Tag: Bill Belichik

Instant Reaction from Patriots Super Bowl Victory

I can not believe what just happened. My heart is racing, and I’m still wearing the same Tom Brady jersey that I’ve been sporting all season. My wife is thrilled that I’ll finally wash the smelly thing. My dad and brother are at the Cask n’ Flagon just outside of Fenway Park, screaming and yelling with thousands of other Massholes. Somewhere Richard Sherman is crying over a bowl of Campbell’s chunky soup that his mom brought to him from a helicopter. My cowboys’ fan friend, Dan Stroud, is taking off his Seahawks jersey and wondering why he is such a fair weather fan and when the Cowboy will make the Super Bowl. (Never again!) Gronkowski is already dancing. Brady and Belichick are probably having a staring contest and then hugging after someone loses. Patriots nation is in utter pandamonium. And I’m just sitting here, completely amazed that an undrafted free agent from the University of West Alabama made the play of his life after he had a vision that he would play a part in one of the biggest moment in SB49. This is a Super Bowl that will go down in history, and because blogs are so much about the moment — almost artifacts of cultural consciousness — I wanted to share some of my rapid reactions.

Pete Carroll’s Goal-line Call

For the rest of Pete Carroll’s career, he will be questioned and lambasted for his decision to pass on 2nd and goal instead of running Beast Mode up the the middle. It’s a silly call, and it probably cost the Seahawks the game, but after hearing what Carroll had to say about the decision puts the strategy in perspective. According to Carroll, the Patriots were in their goal-line defense, and the Seahawks had three wide receives on the field. In that formation, it makes sense to catch the Patriots off guard and pass for what would be an easy touchdown. Unfortunately for Pete and the 12, Malcolm Butler just made the play of his life, and he will always be remembered in Massachusetts and New England as long as American life exists.

Bill Belichick’s No Call

While Pete Carroll will forever be associated with his terrible call in the fourth quarter, I have a feeling that Bill Belichick will not receive the respect he deserves for his no call in that goal-line situation. After Lynch ran for a couple of yards on first down, the clock was ticking down, and I couldn’t believe that the hoodie wasn’t calling a time out to ensure that Brady had enough seconds to score a touchdown or at least set up a field goal. However, he didn’t call a time out. I was screaming at the television for him to call a time out, but he didn’t. He just left his players on the field. I actually think this was a legendary decision. By not calling the time out, which I’m sure the Seahawks were expecting, it caused indecision on the Seahawks sideline. They eventually called the play that would lead to the biggest interception of the game. At the end of the game, the hoodie said the Seahawk’s decision to pass didn’t surprise him. Could he really be that smart in that situation? He does always preach situational football.

Malcolm Butler is a Football Prophet

I’m so thankful that we’re talking about Malcolm Butler’s incredible interception on the one-yard line instead of Jermaine Kearse’s freakish catch. Butler’s interception was about preparation. In the post game, Butler mentioned that he had seen that play in film study before, and he read the play and reacted. That’s one thing about the Patriots that is often overlooked: They study harder than any team in the NFL. Butler said that he had a vision of a similar play, and this just goes to put more value in the idea of visualization in sports. He saw what he needed and followed through. What’s the most unbelievable part of Malcolm Butler’s journey is that he was an undrafted free agent. He turned heads on the practice field in the preseason, and he was recognized by the coach. That’s what I love about the Patriots: It doesn’t matter what your name is, it doesn’t matter where you were drafted, it only matters how you play.

Richard Sherman’s Face

The only reason I hate Richard Sherman is because he’s not on my team. If he was on my side, I would love him. I would love his swagger. I would love his skill. I would love his stupid commercials and his need for attention. But because he’s not on my team, I only have one question for you Richard:  Screenshot 2015-02-01 20.48.38

In the end, this is one of the best games I’ve seen as a football fan. Just take a look at the difference in these two reactions. Congrats Patriots Nation. Now enough about football for a while. Back to writing a novel.

Thoughts on the Zeigeist: Deflategate and Balls, Balls, Balls


It’s been a week since the news that 11 out of the 12 footballs the Patriots used in their game against the Indianapolis Colts were reported to be under inflated. The New England Patriots’ footballs were allegedly filled to 10.5 PSI — two pounds below the league minimum. An uproar ensued and America demanded football justice. Bill Belichik and Tom Brady were seen awkwardly answering questions in front of a media that were firing off probing questions as if they were interviewing Obama after he announced that America was planning to invade Canada for their maple syrup. Now the Patriots legacy is under question, and the evidence seems to suggest the Patriots are a bunch of freaking cheaters.

So, yeah, I’m a Patriots fan. I’m almost an obsessed Patriots fan. I read more articles on the Patriots in a given day than any man should, and I study formations, bench players, and strategy as if I thought any day the hoodie would call me up on the phone after a key injury and ask me if I wanted to suit up. “I’m ready coach.” As my brother-in-law says, I’m almost as much of a homer as the guy in the Saturday Night Live skit below, Dougie Spoons. “You think you can do what Brady does?”

