There are other important things to post (the “man-made global warming” hoax continues to collapse — massively — for one thing), we’ll get to those, but it would seem a bit tone-deaf to write anything today without first mentioning the New England Patriots and their true Most Valuable Player, 68-year-old offensive line coach (and former assistant head coach) Dante Scarnecchia, who retired as boss of New England’s offensive line in 2014 but was coaxed out of retirement by Bill Belichick after the Patriots’ dismal loss in last year’s AFC Championship Game, in which New England’s offensive line was mercilessly pushed around by the Denver Broncos’ pass rush.
(For background on Coach Scarnecchia, see: http://ftw.usatoday.com/2017/01/new-england-patriots-offensive-line-coach-dante-scarnecchia-super-bowl-51-nfl .)
During the first half of Sunday’s Super Bowl, Atlanta’s muscular, physical, defensive front four also came at Tom Brady from all sides, forced him to scramble, hit him from the side as he threw, sacked him, body-slammed Patriots all over the field. Those guys have got arms like the thighs of normal humans; they deserve a little more credit than they’ve been getting today; they’re young and they’ll presumably be back, having learned that playing a great 50 minutes of football isn’t quite enough.
It was starting to look like a replay of that painful loss to Denver, a year ago. But then, miraculously, as though someone had cued up old footage from a different era, in the final quarter Tom Brady stood serene in the pocket and guided his team down the field while the Patriots offensive line -– which contains only a single first-round draft pick -– looked like they were staging some kind of pass-block demonstration in a practice scrimmage against Bunker Hill Community College.
Training and endurance doubtless played a role, as did Atlanta’s commitment to man-on-man defense, which required their defensive backs to scramble all over the field to line up on New England’s constantly shifting receivers. The Atlanta players didn’t look like they stopped trying in the fourth quarter, but Jared Dubin of CBS Sports notes Tom Brady ran 93 plays from scrimmage (99 if you count plays repeated due to penalties, which you should) — the most snaps ever taken in a Super Bowl. Consider that 81 plays are the most the Falcons defense ever had to face in a regular-season game. That means by the start of the fourth quarter the Falcons defense must have felt like they were entering the fifth quarter — and that was on top of the extra-long Super Bowl halftime, during which the last of their pre-game adrenalin doubtless drained away.
But excuses only go so far. The Patriot pass blockers were on the field for those same 99 plays.
I don’t know exactly what Dante Scarnecchia told those five offensive linemen at half-time, but I suspect it wasn’t “Win One for the Gipper.” I suspect it had to do with remembering the basic techniques of their craft, asking them if they’d be able to live with themselves if they didn’t calm down and make a 100 percent effort for just 30 more minutes (or 32, as it turned out) reminding them that you don’t release your block once the outside rushers have gone three yards past the line of scrimmage and have turned you 180 degrees, none of that matters, you HOLD that block . . . and most of all about trusting one another, assuming the other men will do their jobs just fine.
(Insert “it’s a team sport” cliché here, as you will.)
Bill Belichick and Tom Brady may not have said it out loud, but after that only one thing was required -– the same trait demonstrated so shockingly (well, SOME were shocked) over the past four months by their mutual good friend Donald Trump: to simply never give up.
I think it was Troy Aikman, rather than Joe Buck, who said at a memorable moment in the game -– perhaps THE crucial moment in the game, with the Patriots down 28-9 at the start of the fourth quarter and Atlanta defensive tackle Grady Jarrett having just ended a 12-play, 72-yard Patriots drive by sacking Brady twice -– twice! — in the red zone, when coach Belichick decided to take three points with a 33-yard Gostkowski field goal to narrow the Atlanta lead to 28-12:
“Bill Belichick has forgotten more than I’ll ever know about football,” Troy Aikman said, “but taking the field goal there looked to me like accepting defeat.”
It was the common thought. But the decision meant the opposite, of course. The standard teaching is that once you’re inside the 20 you have to put some points on the board, so as not to lose your momentum, and because every point counts. Not many among the 100 million households watching the game understood at that point that the momentum had shifted, finally and irrevocably, to the Patriots. Not many shared Bill Belichick’s confidence that the situation was in no way desperate, that there was no need for a fourth-down “Hail Mary,” that all could now proceed normally, that in fact the WORST position to be in, at that point on Sunday evening, Feb. 5, 2017, was to be wearing red and black and thinking you had this thing won.
