Patriots Blog

What we (maybe) know we don't know about the Patriots and Alex Guerrero

Wednesday, November 12, 2008
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Everyone knows something, but no one knows everything. The Alex Guerrero saga continues.
The most famous non-employee of the Patriots is no longer on the New England sideline during games. We know this because of several recent reports and also because people who are really good at finding Waldo have not spotted Guerrero down there for weeks. The reports say that Guerrero, Brady’s body guru, has also been banned from team flights and has had his access to team facilities restricted. Confirming these facts has proven to be a fruitless, mind-bending chore for Patriots media, who aren’t entirely sure what they’re asking about and may even be wondering why they’ve bothered to ask.
Most of the media’s questions have been rejected on procedural grounds. Brady dismissed one query because it introduced a premise the reporter could not with certainty have known to be true. Bill Belichick swatted away another for having too many pronouns. It was that kind of week.
Asked if the reports were in fact true, Belichick responded by saying that if he gave an HR update for one team contractor, that it would only be fair to do it for all team contractors, and obviously time constraints would not allow for such a thing.
“We have a lot of people that work for our team outside of the team,” Belichick said. “And there are different relationships, different situations with dozens of other people. So, I’m not going to go through a case-by-case of what everybody does and so forth. That would be impossible to do, and I’m not going to do it.”
The Guerrero situation is a perfect Media Mystery Box. Everyone knows something is in there, but no one knows its exact value or relevance. Why can’t Guerrero go on the plane? Wait, is it even true that Guerrero can’t go on the plane? Is there an interesting reason why the unconfirmed thing happened if it actually happened? No one even knows exactly what it is that they don’t know.
There may very well be an interesting reason why Guerrero can’t go on the plane if he actually can’t go on the plane. Maybe he broke a famous athlete or clashed with team trainers. Maybe he said mean things to Dennis Eckersley. Maybe there’s a boring corporate administrative reason that involves insurance and liability waivers. Maybe he takes up too much room on the arm rest. No one knows.
What we do know that is Brady is furious at Belichick for whatever the reason is. Or maybe he isn’t. Maybe he’s fine with it. Maybe there’s a “rift.” Maybe they play cribbage til 4 in the morning with Guerrero and Dennis Eckersley. We don’t know. But we do know that Brady was “testy” with reporters when they asked him about it, because he didn’t even raise his voice once and calmly explained his reasons for not answering questions, which is exactly what a “testy” person does when they’re being combative.
Asked about the impact of Guerrero not having sideline access, Brady said, “I don’t really think about it,” which would probably make him the only person in the room not thinking about Guerrero’s sideline pass. Brady instead suggested he’s thinking about football, which is the game the Patriots play just about every week during the fall and early winter.
Adding a certain allure to the mystery — and sucking other peoples’ attention away from football — is the fact that Guerrero is a mysterious figure. He is not a licensed physical therapist in Massachusetts, but is personally responsible for putting Brady back together on Mondays. He manages the physical wellbeing of the NFL’s presumptive MVP. He’s sold curious “cures” for cancer and concussions that most likely do nothing. He’s an absurdly successful weirdo and the godfather of one of Brady’s children. Other players speak of his work like a string of divine miracles. It’s common for the more insipid elements of the Boston sports media to cast him as Church of Scientology leader David Miscavige and Brady as his Tom Cruise, without any specific knowledge that would allow for such a conclusion.
The information vacuum has left fans wondering if they should care. And if they should care, why they should care. Many have decided they simply will not care, and will instead fill the time before Sunday’s game against the Bills by wondering if Malcolm Mitchell might return this season. Should the fans care? Is SomethingMaybeWeDon’tReallyKnowGate a matter of any relevance. Honestly, it’s impossible to assess the relevance of what we don’t know. Stop asking questions.
Dave Brown is a freelance correspondent who covers the Patriots for the Monitor. You can follow him on Twitter @ThatDaveBrown.