Belichick Outsmarts Them All
It’s a sure sign that everyone has thrown in the towel and surrendered. The fact that the world is accusing the Patriots of deflating footballs during the AFC Championship game tells you everything you need to know about the state of affairs in the NFL. The Seahawks may be the defending Super Bowl champions but there is little doubt that it’s Bill Belichick and his band of bank robbers, car thieves and extortionists that dominate the NFL consciousness. Throughout all the years that many of us have followed pro football, the idea of a team purposely deflating footballs to gain some kind of advantage, somehow, has never been raised until now. That tells you how bizarre and desperate this claim is.
Understandably, the Patriots have been accused and found guilty of a few league violations in the past. Belichick even got hit with a $500,000 fine back in 2007 for the team video taping sideline hand signals of the New York Jets, so he’s far from a saint. And he’s spent almost all of his career in the Northeast part of the country where views on what’s legal and illegal are a bit, let’s say, different than the rest of the country. Nevertheless, to think Belichick and the Patriots thought they needed to resort to taking air out of the football to gain an advantage is weak. I’ve thrown a few footballs in my time and one with less air isn’t much, if any, kind of an advantage in bad weather or good. Pro football players’ hands are almost universally larger than the average person, and guys like Dez Bryant and Odell Beckham prove every week that they can do spectacular things with a regular football.
On top of “Deflate Gate,” I’ve to come to the defense of the highly unlikable Belichick on another subject during the playoffs. The fact that John Harbaugh and others have criticized him for running “deceptive” formations during games makes me laugh. What’s next…telling the defense ahead of time when you plan on running a reverse so that they won’t be confused who has the ball? I imagine it was a similar outcry in 1942 when George Halas told his quarterback to throw the ball to a receiver instead of handing it off to a running back. The Lions and Packers must have been outraged by the “bush league” concept. If Harbaugh and his genius defensive players haven’t been taught to determine which player is eligible and which isn’t, that’s their fault. As a matter of fact Harbaugh, in his ranting, only managed to point out the fact that he and his coaching staff didn’t do a very good job since no one on the Ravens knew what the hell was going on. I’ve always thought that it was ridiculous that players have to “report in” to the referees when they’re eligible receivers…and then the refs make an announcement to everyone that “number 79 is an eligible receiver.” Let the defense figure it out for themselves, if they don’t and they get burned, it’s their own fault. It’s almost as if the league acknowledges that defensive players can’t figure this out for themselves.
If Jason Garrett can start to get creative like Belichick and think outside the Princeton box, the Cowboys may start playing in Super Bowls again instead of watching them from their couches.