by Scott Benson
The Pats are 7-0, we’re about to Seymour of Richard, and one of the great coaches in pro football history brings his 4-2 team to Foxboro this afternoon. Let’s see what’s in the papers on Game Day, Week Eight.
One of the busiest days in the young life of Patriots Daily came when our columnist Dan Snapp found an obscure Drew Bledsoe article in, of all places, a literary review based on Whitefish, Montana, and turned it into Drew Colors, still the most heavily trafficked post we’ve had yet. In it, Dan asserted that Bledsoe’s comments to the Whitefish Review revealed a certain ambivilence to the business of professional football, and his responsibilities as a highly paid principal in that pursuit.
People went nuts. On one side were those who felt Bledsoe was an unimpeachable figure in Patriots history, responsible for everything from franchise legitimacy to the construction of Gillette Stadium to the team’s first world championship. On the other were those who continue to feel that the placid Bledsoe did little to ever improve his game and ended up squandering more than he ever accomplished in New England.
Well, Dan nearly broke our comments feature with that column, and within in a couple of days, the debate had spilled over to the message board at patsfans.com (where it still rages from time to time, I hear), and the column was picked up nationally at places like ESPN and Deadspin.
We immediately hoisted Dan on our shoulders and toted him around the luxurious Patriots Daily offices, as we dreamed of buying expensive whiskey, jet skis and crested blazers for the whole staff with the receipts from our suddenly busy Google Ads. For all the traffic we got, it didn’t quite work out that way, but whatever – they were heady times.
Nobody asked though – what kind of freak is Dan Snapp that he gets the Whitefish Review? He may be right about Bledsoe, but who gets the effing Whitefish Review? The important questions rarely get asked at times like these. Anyway, it was a lot of fun while it lasted, and we’ve since moved on to other things, like Eric Mangini and Gregg Easterbrook. Until today.
The Globe’s Mike Reiss visits with Drew himself in this week’s Football Notes, where they discuss the many inquiries the retired Bledsoe has had from teams desperate for quarterback help in 2007. Drew’s not biting, as you know, because he’s busy and happy after moving on to the next stage of his life. You know, the same stuff he’s been telling everyone else for the past few weeks.
But this is where Reiss is so great – he actually asks Bledsoe about the Whitefish Review, and by extension, Drew Colors. Mercy.
“To say I didn’t love football, that’s way, way crazy,” he responded. “Those were friends of mine who were putting together a literary journal and they asked if I would share my affection for a place that means a lot to me. I said it was the best time of year when I could be there, and it was very tough to leave it. It was purely about my affection for Montana. I guess some people twisted it and spun it, and felt that meant I didn’t love to play football.
“I don’t know where somebody gets that from. I love the game of football. My dream, for as long as I can remember, was to play in the NFL. I got to do that for 14 years and I loved most every minute of it.”
Ol’ Twisting and Spinning Dan Snapp! He’s not only twisting and spinning, he’s way, way crazy too! I am sitting right now in my darkened dining room, where my laptop has grown roots, its about 6 o’clock in the morning, and I am laughing so hard that tears are streaming down my face. Thing is, Snapp is probably still in bed out there in the Midwest, where he lives, and I am just thinking of him grabbing his coffee in a couple of hours, groggily shuffling over to his computer, clicking on the morning Globe……
Life is always a little more worth living when you have something to hassle your friends with. Believe me, I’ve got my e-mail open already, and I’m just sitting on that first message from Dan. Hee. Thanks, Mike!
All right, enough about us.
Elsewhere, Reiss goes on to track down former Raven Ed Hartwell for his thoughts on the Adalius Thomas-Ray Lewis feud that erupted this week. Ed’s out of fooball, so he could give a fig about upsetting Ray-Ray, and his comments here on Lewis are nearly as priceless as Drew Bledsoe having to address the goddam Whitefish Review story.
Also priceless are Mike’s thoughts, gleaned from rival coaches and scouts, about changes to the Indianapolis Colts offensive approach this year, due in large part to rookie Tony Ugoh at left tackle for Tarik Glenn. We’ll no doubt come back to this segment again and again this week. Just an epic effort from Reiss in every respect.
Christopher Gaspar offers a solid piece on former Pat Reche Caldwell, who’s having a frustrating year in Washington after being a last minute cut by the Pats. He comes across as a thoroughly decent guy whose biggest fault is that he’s not Randy Moss, Dante Stallworth or Wes Welker. And how is it, exactly, that Caldwell can’t get snaps ahead of Brandon Friggin’ Lloyd?
Jim McBride closes out the Globe’s coverage this morning with his weekly scouting report, in which he says the Pats will cover the 16 point spread against the Redskins today.
Over in the Herald, John Tomase says this will be no trap game for the Pats, despite Joe Gibbs’s efforts to wave the white flag this week. Karen Gurgeian has the Pats notebook, where she looks at the returning Richard Seymour. Tomase returns with five things to look for today, including the Redskins offense against the worst red zone defense in the league.
John counters Reiss’s brilliant league notes effort today with one of his own, a think-piece with Bill Belichick on playing defense inside your own ten yard line. The coach talks in general terms, but he could be describing the task facing Washington today, as they face off against a Patriots team that has been lethal when they get close to their opponent’s goal line. Great work here by Tomase.
In the ProJo, Shalise Manza Young has more on Seymour’s return to the lineup after missing nearly two months. In her weekly game analysis, SMY gives the edge to the Pats, and she finishes by going close up with Bam Childress, who eats like Elvis, apparently. No fried banana sandwiches, Brandon?
David Heuschkel of the Courant says the Redskins’ only hope is to run the ball and control the clock in classic Gibbs style, keeping the Pats offense on the sidelines for as long as possible. David also hits on something that I’d missed this week – the Pats have not beaten the Redskins since 1972. I remember that game – the 11-3 Redskins kicker (I forget who it was) missed a sure chip shot at the end, giving the 3-11 Pats an improbable win. I won something like two bucks from my baseball coach at the time, which was a big deal in 1972 dollars.
It is a home game, so be sure to check out The Patriots Daily Buffet Table for this weekend.
For more, check patriotslinks.com, and I’ll be back later with a post-game look at the Pats and Redskins. I already know it will not rise to the level of being mentioned in the Globe, but what are you going to do.