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We Hate Bill Belichick, and It's His Fault: NFL Unfiltered Week 3

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New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is arguably the best in National Football League history.  

One could also argue he is the most disliked great head coach in NFL history.  

Consider, Vince Lombardi won plenty, wasn’t always on his best behavior and we think about him like our favorite grandfather.  While Bill Walsh and Jimmy Johnson both carried an air of superiority, yet neither man garnered as much hate as Belichick does.

Why?  Photo: Matt Kartozian, USA TODAY Sports)

Perhaps it is because those who favor teams other than the Patriots cannot help but feel like Belichick is always up to something.  As if we cannot be sure what we’re seeing is 100% legitimate.  

And that’s his fault.  

In truth, we ought to view Belichick with a sense of pride, even if your favorite team is the Buffalo Bills or Miami Dolphins.  

Maybe things will change five years after he retires, when his many successes are the lone focus and he dons a yellow blazer at his Pro Football Hall of Fame induction speech.  Maybe not.

That’s because despite Belichick’s success, it is entirely fair to question parts of his résumé.  

His willingness to cross certain lines prevents those without an emotional connection to the Patriots, from lauding him as much as his career warrants.  

And ultimately, it’s our loss, not Belichick’s.  He is a sure-fire first ballot Hall of Famer, so at this stage of his career, there isn’t much he could do to miss getting a bust in Canton.

Still, only he knows how much of an advantage he gained in Super Bowl XXXIX.  The rest of us are left to wonder.   

Unless you call yourself a Patriots fan, one cannot look at Belichick’s accomplishments without thinking, “yeah . . . but!”  And that’s a shame.  Because it is utter magnificence when you watch his charge dominate a game the way they dominated the Houston Texans, despite having to start a third-string rookie quarterback.  

It looked like the Patriots were two steps ahead of the Texans in every phase.  It was such a thorough beating, you might have thought the Patriots knew the Texans playbook.  And that’s the point.  

For a coach as good as Belichick, we should never think that.  

Beyond their favorite teams, and fantasy ridiculousness, people follow sports to watch unique men and women do spectacular things.  And make no mistake, Belichick has often been spectacular.  

But like Barry Bonds, arguably the best player in baseball before performance-enhancing drugs forever altered his career, Belichick did not (and does not) need to spy on opponents, deflate footballs or anything else.  It’s beneath him—at least we want to believe it is.  

Still, for Patriots fans, none of it matters.  In their eyes, Belichick’s legacy is untainted.  It does not matter how often opposing teams lose their ability to communicate because of electronic malfunctions in Gillette Stadium.

At this point, Belichick could get caught on video downloading the playbook files of every team in the AFC, and neither Pats fans, nor CBS’ Jim Nantz, would care.  That’s how dominant he is.  

But for the rest of us, he has earned at least a mental asterisk.  A place that robs us of the ability to completely respect his accomplishments.    

So despite his four NFL championships, Belichick deserves some scrutiny and that’s entirely his fault.    

But like Bonds and his 762 home runs, we are the ones who got cheated.  

 

THINGS THE PUNDITS CAN’T OR WON’T SAY: Week 3

-Might as well do this now.  I predicted a 4-12 season for the Philadelphia Eagles, largely because I thought a rookie quarterback and first-year head coach were a bad combination.  I . . . was . . . WRONG!  Four wins is a lock.  

From a fan’s perspective, this Eagles season is the rarest kind.  It is the first and only season of Carson Wentz’s career devoid of expectations.  Enjoy it, because after this, every season that ends in a loss, will somehow disappoint.  

Forget about the impressive numbers for a moment, the two things that burst through the television screen are his charisma and leadership. He is likable in ways Donovan McNabb wasn’t.

-Somehow, there are a bunch of Chip Kelly’s players showing up in these early Eagles wins.  Is it possible he is better at acquiring talent than he is at coaching it?

-I usually like CBS analyst Solomon Wilcots’ work, but he made a silly comment during the Cleveland/Miami telecast.  After a pass play in which cornerback Byron Maxwell found himself locked up with Terrelle Pryor, Wilcots said, “Maxwell excels in press, man-to-man.”  There is no way to take him seriously after he makes that statement.  

-Selfishness and stupidity are more responsible for losses than any other reasons.  Consider the New York Giants’ Andrew Adams, a rookie safety just trying to stay in the NFL.  He committed a personal foul penalty while the Giants were blocking a Washington punt.  You can read his rationale here.  Suffice it to say, he wasn’t thinking and put his needs ahead of the teams.  That’s how you get beat.   

-Perhaps some NFL fans are so disgusted by grown men bringing attention to a national problem, they refuse to watch games until said men literally fall in line.  But in my opinion, the NFL RedZone channel is the best football viewing experience.  And that is why ratings are down across the board.   

 

Earl Myers is a freelance writer from the Philadelphia area. He closely follows North America's four major sports leagues but just about any sporting event gets his attention. His goal is to provoke a little thought in his readers.

 

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 Photo: Matt Kartozian, USA TODAY Sports