Editorial License

Rob Hammerton, music educator etc.

Today’s Brief Lesson in Maturity

So last night, the NFL New England Patriots defeated the Indianapolis Colts, 45-7, in the AFC Championship game, to earn a spot in the 2015 Super Bowl.

It was just as firm a victory as the score would indicate. In spite of this, and in spite of the fact that both teams were playing very hard until the last couple of minutes, there were no mini-brawls between the two teams. Patriots coach Bill Belichick was shown on TV taking a rather long time searching the field for Colts coach Chuck Pagano so that the two could shake hands and exchange pleasantries afterward. Similarly, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady spent a bit more than a perfunctory couple of seconds and a curt “good game” with his counterpart, the promising Andrew Luck.

In other words, everyone was playing “the grownup in the room”.

After the game, two NFL kickers weighed in on the contrast. Here, I believe, was a tiny yet grand demonstration of the difference between playing “the grownup” and not playing “the grownup”.

According to a report on the New England Sports Network’s website, entitled “Adam Vinatieri Admires Patriots Despite Nasty Taste of Colts’ Loss”:

Adam Vinatieri watched Sunday as several of his former New England Patriots teammates pumped up the Gillette Stadium crowd. The scene sparked wide-ranging emotions within the Indianapolis Colts kicker, but his overriding sensation following the Patriots’ 45-7 AFC Championship Game win was one of disappointment.

For the last decade and a half, two decades, whatever, they’ve been as successful as anybody out there,” said Vinatieri, who played 10 seasons with New England from 1996 to 2005. “Obviously, this is another Super Bowl appearance for them, and they’re a really, really good team. I can appreciate what they’ve done. It leaves a nasty taste in my mouth today, though.”

By contrast, over on the Twitter machine, former New York Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes posted this:

The Pats have learned to celebrate the hell out of those AFC Championships because the[y] know what comes 2 weeks later. #0-2inGlendale

Of course, Patriots fans are probably seething. And of course, this morning many national sports media outlets (ESPN and The Sporting News amongst them) published accounts of this Tweet with seeming admiration for the audacity of the insult.  Burn!

(Lawrence Tynes is no stranger to taking shots while expressing supposed admiration for his pro-athlete colleagues: earlier this season, after Peyton Manning broke Brett Favre’s all-time record for passing touchdowns, Tynes posted this Tweet: “Congrats to Eli’s brother for breaking the TD record. #elihas2 #peytonhas1 @giants @broncos”. Of course, Peyton’s brother Eli, Tynes’ former New York Giant teammate, has two Super Bowl rings, while Peyton has just the one. See what he did there?)

Just to round out the box score on this one:

Mr. Tynes participated in two Super Bowl wins (2008 and 2012) with the Giants, both over the Patriots.

Meanwhile, Mr. Vinatieri participated in four Super Bowl wins in the space of six seasons: three (2001, 2003 and 2004) with the Patriots, and one more with a completely different team (2006), his current Colts.

Mr. Tynes, age 36, was recently released from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Meanwhile, Mr. Vinatieri, age 42 (the oldest active NFL player, with ten Patriot seasons and nine Colt seasons), was still playing as of last night.

Mr. Vinatieri’s actual team participated in the AFC Championship game, and he made his postgame comments at Gillette Stadium, after having spent four hours in vile weather conditions, probably looking ahead hopefully to next season’s competition.

Meanwhile, Mr. Tynes’ actual current team did not make the playoffs this year, and he made his postgame comments … probably from his couch.

As one of my favorite teachers once said, “…see, there’s the whole maturity thing again.”

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January 19, 2015 - Posted by | celebrity, Famous Persons, football, Internet, media, social media, sports, Twitter | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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