Revenge Is for Suckers
Harrison Lets On-Field Actions Speak
I was driving to work this morning and heard part of a replay of Dale Arnold and Michael Holley's interview with Rodney Harrison from Friday.
Arnold asked Harrison what he thought about Bulluck's comment that "Anytime we go against them guys, it's always going to be payback." Harrison said that other teams can play for revenge; that's not the Patriot Way. The Patriots, he said, go and do their jobs, play their game. Win games. Revenge is for suckers. (I'm paraphrasing, of course.)
Neither Arnold nor Harrison could remember what Bulluck was so upset about. In Friday's Associated Press story, recounted here in the Boston Herald, Bulluck said that most of his venom was directed at Patriots receiver Reche Caldwell." But he didn't say what Caldwell did or said, only that the Patriots weren't "being too professional."
But following the game, Bulluck appeared upset about Vinny Testaverde's late touchdown to Troy Brown that gave Testaverde a league record 20 consecutive seasons with a touchdown pass. "I think it was [expletive], and as long as I am here I will always remember that," Bulluck said. No mention of Caldwell.
I know it was just 8 months ago, but apparently Bulluck doesn't even know why he's so bent on revenge.
The funny thing is that the first line of the AP story was, "Vince Young has a short memory. Keith Bulluck has a long one." Apparently not.
Back to Harrison. Arnold said to him, "If anyone should want revenge, it's you," referring to the at-the-knees hit by Titans receiver Bobby Wade that ended Harrison's season and ultimately hurt New England's Super Bowl aspirations.
Harrison said it was just part of football, and he had no desire for revenge. He said that the low blow wasn't "unfair" (read: it was legal), but that guys don't need to take out someone's knees (read: it was dirty). After the clearly unsportsmanlike block, Tedy Bruschi had to be restrained. But the Patriots didn't seek revenge. They promptly pummeled the Titans and eliminated the punks from the playoffs.
Eight months later, thugs like Bulluck are openly talking about going out on the field and hurting people. But not to worry. Bulluck and LaDanian Tomlinson will tell you, "I'm a classy guy." Who's to doubt them? I mean, how can you argue with that?
The truth is: The guy who has the real gripe is the guy who's not complaining. He going out and doing his job, just as he's always done. And that's why the Patriots, in the eyes of thugs and whiners, "have no class, and it starts with their head coach."
I leave you with this Mad Lib:
But you know what they say, "Payback's a _ noun _," and so is _ proper noun _.
More About the Gillette Stadium Experience
As I said before, we were lucky enough to get a couple clubhouse seats; see how the other half lives -- or at least watches Patriots games.
Interesting place, that clubhouse. Lots of well-dressed people -- and that's just the clubhouse staff. You don't get the blue-collar, main-gate pat-down; you get airport security. You put your metal in a tray and they wand you over. Up the escalator is a semi-luxurious concourse, complete with comfy chairs and sofas, tables and barchairs, wide-screen LCD TVs (we got to watch the Red Sox game during the rain storm and halftime, but Eric Gagne blew it again), full bars, upscale concessions and top-tier, buffet-style carving and specialty stations.
An hour before game time, for a half-hour, several Patriots alumni autograph photos for free. There are two clubhouse areas, and each side has five alumni. Our side had, among the others, John "The Greatest Patriots Ever" Hannah.
Unless prices went up since last year (and I can't rule that out until the Bills game) prices for the same items in the blue-collar concessions were higher, but only a few items were the same, while there were many different ones. Pretty good stuff, if not pricey. The carving and specialty stations were $20 to $25 per entree/dinner. Draft beer was $7.50. Lots of advertised specialty drinks were $10 or more.
Of course, people who normally go to the games on those tickets probably don't blink twice. But this was a preseason game, and I don't think there were too many "regulars" there. Mostly there were a lot of wide-eyed people saying stuff like, "Look at these seats! Can you believe these seats?" and "Ten bucks for a sandwich?"
Park and Walk. And Walk. And Walk.
The parking situation at Gillette is none too great, but I suppose it's pretty tough to find space for 20,000 to 30,000 cars, SUVs, RVs and limos. Apparently, the construction in last year's parking lot is in part to make way for the new cash cow .. I mean, Patriot Place. That has moved parking for many fans much further from the stadium, across Route 1. That adds a good 10 minutes or more walking both ways before and after the game.
The "parking changes" section on the Patriots website says, "You'll have more time to tailgate with easier ingress and egress." But when you leave the lot (Lot 10), you're forced south on Rte. 1 to Interstate 495. That added 15 miles and a very long time to our postgame commute. Our egress was more digress.
This inconvenience must have driven the parking prices down, right? Ya. Right. The $40 parking fee is more than many teams charge for game tickets.
But they added an hour to the prior 3 hours of tailgate time. The lots open 4 hours before game time. That means you can start getting plastered for a 1 p.m. Sunday game shortly after 9 a.m.
Phase one of Patriot Place is slated to open in November, which should make a barely tolerable situation nearly unbearable. But we're Patriots fans. We don't sell our tickets to fans of other teams, and we grin and bear it in the face of unbridled capitalism because we love our team. Right now we do, anyway.