A JERSEY GUY: Patriot Run Not Likely To Be Repeated Anytime Soon

Mark Blaudschun

It has been a quiet sports week in New England. The Red Sox are a few weeks away from the "equipment truck heading South'' and muted since the cheating scandal, the Bruins and Celtics are in the Mid-winter who gives a hoot phase.

And Oh, yes, the Patriots are NOT in the Super Bowl, with the trending game of "Where's TB 12 going to play next season?""the main topic of discussion.

The latest rumor has Tom and Giselle buying property for a new house in Las Vegas, leading to speculation, of course, that Brady will be part of the Raiders first season in Vegas.

Why else would a rich, mobile couple buy property in Vegas? goes the theory.

Much (too much for the rest of the country, no doubt) has been written about the Patriots' 6 Super Bowls and string of AFC championship game appearances (8 straight from 2011-2018).

But that string ended this season, Brady is a free agent QB and the run appears to be over. The latest development was last week when long time offensive line coach  Dante Scarnecchia announced his retirement after 34 years, 30 (and five Super Bowls) with the Patriots.    

Which lead us this Super Bowl Week observation.

One of the ongoing story lines during any Patriot Super Bowl week was the G.O.A.T (Greatest of All Time) Designations which were being attached to Patriot coach Bill Belichick and Brady.

It could also be argued that tight end Rob Gronkowski and in many ways Scarnecchia should also be in that discussion.

Think about that.

One franchise over a 20 years producing 4 legitimate G.O.A.T contenders.

Too me, that is one remarkable accomplishment that no team is going to match for the foreseeable future.

No one outside of New England is feeling sorry for sports fans in the region, considering the additional titles won by the Celtics, Red Sox and Bruins during the same time frame.

But the Patriots, who yes are arrogant and have fiddled and even shattered rules at some time, remain the gold standard for sports franchise success during the past 50 years.

And there will be sense of freshness on Sunday night after the Chiefs and 49ers settle their Super Bowl argument in Miami.

But not having the Patriots as part of the hysteria, even as the team to hate, created a noticeable void.

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THAT WAS THE WEEK THAT WAS MUSINGS:

Unranked (but defending national champion) Virginia upset No. 5 ranked Florida State in Charlottesville this week, 61-56. In most cases, such an event would prompt the student body to storm the court in celebration.

Not this time. The clock ticked down, the game ended and the Virginia fans cheered their team's upset but remained in their seats. In short, they acted like they had been there before--which they had.

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Sights we didn't think we'd ever see. It is almost February, but the Atlantic Coast Conference standings don't lie. North Carolina is in 12th place with a 3-6 record...UConn is in 8th place in the American Athletic Conference with a 2-5 record...Illinois in in first place in the Big Ten with an 8-2 record and Rutgers is a game behind with a 7-3 record.

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New Boston College football coach Jeff Hafley continues to make what looks like the right moves. Getting ND transfer QB Phil Jurkovec looks like a winner, whether he is eligible to play this fall or next fall. (He is asking for a waiver on the transfer rule, which requires non-graduate transfers to sit out one season.

Kudos to the Big Ten for pushing the idea of letting all college players have one free (no sitting out a year) transfer during their careers. It makes sense, which is probably why it won't happen.

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Mark Blaudschun

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