09.17.07

Jacobs : The Hooded Casanova Is One Smug Motherfucker

Posted in Blogged Down, Gridiron, Sports Journalism at 4:23 pm by

And if you wanna say, “we knew that already”, go right ahead. After watching the Patriots lay waste to the Chargers last night, The Hartford Courant’s moralistic Jeff Jacobs warns New England fans, “emotional wins have an unnerving way of absolving or, at least, distorting wrongdoing. Big wins against elite teams have a knack of making folks forget the difference between what is right and wrong.”

What irony. The same score as last week and, see, this time they didn’t have to cheat. But winning and wishing isn’t going to make Belichick’s problems automatically go away. Before ESPN broke the news about Belichick’s contract, word broke that Goodell ordered the Patriots to turn over all their video, notes and files that led to Goodell’s decision. If the Patriots don’t comply or the commissioner discovers they copied their spying files without telling the NFL, Goodell is ready with more sanctions. The Patriots evidently have put together quite the video stash.

Given some of the criticism Goodell got for being too lenient toward Belichick, some folks may view this as a move by the commissioner to tack on extra punishment. Actually, I thought Goodell did a strong, just job in administering discipline. But put yourself in Goodell’s shoes for a moment. Wouldn’t you be angry that Belichick would be so arrogant in his written statement Thursday night? Goodell said that there was a calculated attempt to avoid longstanding rules designed to encourage fair play. Belichick’s response?

“My interpretation of a rule in the constitution and bylaws was incorrect.”

He had video assistant Matt Estrella take video from the sideline during the game. It wasn’t a misinterpretation. It was cheating.

That press conference Friday was an absolute joke. Belichick had the perfect chance to shoulder the blame, to explain how he had let down the game he loved. His dad coached for so many years at the Naval Academy. He attended a prestigious institution in Wesleyan. Didn’t he learn something about accountability? Instead he played the smug card.

Belichick kept on saying he was moving on. And, indeed, he had moved on enough to coach the Patriots to a rout of one of the best teams in the NFL. But just because you’re a football savant, a magnificent coach, doesn’t make you a bastion of integrity. I’m not buying that there’s any asterisk to be affixed to the Patriots’ three Super Bowl titles. I am buying that Belichick’s reputation remains on trial.

When the Ron Borges suggested that Belichick was doing something sneaky “when everyone else was sleeping”, I wasn’t alone in thinking he meant the coach’s zipper problems. You think Borges wishes he still had his Globe gig right about now?

Frustrated with what looks to be a New England cakewalk to the Super Bowl, Kissing Suzy Kolber has placed a $20 bounty on the knees of Tom Brady. I’ve not seen that sort of initiative since Lorne Michaels offered the Beatles $3000 to reunite on “SNL”.

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