The whole “StartMattCassel” thing started after Super Bowl 42 ended an 18-0 run and a shot at an entirely unbeaten season. It was an amazing football season and it seemed completely as though the Patriots were simply unbeatable. Brady was without question the most valuable player on the field but his off the field antics, which included a baby mama, a Brazilian super model, endorsements that weren’t as funny as Peyton Manning’s, a God Damn Yankees hat and frequent man purse usage were all at career high levels.
My friends from around the NFL centric world were asking how could I stand that dbag, Brady. This was, of course, the first time I realized there was this nation wide hatred for the Home Town Deity. I mean, Brady is actually and undeniably one of the best football players of all time. Ultimate decision maker, the coolest under pressure, humble in victory and gracious in defeat. (Yes, in typing this, I would think he was a dbag too I guess… but I digest.)
I told the haters that you can get away with anything as long as you’re winning, and that’s the check you write when you become an eccentric. You are saying: I do what I want, and I’m the best fucking quarterback in the history of the NFL. Well the check bounced at the First Bank of New York, Glendale, Arizona, Super Bowl 42.
And I was pissed.
I hung a sign outside my office door that read “NO PATRIOTS TALK.”
Tom Brady, personally and deliberately, made me look like a schmuck to all of my NFL rival fans around the country.
A couple months later Big Brosky had contacted me about joining his Fantasy Football League, a popular national craze that I have formerly been vehemently opposed to, and I accepted his challenge (yes, when another guy asks you to be in his fantasy football league, it’s a challenge) because it seemed like a great way to be in better contact with him as he lives in Denver and is a freaking Broncos fan.
So StartMattCassel was born.
I had intended on drafting Brady with my first round pick and then also drafting Cassel so that I could actually start Cassel over Brady, but this guy Tom picked him with his first pick before I could so I took Randy Moss. Around the 8th or 9th round, I fulfilled my goal of drafting Matt Cassel as my fantasy QB. My team name, of course, StartMattCassel.
Week 1, against… Kansas Effing City… Brady takes the low shot to the knee, tears everything, makes a series of bad decisions that lead him to some freaking childhood doctor cutting his knee open, screwing up the surgery and then cutting his knee open again. Big Broski and Done (as they were yet to be called at the time) texted me simultaneously about Brady – I was in the West Virginia Airport flying home from an awesome white water rafting trip. (I did win the Fantasy League, by the way… and I AM playing again.)
So in comes Cassel, throws a BOMB to Moss who took a run down the sideline and the Matt Cassel Bandwagon had begun. I, its Conductor.
We saw him through a few weeks of growing pains, as he learned to play football at the NFL pace, and we saw flashes of brilliance as he statistically matched Brady’s own circumstantial early career numbers. An entire football team fan base just opened up and accepted Matt Cassel as he took the Patriots 11 wins deep, the second team (1985 Broncos, and don’t complain Big Broski, you weren’t even coherent) with as many wins to ever miss the playoffs.
He gives us the ultimate gift, he makes himself tradeable. And what do we do??? We couple him in to a freaking Vrabel deal that shouldn’t have have ever fucking been made any way!!!! DAMMIT. What the EFF is PreMature No Brains thinking!?!?!?! CASSEL AND VRABEL FOR A FREAKING SECOND ROUND PICK TO A TEAM THAT HAS ONE OF THE BEST TE’s IN THE GAME AND THE #3 OVER ALL PICK IN THE DRAFT. WHAT THE EFFING EFF????
I’ve heard the salary cap explanation. WRONG. Cassel’s numbers were NEVER going on our books anyway! He was gone no matter what and we owed Vrabel FOUR FREAKIN MILLION DOLLARS… for a hard working, talented and smart linebacker with THREE Super Bowl Rings.
Quite honestly, I just didn’t believe it. That’s why it’s taken so long for me to respond to this. I just keep waiting for the rest of the trade details unfold and for us as a collective fan base to throw our heads back and slap ourselves on the forehead and go “OH YAAAAHHHHH… well that’s why he’s the coach.”
… But it doesn’t seem to be turning out quite that way.
There is only one viable explanation for this. Scott Pioli has dirty black & white photographs of Bill Bellichick and Tom Brady. Doing stuff.
There is simply no other earthly possibility… except to either say that it was actually Pioli who pulled all the strings or that Bill just plain old screwed the pooch because he couldn’t negotiate effectively with a friend. Effing Ess.
So here’s what I’m hoping:
It turns out that this injury happened to Brady right at the perfect time. His personal life was getting uncontrollable and too public and he needed to refocus himself professionally. He’s spent the last 9 months rehabbing in a remote paradise, avoiding public appearances and getting married. He will come back from his injury no more affected than what another season in the NFL would have done to him and he will be ready to kick ass for 8 more years.
Fred Taylor will be a beast, we will sign Derrick Brooks and Ray Lewis (under a condition that he doesn’t kill any body), draft Laurinaitis, a corner and a couple sick interior linemen, Marriweather goes All Pro next year, Welker catches 164 passes and Randy and Brady break their own single season TD records.
I’m looking forward to meeting the 34th pick in the draft, who will be replacing Matt Cassel and Mike Vrabel.
Good luck, Vrabel, and thank you for everything. About Vrabel, this quote was taken from an AP report: “When Mike arrived in 2001, we knew we were adding a solid outside linebacker,” said Belichick, “But where Mike took it from there exceeded our highest hopes. Mike Vrabel epitomizes everything a coach could seek in a professional football player: toughness, intelligence, playmaking, leadership, versatility and consistency at the highest level. Behind the scenes, Mike’s wit and personality is one of the things we have all enjoyed about coming to work every day. The toughest aspect of my job is the day I stop coaching people like Mike, who did everything in his power to contribute to team success. Of all the players I have coached in my career, there is nobody I enjoyed working with more than Mike. In the same way people recognize guys like Troy Brown, we appreciate and thank Mike Vrabel. He is one of the very special Patriots champions.”
StartMattCassel (FluffWesWelker) (SoLongMattCasselYou’reAFuckingChiefNowAndI’mSuperPissedAtBelichick)
P.S. Now that he is on a different team and I have to hate him, I can’t be named after Cassel. So please, submit your ideas for a new name. The lucky winner will get some type of prize which may include Gisele’s younger sister, a sampling of cheeses, or the Mystery Box (which could even be a boat).