THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING
Dan Shaughnessy

Jets’ tactic results in no gain

By Dan Shaughnessy
Globe Columnist / January 13, 2011

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You have friends in low places. Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life. I hate you with the power of a thousand suns.

Insults from the New Yorkers are piling up like snowbanks at the end of your driveway. Day after day, the Jets make inflammatory remarks. I’m expecting them to hire Eric Mangini, Charlie Casserly, and Arlen Specter before Sunday’s playoff game.

The Jets are Don Rickles. They are Muhammad Ali without the championship belt. They are the 43 Stooges, with Rex Ryan as Curly. Nyuk, nyuk. They talk about revenge after getting beaten, 45-3. They brag about their Super Bowl plans. They say it’s personal. They insult Tom Brady. They spew hatred with the bold abandon of radio callers and Internet posters.

Meanwhile, the Patriots just stand back and let it all be. They are Bob Kraft’s Zen Masters. New England’s Flying Elvis logo should be replaced with an image of Gandhi.

Border War hype spiraled out of control yesterday, and once again we were reminded that the Jets are the Jets and the Patriots are the Patriots. While a blizzard raged outside Gillette Stadium, the New York Daily News’s back page featured Antonio Cromartie’s profanity-laced attack on Brady. Cromartie called Brady some words you never heard in the Bible. The Jets CB capped it off with a broadside at the entire Patriot team: “I hate them. I don’t care. I hate them.’’

In a conference call with New England media, Ryan had a chance to spank Cromartie, but said, “We’re not apologizing for anything. We have a right to our opinion, and a comment like that, it’s no big deal.’’

This was just two days after Ryan ripped Brady for trash talking and pointing his finger at the Jets’ sideline after Patriots scores.

In the wise words of veteran Patriots tight end Alge Crumpler, “That team takes after their coach, we take after ours.’’

I was hoping Brady would wear a “He Hate Me’’ cap to his weekly media session yesterday, but Brady, naturally, refused to be drawn into the gutter.

“I’ve been called worse,’’ a smiling Brady said. “We’re spending our time getting ready to play. I don’t think we’re spending our time figuring out what we can do to combat what people say about us.

“Not everybody has great things to say about our team or organization or certain players, and that’s the way it’s always been. We’re just going to do our talking on the field. I think that’s what we’ve always chosen to do.’’

Can words have any effect on what happens?

“I don’t know,’’ said Brady. “We’ll see. We’ll see Sunday night at 7:30. That’s when everybody will be able to tell whether it played a role or not.’’

Belichick was typically masterful in his evasiveness.

Asked about Ryan’s comments, he said, “Our job is really just to get ready for the game, so that’s what we’re going to do.’’

Did Cromartie cross the line?

“That’s all out of our control,’’ said Belichick. “Our job is to get ready and that’s what we’re going to do.’’

Later, another reporter went back to the “crossing the line’’ theme, trying to draw out Belichick with, “In your mind . . .’’

“In my mind, right now, it’s the New York Jets Sunday at 4:30,’’ said Hoodie. “That’s what’s in my mind right now.’’

Getting Belichick to bite on this apple is like getting Bill Russell to go for an up-fake. It’s simply not going to happen.

Patriots running backs BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead joined the boring Belichick/Brady chorus with more team-mandated cliches. They said all the right things. They even said they got up early to get to the stadium on time.

(Not that it matters now, but does anybody even remember that the Patriots played the Jets in the playoffs at Gillette at the end of the 2006 season? The Patriots won it, 37-16. Those Jets were coached by Eric “Fredo’’ Mangini, which means there had to be considerable hype, but who can remember anything like this? Certainly the Rexorcist and his minions have taken this thing to a whole new level. A new low, some might say. And we’re loving every sound bite.)

Attendance at yesterday’s practice underscored how much the Patriots have changed since last year when Randy Moss, Adalius Thomas, Gary Guyton, and Derrick Burgess were sent home after arriving late on a snowy day. That was when Thomas said he didn’t have a Jetsons car that could hover over snow.

No snow jobs in 2010-11. These Patriots are in step, on time, headphones in place to drown out the noise coming from New Jersey.

Dan Shaughnessy can be reached at dshaughnessy@globe.com.

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