After all, 10 minutes remained in regulation, and the team would now be down by only 16 — six points more than the biggest deficit from which any team had ever come back to win a Super Bowl.
The greatest quarterback in the game (OK, he never faced Joe Montana) stood uninjured. Where was the problem? All they needed was for the suddenly befuddled Falcons to make one medium-sized mistake, like maybe dropping back deep for a pass, where a quarterback sack or strip would shove them out of field goal range, instead of taking the game-winning quick three points on their final drive . . .
Were the Patriots “just lucky”? One of the most astounding things about this comeback was that it did NOT require or depend on a “pick-six” interception score by the New England defense, or some miraculous, 90-yard, broken-field kick return for a touchdown by the special teams. It was more like watching an experienced team of surgeons. Julian Edelman’s “miracle ankle catch,” while a wonder to watch, depended on the basics every receiver coach teaches: Locate the ball. Can you GET to the ball? Can you get a HAND on the ball? Now bring the ball to your body; protect the ball from the ground with your body or — failing that — with the backs of your hands. . . . Never give up.
Meantime, it’s not us but the globalist, America-hating Left that has insisted on linking this otherwise less serious (or, at best, metaphorical) sports story to the current epochal tidal change in our politics. Having whined in outrage for months that Donald Trump’s personal friendship with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick tends to “normalize and legitimize the Trump presidency” (should a man deny his friends to satisfy his depraved detractors?), they willed this game -– and the Patriots’ hoped-for defeat -– to assume political significance.
(Heavens! “Normalizing” and “legitimizing” the Trump presidency? Making it seem almost as “normal” and “legitimate” as, I don’t know, the presidency of a totally unqualified, crypto-Muslim “community organizer,” son of two communists who he himself says may never have married (not that we much care), whose own book publicist stated repeatedly in writing for years that he was born in Kenya, a man raised by Communist grandparents and mentored by their Communist friend Frank Marshall Davis, acolyte of Saul “The Red” Alinsky, an inspiring tutor of the ACORN vote-fraud bunch, a smooth-talking politician who launched his political career in the living room of unrepentant former police-station — and Pentagon, and U.S. Capitol — bomber Bill Ayers . . .
. . . a President who won his 2004 Senate race due to the illegal release of opponent Jack Ryan’s divorce-custody records, a man elected President thanks to an overwhelming vote from black Americans despite the fact he is descended from no former slaves and has never experienced any appreciable racial discrimination, a man who curiously still won’t release his college records and whose stated purpose was to impoverish Americans in punishment for the sins of the “capitalist colonizers of Africa” to such an extent that we’d no longer be able to “Drive our SUVs and, you know, eat as much as we want and keep our homes on, you know, 72 degrees at all times” — see . . . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETX1E__iVsE , . . . and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HlTxGHn4sH4 ) . . . yet who has contributed nothing to help his impoverished relatives in Kenya, or the students of the school that bears his name there, despite promises to do so, despite the fact he’s a best-selling author with an estimated net worth of $12 million?)
Down with capitalism! Down with prosperity! Ban carbon dioxide, if you have to! Ban coal! Let them freeze in the dark! Import unassimilable Muslim mass murderers by the tens of thousands to spread terror and distrust and blood in the streets! Do it all in the name of the threatened desert pupfish! Aaaiiieee!
It seems almost frivolous to link a mere sporting event to these more important concerns, but it’s the hysterical, depraved, finally exposed Far Left in their Emperor’s New Clothes (see “the global warming hoax”) who have painted themselves into a corner from which they must now choose between shrieking a la Margaret Hamilton “I’m melllting!” or . . . what? — claiming the Russians “hacked the Super Bowl”?
Shrieking and lying are about all they have left, other than rioting in the streets, blaming their Soros-funded riots on the victims ( http://www.breitbart.com/milo/2017/02/02/fake-news-robert-reich-claims-breitbart-news-organized-berkeley-riots/ ), and praying for an assassin’s bullet.
Why is that? Why do they have so few votes left in Congress that they have to pray out loud, in public, for help from an assassin (which is treason, just by the by) or from GOP turncoats like John McCain -– when Democrats controlled both houses upon the ascension of Barack Obama, eight years ago?
