I think I might believe in karma. You know, that stuff that nobody can put their finger on, or explain with science. That invented concept defined as follows by the google overlords :
· (in Hinduism and Buddhism) The sum of a person's actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences
· Destiny or fate, following as effect from cause
Yes, I know. It’s stupid. I don’t believe in things you can’t prove. Or at least prove with verifiable facts, anyway, and even then it’s subject to interpretation. I’m not a religious guy, and most everybody knows that, but the second definition is what intrigues me. Cause and effect. This is verifiable with science. The law of inertia comes to mind. “Don’t borrow trouble” and “…turn around and bite you in the ass” are popular phrases that also describe “karma.” I think we all like to believe in karma, at east as a tool to motivate us, but we can’t really know for sure.
The one thing I do know for sure is that every article written this week about the Steelers’ game against the Patriots included the words “own” and “Brady has Lebeau’s number” along side of “Belichick is a genius” – all supported with fun facts and fancy charts describing each game going back 10 years.
Frankly, I think it’s all horseshit.
Every game is different, and is viewed alongside what happened before and what happened after. Last year’s game wasn’t a must win situation, and was littered with Steelers injuries throughout the game. Ward was concussed early, with no penalty if I remember correctly (and no fine either), and Heath dropped a very timely pass that would have changed the momentum of the game, or at least in the minds of the rest of the team. That’s the game where Troy Polumalu twisted or sprained his ankle, ultimately affecting him for the rest of the season. Oh yeah, Maurkice Pouncey injured his ankle as well.
I guess that was all Brady’s fault.
At any rate, they still went to the “dance” and participated in the championship game, but we all know the league loves pretty boy Brady. Handsome if not girly, stoic, smart, and machinelike in his playing style, but certainly not infallible. I remember back when Michael Jordan played, most teams folded before the ball toss. Referees would call blocking fouls when it was charging, or ‘steps’ and multiple times Jordan would use his forearm on a defenders face and shoulder to lift himself in those highlight reel dunks. I’m not taking anything away from Jordan, arguably one of the best to play the game, but seriously. Jordan single handedly changed the NBA. I can’t say the same about Brady, regardless of his stats. He’s good, but so is Rogers and Roethlisberger, just in a different way. Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, and Bill Walsh changed the game. The 70’s Steelers changed the game. Dick Lebeau changed the game. Goodell is changing the game. Brady plays it very, very well, and Belichick coaches in an extremely intelligent manner – and both have had success. But not in the last 6 years. If they were so good, wouldn’t they have won more titles? Last time I checked, that’s the barometer to go by, not stats and flashy passing plays. Unfortunately, that’s not what the league or the media uses as measuring sticks. Good looking quarterbacks with fashion model wives is the same as television and movie actors with perfect teeth and unrealistic lifestyles. It’s not a reflection of reality, and also misguiding in what is really important in life. Unfortunately, everybody’s getting fooled, but that’s another non-football post elsewhere.
I think the Patriots are scared. They have no answers for the Steelers wide outs, and I think their defense is more porous than is reported. Belichick’s philosophy is not playing your opponent, but playing the clock. Take that away and the house of cards falls. Stick with them point for point in the first half and the game comes down to the final possession. Add up the karma and the Steelers will hold them once or twice scoring in response, pressure Brady into making one or two mistakes resulting in points, and will run the ball effectively eating up the clock in the second half. Just like any other game.
Football is a game played by and officiated by humans. Humans get affected by psychology, and all this talk about the Patriots being so good against the Steelers is getting really old. It’s borrowing trouble. It’s just another game, another challenge, and another story waiting to unfold. Karma can go both ways. The arrogance and presumption of Brady and the Pats can easily backfire. Changing the attitude in the Steelers’ locker room can also have an “effect” just as generating all the bad karma by continuing and propagating narratives that cater to one dimensional stories in mainstream media. It’s going to get into someone’s head, guaranteed.
The Pats have been riding the wave of false karma for years generated by rules that support pass happy quarterbacks that would be lost if they played 20 years ago. Maybe it’s time it “bit them in the ass.”
Karma. Yeah. That’s it. Karma.