The League

Emil Steiner
Editor and Blogger

Emil Steiner

The author of NFL Crime Watch and Founding Editor of The League.

Destiny's childish

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Drew Brees told reporters "I don't know about the voodoo, but I definitely believe in destiny." Comments and e-mails suggest that the Patriots' collapse since their Icharian 2005 season was caused by Karma - spiritual fallout from Belichick's Spygate.

Well, I don't believe in destiny and I don't believe in Karma but I do believe in momentum. To me, that's the immeasurable, mysterious and often mercurial force that makes sports so damn exciting. Call it being on fire, being in the zone or flow, but when you got it, you got it and you can't be stopped, when you don't, you miss 23-yard chip shots.

Right now, the New Orleans Saints have it. Momentum (and a whole lot of talent) is carrying the Who Dats to what seems like a predestined 16-0 season. On the other side of the coin, the New England Patriots have lost their momentum (the Redskins haven't had it since Dan Snyder took over).

When David Tyree made that miracle catch in Super Bowl XLII, the Pats' momentum slowed. When Tom Brady's knee caved in, during the first game of the 2008 season, it stopped. When Bill Belichick went for it on fourth and two against the Colts, and failed, that momentum went in reverse. To paraphrase the venerable words of Grandpa Simpson: They used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what they're with isn't it, and what's it seems weird and scary.

It wasn't Karma or destiny that killed the Patriots' dynasty - it was something far more deadly, a momentum shift. And unfortunately for New England, getting it back is often harder than finding it in the first place.

By Emil Steiner  |  December 8, 2009; 8:32 AM ET  | Category:  New England Patriots Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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