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Just a Little Bit of D-I-S-R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Us Against The World
Charged Up About Lack of Respect?

It's as inevitable as Bill Belichick wearing a sweatshirt on the sideline. When the New England Patriots get to the playoffs, there is talk of "disrespect."

Let's start with the San Diego Chargers former teammate. Reche Caldwell has been telling his current teammate that his old mates consider the Patriots as merely a stepping stone to greater things.

The Chargers are backing off those statements, according to the Boston Herald's Karen Guregian. In fact, now they're calling him a liar. How disrespectful!

"Reche hasn't talked to anybody on this team," Guregian quotes Chargers safety Marlon McCree. "Reche's just trying to incite a riot."

Quite a claim. How does McCree know who Caldwell talks to? I'm sure the Chargers have had lots to say to Caldwell, and to Junior Seau, who has been out west much of the time since his season-ending injury. And I'm sure it goes both ways. Who knows what Seau has been telling the San Diego players?

Somehow, I don't think there's a lot of cross-talk with Rodney Harrison, but that's just a guess.

Leaving on a Jet Plane?

The Chargers, a la Pittsburgh in 2001, have been saying they're going to the Super Bowl already. They say that it's just natural to believe. It's just a goal. It's what anyone would say, right?

Well, not the Patriots.

But there has been some real trash talk from southern California.

"Show it to me. I'd be amazed if someone said something disrespectful," linebacker Shawne Merriman said, according to Guregian.

Yeah? Would you be amazed if someone had said at halftime of last weekend's Patriots against the New York Jets that the Jets would win?

Short memory. Must be the steroids.

Speaking of that "interview," which belonged more on some lousy showbiz magazine show than on a sports program, Merriman showed up all buff in his little black T-shirt, flouting the body that chemical science gave him, and like the proverbial 800-pound gorilla, the in-studio "analysts" ignored it and talked to Merriman like a drinking buddy. But that's the opinion of about 10 other writers. I didn't see it.

Do a Little Dance

"I don't think anyone in this locker room has said one disrespectful thing about the New England Patriots. I haven't heard anything disrespectful being tossed around. It's definitely not coming from me."

Huh. Interesting. That must have been some jacked-up impostor at the Chargers cute little pep rally they had the other day.

Asked what San Diego would do this weekend against the New England Patriots, Merriman responded, "Hit Tom Brady right in the mouth." And then he started dancing.

You can see an amateur video on YouTube. After Merriman makes his non-incite-ful comment, you can hear a group of Chargers fans chanting, "Brady [stinks]."

That's not disrespectful at all, and if it could possibly construed as such, it certainly didn't come from Merriman. Right?

I don't often give credence to rumors, and I can't even remember where I heard it, but someone told me (or I heard it on the radio) that one of the Chargers (it may have been Antonio Gates) made a reference to the Patriots not having a chance because San Diego had so many Associated Press All-Pro selections, while the Patriots had just one, defensive end Richard Seymour, and only as a second-teamer.

It's a National Pasttime

For the record, it's not just the Chargers lacking respect for the Patriots.

The Associated Press named six Chargers to its All-Pro team: LaDainian Tomlinson, fullback Lorenzo Neal, defensive tackle Jamal Williams, Gates and Merriman. Placekicker Nate Kaeding made the second team.

The Chargers also have nine players on the AFC Pro Bowl team. The above six, plus center Nick Hardwick, special teamer Kassin Osgood and quarterback Philip Rivers. The Patriots had only Seymour. Again.

Of course, to the players, this stuff matters not. Right?

Hey, it can't hurt.

And then there are the oddsmakers. The Patriots opened as a 6-point underdog. It quickly dropped to 4 and currently stands at 4.5.

Ahh, it's like music to my ears.

Poll

Are the Patriots still disrespected outside New England?

This poll is closed

  • 62%
    Absolutely
    (10 votes)
  • 37%
    Not a chance
    (6 votes)
16 votes total Vote Now