The Patriots get trash talked all the time.
All. The. Time.
But there's something that really irks them and motivates the entire franchise in that extra special way. That's talking trash about Spygate.
Ayanbadejo said a few things, including that the Patriots offense is a gimmick. He also mocked the fact the Patriots lost in their bid to go undefeated. But it's this tweet that is, well, uh oh.
You know the same organization that did spygate and cut a guy the day b4 the Super Bowl— Brendon Ayanbadejo (@brendon310) January 13, 2013
He has since apologized but it's too late. The damage is done. No one on the Patriots will believe it. They won't want to believe it.
Don't poke the bear with a stick. Bear. Stick. No poke-o.
The best approach the Ravens should have taken was shut up, come in, and quietly kick some ass. Can't do that now and they have angered the bear.
A Patriots source tells me Ayanbadejo's quotes have spread through the locker room faster than the flu virus travelling across New England. Players who are aware of the quote are furious and feel it is one of the most disrespectful things ever said about the franchise.
The Patriots will publicly deny all of this, especially Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. They'll act like the quote doesn't matter. They'll say they things like:
- "Never heard of the quote"
- "What quote?"
- "What's a quote?"
- "Is that a sentence of some sort?"
But privately, I can guarantee you, Belichick and Brady, in particular, will be furious. Spygate and losing the bid to go undefeated are sensitive areas to both men who are perfectionists, and feel Spygate is an unfair stain on both of their legacies. Belichick feels this especially (and I agree with him). Again, all of this will be publicly denied but it's true.
Motivational ploys and trash talking are often vastly overrated, but not in the Patriots locker room. That quote will be presented like Ayanbadejo said he was coming to Foxborough to set the stadium on fire.
Yes, the Patriots are in for a fight, because the Ravens are really good (as my colleague Clark Judge points out).
But Ayanbadejo has made the Ravens' mission that much more difficult because the Patriots are now officially ticked.