Monday, February 07, 2005

Fox and the Patriots

As a native New Englander, I watched with interest as the boys from Foxborough dispensed with the Philadelphia Eagles, by a 24-21 count. As I’ve written elsewhere, I’m not a huge football fan, but I have a certain interest in the team from the days when I watched them as a wee lad, when they went by the name of the Boston Patriots and played their games at Fenway Park in downtown Boston.

When I looked at the TV listings page in my local paper, I saw with horror that the game was being carried by Fox. My expectations were greatly reduced for enjoyment of the game, knowing just how much Fox manages to take the simple beauty of baseball and turn it into a bastardized spectacle that approaches what Hollywood does to your favorite novel. I imagined they would do the same with football, also. They didn’t let me down.

Now I don’t expect most sound bite aficionados to appreciate sports in their purity like I do. I mean, I was reading the late Susan Sontag bemoan the death of cinephilia with the TV sound down during commercials! But for the love of Christ, can they dispense with all the stupid graphics, weird camera angles and incessant chatter of the halftime analysts and just give us the game?

Despite my general disgust with what professional sports have become, there is something refreshing about the old-fashioned Bill Belichick and his lunch pail gang of players who are a throwback to the blue-collar teams of the 1960’s such as the Green Bay Packers, Baltimore Colts and the run-and-gun days of the renegade AFL.

I can almost expect to see Tom Brady, Tedy Bruschi and the rest of the Patriots in the old grainy black and white films from bygone days, produced by NFL films.

Congratulations to the Patriots—Super Bowl champions for three out of the past four years!


ChefDunn said...

There was one bit of video taken of Tedy Bruschi and his two sons playing in the field before the game. To me, it epitomizes the spirit of the team. Its about going out there and playing together and having a good time.

While I enjoyed the game, that 10 second bit of video was my favorite part of the whole thing. I may be a little biased as I am a Pats fan. But, those guys really get it.

Jim said...


I saw that clip!! It was so poignant! It made me reflect back to my days pitching in the Twilight League and Mark, who was 8 at the time, would come and be our bat boy. Between innings, he'd go out and warm up the right fielder.

Yeah, the Pats are a special group and remarkably, the previous successes haven't diminished their competitive fire. It's been an exciting few months in New England with the Red Sox World Series victory, tucked in between two Pat's Super Bowl wins!!

weasel said...

Fox summed up their whole attitude when they ran a promo for one of their shows in the third quarter, tagging the ad with some verbiage like "this time slot retails for $2.5 million. Fox gladly gave up that money to tell you about America's Most Nubile Hamsters (or whatever it was), its that frickin' good!"

Somewhere between the Cadillac plugs and the pylon cams there was a pretty good football game in there somewhere.

Jim said...

Wisdom Weasel wrote:

"Somewhere between the Cadillac plugs and the pylon cams there was a pretty good football game in there somewhere."

That's my point exactly with Faux; those watching football or baseball want to watch the freakin' game! I mean, why else would people watch? Why doesn't Faux and other purveyors of graphic overload understand this?