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January 04, 2011



Another thing I'm getting sick of...the looks and snide remarks about bandwagons and how easy it is to be a Patriots fan these days, usually coming from a Dallas or Redskins fan where I live. My usual retort is that I was there during the Steve Grogan years. I usually get a blank stare back.


Oh! Oh! And! The comparisons with the Yankees, as a cheap attempt to get under a Boston fan's skin. I could probably write another whole rant about that, except I haven't heard that one lately...


I find it interesting that football seems to generally be the only sport where this accusation is made. Our athletes are paid to do their best regardless of the situation, and I would not expect them to give less than 100% on any play. How does one just run out the clock in football? Are you supposed to intentionally run plays you know have no chance of working? Those that are complaining about the Patriots, "running up the score," should place the blame where it belongs, on the other team and their inability to stop the Patriots from scoring.


Well, you can run out the clock using lots of running plays. Which the Patriots did. And you can intentionally run plays that have a lesser chance of working, as I argue the Patriots did with that 4th and 1 play under the backup QB. Miami just didn't stop ANYTHING. Thus there are some who point out that the Patriots very well could've hung 50 or 60 points on them, but didn't. There WERE ways the Patriots backed off late in this game.

AFA this being the only sport where you hear this criticism, that's not ENTIRELY true -- after this game in 2003 http://scores.espn.go.com/mlb/recap?gameId=230627102 the Marlins manager accused the Red Sox of poor sportsmanship for scoring 14 runs in the first inning. But you certainly hear it more often in football.

Might just be one of the many cultural differences between the two sports. Baseball fans tend (realize I'm generalizing, and I am both, so I'm also talking about myself here) to be a bit more intellectual in their approach to the game.

In other words, a hardcore baseball fan's way of throwing down with you is likely to be statistical. A hardcore football fan's way of throwing down with you is likely to be personal. Don't know why that is, but that's the trend I've noticed.

Outside of NY and Boston, the US is pretty much all about football these days, and fans tend to take the game more personally. Individual games also mean more, since there are fewer of them, so individual plays within individual games can also be put under a greater microscope (again, Boston / NY baseball its own insane animal and exempt from this comparison).

Maybe it's also got something to do with that longstanding 'macho' aspect of football. As an equally 'macho' fan, you don't admit your own team sucked -- you accuse the other team of cheating and / or running up the score. Those are some guesses, but I honestly don't really know.

Generally, we are in hearty agreement that 'running up the score' is bunk, though.

It's funny, I expected to get flamed hard for this post. Maybe I shouldn't speak too soon...


One thing I've noticed is there are frequent complaints about the Patriots running up the score, but there aren't complaints on the other side of the equation.

I'll give you an example. At the end of the Eagles-Vikings game, the Eagles were down 10 points and Vick threw a complete pass in Vikings' territory. The team then rushed up to the line and Vick spiked the ball with about 5 seconds to go in the game. Why not just let the clock run out? There is absolutely zero chance of tying the game. Zero. Isn't that bad sportsmanship?

Well no, not really. Maybe the Eagles were working on their two-minute offense. Maybe they were trying to score a TD because it could have implications down the road in some playoff seeding scenario. The bottom line is that there was a valid football reason why the Eagles did that, just as there was a reason why Brady was popping in and out of the game and Hoyer went for it on 4th and 1.

I honestly don't understand how fans could love seeing highlights of BIG HITS but then whine about someone running up the score like this is Pop Warner.


Mark, all I can really add to that is that I agree completely.

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