Anybody else noticed the Deflategate Curse?
Check it out. We know the Patriots have an Enemies List longer than that compiled by Richard Milhous Nixon. We know the Patriots will go about their business for 17 weeks, plus playoffs, punishing all those who did them wrong . . . kicking butt and taking names . . . all the way to Santa Clara.
But there is something else afoot. Independent of games involving the Patriots, bad things are happening to New England’s enemies. Some intangible Machiavellian justice appears to be rearing its vengeful head. It is as if an occult hand is smacking the rats and rascals who accused and abused New England’s highly successful/sanctimonious football team.
It’s a fanboy festival of unleashed frustrations.
Let’s start with the Baltimore Ravens. We’re pretty sure that it was the Ravens who started the silly scandal. The Patriots embarrassed them with trickeration in the divisional playoff game in Foxborough last season, and when coach John Harbaugh cried about it, Tom Brady suggested Harbaugh learn the rules.
Next thing you know, a Ravens equipment guy is e-mailing a Colts guy, warning the Colts to look for deflated footballs in the AFC Championship game. This led to the NFL’s sting operation during that game and the outing of Messrs. McNally and Jastremski. You know the rest.
Look at the Ravens now. Picked as an AFC threat, they are 0-2. Linebacker Terrell Suggs, the emotional leader of the team, is out for the season (torn Achilles’). The Ravens are the only winless team in the AFC North. This past weekend, they lost to the Raiders, a three-win team in 2014.
The only Patriot haters doing worse than the Ravens are the Colts. What a joke. We thought we would have to wait until Oct. 18 to see the Colts pay a price for their hand in Deflategate, but it’s been Christmas in September for Patriot fans who put the evil eye on Indy.
The Colts have eight turnovers in two games. Evidently, they miss the days of playing with those oh-so-easy-to-secure deflated footballs. Andrew Luck has been outplayed by Ryan Fitzpatrick and Tyrod Taylor, and overwhelmed Indy coach Chuck Pagano is sniping at general manager Ryan Grigson. The Patriots might beat the Colts, 73-0, next month.
Others on the Enemies List are paying the price in similar fashion.
Remember Houston owner Bob McNair ripping the Patriots for being uncooperative with Ted Wells? McNair put all the blame on the Patriots and said that his guy, J.J. Watt, would never destroy his cellphone. The Texans are 0-2.
Jerry Jones is another one. While many were ripping the commissioner for his sloppy investigation and over-punishment of the Patriots, the Cowboys owner came out in support of the beleaguered Roger Goodell. It was a lot like what Bob Kraft did on CBS after Goodell’s mishandling of the Ray Rice fiasco.
Jones spoke about what a hard job the Commish has. Jones backed Goodell and basically told Kraft to suck it up. And now look what has happened to Jones’s Cowboys. Their best two players, Tony Romo and Dez Bryant, are out for a couple of months.
It’s no better for estimable Giants owner John Mara. Mara commands much respect throughout the league. He was summoned by Judge Richard Berman (I think Berman will be in Fred Smerlas’s hospitality tent this weekend) when Berman was trying to forge a settlement in the Brady punishment case.
But Mara basically did what McNair and Jones did. He supported Goodell. Blunder. The Giants are 0-2, blowing double-digit leads in each of their first two games.
What about the 0-2 Eagles, you ask? Why would the Curse of Deflategate touch the football team from Philadelphia? Simple. In his final years on the planet, former Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter dedicated hundreds of hours to burying the Patriots.
A passionate Eagles fan, Specter was outraged by Spygate. His old notes resurfaced when ESPN delivered its exposé of the Patriots two weeks ago. The Eagles are still the enemy of the New England states. And so Philly must suffer with the others who tossed stones at the Gillette Lighthouse.
I worry for the Worldwide Leader and other media outlets/members who covered the coverup with a cynical eye. What’s going to happen to poor Bob Kravitz, Chris Mortensen, Don Van Natta, and my man, Gary Tanguay? Bill Polian? Lester Munson? Mark Brunell? Felgie? Mazz? Ben Volin? . . . (gulp) me?
The Curse of Deflategate is a force of nature. After seeing what’s happened to the Colts, Ravens, and the rest, even Miss America must be nervous. Heavy lies the crown on the heads of those who jumped on the Patriots.
firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Dan_Shaughnessy.