You Get What You Deserve – Moss Misses the Ring

 
Rob Vanstone
The Leader-Post
The New England Patriots’ monumental collapse should forever be known as the BeliCHOKE.

Sunday’s verdict — the New York Giants’ 17-14 victory over New England — is an appropriate fate for Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.

Watch the film of that, Bill!

Belichick couldn’t even find it within himself to stick around for the final, obligatory second. Surrounded by security detail, Belichick stomped toward the dressing room. Shortly thereafter, Giants quarterback Eli Manning took a knee to officially conclude the game.

Somehow, Belichick was outlasted by Patriots receiver Randy Moss, who is himself noted for premature departures. Three seasons ago, while in the Minnesota Vikings’ employ, Moss deserted his teammates during the latter stages of a game against the Washington Redskins.

Late in Sunday’s game, there was a very good chance that Moss would be credited with the Super Bowl-winning touchdown — a six-yard connection with Tom Brady that had put New England ahead 14-10 with 2:42 remaining.

Undaunted, Manning marched the Giants 83 yards in 12 plays, punctuating the drive with a 13-yard scoring toss to a wide-open Plaxico Burress with 35 seconds left. Four futile Patriots plays later, BeliCHOKE had seen enough.

Looks good on you, Bill.

Looks good on you, Randy.

If any player does not deserve to be a Super Bowl champion, it is Moss. His off-field indiscretions are well-documented. On the field, Moss is blessed with rare talent, but it has been used selectively — as evidenced by the blase attitude he displayed during his extended siesta with the Oakland Raiders.

Belichick’s disciplinary issues are strictly within the realm of the NFL. Early this season, a Patriots video assistant was caught illegally filming the New York Jets’ defensive signals.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell responded by fining Belichick $500,000 — the largest financial penalty ever assessed to an NFL coach — and billing the Patriots an additional $250,000. Additionally, New England forfeited its first-round pick in the 2008 NFL draft.

The videotaping issue resurfaced Saturday, when the Boston Herald reported that a Patriots staffer had filmed the St. Louis Rams’ walkthrough one day before the 2002 Super Bowl (in which New England posted an upset victory). Although the Patriots and the league responded with denials, there was another dark cloud hovering over the Patriots.

Spygate, alone, was enough to tarnish the Patriots’ season. Had they won Sunday, all the discussion about New England’s perfect season would also have included references to the illicit taping.

The greatest team ever? Forget about that notion. The greatest upset ever? Now there’s a discussion!

After the 2006 season, embattled Giants head coach Tom Coughlin somehow escaped the axe. The jackals were circling after New York lost its first two games of 2007. Manning was also the target of criticism following some stinkers.

Manning responded by outplaying two future Hall of Famers — the Green Bay Packers’ Brett Favre, followed by Brady — in the final two games of the playoffs.

With one minute remaining, Manning made a play that has to rank among the finest in Super Bowl history. Although Manning is not a noted scrambler, he eluded intense pressure and fired a pass toward a well-covered David Tyree. The Giants receiver made a leaping catch, holding the ball against the top of his helmet (a la Andy Fantuz) while hitting the ground. The result: A 32-yard gain.

In a split-second, Tyree put himself in a league with Lynn Swann, Jerry Rice, Fred Biletnikoff and John Stallworth by making one of the most spectacular grabs anyone has witnessed in the NFL’s marquee game.

The Giants’ upset of New England was equally remarkable.

The outcome certainly fit the Bill.

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~ by Sactown Raider Boosters on February 4, 2008.

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