The Fallout to the Fallout
If you were like me, the moment Tom Brady’s hail mary pass touched the Indianapolis turf, you changed the channel. No confetti, no coaches’ handshake, no trophy presentation. We switched the TV over to Puppy Bowl replays. Football season was over, and I really didn’t even want to think about any of it again for at least a week. Better yet, call me in April for the draft.
That, of course, seems to have been wishful thinking. Apparently, it’s impossible for a Boston team to lose now without fallout. Somehow they manage this in other cities — did you hear about any tabloid crises when the Rangers lost the World Series? Or even when the Heat, for all their troubles, got dropped in the NBA Finals? Well, we know what happened with the Red Sox back in September: fried chicken, beer, video games, and pain killers. Accusations of pitchers out of shape and players discontented. And then there was Tito and Theo exiting stage left.
There might not be a team in sports that abhors controversy more than the tight-lipped Patriots, but even they’ve seen their share of absurd post-game stories. There was Giselle dumping on the wide receivers, Matt Light taking his shirt off (by the way, this is apparently OK if you win), and Gronk partying. Yesterday, some online pawnshop made headlines by delivering hundreds of Butterfingers to Copley Square, addressed to Wes Welker. And then the Giants’ Brandon Jacobs went and opened his big dumb misogynistic mouth and said of Giselle, “She just needs to continue to be cute and shut up.” So you can be pretty sure we haven’t heard the last of that issue.
There was even a flap about the stupid and bizarrely personal column Boston.com’s Eric Wilbur wrote blaming the entire Super Bowl loss on Brady. That led to Wilbur’s mea culpa from yesterday, in which he suffered from an equally severe diarrhea of words and constipation of thought. The Boston.com writer took it all back, except not really, and basically admitted that when he wrote his original column he was just trying to pander to what he thought would be his readers’ base instincts … except that he was totally out of touch.
Now, in fairness to the Pats, this isn’t really their doing. Giselle got caught on camera in a bad moment, Light and Gronk had every right to unwind (especially at a party that was supposed to be private), that Butterfinger thing was just a dumb publicity stunt, and us idiots in the media will write whatever we write.
But good grief, this is an awful lot of controversy for a team that played its heart out and came up just short. This wasn’t anything like the Red Sox’ antics (for them, the fallout was well deserved) and there wasn’t anything remotely controversial about the game.
So if even this Patriots team is going to be the wellspring of so much post-game tumult, maybe this is just how it’s always going to be from now on, especially in a town that cares about sports as much as this one. Obviously, social media and technological advances had a lot to do with all the caught on camera moments, so I don’t mean to sound like an old fogey, because I promise, I’m not an old fogey. I love Twitter, Deadspin, YouTube, all of it — the world’s better for it all existing. The more information that’s out there, the better. In principle, I’m not upset any of this came out. I get it. It’s just, wouldn’t it be nice for once if a Boston team could lose, and that would be that? After all, the losing was bad enough by itself.