Patriots Try To Comprehend Fatalism


DATELINE: Rotten Irony

No Patriot fan wants to read this.

Like the Hindenberg, the New England Patriots have had a catastrophe, not a loss of one game. Now, as the game tally sheets will not tell you, week after week, one disastrous injury after another has decimated the Brady team and its morale.

Next man up may ring hollow after the loss of Gronk.

You could see the entire team deflated through the snowflakes. Perhaps the footing led to the accident that caused the loss of Gronk. Perhaps it was larger, like divine retribution.

Those who have hated the Patriots and stuck pins in every voodoo doll they could find, may now have some smug satisfaction. The Patriots have lost a game—and a half-dozen stars that would have catapulted them to glory, if quantum physics would have allowed.

In another universe the Patriots are still winning and healthy. But, we are trapped in this universe and must face the ugly laws of probability and human frailty.

We could run you through the logical progression of the loss of a nail causes the loss of a war.  Escalating cause/effect has some kind of Jungian explanation for such coincidental horror.

We don’t need to hear it. We saw the black hole in Denver as well as we once saw a baseball go between the knees of Bill Buckner. Sometimes one injury can cause a season to be lost: other teams have had catastrophic losses too.

But none has lost every weapon, every option, every star, one after another. No other team had the destiny of perfection within its grasp.

Somewhere tonight Roger Goodell has breathed a sigh of relief. His prayers have been answered.

You could blame the weather, or even the NFL referees who obviously tried to penalize the Patriots to death. It is unfair and vile.

There is a month left in the season, but you might as well turn out the lights now. We saw it briefly in Tom Brady’s eyes. It’s called shock.