The Patriots keep on winning.
That can only mean one thing.
Time to reconvene the Salem Witch Trials, also known as the NFL’s investigations into alleged Patriot impropriety.
In the latest edition of the endless Patriots witch hunt, the New York Football Jets had the NFL sweep the visitors’ locker room at Gillette for listening devices during their game on October 25. And guess what? Nothing was found. Also that afternoon, an NFL official barked at Patriots field personnel (at the behest of the Jets) who were working the sidelines and rejected their claim that they were supposed to be on the field because they were responsible for keeping the referee’s in-stadium microphone stocked with fresh batteries. Oops. Turns out that’s exactly what they should have been doing. And they were allowed to stay there.
In this new era of guilty-until-proven-innocent, or better put, guilty-even-when-proven-innocent, the headlines were enough to make Pats fans the world over want to reach out and smack ESPN upside the head. Add this one to the never-ending list of never-proven crimes. Illegal taping of the Rams’ Super Bowl walkthrough thirteen years ago. Ghosts in the headsets. Allegedly illegal formations (that the Ravens now use). Super-secret bugs in the visiting locker room. Invisible radio jammers. Hidden mountaintop cameras in Arizona above the Seahawks practice field before Super Bowl XLIX.
Keep going. Keep whining. Keep making excuses. Because, you know, it’s never OK to admit that you lost to the Patriots. There’s got to be something sinister and conspiratorial going on.
But maybe there’s something to it. I mean, really, did you see Ryan Tannehill’s spooky eyes when the ball was snapped by him and he took a safety on Thursday night? I’m more than half surprised that there wasn’t an official inquest into Bill Belichick using mind control to force the bad snap and gain a competitive advantage.
Well, friends, sorry to disappoint. Whatever is going on in Foxboro has got nothing to do with witchcraft or wizardry. It’s a simple matter of talent, coaching, and execution, and our boys have got all three in spades. Keep on drumming up false charges, because that always works better than coming up with a good game plan or defending Rob Gronkowski.
It makes me laugh and smile, and also remember the story of the Witch of En-Dor way back in the days of King Saul. When Saul was faced with certain defeat at the hands of the Philistines, he was so afraid that he went to a witch to conjure up the spirit of the prophet Samuel to offer him advice on what to do in the battle. Samuel’s ghost rose out of the ground and promptly scolded Saul for summoning him, and after delivering a scathing rebuke told Saul that he would not only lose the battle, but that he and his sons would die in the process and the Israelites would be routed. Which is precisely what happened.
What lesson can be glean from the witch hunt in Foxboro and the witchcraft in Gilboa?
Well, necromancers, it’s best to not go hunting for ghosts and witches to solve your problems; when it comes to the Patriots, it’s better to try to figure out how to stop #12 and #87, and then take it from there.
But when that doesn't work, keep those allegations coming, please, because hell hath no fury like a Patriots team playing with a chip on their shoulders.