Super Bowl LV is Feb. 7, with Belichick nowhere to be found
by Aubrey Bruce
For New Pittsburgh Courier
On Sunday Feb. 7, Super Bowl LV will be played at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., between the AFC Champion Kansas City Chiefs and the hometown NFC Champs, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
I wonder what strategy the resident football demigod on earth, Bill Belichick, is conjuring up to defeat the Chiefs. Oops, my bad. It totally slipped my mind that the Bucs’ QB Tom Brady is no longer under the tutelage of the New England Patriots’ headmaster.
Alas, Tom “Terrific” Brady is now “directed” by former Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator and ex-Arizona Cardinals Head Coach Bruce Arians. Arians now “works” his trade as the sideline general of the Buccaneers. Arians is the new H.G.I.C. (head genius in charge) of QB Tom Brady, not Bill “Belicheat.”
What? Stop the presses! There is supposed to be a general consensus that there was not even a remote snowball’s chance in hell that when the 43-year-old “wunderkind” Brady was sent packing by the team from “Beantown,” he was thought by many to be in the twilight of his career and he would be without the genius of Belichick behind Brady’s “Wizard of Oz” performance curtain.
The stage was set. With these factors taken into consideration, Brady could not achieve even minimal success, right? Wrong, dead, wrong. Remember, it was the coaching acumen of Belichick that was the X-factor in building and maintaining the Patriots’ “dynasty.”
Let us explore the history of Bill Belichick, the coach that many fans and pundits alike have anointed as the G.O.A.T. Is this the same Bill Belichick that won an average of seven games per season and nine losses during his five-year tenure as the head coach of the Cleveland Browns from 1991-1995?
Ya think with that won-loss record he might qualify as a “loooooooser.”
After he moved on to the Patriots, it was alleged for several years that the Patriots, under his watchful eye, directed an illegal operation that included videotaping the practices of opponents, giving New England an unfair and illegal advantage. The reason that I say alleged is that the videotapes of the supposed violations went the “Puff the Magic Dragon” route and disappeared before any litigation against the cheating Patriots was completed. The team was subsequently fined the equivalent of a year’s worth of Sunday brunches at the country club for the violations. That devious operation even helped to determine the outcome of several of the Patriots’ Super Bowl victories.
Hey, wait a freakin’ minute! Tom Brady does not get a pass. He could have confronted his coach and refused to cheat but Brady was just as shady as his boss and did not mind utilizing an advantage that made him look great and, in the process, aided and abetted his unscrupulous head coach in his quest for pseudo-greatness.
Brady also could have retained the knowledge of the tendencies of certain teams (especially the Patriots’ AFC East opponents) long after the practice of illegal videotaping had ceased. How many teams would be on edge just coming into Foxborough to compete when suddenly the electronic sideline communications apparatus of the visitors would unexplainably malfunction?
It was also at that point that Belichick began to dissect and manipulate the NFL rulebook, doing things like calling quick plays at the line of scrimmage to catch the opposition with 12 men on the field and deflating footballs that allegedly helped Brady to have a better grip on the ball and to have less “bounce,” thereby helping to limit deflections of the pigskin during crucial games played in cold weather. Belichick often seemed be standing at or near the precipice of illegality to help ensure that he came out on top, “by hook or by crook.”
Listen, my children, and you shall hear of the cheating and skullduggery of a coach to fear. I do not care how much any coach operates in the shadows, he still has to have the “horses.” There have been many past NFL Drafts that the Patriots were forced to pick last because of their winning (and cheating) ways.
Having to compete with no hidden agenda and illegal competitive advantages finally caught up with Bill Belichick. Why? Because he just simply ran out of the “horses” to put on the field.
Remember this timeless piece of advice from NFL superscout Bill Nunn Jr.: “You can’t take a mule to compete at the Kentucky Derby.”