The Couch Slouch

There is only one way to stop the cheating Patriots

Patriots/Facebook

A popular sentiment these days – and one that most of Sports Nation wants to embrace – is that the New England Patriots finally will be kaput in the postseason and cannot possibly win Super Bowl 54.

What America are these people living in?

Tom Brady could start the game strapped to a gurney, and they could win.

Julian Edelman could play the first half barefoot and the second half in flip-flops, and they could win.

Bill Belichick, at this very moment, is sitting at a Buffalo Wild Wings in Mansfield, Mass., reviewing the latest Patriots surveillance tape of the Kansas City Chiefs' training table.

Still, most of us are hoping that, much like President Trump's three-year win streak ending with impeachment, the Patriots' 18-year NFL dynasty will cease with an implosion.

The Patriots' demise has been prematurely predicted countless times before. Heck, I bought a Patriots piñata at TJ Maxx in 2015 that I have yet to take a baseball bat to.

Is it finally time?

They are old – their quarterback is 42, their coach is 67 and their owner is 78. Then again, the quarterback might be the greatest of all-time, the coach might be the greatest of all-time and the owner is still savvy enough to seemingly dodge prostitution solicitation charges in Florida in which he was allegedly caught on videotape.

Speaking of videotape – before we deep-dive into the team's supposed free fall – let's briefly address the Patriots' latest cinematic venture, "Bengals in Autumn," which should screen at next year's Cannes Film Festival.

(NFL Films should hire Belichick. He gets footage no one else has access to.)

So a video crew working for the Patriots filmed the Cincinnati Bengals' sideline during a recent game. At this point, I don't care if it was an "accident;" if a Wells Fargo branch is robbed and John Dillinger is standing in front of the bank, would you give him the benefit of the doubt?

This occurrence echoes the team's 2007 Spygate scandal, in which the Patriots videotaped New York Jets defensive coaching signals, prompting NFL fines for Belichick and the team, plus the loss of a first-round draft pick.

But my barber George – yes, I got another haircut last week and he told me I do not have to come in again until April 2021 – has a better idea this time, disciplinary-wise. A fine? Pfft. Draft picks? Pfft. Oh, no. George says…

BAN THEM FROM THE POSTSEASON FOR ONE YEAR.

Like this year. And why not?

Because if we don't, as Roger Goodell is my witless witness, these swindling, cheating, scamming, preening Patriots are going to win another Super Bowl.

Sure, they've had lousy offensive-line play, they've had no running attack and no deep threat and they've been unable to replace Gronk. They had no offensive player selected to the initial Pro Bowl roster for the first time since 2003. And the mighty Brady has been reduced to shuffling around the pocket, throwing six-yard checkdown passes.

Uh, you realize the Patriots are 12-3 and we're talking about them struggling.

How good have the Patriots been?

The Patriots will finish at least 12-4 this year for the 13th time in 17 seasons. In that span, the NFL's other 31 teams have finished at least 12-4 a total of 66 times; seven teams have zero 12-4 seasons since 2003. The Patriots make 12-4 look as easy as the Cleveland Browns make 4-12 look simple.

Woe are the Patriots? I think not.

The Patriots are like POTUS – write 'em off at your own risk. They have endless tricks in their shoplifted bag; for crying out loud, Edelman apparently faked a head injury against the Buffalo Bills Saturday.

Between Brady, Belichick and borderline officiating – I believe the last time the Patriots lost a replay challenge was at the Boston Tea Party, late 1773 – I cannot bury these knaves.

What I can do is beg beg beg Lamar Jackson or Patrick Mahomes or Jimmy Garoppolo or Aaron Rodgers to put the kibosh on this unspeakable national nightmare.

Ask the Slouch

Q. Since President Trump has been going to more sporting events lately, do you think he will take in the Georgetown-vs.-Deep State basketball game next month in D.C.? (Gary Duncan; Washington, D.C.)

