So what about those bulletin boards? What do they say on them in the hours leading up to the game? Do you think anybody in the New England Patriots locker room still gives a damn if somebody thinks they’re assholes? Or do you think they are more focused on filling their bulletin board with things that might actually help them win, like formations and tendencies and actual motivation?
It’s funny looking back on the week and how everything transpired to observe how dramatically a story’s tone and seeming import changes. When Antonio Brown picked up head coach Mike Tomlin live on Facebook referring to the Patriots as assholes, the New England media, as well as part of the Pittsburgh media—not to mention the national guys—worked up the story as though it were actually going to make a difference in the game.
Six days later, it would seem that the Patriots may have even managed to come out on the bottom of all this when New England wide receiver Julian Edelman seemed to take a shot as the Pittsburgh Steelers organization and how they were run. Ben Roethlisberger was just one of many to take umbrage to that insinuation, but he served as the mouthpiece for a locker room that had already rallied around their ‘cheerleader’ head coach and used that as fuel—by their own admission—to continue winning.
This is a Steelers team that has undergone a dramatic transformation from the start of the season to now. Even the lineup, particularly on the defensive side of the ball, is significantly different, and most of it is for the better, but they have managed to close ranks to protect against the areas in which they have been made vulnerable.
Today’s media environment is a double-edge sword at times due to its widespread coverage and its fast-paced nature. Because there is so much to talk about, nearly everything is covered, and much of it gets blown out of proportion. But then it quickly subsides as the next big story takes its place in the 24-hour news cycle.
I wouldn’t even be surprised if the locker room video doesn’t even get talked about during the broadcast, so little seems to be its importance less than 12 hours now from the start of the AFC Championship Game. And, truthfully, that is exactly the way that it should be, because there was never a story worth covering there in the first place—the story of the story was more compelling than the actual event.
So now the game is here and we can actually focus on what is happening on the field, which to some may have seemed a difficult prospect at the start of the week given how much attention was paid to off-field nonsense. I’m more worried about their stomachs than the Patriots’ ego bruises.