I hate the Patriots.
There, I said it. So you know that for me to be writing about this, particularly after having taken a break for awhile to continue my other forms of writing, it comes from a place of an anti-Patriots agenda.
All that said, give Bill Belichick props.
|"Hoodie" might be one of the best coaches of all time.|
Forget about the blundered call, assuming you believe that's what it was. Forget about the fact the Patriots had two timeouts in the bank when Jermaine Kearse somehow caught the pass at the four yard line with approximately forty seconds remaining, and forget about the fact that Malcolm Butler made the defensive plays of all defensive plays....
Belichick refused to follow the stupid, 'odds-driven' mantra of let them score. He could have. He could have called his defense to back off, let the Seahawks get into the end zone quickly and give Super Tom his chance to get a tying field goal with thirty ticks and two timeouts left. People in the living room I visited were saying it. You know most Patriots fans, if not saying it out loud, were thinking it. Belichick just isn't built that way.
He won't tell his defense they can't.
He won't give away the lead under any circumstance. You'll have to earn it.
And he prepares his team for exactly these split-second moments.
An undrafted rookie from West Alabama, a Division II school, stepped up after being on the losing end of Kearse's improbable catch, to make the kind of play most coaches expect only veterans to make. He was that prepared. A rookie.
Tom Brady didn't win this team Super Bowl XLIX. Julian Edelman didn't. Neither did Jamie Collins, Chandler Jones, Rob Ninkovich or Vince Wilfork. Malcolm Butler from Vicksburg Mississippi, a Community College player who fought through a drug problem and was frying chicken at Popeye's restaurant just a few years ago, was the guy Bill Belichick coached into history.
Think about all of the Hall-of-Famers that four time winners Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw played with to win that many titlles. Now think about this team and Tom Brady. Is there anyone we'll be calling to the Hall besides Tom?
Why Bill Belichick hasn't had enough trust in himself to build his teams and win his titles without overstepping the NFL rules is something only Bill Belichick can answer (and no doubt, he won't). But if you can't look at what happened last night and see that whether you love him or despise him, the man has made the Patriots a franchise that few will equal in history, then you're just not thinking deeply enough on the subject yet.
I hate the Patriots.
I hate Bill Belichick.
But that's in part because he's just too good.