• Pardon me as I rehash the obvious, perhaps even use some of the same jokes you've already seen/heard - I haven't been in tune with the national media the last three days, so it's purely coincidental if it happens.

The world is a better place today.

Sure, I can be an a-hole, even loathesome. I have learned that it's good for people to hate someone who enjoys being a prick - so I am embracing it. I even despise myself sometimes when I find Skip Bayless agrees with some of the things I've thought (Eagles in the Super Bowl!). And am as big a Pats hater as anyone.

Sure, I've jokingly wished out loud that I wanted Tom Brady to succumb to serious injury - I even mentioned that it should be his knee (somehow, fate forgot that I mentioned this should happen at the ESPYs and that he should fall into Derek Jeter and injure his knee too, but 1 out of 2 is a start, I suppose). But other than Tim McCarver's voicebox I've never wished specific harm to any athlete or pseudo-celebrity not named Rachel Ray.

I'm no average Boston Sports Hater and I'm certainly not your average Patriots despiser.... not at all. I have jinxed them, jinxed them and even jinxed them. Plus I won't tell you how many times I accurately predicted in detail the "One" part of that "18 and..." mantra. But I won't take credit for Tom Brady realizing the law of averages, kharma or even the black magic/Brazilian voodoo of some obsessed Gisele fan (or perhaps Drew Bledsoe)

No, I won't revel in the fact that the NFL just lost a billion or so dollars from the wannabe/winners-by-association/Patriots bandwagon. But I will explain all the reasons this is a bad development for all of us.

Now that they are gone, who will I have left to pick on and annoy?

Why Tom Brady's knee injury hurts us all:

1. If the Pats do well, Bill Belichick will get MORE credit. We all know it's his fault for having Brady on the Injury Report for 8,000 consecutive weeks with phantom injuries. It's the Curse of the Injury Report. Now all kinds of NFL players will start to get hurt - you just watch! Damn you Belichick! Damn you!!!

2. It's football. Players get hurt all the time. It's common knowledge the average NFL career lasts 3 1/2 games. Brady was well past his expiration date. Lucky for Tom Brady he already has lots of money. And now he has time to spend some of that money, he will stimulate the economy and that in turn will trickle down into the worst case scenario - Inflation. Before you know it, NFL tickets will be so expensive that average fans won't have the opportunity to see their favorite player's careers end in front of their very eyes. Damn you Football! Damn you!!!

3. Pundits (a term that gets used FAR too often) will now debate the value of pre-season games. Since any game against the Chiefs doesn't count in the standings this scenario could have been avoided by lengthening the preseason to 5 weeks so we can fawn over Brett Favre instead of having to see the Chiefs on the field. Damn those Pundits!!! Damn them!

4. Now all the focus of the greater Boston area will go onto the Red Sox. Without sounding too cocky, if the Rays will seep the Red Sox in Boston then again next week in Tampa all we have to do is hope for the inevitable KG preseason breakdown/overdue surgery to make the internet a tolerable place to be once again. Screw the Red Sox!!! With a very intense powertool!!!

5. Without all those Boston Pretendo Fans and Cassel apologists flooding cyberspace with their assumed eminence what will be left for the rest of us? Boring, factual and intelligent discussion about sports without delirious bias? Truths? Facts? Actual Sports Knowledge? Gasp! Arrrgh! Gasp!

6. Voodoo and Kharma take a PR hit while "The Law of Averages" gets a free pass. That's the real crime here. It's just not fair. When events revert to the mean, we all lose. Damn that reality! Damn it!!!

7. Now the NFL will have only true football fans paying attention. Real football fans won't have to explain everything to Pats fans anymore. That can't be good for the broadcasters or advertisers. Who will pay attention to all the non-football related sprue that permeates the games? Half the Fantasy geeks just committed suicide and 3/4 of the world's gay football fans just gave up on sports altogether. The hardest hit group? People with chinbutts. They might never recover.

8. The old axioms stay true. Any given Sunday. Expect the unexpected. You never know. Every "Experts" predictions are wrong by week one. And so on... Damn you, cliches!!! Damn you with a cliche!!!

9. Now I have to write a game capsule on the rest of the Patriots' 15 games this season. I just HAVE to! Darn. How many ways can I spin it?

  • "Brady-less Patriots suck even more vs. Jets"
  • "Pats are still on pace for 18-1 without Brady."
  • "Pats suffer a bye week without Brady"
  • "Should the Pats forfeit all their games without Brady?"
  • "Pats fans suddenly reminded of the days of Dick MacPherson and Rod Rust without Brady"
  • "Why did God forsake his second begotten son, Tom Brady?"
  • "Area hospitals note decrease in bastard births since Brady's injury"
  • "Bill Belichick is still a tremendous cock without Brady."
  • "Inflatable Tom Brady dolls with one leg now on Clearance"
  • "Arlen Specter not satisfied with NFL's treatment of videotapes of Brady's injury"
  • "Tom Brady causes new fashion wave: Crutches flood high schools all over Boston"
  • "Patriots fans who laughed at Peyton Manning's injury ARE to blame for Brady's kharma"
  • "Pats still lost Super Bowl to Eli Manning despite Brady being lost for season."
  • "The REAL Randy Moss shows up without Brady"
  • "Tom Brady proves he was VERY over rated as Pats win without him"
  • "No one talking about Brady's ankle injury"
  • "Red Sox sucks without a plethora of Brady jerseys filling Fenway."
  • "Burning effigies of Tom Brady no longer en vogue"
  • "Manny Stiles blames Tom Brady's knee and the media's lack of creativity for the usage of the term "Kneegate"
  • "Brady, Brady, Brady" - Matt Cassel changes name to 'Jan'.

Yes, I really could do two or three a week, I suppose. Yes, Damn me indeed!

10. Without Tom Brady in the NFL, people are going to start to talk about politics instead. See? This really is bad for us all... These things never happen in a non-election year, do they? Damn you politicians! Damn you all to a fiery hell forever!!

Seven Years, seven years I've had to deal with you Boston loudmouths

Payback IS a bitch. Assume that is true.

Things always happen in threes... 18-1, Brady's knee... WHAT will the third one be?

Anti-Pats fans, Haters and dudes that are jealous because they think Gisele is hot - that backlash is NOTHING compared to the onslaught we've had to tolerate from the people who didn't know the NFL existed pre-2000. You were worse than Yankees fans during the 90's. Seriously, that is reason enough to let the tidal wave of titles out of the can o'worms.

The haters and spewers of diatribe will grow weary within a week or two. It's the nature of the sportstalk, sports banter, bartalk and sports-blog world. Out of sight, out of mind. The World will continue to spin...

As for me - I'm a whackjob, so I WILL remind you all season long that "something is missing but I can't remember quite what it is."

And God save you all if the Red Sox somehow luckily overtake the Rays... pray HARD they don't!

Peace and Good Tidings, Manny

P.S. - I will wish Tom Brady a speedy recovery from his surgery and rehab. I mean he's never going to be the same now but neither are the Patriots...

Let the real NFL season begin!

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