Belichick: Winners Don’t Always Win

Posted: February 14, 2012 in NFL
Tags: , , , , , ,

I like winning. I love winning. I’m all for keeping score. I don’t believe everyone deserves a trophy for just participating.

But there is a limit to obsessing on winning and it seems most of us have gone way over the line. And I’m not just talking about the fans. Sure, winning the championship is the ultimate goal, but that doesn’t mean everyone else is a loser.

I bring this up because of something I read this weekend. Vito Stellino covers the NFL and the Jaguars for the Times-Union. He is a well respected reporter, and deservedly so. I’ve known him for years and appreciate his work.

In his Sunday “NFL Confidential” column Stellino wrote, in part, about New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick. Stellino is critical of Belichick, saying the days of one man serving as GM and coach as Belichick does are out of style. He points out the facts the Patriots haven’t won a Super Bowel in seven years, twice losing in the big game.

Among his observations he wrote, “And now the team has slowly declined with Belichick calling all of the shots. All of those players except Brady are gone and he hasn’t done a good job of replacing them.

“He gathers a lot of draft picks and makes a lot of trades, but he doesn’t draft enough impact players.”

He also questions Belichick’s staff, pointing out such mistakes as the Pats having 12 players on the field and, as a result, losing a fumble recovery against the Giants in this year’s Super Bowl.

Stellino, of course, is not alone is criticizing the Patriots.

But have the Patriots really fallen that far? Have they fallen at all?

They have a 29-7 record for the last two seasons. That’s 29-7! No other NFL team comes close to matching that two-year record.

They’ve lost twice to the Giants in the Super Bowl. Four years ago New England lost a perfect season because of the greatest/luckiest catch in Super Bowl history. That’s the David Tyree catch that led to New York’s 17-14 victory. This year they lost 21-17 because Eli Manning made one of the greatest throws in Super Bowl history.

Indeed, Belichick and the Patriots deserve a Jethro Gibbs-type slap on the back of the head for their failure to hold fourth quarter leads against the Giants. Maybe they aren’t as awesome as they were during a run when they won three Super Bowls in four years (’01, ’02, ’04).

For the record, I’m no fan of Belichick the man, but to consider Belichick’s way as out of style – to say the Patriots have drafted poorly – to say they’ve done a poor job in free agency – to suggest they’ve failed to “reload” their roster since their Super Bowl-winning seasons – well, every team should wish for such failure.

Not even the greatest winners win all of the time, but that certainly doesn’t make them losers.

 

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