There is no more a polarizing non-player in professional sports than Patriot’s head coach Bill Belichick. I defy you to come up with a better person.
I chose to write this today, because 1) The last preseason game versus the GIANTS is TONIGHT 2) I heard some idiot spewing bullshit about Belichick on the subway, and 3) because I’m sick of hearing my stupid friends (Giants/Jets/Eagles fans) talk about Belichick with such disdain. Honestly, I love them, but they are dumbshits who have no idea what they are talking about.
In the eyes of many New Englanders, he is regarded as a gridiron genius that can do no wrong. Everywhere else? He’s reviled as some sort of angry and humorless curmudgeon who is always one step ahead of the NFL’s rulebook, and is somewhat vilified where ever a story about him appears. So why do we love him so much? I’ll tell you why – and it has to do with much more than just his FIVE Super Bowl appearances (with three wins) since he took over in Foxboro before the 2000 season.
Here’s why: No bullsh*t. Ever. Period.
For me, what he represents is the best quality that many posses in this region: authenticity. Belicheck is not a self-promoter (*cough* Rex Ryan *cough* *cough*) a cheerleader (yup – looking at you Pete Carroll) or a fake tough guy (Bill Cowher, you fragile teddy bear). All Belichick cares about is – as charlie sheen has said many times before – WINNING!
Even other players from different franchises agree… Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin of the Cowboys said this to the Boston Herald:
Sounds simple enough, right? Yes, his wardrobe could best be described as slightly homeless, but since when did we turn to NFL coaches for fashion advice? He is a man’s man, a coach’s coach. He would rather break down game footage until the early morning and run endless two-a-days with his team than, well, basically anything else in life. Of course, he’s only human (at least partially) and there are signs that he enjoys the finer things, such as buxom blonde cougars, summers on Nantucket, and Bon Jovi. But then again, does any of that really make him less immortal?
In many ways I think the level of hate he elicits from people across the country is simply jealousy that he isn’t coaching their favorite NFL team. Who would turn him down if wanted to coach any other team in the league? NO ONE. What else is there not to like? You’ll never see him waste time on locker room drama (*cough red sox *cough) or blabbermouth when talking to the media – I mean, come on! — he practically coined one of the most famous phrases in the English Language: “It is what it is.”
What’s there not to like? He deeply respects the history of the game and always gives his teams the best chance to win any given week. I realize that Philips Andover and Wesleyan aren’t exactly schools that anyone identifies with, but he still has deep local roots that make him an honorary New Englander. If he never wins another NFL game, he will still receive standing ovations at every Bruins and Celtics playoff game that he drags girlfriend Linda Holliday along to.
Bill Belichick is an original, the furthest thing from a fraud that you can find – and anyone who brings up ‘spygate’ pertaining to Belichick is an idiot. It was sidelines coach Matt Estrella who was videotaping the Jet’s as they were calling defensive plays DURING A GAME. The league put the fine on Belichick’s shoulders – as the face of the New England Patriots. Outside of this one minor dark-mark on belichick’s history as head coach, what else has he done, you ask? Here’s some numbers for you:
- 175-97: Yeah, as in Wins-to-Losses. He has a .643 winning percentage. Belichick hasn’t even lost his 100th regular game yet.
- Superbowls: Belichick only trails Don Shula for most Super Bowl appearances and Chuck Noll for most super bowl wins. He is ONE behind each.
- Parity: With the salary cap, free agency era and a league that strives for equality, no coach has as many Super Bowl rings as Belichick. He has five in total, dating back to his days as a Defensive Coordinator with the Giants.
- Playoffs: He’s done his best work in the postseason, owning a 17-7 record in the months of January and February.
So yeah… We (New England) love him. And not just because of the super bowl wins. Because of his character, his strengths on and off the field, and because of those stupid cut-off sweatshirts that make him look like a hobo.
That being said — GIVE WES WELKER A LONG-TERM CONTRACT DAMN-IT-ALL!!!
P.s. for another great Belichick read, check out: http://www.boston.com/sports/blogs/obnoxiousbostonfan/2011/09/documentary_may_prove_belichic.html
Statistics, history, and other information provided by:
ESPN.Com, Boston Metro, The Boston Herald, The Boston Globe, Patriots.com, NFL.com