There is fresh snow in Cambridge this morning, brought in by the sports gods last night at game time to set the proper stage for a playoff re-match of the MVP lead Indianapolis Colts and our New England Patriots. a team with no media proclaimed all-stars. The pundits picked the Colts. Our fans felt differently and displayed signs that said, MVP – “make vacation plans,” a clear message to the individual record setting Peyton Manning.
When the formerly ego-centric Corey Dillon joined the Patriots this year he noticed that no one wore either of their two Super Bowl rings. That was the past. They were focused on the future and they were not about individual achievement. Fortunately, the perennial All-Pro player adopted the spirit of his new team mates. This year he did not get selected as an All-Pro for a change, but he did play in the first playoff game of his career. In his initial post-season effort Corey played a major role with 144 yards rushing, keeping the ball in the Patriots hands and out of Peyton’s grasp. His defense teamates chanted from the side lines "clock killing Corey" as he drove the ball down the field, making their job easier. I am sure these new reviews meant much more than past media raves.
MVP Peyton Manning has never beaten the Patriots in their home. Tom Brady was, once again, not selected as an All-Pro. Tom has never lost a post season playoff game against anyone in his entire career. In the end both streaks remained intact and Peyton is talking to his travel agent.
When the Detroit Pistons beat the LA Lakers for the NBA title, NY Times wrote, Teamwork Trumps Star Power and said at the time: "The Detroit Pistons, the essence of teamwork, the essence of grit, manhandled the built-to-win, built-to-gloat Los Angeles Lakers."