Opinion: Winning the right way (The Patriot Way) in sports doesn’t exist

Patriots cornerback Alfonzo Dennard, left, and former wide receiver, Randy Moss, right, are posterchilds those who say the Pats "lost their way" by signing questionable characters. Credit: Getty Images
Patriots cornerback Alfonzo Dennard, left, and former wide receiver, Randy Moss, right, are posterchilds those who say the Pats “lost their way” by signing questionable characters. Credit: Getty Images

Subjectivity is complicated. What food tastes good to me, may be disgusting to you. That’s a given. But, in other instances, a quality believed as fact may actually be subjective. For example, the way I see the color blue and the way it looks through your eyes is inherently different. We both know the color, but are aware the hue is slightly changed in its appearance from one person to the next.

While consuming commentary about Aaron Hernandez’s murder trial, Alfonzo Dennard’s arrest, and the Tim Tebow signing, I’ve realized the way fans and media perceive “The Patriot Way” is just like the color blue – distinctively altered from person to person. What I’m interested in is why this is the case.
Look, I never believed in “The Patriot Way” as it was presented to us by – yup, you guessed it – the media (Hmm. The same folks taking unseemly pleasure in mocking the term in light of recent events). Robert Kraft is no Robin Hood. The Patriots weren’t winning game after game as part of an altruistic mission for the poor. Nor is Bill Belichick a deity of sport. Truth is, the Pats have always taken chances on players in order to win football games.

That seemed silly to clarify. But retrospectively speaking, it does make complete sense — the timing for the adulation was perfect. The Patriots succeeded in an understated manner – predicated not on saying the wrong thing, but rather saying nothing at all. Meanwhile, Terrell Owens, Joey Porter, Chad Johnson (yeesh!), Rex Ryan, and the rest of the NFL promulgated boisterous personas, ultimately making their downfalls easier to celebrate. Juxtaposing these two styles – and the degrees of success – created a specious tenet: “The Patriot Way.”


But if forced to subscribe, to me, “The Patriot Way” is – and always was –as much about Rodney Harrison, Randy Moss, and Aqib Talib as it is about Troy Brown, Tom Terrific, and the rest of the outstanding citizens to come through Patriot Place this last decade-plus. The utopian concept really just boils down to simple underlying themes: “Making the Smart Football Play,” “Humble Pie,” “It Is What It Is,” “Do Your Job,” and “Mental Toughness.” In other words, the same platitudes the players fed the media.

And if there was a dark side to “The Patriot Way,” like the aforementioned players with checkered pasts, SpyGate, and a passive aggressive penchant for running up the score, then fine. The Patriots are successful year after year, to the tune of seven AFC Championship Game appearances, five trips to the Super Bowl and three championships. I learned long before Odin Lloyd’s body was found that winning the “right way” in professional sports doesn’t exist. There’s just winning.

 

Follow Ryan Hadfield on Twitter @Hadfield__


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Monday is the deadline to register for Pennsylvania…

If residents want to vote in the May primary, which includes a vote for a new City Council member, today is the deadline to register.

National

Miss America thinks school should reconsider discipline of…

A Pa. student was suspended for asking Miss America to prom.

Local

Aria Health Torresdale workers caught selling prescription drugs

Two Aria Health at Torresdale employees were fired amid accusations they sold prescription drugs out of the Northeast Philadelphia campus.

National

Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter died Sunday from prostate cancer…

Former U.S. professional boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, who spent 19 years in prison for murder and then was released after it was determined he did not get a fair trial,…

Television

Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

The Word

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer drama continues

  News broke late last week that "X-Men" and "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer is being sued by a man who said Singer molested…

The Word

Miley Cyrus cancels more dates, tweeting from hospital

Miley Cyrus is reportedly so sick that she's had to postpone more tour dates. We know this because she has been sitting in a hospital…

Music

Loop are, er, um, back in the loop

Experimental noise rock band Loop's three mid-1980s to early-1990s albums, “Heavens End,” “Fade Out” and “A Gilded Eternity,” were mercifully reissued.

NHL

Ray Emery steps up in Flyers’ Game 2…

Sure, he allowed two goals in the Rangers’ first four shots Sunday afternoon, but it’s about how you start, not how you finish.

NHL

Flyers come from behind, even series with Rangers

The Flyers overcame a two-goal deficit to get a much-needed win at Madison Square Garden Sunday.

MLB

Phillies get set for four against the Dodgers

The Phillies will face tough starting pitching out west against the Dodgers this week.

MLB

Phillies notebook: Cole Hamels returns this week

The Phillies should receive a big boost when Cole Hamels returns during the Dodgers series.

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.