The evil empire that is the Patriots works its magic again

Bill Belichick is at it again.

Last week I posed the question: Why do these things keep happening to the Patriots? That was in response to the Steelers touchdown that was overturned that led to a New England victory. Well.. I ask again...

First came another touchdown against the Pats that was AGAIN overturned. This time Bills receiver, Kelvin Benjamin, appeared to make a great catch and a perfect toe drag in the endzone for six points.

Upon further review.. and there were plenty.. like forever.. like it seemed the suits in New York wanted to reverse the touchdown. Benjamin was ruled out of bounds. No touchdown. To be fair.. the Pats won the game 37-16. So it’s not like the call cost Buffalo the game.

Now if I remember correctly.. the point of replay was to right a wrong. A call the was so badly missed by an official that the replay upon review showed the mistake. This wasn’t the case. Multiple angles really couldn’t give you a definitive look to overturn the call. And that’s the point of the rule right? If it’s so obvious a wrong call, replay will show it and it will be corrected. It seems like the guys and gals at the league office are now trying to find whatever they can to make sure a call is correct. In principle, that’s a good idea. But so was Communism. We saw how that turned out.

Bottom line: if the evidence isn’t clear to overturn the call, whatever the call may be, it must stand. Let the players play. Let the referees officiate. Brutal.

Meanwhile, this James Harrison thing is getting crazy. If you believe his ex-Steeler teammates, Harrison orchestrated his exit to sign with the Patriots. "Trust me, if if I wanted out, I wouldn't let the team take the blame for it," said center Maurkice Pouncey.

Yes, Harrison’s role had been diminished. Playing 40 snaps in 14 games with only one sack for the franchise leader. But really.. .asking to be cut and then blaming the team? And signing so quickly with the Patriots? Very, very, very curious. ‘He erased his own legacy here, let's be serious," Pouncey said. “It's crazy. It blows my mind."

And for those who think the Pats are once again up to some chicanery...I agree with Pouncey. Let’s be serious. Don’t give me any of this that "he’ll tell the Pats everything they need to know about Pittsburgh’s playbook." Last I checked, New England had little trouble beating the Steelers.

This is classic Bill Belichick head games. Maybe Harrison still has one more big sack in him. Maybe. But if the Steelers and Patriots do meet again with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line, the dark overlord (that’s Belichick) is counting on a bunch of Steelers, especially on the defensive side of the ball, thinking about Harrison. Hey, worth a shot right?

They say Vince McMahon is thinking about kickstarting the XFL again. They say he might be interested in buying the Carolina Panthers. The is storyline sure smells like what The Rock Is cooking.

Picture this, Steelers driving in Foxborough.. final play of the game... Big Ben under pressure.. here comes Harrison about to make the sack.. and suddenly stops. Roethlisberger then throws the game winning touchdown to send the Steelers to the Super Bowl. Harrison peels off his Patriots jersey to reveal...a Steelers shirt!!

Baw Gawd! Baw Gawd.. not this way! .. not this way!

You can listen to my radio show, The Sports Bosses , weekdays at 10amET on SBNation Radio. Twitter: @mediarodriguez

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Correa could be on his way out. Composite image by Jack Brame.

It has not been the best of times to be a star athlete in Houston. In the last year, Jadeveon Clowney and DeAndre Hopkins were solid off for a warm bucket of spit. George Springer won't be back. James Harden and Russell Westbrook rumors are rampant. J.J. Watt might be moving on as well.

Now, reports are the Astros are listening to offers for Carlos Correa.

Predictably, Astros fans are livid. And if it's true, they should be concerned about the bigger picture.

Trading Correa makes sense - if you have no plans on keeping him after next season, as was clearly the case with Springer. If the Astros can get a haul and replenish the farm system, it would be the right move, especially considering Correa's injury history.

But in the long run, it does not bode well for the direction of the team. All recent indications are that the Astros are going cheap.

They would still be a competitive team without Correa, but it would be yet another indication their World Series window has closed. Alex Bregman could slide over to shortstop, but who would play third? And they only have one starting outfielder on the roster as it is. Putting together a competitive lineup around Bregman, Jose Altuve, Kyle Tucker, Yuli Gurriel and Yordan Alvarez would still be possible, but if the Astros aren't going to spend money, that could be problematic.

The writing was probably on the wall when the team hired James Click as GM from the notoriously frugal Tampa Bay organization. The good news is the Rays have been successful. But this is a new direction for a team that was not afraid to spend big money to make runs at the World Series.

If they lose Correa, they lose a team leader, one of the few players who embraced the villain role in the wake of the cheating controversy and was not afraid to speak out. But he has never lived up to his MVP potential, has battled injuries and will command big dollars on the open market. He is still young enough to become that kind of player, and someone will gamble big money that he will.

Sadly, if this rumor is true, it won't be the Astros.

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