Necessary Roughness



Unnecessary Roughness with Lazarus A.D.'s Jeff Paulick

[Hats off to Lazarus A.D.’s Jeff Paulick for stepping in when we needed him this year to take over the Unnecessary Roughness column and doing a fantastic job with it. Thanks for playing, dude! -Ed.]

Well, the Super Bowl ended pretty much how I anticipated it would. It was a great game, and congrats to New York. I was a naysayer when they entered the playoffs, but when you beat Green Bay, San Francisco and New England, that’s beating the best teams in the league this year. I wish I could argue against that, but I can’t!

I’m sure everybody watched the game so I’m not gonna recap it. There were a couple key mistakes that the Patriots made, otherwise they surely would have won. I thought they outplayed the Giants, and their defense surprised me. But in the end, the Giants took care of the ball better and they made plays when they needed to; that’s been their MO all year.

First I want to get to the debate of Eli being an elite quarterback. Nobody really wants to throw him in that discussion because he doesn’t play with the same passion as his brother or as Tom Brady, but he does win — twice now. That’s very impressive. I don’t like the guy, I think hes a dork on and off the field. He’s just awkward, and football isn’t an awkward sport. It’s a fucking brutal high tempo gauntlet where steroid filled behemoths try to all but kill each other. And Eli looks like he should be hosting Blues Clues, not commanding Big Blue. He has something that you can’t teach, something special about him, though. Something I can’t explain, something nobody else can explain. There’s just something else there that his brother doesn’t have, call it magic if you will. When he hucked that ball to Mario Manningham, immediately I said to myself, if this guy catches that ball this is fucking magic, and he caught it. You can’t script shit like that, you can’t count on having a play like that to keep you alive and win the game, but he always does it. And he did the same shit last time in 2008 with David Tryee. Luck is thrown out when you do this more than once. Little Eli is clutch, and he’s just one bowl behind Brady and already one ahead of his brother. Hats off.

What I love about these two teams is the organizations themselves. You have to respect teams that can build dynasties around key players and coaches. Brady does not have the same team he had a few years back yet he and the Patriots’ staff keep winning. The Giants had a bunch of veterans from the last Super Bowl but many of their players are new. The Jets are a perfect example of what NOT to do in the NFL. Same with the Eagles. You need a very solid base to build upon, and you need everyone on that team to believe they are the best, otherwise you’re not gonna win. The 49ers made GREAT moves this year, and now have a very solid ground to build upon. The Steelers, Packers, Giants, Patriots, Saints; these teams are going to be great for years to come, because they have great front offices and good drafting. So much attention is targeted to the players on the field, but it all begins with the organization much like in any other business, even the music business. If you don’t have a team around you that knows what they are doing or doesn’t believe in you, you won’t ever be successful.

Brady will be back. So will Eli. We may even see this very same matchup again down the line. But the unsung hero every time is the defense. Defense wins championships. The Giants D put Eli in a position to win. The Giants relied on their defense and the Pats relied on their offense; it’s more effective to keep the other team’s points off the board than to have to go score yourself.

Had Gronk somehow caught that deflected Hail Mary and scored everyone on the planet would be singing a different tune. But he didn’t. It truly is a game of inches.

It’s been really fun doing this blog. I have no idea what I’m gonna do every Sunday now — this shit blows. The NBA is here, but holy shit has the sport gone downhill. If there ever was a rigged sport it’s surely basketball. It’s so easy to dictate a game for the refs. Things move way too quickly; it’s a sport where calling or not calling a foul can change the score of the game, it’s become very ticky tacky, and it’s taking the essence of the sport away. They need to let the guys just play. It’s all about the flash and big dishes and jams and behind the back acrobatics, and everything we love about the sport. But come on, get back to fixing the basics and it will be way better off. Go check out Doc’s new NBA blog, dude really knows what he’s talking about. Hopefully see ya guys next September!

– Jeff Paulick / Lazarus A.D.

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