Why would the Patriots want to do Dallas?


Why would the Patriots want to do Dallas?

Dallas Clark reportedly had a meeting with the Patriots on Tuesday.

A list of plausible reasons why:

1. Bill Belichick is having some kind of reunion involving the NFL's best players from 2007 and wanted to check on Clark's availability in person. Cakes are cookin' for LaDainian Tomlinson and Randy Gene.

2. Even though New England has Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez on its roster -- and Daniel Fells and undrafted rookie Brad Herman -- Clark may be seen as depth for the unique role that Hernandez operates in.

3. Joseph Addai told Belichick he HAD to see Clark's moustache in person.

4. The Patriots needed to do their due diligence on Clark who has played in just 17 games over the past two seasons and will be 33 when the 2012 season begins. Is he serviceable? Can he be reeled in in late August if worse comes to worst and somebody gets hurt? That's the stuff pro personnel departments need to know in advance of calamity.

5. Clark was in town to give a first-hand account of things an NFL player SHOULD NOT SAY at a girls high school basketball game.

6. With a dearth of teams interested in the crafty-Hernandez forerunner, Belichick may have been doing a solid for Clark, Clark's agent (and Belichick's former agent) Neil Cornrich and for old friend Kirk Ferentz, Clark's coach at Iowa. So far, the Chiefs seem to be the only team with interest.

7. Bill Belichick wants to save old friend and current Chiefs GM Scott Pioli from the awkwardness of introducing Clark to his wife. "Dallas, this is Dallas." "Dallas, say hello to Dallas."

Curran’s 100 plays that shaped a dynasty: A nice pair of kicks


Curran’s 100 plays that shaped a dynasty: A nice pair of kicks

We're into the Top 10 now.

These are the plays of the Bill Belichick Era you best never forget. And probably can't. They're the ones that led directly to championships -- most for New England, a couple for the other guys. Or they're plays that signified a sea change in the way the New England Patriots under Belichick would be behaving from there on out.

I did my best to stack them in order of importance. You got a problem with that? Good. Let us know what's too high, too low or just plain wrong. And thanks for keeping up!


THE YEAR: 2001 (actually Feb. 3, 2002)

THE GAME: Patriots 20, Rams 17

THE PLAY: Vinatieri 48-yarder in Superdome delivers SB36 win

WHY IT’S HERE: When the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004, it was viewed nationally and locally as a cathartic moment for a long-suffering region. Deliverance for a fanbase that resolutely suffered through 90 years of star-crossed heartbreak with a mix of stoicism and fatalism. “Long-suffering Red Sox fan” was a badge of honor, an identity. And New Englanders – baseball fans or not - would self-identify with the hideous notion of Red Sox Nation. There was no “Patriots Nation.” To drag out the forced metaphor, Patriots fans were living in tents and cabins in the wilderness, recluses. Reluctant to be seen in town where they’d be mocked. And suddenly, they cobbled together one of the most improbable, magical seasons in American professional sports, a year which gave birth to a dynasty which was first celebrated, now reviled but always respected. And while so many games and plays led to this 48-yarder – ones we’ve mentioned 12 times on this list – Adam Vinatieri kicking a 48-yarder right down the f****** middle to win the Super Bowl was an orgasmic moment for the recluses and pariahs that had been Patriots fans when nobody would admit to such a thing.


THE YEAR: 2001 (actually Jan. 19, 2002)

THE GAME: Patriots 16, Raiders 13

THE PLAY: Vinatieri from 45 through a blizzard to tie Snow Bowl

WHY IT’S HERE: Two thoughts traveling on parallel tracks were running through the mind while Adam Vinatieri trotted onto the field and lined up his 45-yarder to tie Oakland in the 2001 AFC Divisional Playoff Game, the final one at Foxboro Stadium. “There’s no way he can make this kick in this weather,” was the first. “The way this season’s gone, I bet he makes this kick. It can’t end here. It can’t end now.” From where I was sitting in the press box I couldn’t see the ball clearly, probably because I was looking for it on a higher trajectory than Vinatieri used. So I remember Vinatieri going through the ball, my being unable to locate it in the air and then looking for the refs under the goalposts to see their signal. And when I located them, I saw the ball scuttle past. Then I saw the officials’ arms rise. Twenty-five years earlier, the first team I ever followed passionately – the ’76 Patriots – left me in tears when they lost to the Raiders in the playoffs. Now, at 33, I was covering that team and it had gotten a measure of retribution for the 8-year-old me.