Here is why I’m a Patriots fan. I’m from Massachusetts, and while I can’t stand the winters or the short days and the cold, I love my home. I love where I’m from, but I haven’t lived there in almost ten years. I have friends there, and I am aware that I am who I am today because of Clinton, Massachusetts. It built me. So I root for the Patriots, because I’m cheering for my roots. The Patriots represent something about my hometown that sports teams like the Packers and Steelers accomplish for their respected cities. We’re a bunch of wicked hard-working people who battle awful weather. People in Massachusetts are rugged, strong, grumpy; we work jobs that put callouses on our hands; we drink Dunkin Donuts coffee instead of that Seattle crap; and we never quit. We never quit believing that life is about hard work, family, and showing up every day as if it’s our last. We are underdogs. (Of course, this isn’t all Massholes, but these are the ones I love.)

Enter Tom Brady. He’s a quarterback that was benched at Michigan. He was a player who showed up at the NFL combine who looked like he was actually about to be examined for scoliosis.  He is an athlete who no one ever thought would be successful. He was a sixth round draft pick. Now, he is on his way to be the greatest quarterback of all time. He renegotiated his contract to give his team a discount in an era where free agents try to acquire the most money. He never quits. Every year, he leads a team with people like Julian Edelman, Alan Branch, Jermaine Wiggins, Shane Vereen, James Develin — football players who played different positions in college or couldn’t find a spot on any other team. He leads a team of people who were unwanted, undesired…cast off. And they play like a team. They preach team first. They are Massachusetts.

I consider myself an underdog. In high school, I couldn’t even spell, and I had no idea what a comma splice was. I received a D minus my freshmen year in English; I was told that being a writer is like trying to find a way to travel to the moon with a go-kart; and I’m trying to prove everyone wrong. I have a chip on my shoulder. I’m hungry, angry. So how do you think I took the news of deflategate?

It hurt. To think that the team I believe in is using a competitive advantage, one as bush league as deflating footballs, it was like someone just told me my best friend was spitting in my beer every time I went to the bathroom for four years. I wanted to believe that it wasn’t true. It had to be the weather. There had to be an explanation. I’m still a bit torn about this; Bill Nye the Science guy even came out and said Belichik was full of shit:

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It’s a bit suspicious though that Bill Nye is a Seahawks fan. There are so many questions surrounding deflategate (Did the hoodie give the order? Did Brady instruct one of his ball boys to deflate the balls? Didn’t Brady look like he was hiding something in his press conference?) that led anyone with common sense to think that the Patriots are, in fact, a bunch of cheaters. The way that the evidence stands, right now, seems to me that someone in my beloved organization is cheating.

The worst statistic that I have found was a graph on fumbles. People are talking about how Brady was the one deflating the balls to ensure a better grip and a better quality ball, but if the Patriots are deflating balls, then it’s not for the aerial attack; it’s more for the running game and yards after the catch. Look at this graph on fumbles from Slate:


As you can see in the graph, the Patriots had far more offensive plays per fumble than the second best team in the NFL. It’s almost not even comparable. How could they be that much better at ball security. Granted, the hoodie does preach and practice ball security in innovated ways, and he even had a runner, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who went an entire year without a fumble. While this seems like a great stat, someone actually looked at his fumbles with the Patriots compared to his fumbles with his next team, the Bengals. From 2008 to 2011, Green-Ellis didn’t have a fumble once with the Patriots. In two seasons with the Bengals, he fumbled a total of five times.

When I look at whether or not the Patriots are guilty, I see a lot of data that suggests that they are, but it’s still not proven.

On the way home today, I heard Boomer Esiason on the radio talking about the Patriots and whether or not they were cheaters. He made an excellent point. In the game against the Colts, Tom Brady under threw Shan Vereen by about five yards. He threw an under thrown interception, where he had Gronk open over the middle. He wasn’t performing well, so if he did deflate the ball the technique wasn’t working. Also, why would Belichik call a second press conference and emphatically state that there was no wrong doing from the Patriots after his first press conference. He knows his legacy is on the line, and he knows that people are suspicious: would he really double down on his teams’ innocence, publicly and emphatically, if we was still cheating? Think about Barry Bonds: he ducked the media on the steroid question.

The answer could be yes, but we don’t really know.

I read another theory from the Boston Globe that was intriguing. Chuck Pagano was the defensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens with John Harbaugh, who was pissed that the Patriots used “trick” plays with ineligible receivers  in the divisional championship round. People are starting to get suspicious of a revenge plot from Harbaugh. What I’m reading is that perhaps Pagano and Harbaugh were scheming together to make it look like the Patriots were deflating their balls.

Yes I know that I’m making some paranoid, Homeland type conspiracy theories here, but Harbaugh is pissed. Could it be possible that the Colts inflated their balls outside in the cold temperature, knowing that the balls would lose air if the balls were inflated inside, in order to make it seem like the Patriots were cheating? Could the Patriots actually be innocent? Well, in the words of the great Boston Celtic Kevin Garnett, anything is possible…Let’s go Patriots! Your comments are always appreciated. Hopefully we can start talking about the game this week.