I just watched Steve Young, NFL Hall of Fame quarterback, look straight into the camera and lie.
He said, on the air, on ESPN, that he thought the New England Patriots were hurting their reputations and the reputation of their owner by "running up the score" and celebrating touchdowns.
I'll grant him this much: he retained the requisite short memory that is so necessary for quarterbacks in the NFL to be successful. He's already forgotten his own career, I guess, and the team for which he played.
Interesting that a man who won his only Super Bowl (never could match Montana's feat of 4, eh, Young?) by a HUGE margin speaks about running up the score.
I remember a game, either in 1986 or '87, wherein Montana left the game early because of a knee injury. (Skeleton-by-Waterford was my nickname for ol' Big Sky. People hated me for saying it, but he was a bit fragile, I thought.) Young came in against the highly (over-)rated Chicago Bears. The final score was 41-7.
Hmm. Sounds like a Patriots score, doesn't it?
Back to that Super Bowl, though. What year was it? It was after the 1994 season, in 1995. The San Francisco 49ers were playing the San Diego Chargers. It was a game that went down in history as the Super Bowl with the most touchdowns (10) scored and the highest combined point total (75). The final score? 49-26, San Francisco. The quarterback? One Steve Young.
Let's roll back a little. How about the Super Bowl following the 1989 NFL season? While the quarterback wasn't Steve Young, he was on the roster as the second string, back-up, not-good-enough-to-take-the-starting-job-from-Montana quarterback. And the final score? Let's check.
Why, it was San Francisco 55, Denver 10. A 45-point differential?? My God, that's ... that's absolutely classless! Isn't it?
No one called George Seifert classless. He'd taken the team from head coach Bill Walsh who retired at the end of the 1988 season. After winning his 3rd Super Bowl.
NO ONE said George Seifert was classless. But clearly, the 49ers poured on a very Patriot-esque performance, and scored unceasingly. They remain, in fact, the only team in NFL history to score at least two touchdowns in every quarter of the game. Joe Montana surgically dismembered the Denver Broncos defense. But no one said that Montana was classless for doing it, or that they were "running up the score." Not a soul. No one said anything negative about the San Francisco 49ers except those that were already detractors due to their superiority on the field that year. They were a great team, and no one likes a great team.
And these are only a few examples. Over the decade and a half of very good football teams in San Francisco, there were many, many more.
Why the spotlight on the 49ers? Because that's the team for which Steve Young played the most well-known (if not the largest) portion of his career. Catching splinters and warming the benches to be sure, but he was on the roster. Now, he sits on ESPN and says he's "restless" about things around the league and tells a national viewing audience that the Patriots are hurting themselves by being a team that does so well what he could only wish the teams he played on could do.
The 49ers ran the score up plenty of times on weaker teams. They did it repeatedly. Now he's saying no one else should do it? Where was he, and his large and stuttering mouth, when the Indianapolis Colts were doing it week in and week out during Peyton Manning's record-setting season? 49 touchdowns? You don't accumulate 49 touchdowns without scoring any points. They were running all over teams that year. If they didn't have a defense capable of stopping anyone, maybe that helped it look less like what it was, but I guarantee (!), had the Indy defense been able to shut teams down and keep them off the boards, it wouldn't have stopped Manning from throwing his 49. Anyone who says it would have is a liar, period.
Steve Young is a hypocritical jack-ass with more mouth than brains. EVERY team does this from time to time, when the opportunity presents. Anyone detracting the Patriots from doing it right now would be detractors of them regardless. No one would even be thinking this way if not for the whole stupid "SpyGate" deal. But you know what, everyone? There is no cheating going on here this year. The New England Patriots are simply kicking the shit out of every team they play, period. It may not be true for the rest of the season, but it's true to week 8 of the 2007 season.