I might be alone here, but I don't fuck with conflict. I have a history degree from an accredited state university, but I don't even have a favorite war and it's not because I didn't read any of the required materials; it's because I don't fuck with conflict!
I just want everybody to get along, so it should come as no surprise to you that I can't stand these "who's more responsible for the Patriots' Double-Dynasty? Brady or Belichick" discussions that have been littering sports talk/written media looong before this season, but have elevated to New York City in the 1890's levels of trash as of late with the divorce of the greatest Head Coach-Quarterback duo in the 101-year history of the National Football League.
As a child of divorce, I've always hated having to pick sides between people I love and this Patriot break-up has felt like one where you have to pick a side and I simply refuse. Football is a team game and it's not as simple as "Brady took a loaded Bucs team to the Super Bowl" and "the Patriots went 7-9 with the worst QB, TE and WR production in the league during a Pandemic season where half of their league-leading defense from 2019 opted-out" for determining who was more important for a nearly 20 season run of success that will likely never be duplicated in any major American sport. I'm just not ready to call it after one year.
Enter scene, Daniel James Amendola, better known as Danny Playoffs or "Playoff 'Dola" in New England. The undrafted slot receiver out of Texas Tech played with the Patriots from 2013 to 2017 and is a member of the team's 2010's All-Decade Team; almost exclusively for his playoff prowess. Amendola is 7th all-time in Super Bowl receptions AND receiving yards, but only amassed 2,283 receiving yards (476.6/year) in five seasons as a Patriot.
You may have forgotten because of the emergence of Julian Edelman over that same time frame that Danny Amendola was signed to "replace" another undrafted slot receiver out of Texas Tech who's a member of the team's 2010's All-Decade Team, Wes Welker; technically signing his 5-year 28.5 million dollar contract with the Patriots before Welker signed with the Broncos in 2013.
Thanks to COVID, media week for the Super Bowl has been pretty tame compared to year's past, but that doesn't mean there hasn't been any headlines. The last two days, Danny Amendola has made his way across the virtual Super Bowl coverage finding ways to stay relevant as a 35 year old free agent coming off a solid sub 700 yard receiving season.
On Monday, Danny said Tom Brady is the Patriot Way, not Bill Belichick and that none of the coaches caught a pass or made a tackle (something Belichick has acknowledged multiple times).
The way he said "spend all their time at the facility" really "wore me" the wrong way. THAT'S WHY THE SCHEMES WERE SO GOOD. That's the exact kind of pettiness you'd expect from someone who posted this.
Then yesterday on Cowherd, Danny made it seem like he had a gun held to his head when renegotiating his contract with the Patriots and then got left with minimum wage.
It sucks to have to write this because I greatly appreciate all that Danny accomplished in New England, but he just sounds bitter AF and frankly, it bums me out. You were a part of one of the greatest dynasties in the history of sports. Look at the numbers you put up in the regular season then look in the mirror. After you stop flexing, you'll know deep down that you weren't worth that deal. If you really thought you were wouldn't you have been like "okay cut me" and go somewhere else?
I hate to bash Dola because even though he might've been a huge disappointment from a regular-season production standpoint after signing that big deal in 2013, he was the GUY in the playoffs. Ironically, he embodied what the Patriot Way is all about; stepping up when your number is called and performing at your best in big games. Because there is no denying Danny did that. He has never had over 700 yards in a season, but again, this dude is 7th all-time in Super Bowl receiving yards and receptions. When he scored two touchdowns in the 2014 Divisional Round against the Ravens; including the most famous non-Brady pass of the entire double-dynasty, nobody cared about his dismal 2014 regular season where he only had 27 receptions and 200 receiving yards.
Then in the Super Bowl against the Seahawks, Amendola had 5 receptions for 48 yards and a touchdown. In 2016 he scored a touchdown and two-point conversion in the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history.
In 2017 he was even better; 11 receptions for 112 yards against the Titans in the Divisional Round. He scored two 4th quarter touchdowns (including the game-winner) in the AFCCG against the Jaguars and in the Super Bowl (his final game in New England) he had 8 receptions for 152 yards.
Amendola was fucking awesome in the playoffs, but that doesn't make him immune to criticism. Dude, you averaged less than 500 yards a season over your time in New England. I'm not some side with the man or big business guy, but based on that production you weren't worth the higher salary to the Patriots. Now you will never hear me argue that the Patriots spend too much money, but you cannot have it both ways. You can't be all bitchy and say "he put rings on Bill's fingers" as if there weren't 50+ other guys who helped contributed and you VOLUNTARILY took less money. Sure, the alternative may have been getting traded or released, but you didn't "have to" take the pay cuts. I don't love the current set up either from a player's perspective, but that's just how it is right now. If you were a 1,000 yard, 80 catch guy I'm sure Bill wouldn't have been renegotiating. Did Belichick not let you have an agent around? If that's the case then maybe I'll change my tune, but of course, the guy who has stated how much he loves Paul Brown is going to nickel and dime talent. You could've said nah bro and seen what happened, but you didn't....I'm guessing cause deep down you knew you either couldn't get more elsewhere or loved being a part of this dynasty. And for someone who plays ball for one reason RESPECT...maybe you should have more respect for the greatest coach of all time who was the architect behind this dynasty. I'm sure his ways can be annoying, but this dude was holding the 1990 49ers and 1990 Bills to less than 20 points while you were learning how to read. I'm sure you can pawn a ring if you're really hurting for cash.