This just in: it’s not fun to play for the New England Patriots. Or so we’ve been told on and off for the past year, and, really, have assumed for a long time. The latest person to raise this issue was defensive end Cassius Marsh, who was traded to the Patriots from the Seattle Seahawks at the start of the regular season. He was in the final year of his rookie contract as a 2014 fourth-round draft pick.
Marsh, who signed a two-year deal worth $7 million with the San Francisco 49ers in the offseason, recently told reporters that “they don’t have fun there” in New England under Head Coach Bill Belichick. “There’s nothing fun about it. There’s nothing happy about it. I didn’t enjoy any of my time there”.
He even went so far as to say that the culture and the clashes that he experienced there were so distasteful to him that he considered not playing football, “because I hated it that much”. He told reporters that he essentially asked to get cut, though not directly, and eventually was. The 49ers then picked him up, and he re-signed with them this offseason, saying he hopes to play the rest of his career there.
“They asked me to do a bunch of stuff that I had never done: covering running backs and receivers and basically almost never rushing the passer, which is what I did in playing defensive line”, he complained. “I confronted [Belichick] about all the things that were going on. I won’t get into detail, but it was B.S. things they were doing”.
Now Marsh is probably not going to get a lot of sympathy here. For one thing, he is paid millions of dollars to play football. Nobody making a fraction of what he makes is really going to worry himself about whether or not a millionaire enjoys his job. Most people don’t have that luxury.
And for another thing, there’s no disputing the results that the Patriots see on the field. I’m sure a number of people actually think that not having fun is the answer to having success. I know a number of Pittsburgh Steelers fans think they have way too much fun and want to see the team run more like the Patriots.
But at the end of the day, football is a game. It should be enjoyable, no matter how much you’re paid. People say that you know it’s time to retire when you lose your passion for the game. If that’s the case, then it does matter whether or not it’s ‘fun’.
This wasn’t the first time we’ve heard a player say something like this about the Patriots though, and it won’t be the last. It didn’t change anything then, it’s not going to change anything now, and it won’t change in the future either, at least as long as Belichick remains there. And said to say, they’ll probably keep winning too.