By Michael Felger
Five things I'm annoyed by this week:
1. Bill Belichick and Tom Brady claiming they aren't watching the Jets on HBO's Hard Knocks.
I call bullcrap, especially when it comes to Belichick. The material is too good, too rich. There are too many opportunities to make fun of people he and the Patriots truly dislike, from Rex Ryan to Mike Tannenbaum to Woody Johnson. Why would he pass that up?
Then there's the whole business of getting a glimpse at what the Jets are up to. You mean to tell me Belichick once went to the trouble of directly defying the NFL by taping the Jets coaches on the sidelines, but he wont turn on the TV and get a free look into their meeting rooms?
Spygate cost him 500,000.
Whats HBO cost?
Whatever it is, it seems to me Hard Knocks provides better "value."
2. Pink hats cheering for the return of Johnny Damon.
Weren't you the same frauds who booed him out of Fenway Park a few years ago? Oh, that's right. He was a Yankee! I forgot. You expected him to leave that 12 million on the table just because he played for the Red Sox.
Get a clue.
3. The assumption that Brett Favre will have the Vikings back in Super Bowl contention.
Brett Favre had a tremendous season in 2009. No question about it. But do you understand what an aberration that season was for him? He was garbage just one year before, throwing as many interceptions in the final THREE GAMES for the Jets (seven) as he did all last season for the Vikings. And, yes, he had another good year for the Packers in 2007, but that one was preceded by back-to-back seasons in which he stunk (20 touchdowns, 29 interceptions, 70.9 QB rating in 2005; 18 touchdowns, 18 interceptions, 72.7 QB rating in 2006).
Based on his recent track record, then, Favre is much more likely to crap the bed this season than have another MVP-caliber campaign. Those are just the facts.
Not that you'll ever hear them on ESPN.
4. The fact that I'm beginning to think the Patriots could be really good this year.
I know the preseason means less than nothing, but I can't help it. ThePatriots have that "look" right now. I've seen it before, and I knowenough to respect it. They're sharp. They're more energetic. It lookslike they have some young kids who can play. Questions remain atoutside linebacker, defensive end and on the coaching staff, but who inthe NFL doesn't have questions?
I came into training camp believing the Pats would reside outside of the league's elite this season. Now I'm not so sure.
5. The Jets.
Between Tannenbaum bragging about player acquisitions (Santonio Holmes, Antonio Cromartie, etc), Ryan bragging about his scouting ability (enough with "the Terminator" already) and special-teams coaches bragging about getting a punt blocked in the flipping preseason opener, Hard Knocks is becoming insufferable. Entertaining, but insufferable.
We get it, guys. You've got some good players. You might have a good team. Good job. You don't need to remind us every five minutes.
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