A. If I were the Hoyas, I wouldn't play Deep State – those games have got to be fixed.

Q. Do we have you to thank for increasing the exposure of our fair city of Spokane when listing it as the residence of another successful contributor to "Ask the Slouch," or is it just because of Gonzaga basketball? (Steve Owings; Spokane, Wash.)

A. I don't even know where Spokane is.

Q. If R*dsk*ns owner Daniel Snyder were impeached for malpractice, who do you think he would call as character witnesses? (John Myers; Harrisonburg, Va.)

A. Even if he were impeached, I suspect he would be acquitted in a Senate trial.

Q. Have Duke basketball fans seen more flops than Amarillo Slim? (Mike Soper; Washington, D.C.)

A. Pay the man, Shirley.

You, too, can enter the $1.25 Ask The Slouch Cash Giveaway. Just email asktheslouch@aol.com and, if your question is used, you win $1.25 in cash!

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This week the NASCAR cup series heads to the world center of racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, for the inaugural fourth of July version of the Brickyard 400. This is unprecedented for NASCAR considering over the course of 50 years they are usually in Daytona around this time. While this move was met with a lot of criticism from fans, there is a positive to come from this move though, as the sport will hold their first doubleheader with Indycar. This has been talked about for many years and now it has finally come to fruition. Another new facet of this weekend will be the Xfinity Series running on the road course configuration. This could very well lead to the cup series transitioning from the oval to the road course next season should everything go well when the Xfinity series does it. It will definitely be an interesting weekend.

Last week, Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin dominated the first-ever doubleheader at Pocono. The two drivers finished first and second in both races with Harvick taking race one and Hamlin winning race two. Both of these races came down to pit-road strategy as Harvick was able to eke out a victory by taking two tires and fuel while his teammate Aric Almirola took four. The next day Denny Hamlin pretty much had the whole field covered as he went on to claim his fourth victory of the season. Overall, the idea of two races in a weekend went over well but for the racing itself, it was hard to watch. One of the main issues I had was how the drivers didn't have to shift this week. In my opinion, that was what made this track so unique. It was an oval that had road course characteristics and it usually produced some pretty good finishes. Hopefully this will be addressed when the new car makes its debut in 2022.

One of the big stories going into this week is the announcement a couple of weeks ago that NASCAR will be moving their all-star event to Bristol Motor Speedway. Over the past couple of weeks, there has been a whirlwind of news from the Bubba Wallace story at Talladega, to the doubleheader races last week. A lot of this has put this announcement on the back burner but this is a huge story. The race will be held on Wednesday, July 15th as NASCAR continues with midweek races. This is the first time since 1986 that the race will not be run at NASCAR's home track in Charlotte back when it took place at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The format will be pretty much the same as all the winners from 2019 and 2020 will all have an automatic birth into the race while the rest of the field will run in the open event the day before. The main event will feature four stages including a 15 lap closer around one of NASCAR's most popular race tracks. I think this move was long overdue and I hope that they continue with it in the future. Don't get me wrong, there isn't anything wrong with the race at Charlotte but I think a change of pace would be welcomed. I look forward to seeing how this turns out.

As we move on to Indy this weekend, the driver I have winning is Kurt Busch. This weekend will be the 2004 Cup Series champion's 700th career start, and he's won just about every race that there is to be won except this one here at the Brickyard. This week, that is going to change. It hasn't been the most consistent season for the Vegas native, but he still sits tenth in points and right in the thick of the playoff battle. This track isn't his best as he currently has a 19.42 average finish, including a dismal 30th place finish last year. But this week, I think he gets back on track with a victory as he starts second. The veteran has flown under the radar this year, but he has definitely shown spurts where we think he is going to break-out. He also has runs where it seems like him and his team are mid-pack, but there aren't many drivers out there that have the experience he has. And a talented driver like him always finds a way to bounce back. Look for Kurt Busch to take the #1 Monster Energy Camaro to victory lane.

All stats and information used in this article are brought to you by the good folks at driveraverages.com and Racing-Reference.com, the best websites for all NASCAR stats.

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