simply remarkable ….. regardless of how things go during the playoffs. That said, they’ll march right in to downtown Phoenix.
An interesting note is I compiled this list a couple weeks ago. At the time, I questioned my own sense ….. wagering the top story – which was still incomplete – would have the outcome I suspected. But, I just knew this was going to happen.
Go back to September – Week #3 to be exact ….. I blogged about this Patriots team and labeled them the BEST I’ve ever seen. I had my critics ….. that “are you inhaling exhaust fumes” comment was the best. By the way, where’s “Craig In Towson” this morning?
The New England Patriots are the best story of 2007. They’re humble and they’ve subscribed to living as a TEAM. And, they’ve been doing this for years. They serve as a textbook example of what other teams should strive to become, internally. Just look at their motto ….. “Humble pie – I eat it.” For them, it’s more than a saying ….
I’d like to thank everyone for reading the “TOP-10 List” over the past couple weeks. It’s been fun and I’ve developed a keen sense of how ranking such events is very subjective. The input has been enlightening and appreciated. Here’s to hoping the 2008 “Top-10 List” can have some positive stories about the Ravens and Orioles on it.
Happy New Year …..