Pats on the back (burner)

The Patriots are apparently a little miffed that attention swirled, and continues to swirl, around the Red Sox and A-Rod trade.

In a way, you can't blame them.

But in another way, you can.

Sure, the Pats have put together a monumental streak, despite injuries and a lack of star power. It is said that businesses and high school teams study the Pats, because they are such a selfless team wholly dedicated to winning. Every player knows his place, and if asked to switch or sit out, will do so quietly. Remember Bethel Johnson was showboating after a big game, and taking practice light the following week? Well, he was benched. And he took his medicine, and learned from his mistakes, and didn't take his wounded ego to the media. Could Randy Moss do the same? Does this happen on other teams?

So, yay for the selfless, dedicated Pats, right? If the bottom line is wins, this is the system. You won't find ego starpower here. You won't find people resting on their laurels. Forget about getting ahead of yourself. Forget about focusing on anything but the next game. There is no cockiness in this team, no relishing the victory, no flaunting it in their opponent's face. Instead, there's 'institutionalized paranoia' -- constant fear of losing the edge, losing the lead, losing sight.

You know what other well-studied business espouses institutionalized paranoia? You know who coined the term? Microsoft. And while it's true that Microsoft is successful, and has made a lot of investors happy, you can't say they've inspired loyalty. People love Apple, but no one roots for Microsoft.

I'm from Boston. I'm not used to rooting for juggernaut win machines. And though it sure beats losing, it doesn't 'beat' the wins achieved with a hint uncertainty, some pride, and emotional release.