Could it be because — as a leader of their party, as well as at just about everything else, Barack Obama . . . sucked? Could it be because — even as they malign Donald Trump as a mentally deranged “narcissist” – it was instead the narcissism of their diffident champion Barack Obama that saw him engaging in endless self-congratulation (how many autobiographies has the man already written?), taking endless tax-paid vacations when he could instead have been out on the hustings in 2010 and 2014, his arm around this or that Democratic congressional hopeful, urging voters to “Vote for this guy because I need his help back in Washington”?
Great leaders need great energy, great talent at choosing strong, gifted, honest subalterns (not guys who end up having to resign because they face charges of criminal contempt of Congress for ineptly running guns to Mexican drug cartels and then lying about it, not bribe-hustling gals who let an American ambassador get murdered in Benghazi because they’re either too drunk or paralyzed between doses of Leva-Dopa to answer the phone and OK a rescue mission that night, after gleefully arranging the assassination of Libya’s head of state so said lady could send in said ambassador without sufficient security to operate ANOTHER illicit gun-running scheme, this time smuggling Libyan arms via Turkey to the Muslim terrorist murderers known as ISIS, sustaining a Syrian civil war which has killed thousands and spawned a world-wide refugee crisis and brought us close to war with Russia, even as she called for SEIZING THE LAWFUL ARMS OF ALL AMERICAN CITIZENS.)
(Obama-Clinton Gun-running to ISIS: see http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/04/real-benghazi-story.html ; or http://www.businessinsider.com/obama-admin-admits-to-covertly-sending-heavy-weapons-to-syrian-rebels-2012-12 , or http://www.nationalreview.com/article/438605/hillary-clinton-wikileaks-benghazi-scandal-arm-syrian-rebels-al-qaeda-isis-libya-turkey .)
(Hillary anxious for mandatory “buy-back” of Americans’ guns: see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpY0rItDqzM . Which of course hasn’t worked, even in Australia: see http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/internal-rivalry-among-comancheros-led-to-gunfight-at-paesano-restaurant-police/story-e6frea83-1226226914996 , and http://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2015/11/10/australias-secret-gun-problem-exposed/ .)
And they decided she was their best candidate for PRESIDENT? Was it the creepy grandma smile?
The globalist Democrats disintegrate before our eyes. They think the country consists of Berkeley, Columbia, Wall Street, the Los Angeles barrio, and Massachusetts Avenue. The Saudis did not choose their agents well. Where do they go to get their hundreds of millions back? They’d better hurry.
Meantime let’s hope someone has thought to provide former Congressman Anthony Weiner with some round-the-clock bodyguards, as he negotiates just what he’s willing to tell — and about whom — in exchange for a better plea deal concerning the information stored on that infamous laptop. But then the premature deaths of people with tales to tell about the Clintons are just an urban myth, a wacko conspiracy theory . . . right?
Great leaders never quit. To achieve greatness, they need a truly despicable, truly evil enemy (and today’s globalist, America-hating Left with their shrill Media sluts and lying cable concubines surely qualify) to strive against and overcome.
And finally they have to be lucky, as Donald Trump has been lucky in the opponents who the forces of darkness have chosen to array against him: the embarrassing narcissist Barack Obama, who gutted his party and left it without a “bench”; the pathetically corrupt and neuro-psychiatrically impaired Hillary Clinton, who SCHEMED to make sure “Can’t-Win Trump” got the GOP nomination; Chuck Schumer who cackled with glee as he congratulated the murderers-by-fire of the women and children of Waco; Elizabeth Warren who wants so badly to not be white that she lies and claims to be an American Indian, a president pro tem of the California state senate (Kevin de León) who now admits “half his family” are here illegally, that they have bought and used forged drivers licenses and Social Security cards, that he has never seen any need to turn them in for these crimes . . . even as he accepts a taxpayer salary to enact laws that he expects actual AMERICANS to obey.
And a bunch of government bureaucrats who imagine they can refuse to follow the lawful orders of this duly elected, widely popular administration to enforce the law . . . without being given an hour to pack a cardboard box, turn in your badge, and accompany the nice security guard to the parking lot.
Far more than the Atlanta Falcons, who played hard and took their loss like men and who have not whined about the unfairness of it all and who will be back -– there are your losers, ladies and gentlemen.
Winners and losers and finally — however imperfect — a chance for some justice in the world.