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Patriots Ignore Clichés and Excuses on Their Way to Another Super Bowl

There are numerous sayings in sports that have been said so often they have become clichés.  It’s a game of inches; Good pitching stops good hitting; and my personal favorite…Defense wins championships.  These expressions have become clichés because we hear them so often, and the reason we hear them so often is because more often than not they turn out to be true.

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Like clichés, excuses have been a part of sports as long as teams have been keeping score to determine a winner.  The thoughts of Patriots fans must have been swirling with numerous clichés and excuses through the first three quarters of Sunday’s AFC Championship game against Jacksonville.  The Jaguar defense came into Foxborough as advertised and, for the better part of three quarters, followed the blue print established by their Vice President Tom Coughlin in his two previous Super Bowl victories when he was Head Coach of the New York Giants.  Defense wins championships

Excuses?  Pats fans had several teed up before the kick-off with the off field distractions created by the ESPN story about division between Bob Kraft, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady over the Jimmy Garoppolo trade and the almost certain departure of both Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels and Defensive Coordinator Matt Patricia.  Add in Tom Brady’s hand injury and Rob Gronkowski leaving the game in the second quarter with a concussion, and the topic of discussion for New England sports talk radio programs (and podcasts) was set at least until until pitchers and catchers report on Valentine’s Day.

Clichés and excuses work for most sports fans, but Patriot fans should know better.  They should expect better.  Belichick does not care about clichés and he does not make excuses.  They don’t whine about players that are not available to play, and they don’t complain about bad calls by the referee.  Belichick’s most famous statement has become a cliché only because it so perfectly exemplifies his team’s approach; It is what it is. 

With the Patriots down by ten going into the fourth quarter, was there a Pats fan that doubted they would come back to win the game?  Was there a Jaguar fan that thought the game was won?  The only other cliché best describes this Patriot team in the late Belichick/Brady era is…It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.

Follow Bill on Twitter @BTravers_BSoT. 

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