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Jim Davis/Boston Globe

Before I start rambling, let me preface this by saying none of what I'm about to say is directed at any Patriots fan who is level-headed and not making assumptions based on reports that may or may not be true.

This is for the people who are going on Twitter and losing their shit at LeGarrette Blount, the people who are claiming the Eagles cheated to win the Super Bowl
, complaining about the officiating, and especially for the people who say Bill Belichick cost them the game by not playing Malcolm Butler.

You're making every single one of us look like the biggest sore losers on the planet. You have no idea how to take a loss in stride. It's pathetic.

Let's start with the Blount thing.



Why is anyone attacking him? He didn't want to leave New England in the first place. He didn't trash the team or the fan base. He owes us absolutely nothing.

But now because he won a ring with the Eagles, he's a villain? That's unfair. Any true Patriots fan will recognize Blount as a beloved member of two Super Bowl-winning teams and will always appreciate what he brought.

And spare me the "he fumbled in the Super Bowl" bullshit. So what? The Patriots won Super Bowl LI against the Falcons despite that and he was huge in helping them get to that point. This is literally the equivalent of throwing shit at the wall hoping it sticks.

Next, the Eagles "cheating." Fans have been saying the Eagles used an illegal formation on the play that resulted in Nick Foles catching a touchdown pass from Trey Burton.



So, technically, this is an illegal formation. Torrey Smith is lined up a few feet away from the left tackle and technically isn't on the line of scrimmage, which means there were only six players lined up correctly. But Smith is so close to the line that it's possible the referee thought he was on the line. Even though by rule it's illegal, it's really a judgement call. Here's the official rule:

ARTICLE 1. OFFENSIVE TEAM. The offensive team must be in compliance with the following at the snap:

(a) It must have seven or more players on the line (3-19)

(b) Eligible receivers must be on both ends of the line, and all of the players on the line between them must be ineligible receivers

(c) No player may be out of bounds Note: Offensive linemen may lock

Pro Football Talk:

A league source tells PFT that the league views it as a judgment call, not a call that was clearly right or clearly wrong.

Is it cheating? Technically, yes. I really don't see a problem with this, though. Don't blame the Eagles for trying to fake everyone out. The play was perfectly executed.

It's especially funny that Patriots fans are crying over someone else cheating when the team has been accused of cheating multiple times and has been caught once (Deflategate was bullshit and everyone knows it). Spying on teams from an illegal location for multiple years is worse than running one trick play in a game that a defense was ill-prepared for.

Now, on to the officiating. For the most part, I thought the officials called a decent game. The only issue I had was that I didn't think Corey Clement's touchdown catch should have stood. This is obviously a very dicey call and my opinion is going to differ from others. Here's the play:



At first glance it looked like nothing was wrong. But other angles show that Clement slightly bobbled the ball and then regained full control after his toes touched out of bounds.

But you know what? I'm not going to sit there and complain about the officiating when the Patriots have been on the receiving end of controversial calls all season long. If anything, this helps erase the narrative that the refs are in the Pats' back pocket. If they were, they would have overturned this call, there would have been a flag on the final play of the game and so on.

The Patriots didn't lose this game because of the officials. They lost because their defense couldn't even stop a guy in a wheelchair from scoring on them. After all the calls the Pats have gotten over the years, for Patriots fans to complain about officiating is almost as bad as them complaining about another team cheating.

Finally, let's tackle this Belichick thing.

Was it ridiculous for him to sit Butler for the entire game? Absolutely. I get maybe sitting him for a series or two, but once it was clear Eric Rowe and Johnson Bademosi weren't pulling their weight, Butler should have gone in.

Belichick didn't do himself any favors by not explaining the decision, but then again you'd have better luck trying to figure out what happened to Jesse Pinkman after Breaking Bad ended than getting any answer out of him.

However, saying that decision is the sole reason they lost is asinine. Could Butler have made a difference? Most likely, yes. That said, anyone with half a brain knows there are no such thing as guarantees, especially when you consider Butler had been up-and-down all season. If you're going to blame Belichick for something, blame him for not putting together a more competent defense.

And to those saying Belichick should be fired, he should resign or whatever else - find another team to root for. You can call him arrogant all you want (sometimes he can be for sure), but the idea of running him out of town after his team was a couple minutes away from winning its sixth Super Bowl despite a horrific defensive performance is probably the most egregious thing of all.

You're treating him like he's John Farrell when he isn't even close to that. The guy has won you five Super Bowls, drafted Tom Brady, is by far the most prepared coach in the league and has kept the team competitive in the salary cap era for almost 20 years. But you want him fired because he's arrogant, right?

I literally had someone in my Twitter mentions tell me that and I wanted to poke my eyes out.

This is exactly why people hate us. Our teams win so much that when they don't, we cry, blame everyone and all of us look like a bunch of whiny little bitches. Grow the fuck up and stop being so entitled.

There is going to come a time where this team isn't good and Belichick and Brady won't be here. What are you going to do when they go 2-14, 3-13, etc.?

Enjoy what we have while we still have it. And if you can't do that and all you want to do is dwell on the negatives, then that's just sad.

Follow me on Twitter - @JesseGaunce

For more of my articles, click here.

Jesse Gaunce 2/07/2018 07:38:00 PM Edit
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