I've been a Patriot fan since my high school days in the late 60's and I've read this board for many years as well. The events of the past few days, and the whole off-season actually, have jarred me more than they should and I am trying to figure out why. My conclusion is that the Patriots saga has taken on Arthurian overtones. You know, like the "Once and Future King" legend. We saw Camelot rise after Tom Brady (Arthur), he of humble beginnings, pulled Excalibur from stone against the Jets. That Day, in battle, Mo Lewis mercilessly torpedoed beloved Drew Beldsoe out of bounds, and struck a mortal blow. From there, the whole saga, with its improbable Super Bowl win later that year, was nothing short of magical. Almost as magical has been the continued excellence since, with the constant emphasis on the Patriot Way. We had our own Knights of the Round Table and the showed the league that sacrifice and total team effort could defeat any foe.
Sadly, like the Round Table before it, The Patriot Way crumbles before our very eyes. There were signs of weakening over the years. Alas, the aging Knights, Sirs McGinest, Troy, Tedy, Vrabel, Light, and Rodney, who extolled the virtues of the Patriot Way, could not continue in their Quests for the Holy Grail. Younger Knights were needed and so began the decline. The Patriot Way was cast asunder when Adelias Thomas was brought in to be a Knight and found wanting, incapable of grasping the team first, defensive scheme. The Great Knight Randy Moss, tried nobly to be a Knight of the Round Table, but he was undone by greed and petty jealousy. The Knights Haynesworth and Ochocinco failed on their very first Quest as did so many others.
Our modern day fable has a Lady Guinnivere, of course. Our Lady G has many noble qualities indeed, but also the power to bewitch. Poor humble Tom was no match for her guile. He lost the sport for combat as he neatly placed the bricks for his castle and toyed with governance his kingdom.
Alas, none have fallen so far as poor Sir Lancelot. He of the diminutive frame and number 83, pledged lifelong allegiance to King Tom. He was undone by treachery, however. On the eve of promotion to the Inner Circle of Knights, his title was stripped and given to Sirs Hernandez and Edelman. Noble Sir Lancelot attempted to bury his fury in combat, but to no avail. The indignity of his plight distracted him at most inopportune times. In the end, he was banished.
Whither Merlin? Unfortunately, The Mad Genius of so many compaigns was smitten as well and now sleeps enshrouded in his hoodie within a tree until Excalibur rises anew.
Obviously, I have resorted to fantasy. The truth is that even with the few facts available it would seem that the The Patriot Way has been dealt a mortal blow. Of course, one part of me is hopeful that our Pats can summon the strength for a title run. I am curiously ambivalent, however as I weigh that emotion against the reality of the callow pretenders that don the Patriots uniform today.