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Misreading The Patriot Template

FAN couldn’t talk about it enough. Neither could ESPN, SNY and MSG. “Fire Mangini!” “The Jets are a disgrace!” “Same old Jets!” And barely a mention of The Giants coming from behind to beat the Carolina Panthers 34-28 for the number one seed in the playoffs. Okay. Fine. Let me chime in.

After Herm – Snake Oil Salesman – Edwards left, the Jets like the rest of the NFL, looked north to New England for a new template. And, why not? The Patriots had won three of the last four Super Bowls. So, they hire Eric Mangini — who, along with resident GM, Mike Tannenbaum — try to employ The Patriot Template. The Jets promptly go 10-6 and get into the 2006 Playoffs.

But, while they initially emphasize fundamentals and discipline, by 2007, they rely on trick plays as if they’re inherent in the template, too. They provoke their best ‘O’ lineman, Pete Kendall over a lousy million bucks — chump change in today’s pro sports — and chase him out of town. And both give monotone, unintelligible replies to the press — as if that’s part of The Patriot Template as well.

The 2007 regular season is a disaster followed by the worst possible scenario: The hated Patriots, who for the first time, spent freely in the off season, go 18-0 before losing in Super Bowl XLII to the — ugh, equally hated — Giants. So, prior to 2008 season, Mangini and Tannenbaum — now believing a spending spree is also part of The Patriot Template — do the same: 140 million dollars on a few tons of free agents in an attempt to buy a championship team … which, by the way, doesn’t work.

Sure the Patriots spent a lot but they did it with the solid foundation of a championship team. The Jets try to build on no foundation whatsoever — somehow expecting it to work the way it worked for the Pats. It didn’t. It can’t. It won’t. Ergo the cries of distress all day today.

The plain simple fact is, The Patriots didn’t win 3 Super Bowls because they use trick plays. They didn’t win 3 Super Bowls because they try to screw good players out of money. And, the didn’t win 3 Super Bowls because they don’t say anything intelligible to the press.

They won 3 Super Bowls because they have a great football coach who’s strength isn’t trick plays or nasty contract negotiations or mumbo-jumbo press conferences. Bellichick came up through the ranks, going to war with and studying with the best. He paid his dues, His strength is his football ‘chops.’ His knowledge and experience. He created a template not a magic wand.

Who knows, maybe in time, Mangini will develop. I think he can. But, first, he and Tannenbaum have to learn how to decipher The Patriot Template because up to now, they’ve completely misread it.

Oh, yeah, by the way, in case anyone’s interested; after an amazing Super Bowl season The Giants are having another hell of a year! And now for a station break, after which we’ll come back and crucify Mangini and the Jets some more. Good grief!


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