by Amy Lignor
When the Patriots are mentioned in the world of sports, the smiling (well, sometimes smiling) face of Tom Brady is the one that comes to mind. People begin speaking about his records, his eventual Hall of Fame induction for being one of the best QB’s who ever played the game, etcetera.
But there is one other man on this particular team who actually IS this particular team. He is the support, the force behind Brady, and has shown not only guts over the years, but sheer determination to turn around a game that seems completely lost in everyone else’s eyes.
Bill Belichick may be one of the most formidable coaches to ever pace the sidelines. Why is that? Because when you see other coaches they have the grim determination looks; the angry looks as they scream at the referee who has either missed the call completely or called a penalty incorrectly. They are the ones who smile after the win…but old Bill always, and I mean always, has his face in a notebook and pen in hand. He is constantly working; his brain takes the information he sees from the other team, so he can then reinvent his own after halftime.
People can only imagine what it’s like in the Patriots locker room when they march in with the score 24-0, and they’ve shown nothing out on the field (even the incredible Brady). But something comes from Bill, because in the last two games and zillions before, the Patriots rise up from deficits that make fans not change the channel as they would with any other team, just so they can watch Brady rise back up and perform like the best QB in the NFL that he is.
Bill Belichick is not only head coach, of course, he is literally the main authority over the Patriots; basically the general manager who controls operations. He must do it very well considering the immense loyalty his players show to him.
Since 1975, Bill Belichick has been in the coaching realm, with his first foray into head coaching coming back in 1991 with the Cleveland Browns. On to 2000 and head coach of the Jets before heading to the Patriots where he earned five trips to the Super Bowl, taking the trophy home in three of them.
Belichick is the NFL’s longest tenured active head coach and, considering his QB and his creative mind for plays and how to fix things that are broken, he most likely will become the all-time winning coach before he packs it up and says so long to the sport.
Brady can have the accolades because he certainly deserves them. But when you think back to that all-powerful game of the Patriots versus the Broncos, you have to remember that it was Bill’s call – after winning the coin toss – to actually take the windy side of things AND hand the ball to Peyton Manning. Manning was most likely stunned, as if he was given his first Christmas gift early.
But the rules have changed. Even if the star Manning nailed a touchdown, Bill knew the Patriots would get the ball back. Which means he A) knew something the rest of the stadium did not; B) has so much faith in Brady that he simply feels Tom is better than Manning; or, C) wanted to take a risk because he saw that the Broncos (even though they play in one of the coldest states) looked about as blue as the well-known Smurfs.
Whatever the case may be, Bill took the risk…and Brady with crew handed him the win. Yesterday, Bill and Brady – the soon-to-be Batman & Robin of the NFL – did it again. Coming back from a deficit, they pulled out the win which brought them only one game behind Manning and the Broncos, who were basically called by experts to win this whole thing. However, if the Pats keep going the way they’re going and Manning stumbles even once in December, the Broncos will have to face the Pats back East once again in order to head to Super Bowl territory. And who will win that is anyone’s guess.
It certainly makes a football fan want to know what, exactly, Bill is writing on that notebook of his throughout the entire game. A prayer? His Super Bowl acceptance speech? Nah…the only magic Belichick needs is the combination of his courage and Brady’s skill: Two qualities that never seem to fade.
Until Next Time, Everybody,