Here we go ... again.
With the New York Jets coming to town this weekend, the media is focusing on (what else) the, shall we say, strained relationship between head coaches Bill Belichick of New England and Eric Mangini (his former pupil) of New York.
But as much as the media would like him to, don't expect Belichick to play along. He insisted earlier this week that he's concerned only about what happens on the field, not off it.
"We're going to approach it like every other game," Belichick said. "Get together a game plan, try to figure out a way to attack and defend. We try to win every week, believe it or not. So we're going to try to win this week."
In case you forgot how this all started, The New York Post recaps the whole "cameragate" controversy today.
And fans have already begun expressing their opinions, too. The Post printed a number of e-mails sent to one of their NFL reporters in a story today. As you might expect, some of them are over-the-top.
Meanwhile, given how the Pats dismantled Pittsburgh last weekend, after one of their players made a rash prediction of victory, USA TODAY has come up with a somewhat tongue-in-cheek list of etiquette rules that other teams should follow, as not to upset juggernaut New England.
Here's a sample:
- Don't even think of saying anything that makes it sound as if you actually believe you have a chance to win.
- Laugh at all of Belichick's jokes. Shouldn't be difficult.*
- Absolutely no whining allowed when the Patriots throw another touchdown pass on fourth down to make the score 48-17.*
And, of course, if New England does end up winning the rest of its games, it will join the 1972 Miami Dolphins as the only teams ever to go undefeated. The New York Times went to get reaction to that possibility from a former Dolphin player on that '72 team.
"They got some luck on their side," said one-time WR Marlin Briscoe. "Calls are going their way and it seems like the stars are aligned for them to do it."
As many predicted, the Pats are favored by a record number of points over the Jets this Sunday.
At least one Bay State-based writer has already had it with the Jets-Pats hype.
The Eagle-Tribune in northern Massachusetts examines the Pats prospects of running the table this season.