Patriots Taste the Moss-Flavored Kool-Aid
By John Hunt,
11:26PM, Sat. May 5, 2007
My mom made the best Kool-Aid ever. There was nothing like running up the path at my uncle’s cottage on Collins Pond in Maine to a delicious pitcher of that sugary fruit punch. All the kids in my neighborhood used to make me ask her to make it like I was the only one at the party who was 21. My refusal would mean certain ostracizing.
Kool-Aid would eventually come to freak me out though, and not in that awesome, way-too-much-sugar, no-time-to-pee kind of way. It freaked me out when I opened Time magazine and saw those perspective-changing pictures of the Jim Jones massacre. The insidious cauldron from which they all drank their brand of Kool-Aid under the watchful eye of their leader was prominently featured among the many corpses. It still gives me the willies.
The Boston sports media has always referred to anything New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichek and VP of player personnel Scott Pioli do that might be construed as a bad idea as “drinking the Kool-Aid." An obvious reference to blindly following anything they do as a good idea regardless of every voice in your head screaming “No” like a 45 on 33. Our first sip came at the expense of our first overall pick Drew Bledsoe, who was unceremoniously shelved for Tom Brady, an unproven backup who would lead us to three Super Bowl championships and at the very least a time share in the playoffs.
The next pitcher of the ol’ bug juice was stirred the season prior to New England’s last Super Bowl win when the New England Patriots were able to fish Corey Dillon out of the waters of thee Ohio River. Dillon, widely regarded as a malcontent and an all-around pariah in Cincinnati, sent the overly pious New England sports media into a frenzied tizzy unable to fathom how it was our sainted asses would be able to root for a team that employed such a demon. Oh the humanity! Well … they won a Super Bowl. Corey Dillon went from a wasted-talent running back to super star in one season.
When I turned my computer on last Sunday morning and saw the New England Patriots had made a trade equivalent to a half-dozen doughnuts and a hayride for Randy Moss, I instantly felt the strange sacchariney aftertaste of Kool-Aid. My first reaction was not of revulsion, like it maybe should be after witnessing the antics which earned Moss his merit badge in crazy. Why would they do this? One sec … mmmm tasty Kool-Aid.
The price is so low there is nothing to lose. This is Moss' last stop. If he can’t make it in New England he won’t make it anywhere else. Randy took a huge pay cut to the tune of 6 million dollars off of his 9-million-dollar contract, which just might belie the actions of a man who has rethought how he wants to be remembered in the National Football League. The time for redemption is ripe.
Later in life I found out that my Mom actually didn’t actually use Kool-Aid. She used this syrupy stuff called Zarex that put the high in high fructose corn syrup. I remember there was this zany psychedelic Zebra on the bottle. I guess it was a Maine thing. Who cares … we all drank it and it was awesome.