In March of 2014, when Bill Belichick signed Darrelle Revis to a one-year deal, I was so convinced of the Patriots defensive dominance that I bet my boss, an extremely successful TV writer, $20 that they would go undefeated.
This same writer has written scores of televisions shows, including one of the most lucrative of the last two decades, won the most prestigious awards in television and has had success few could dream of, but give him truth-serum and I’m sure the $20 he won off of me after THE FIRST GAME was the most satisfying victory he’s ever experienced. Not to mention the slaughter in Kansas City that came a few weeks later. Not a meeting or chat goes by that he doesn’t remind me of my overconfidence. Because there is no more relished feeling in the world than schadenfreude, the pleasure in an enemy’s pain or loss.
If you need proof, just remember how many replays you watched of Roger Goodell’s disappearing act at the podium last February: “Where did he go? Back and to the left. Back. And to the left.” Anyway, you know why I made that bet with my old boss? I thought because ’07 happened that it could happen again, ignoring the fact that it was a statistical anomaly, because I bore witness to it.
You’re already seeing the Boston sports landscape head in this direction before training camp even begins, which should worry us all.
Hot take: I hated ’07. Not simply because it cost me $20 7 years later. Not simply because the gut punch Super Bowl. Not simply because I couldn’t sleep for like 5 nights after that game because the alcohol was still draining from my body. I hated it because a win never felt like a win, even by 40 points, it felt like an escape. It’s a bad thing to be a fan and simply rooting for the best team in the league is not enough, or the best team in the decade, no, it has to be perfect. Which sucks. And Bill Belichick and Tom Brady make fans feel justified, because they have created a statistical anomaly, they make numbers their bitches (see here, buy the sweatshirt).
Plenty of fans loved the Moss season, but to me ’07 was the height of hubris in Patriots nation. Thankfully, the “do your job”, “no days off” humility returned and produced two Super Bowls.
Anyway, I’ve learned my lesson. I’m going to go out on a limb and predict, they do NOT go 16-0… and add that I hope they don’t. Because competition and struggle are the only ways we humans get better at things. Besides, too many fluky things happen: fumbles, penalties, injuries, ‘integrity’-driven suspensions, etc…
Now, all that out of the way. I think the 2017 New England Patriots will have the most efficient offense in NFL history and could break Football Outsiders database in two.
Sorry Bill, but we’re talking about advance metrics.