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Here's what happened


You no doubt saw that this column on Thursday appeared briefly before it was removed. Here's what happened.

Yesterday, the executive committee decided – there was one dissenting vote, of course – that the whole asterisk thing had gone over the top and it was time to halt the insanity. Why? Because the spirit of how it had all begun was being violated.

You know all about the asterisk and my all-important power rankings, which you know to be pure sarcasm, too, so I'll avoid the tedium of detailed background information. These are the simple facts:

Early in the season – I forget if it was week two or three but it was certainly early in the season – I put the Patriots at the top of my power rankings. They remained there for the rest of the regular season. I also placed next to their name an asterisk that referred to their infamous involvement in the "Spygate" incident.

The asterisk was an attempt at subtle humor. You know that. All of our readers know that and the asterisk was received in the manner in which it was intended for four months of the season, until this week.

All of a sudden, the subtle humor was gone. All of a sudden, the asterisk was being treated as though it was critical commentary.

Retracting our position? No way. Hey, it was up there for four months. There's no retracting that. The executive committee just decided – there was one dissenting vote, of course – to take it down because our position had become distorted. As I said, it was an attempt at subtle humor. A week of appearances on ESPN made it not so subtle.

I'm still trying to figure out why my all-important power rankings were appearing on ESPN every hour on the hour on Thursday. The way I figure, there had to be a college basketball game somewhere on Wednesday night that had a dunk in it more worthy of showing than my power rankings and their infamous asterisk, but I guess there wasn't.

Anyhow, this has been a tough week for the senior editor. I never thought an asterisk could cause such a disturbance. Patriots fans have been haranguing me all week, thanks to ESPN. I feel like Fredo. Fortunately, I don't fish.

Here's my promise to you. I'll be in the press box at Gillette Stadium on Saturday, chewin' on one of those delicious giant soft pretzels as I blog the action back to you, and I'm gonna make sure this one will be an especially good blog. You can count on it.

Now, here are the 10 things the Jaguars have to do to beat the Patriots.

  1. Pass the ball—This is a must-do because it will allow the Jaguars to do what they absolutely must do.
  1. Run the ball—It's really number one but it depends on David Garrard's ability to loosen up the Patriots' defense first. Run the ball, dominate time of possession, etc. You know the drill.
  1. Rush the passer—I'm not sure how the Jaguars are gonna do it, but they've gotta find a way because you won't even slow Tom Brady down if he has all night to throw.
  1. Establish field position—Brady must always be on a long field because the Jaguars' defensive game plan will no doubt hinge on making the Pats drive the ball long distances.
  1. Be physical—It's a hitting game and the team that hits hardest usually wins.
  1. Attack the linebackers—They've got some age on them. Make them run.
  1. Invite the run—See if the Patriots are even willing to try.
  1. Win the turnover battle—This should go without saying.
  1. Wear glass slippers—This team has a little bit of a Cinderella quality to it right now. Play to it.
  1. Follow Fred—This is Fred Taylor's game. This is his chance to gain all the fame that has eluded him. Pro Bowl? Forget about it. This is THE game.
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