Monday, September 11, 2006

Lesson Learned

There were lots of lessons to learn in yesterdays game, but as Brady said this morning on the radio: "It's better to learn a lesson and win than learn it and lose." -- I could be getting that wrong, but that was the general gist of it.

As I was driving into work this morning, I was thinking in the opposite direction. I was thinking it might have been better if they lost yesterday. I watched that game and kept thinking, the better team is losing this game.

The Patriots were obviously better, but they weren't getting the job done. Especially after Spikes and Vincent went out, I thought the Patriots offense was going to walk all over them, and yet, they didn't. The Patriots players had obviously believed the hype. They came out flat and had to work hard to make up for it at the end of the game.

And so, my reasoning was this. If they learn about how bad it is to underestimate a team early on, they will benefit from this later on in the season. And so, perhaps losing yesterday may have been a good thing in the long run.

But I had forgotten how well Brady and Belichick lead this team. They (in their minds) lost that game. By playing as poorly as they did, they know they couldn't (should not) have won against a better team. And that's the same lesson they learn (and teach to the other players) every year.

Oh, they'll take the win. But they won't be proud of it. They're going to sit and watch the film and be disgusted and angry and they'll pass that onto the other players. By the end of the week, they'll be better for it. They'll come out rearing to go next week. The 'win' part of the game won't enter into their thinking at all.

It's just funny to think they have to relearn the same lesson every year. But that's how football works. If you don't learn these lessons every year, you fade away in January. If you look past any team, you can lose to them. No matter how bad they are. Just ask the Rams players from the first Super Bowl.

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