New England Patriots

  • (Click here to subscribe to the Sports Hub Underground podcast.)

  • It’s been a big week for bullshit.

    You see, there’s always been a disconnect between writers and talk show hosts. Because a nice in-depth football story isn’t always the best for takes, and stream-of-consciousness opining isn’t necessarily good for fairness or accuracy. Hosts demand takes, and editors demand thorough coverage, and so the writer has to choose a path: spew the take, or find balance.

    The nonsense that most of the Patriots beat has been swatting down this week is that there’s some kind of major issue between Patriots quarterback Mac Jones and the team, or Jones and his teammates. Naturally, Zappe Fevah ceased to become a fun story and turned into a polarized QB vs QB joust.

    This, of course, has been a constant swirl of rubbish. And it smells. Stinky.

    Beat writers tend to resent it when people go on the radio or TV and just make stuff up, particularly if said person is a purported journalist. There’s always been a disconnect there, the irreparable kind.

    New England Patriots quarterbacks #10 Mac Jones and #4 Bailey Zappe share a laugh at practice. (Bob Breidenbach/The Providence Journal-USA TODAY NETWORK)

    New England Patriots quarterbacks #10 Mac Jones and #4 Bailey Zappe share a laugh at practice. (Bob Breidenbach/The Providence Journal-USA TODAY NETWORK)

  • It’s one thing if Felger and Mazz are rattling off nonsense four hours a day, because they never claim to be anything more than talk show hosts whose job is to entertain. It’s entirely different when someone who has access to the team starts running off with bullshit, and uses his company name to get high-profile spots on national shows and then goes on said shows to tell lies for attention.

    So when someone tries to have it both ways, like the Boston Globe’s Ben Volin did this week with his “reporting” on Mac Jones’ supposed attitude problem or issues with his teammates, it rubs real reporters the wrong way. That’s why you saw much of the Patriots beat come down on him, along with plenty of fans who are starved for more honest, accurate coverage.

    Which brings us to Patriots wide receiver Jakobi Meyers and his press conference on Thursday. This may shock you, especially if you get all your sports information from the radio, but Meyers actually likes Mac Jones. But but but TV man said – no. This is the actual person saying the actual things.

    If you choose to believe a gossip hound in a reporter’s costume, over the actual players themselves, that’s your problem. But they’re not in the building, looking these guys in the eye and talking. They don’t have to be, but their thoughts shouldn’t hold any value other than maybe entertainment value, and only so many people are actually good at that. The rest are pitiful imitators.

    Nov 28, 2021; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) throws a pass to wide receiver Jakobi Meyers (16) against the Tennessee Titans in the second half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

    Nov 28, 2021; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) throws a pass to wide receiver Jakobi Meyers (16) against the Tennessee Titans in the second half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

  • Anyway, Meyers was asked what Mac Jones would bring to the Patriots offense. It appears that Jones is on track to return in Week 7 against the Bears. And again, this may shock you, but Meyers is excited to get Jones back on the field, for one big, important reason.

    “Just the leadership, first and foremost,” Meyers said. “He’s the guy that was kind of getting us all together all year, even the OTAs, you’ll hear his voice the most. Just that leadership, bringing that back to the team, and he’s going to make plays, he’s a dawg on the field too. So, he’s going to go out there, and hopefully he can play, and we can see him spin it around a little bit.”

    Yeah, sure sounds like a guy who thinks his quarterback has an ego problem.

    And once again, this may completely stupefy you into a puddle of goo. But when Meyers said this about Jones, he actually SMILED. Can you believe that?!

    (Screenshot via Patriots.com)

    (Screenshot via Patriots.com)

  • This is a long way of saying, don’t just believe every bit of gossip that slithers out over the internet or the airwaves. Take the entertaining stuff for what it is. If you want the truth, the best course of action is to go by the people who actually know it. And perhaps trust the reporters who have delivered trusted, accurate reporting throughout the whole thing. Maybe just trust Jeff Howe when he says Mac Jones doesn’t have an ego problem, and several others who echoed that sentiment. Which, by the way, includes Jones’ own teammates.

    It’s also probably time for the beat reporting and hot takes to do a full schism. The disconnect is always going to be there. So let’s just cut the damn cord. We might as well play in our corners of the sandbox and leave each other alone. It’s for the best.

  • Sports Hub Patriots Podcast | “Zappe Fever” or the “Maccine”?

    (Click here to subscribe to Patriots Audio on 98.5 The Sports Hub.)

  • Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @realmattdolloff. Check out all of Matt’s content here.