Belichick takes another quiet swipe at NFL


Belichick takes another quiet swipe at NFL

By Tom E. Curran

FOXBORO - You know Bill Belichick doesn't do Twitter or Myface or any of that. But somebody probably should get him Tweeting under the handle "StuffBBsays".On Wednesday morning, while fielding a fleet of questions about his 2010 captains that he enjoyed at first but began to weary of after a bit, Belichick was asked why the Patriots don't put the little "C" on the jerseys to denote who the captains are. He shrugged. "I guess that's another one of the new traditions in the league," he sniffed. "I've seen a lot of football games, there has been football for a long time, and there have been captains with no patches and it seemed like everything was fine. I guess that's another one of our improvements, with the new overtime rules and all that." So that would be example 374 of passive aggressivity (?) toward the powers that be. Amusing as this one was, it does not trump Belichick's reaction to the NFL's Director of Football Ops praising a hit by Brandon Meriweather a week after Meriweather drew a 50,000 fine for a helmet-to-helmet collision with Baltimore's Todd Heap. "I think that would be a first for me," Belichick said then. "The officials are now evaluating the players and their performance that's great. I can't tell you how much that means to me, really." The Patriots will hold a walk-through on Wednesday in the practice bubble. After two days off, it's clear New England's ratcheting it back this week. Asked if the walk-through was an "attempt to get healthier," Belichick said, "It's our preparation for the Dolphins. We'll be out this week, whatever the conditions are, we'll be out there and we'll deal with them."

Tom E. Curran can be reached at Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Should the Patriots be Super Bowl favorites?


Should the Patriots be Super Bowl favorites?

Jeff Howe joins Arbella Early Edition to discuss the New England Patriots still being Super Bowl favorites with Tom Brady being suspended four games.

Patriots first pick understands social-media landmines


Patriots first pick understands social-media landmines

Watching Robert Kraft refer to Cyrus Jones by Jones’ twitter handle “Clamp Clampington” was the perfect confluence of amusing, surreal and awkward.

Like when my father used to complain about the kids “making donuts” in the intersection outside our house in the middle of the night, or anybody over 30 combining the words “epic” and “legit,” it just hits the ear wrong.

Social media has bridged the communication gap between the generations. Or at least made “old” people privy to conversations that -- throughout the course of recorded history -- kids haven’t wanted them nosing into.

This newfound access doesn’t allow us to merely appropriate and make others cringe. It also allows people -- in the context of professional sports -- to consume, judge, interact and drop consequences on athletes because of their social media persona.

Employers, fans, owners and media members now have unprecedented access to players’ personal lives. And the player who forgets that, or decides he doesn’t care and marches on without asking “How will this reflect on me?” is courting disaster. Or at least a level of irritation.

No player drafted in 2016 will ever forget the impact social media can have on a career. Even though Laremy Tunsil didn’t tweet out a video of himself smoking a bong while wearing a gas mask in front of a Confederate flag (social media hat trick), he paid the price. His draft drop cost him millions because, even though he didn’t actually tweet it, the video called into question Tunsil’s decision-making, off-field habits and the circle of people around him. That’s a lot of judging off of one tweet, but that’s what the deal is.

I asked Mr. Clampington – whose twitter feed shows he’s a Sagittarius who’ll go back at people who offer critiques – what his philosophy will be now that he’s in the NFL.

“Social media is one of those things where you gotta control and discipline yourself to not pay too much attention to it,” said Jones, the Patriots second-round pick on Friday. “As you get older, people tend to stray away from social media and I’m already starting to. At least trying to. And being more aware of what I put out there and knowing that I can’t respond to everything somebody says. That’s definitely something that myself and fellow rookies have to understand . . . We’re not just representing ourselves but our families and this organization. “

Jones -- based on the 10 minutes we spoke to him and the conference call from last Friday -- seems sharp enough to know where he ought not tread. In case he doesn’t, he and the rest of the rookies will get an indoctrination.