Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Bob Lobel: The Patriots and NFL Keep Us Curious

By Bob Lobel (@boblobel)

Good news travels in bunches. 

Homeland is back and so, apparently, are the Patriots. We think, or maybe we hope, or maybe we really don’t know until they play in Buffalo Sunday.

Hey, the fans did their part Sunday night and the team responded. Or was it the other way around? The place was loud, especially for a venue that is not known for its noise and, in fact, seems to be built with the noise factor totally left out of the equation. 


So Sunday night it’s the Patriots/Cincy vs 2 hours of welcome back Homeland. Besides House of Cards, one of the absolute best series since The Sopranos, yet the Patriots were the reality show. Taping them doesn’t work because you know what happens before you start looking.

Homeland was just as good one night later. Now, the NFL, under fire for just about everything, starting with Carrie Underwood to the time the first player staggers off the field. I would try to make a comparison to The Hunger Games but that may be a stretch.

So the sex and the violence show up as always on cue, but the NFL added the Pink for breast cancer awareness month. They have always been good at that, but did you think pink was not going to be emphasized after the Ray Rice/Roger Goodell debacle? 

The Brady/Belichick conversation was so far over the top leading up to the Sunday night game, even for Boston. That’s saying a lot because the legacy the media leaves for this strange place is that they eat their young. Belichick is a bully and should be called out on that, but I may be the only person that loves his post game conferences. 

He is quite clever for a guy that doesn’t want to be there. That reminds me of how the 5th Quarter came to be. Parcells was the coach and was usually a quote machine after games, so it was natural to do the press conference live and call it the 5th Quarter.  When we started the 5th Quarter would be on Ch. 38 with a start time at 4pm. The game was usually over by then, except one Sunday it ran long so we started the 5th quarter on Ch.38 before the game ended on Ch. 4. 

Television can do really stupid things.

Since the conversation the week following their 41-14 loss involved the backup quarterback actually being identified as possibly better than Brady, and since new coach conversations started to come up, it was time to get on some medication. Talk about rush to judgement!  

But then, Sunday night with Cincinnati coming to town, all that cerebral conversation became suddenly rational. Those fans, filled with curiosity, had their fears deferred until the next loss or next major injury. It’s a little early to tell how much fantasy teams are crowding in for attention, but it is growing by leaps and bounds. It's kinda crazy, but the toothpaste is not going back in the tube. 

When we get down and out about stuff like trading Jonny Boychuk or going another NBA season with Rajon Rondo, think back to what you were doing one year ago. Every baseball playoff game involving all teams was important and deserved our attention. Not so this fall. Although there are plenty of ex-Red Sox players still playing with different uniforms, it's just too tempting to say “why can't we get players like that” when Jake Peavy has success. 

It is remarkable how many Sox ex's are hanging around. So stay thirsty my friends. The most interesting man on the planet is still your football coach and his quarterback is a close second. That reminds me about something else the NFL brings to the table. Alcohol is flowing and with the sex and violence, it's no wonder we can't wait for another Sunday. 

Curiosity is still very much in play.

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