But nothing – and I mean NOTHING – drives me nuts more than people who refuse to take responsibility for their actions. Nothing is ever anybody’s fault anymore, and I’m sick and tired of it. There was once a time when the phrase "you made your bed, now lie in it" meant something. Now, it’s more like "you made your bed, now blame your parents/society/the government for teaching you how to make it wrong and sue somebody."
That’s why I’m taking a stand. Time to own up to what I’ve done and take it on the chin. Maybe if I lead by example, others will follow suit. I try to avoid talking politics, religion, or any other subject that may open a can of worms. But I don’t shy away from talking the New England Patriots, and I’ve made my share of predictions about how this season is going to pan out over the last few months. Since there’s no game to preview this Sunday with the Patriots enjoying their bye week, so I thought that now would be a good opportunity to revisit some of those predictions to see how I did, and admit it
when if I’m wrong. I know that these kinds of predictions are best visited at the end of the season rather than the middle, but if all goes according to plan I’ll be doing the bulk of my writing in February about…
You know what? Not even going to go there. We all know what I’m thinking. Moving on.
Back in August, I posted what I thought were the 10 best offseason moves that the Patriots had made up until that point (read the article here). I’m going to re-examine each of those predictions and grade them the only way I know how: it’s either a win, or it’s a fail. I decided to factor in not only whether or not the transactions ended up panning out, but how they fall in terms of the ranking I gave them.
So here goes nothing. Time to man up and handle my business. Examining my predictions after the jump.
9. Resigning Brandon McGowan. Still don’t quite get this move.
8. Releasing Tully Banta-Cain. My logic for liking this move in the offseason was that it seemed to hint that the Patriots were about to acquire another edge rusher that will complement the team’s new front 3. While
7. Getting the bulk of the rookie contracts done quickly. Rookies Nate Solder and Stevan Ridley have stepped into their respective roles with a pretty solid level of success thus far. We’re still waiting for Shane Vereen to see significant time, and Ras-I Dowling hasn’t done himself any favors shaking off the reputation he earned in college as injury-prone. Still, the sooner the contracts got signed, the sooner the rookies got on the field and as up-to-speed as possible. Looking back on it now – what a bonehead move this prediction is. I mean, why wouldn’t the Pats want to sign their rookies quickly? Is there any strategy or planning in getting a player to hold out? I was obviously just looking for something to get me to 10 predictions with this pick. Oh well. I’ll still take it. WIN.
6. Getting Matt Light's Deal Done. Matt Light is very quietly racking up a phenomenal season. He recently ate DeMarcus Ware’s lunch for all but 2 plays last Sunday, and has been protecting Brady’s blind side very well so far. The Light signing became even more valuable with Sebastian Vollmer sidelined for much of the season thus far, forcing Solder over to Right Tackle. Maintaining continuity and consistency is vital to the way an O Line performs, and having Light there to anchor it has remained a huge plus. WIN.
5. Trading for Chad Ochocinco. Would this prediction still be on this list if I could do the whole thing again knowing what I know now? Yes it would. Would I have this move all the way up at #5? Absolutely not. While I liked – and still like – the Ochocinco trade,
4. Trading for Albert Haynesworth. Was Albert hurt for the first few weeks, or was he just out of shape? At this point, I think it could go either way. It may be a little too early to dub this prediction a win or fail right now, as I think that Haynesworth has been fairly solid the past two games as a situational pass rusher. I also think that he’s going to get better as the Pats get into the meat of their schedule following the bye. However, if he doesn’t start to make a little bit more of a splash, I’m going to have to go back and retroactively bump this prediction down towards the bottom of this list. It’s hard not to like the move given how little
3. Resigning Kevin Faulk. How many of you grinned like you just saw a fat person slip on the ice when you read Greg’s article about Kevin Faulk returning to practice? I know I did. As a receiving and blocking back, you just don’t get any better than Faulk. Brady is also recently on record saying that Kevin Faulk is the most clutch guy he’s ever played with, which is saying something (now if I can only get him on record saying he’d be honored to be my Best Man, should I ever get married, I’ll be set). Danny Woodhead is having a quieter season than expected, and getting Faulk back for situational downs is going to be a big boost. While I don’t think that his spot is fully cemented on the team yet, I can’t see
1. Tom Brady cut his hair. Not only did Tommy B cut his hair to start the season, he cut it even more once the season got going. He is now rocking a close cropped Maximus from Gladiator ‘do that just screams "I need a ring for my pinkie and I need it yesterday." Riding into battle with flowing locks is reserved for William Wallace and those creeps on the cover of romance novels. Once again, I called this one like a champ. EPIC WIN.
I know that most of these predictions were pretty much layups and pretty much any idiot could have made these calls and been mostly correct. But the rub of it is that any idiot didn’t make these calls: this one did. Plus, it’s not like I have a whole lot going for me, so I’m going to take what I can get and beat it into the ground. I think I did pretty damn well overall; only two clear misses, at least four hits, with three home runs.
Come to think of it, I’m actually pretty damn awesome. And who said that taking responsibility was hard?