Football coaches are strange creatures. They’re connected with a game that, when you really think about it, means little in our world’s grand scheme, but many of these coaches conduct themselves with all the extreme seriousness of a general.
Football coaches, please let me fill you in about a little detail. Football isn’t war. It’s a game.
Bill Belichick is the ultimate football coach. He’s led the New England Patriots to three Super Bowl titles. He’s created a scheming, secretive, powerful franchise. Like many football coaches, he’s astoundingly boring in his public persona. A goldfish has more interesting observations than Coach Bill.
And now Coach Bill has been caught in his own foolish brand of espionage. On Sunday, Patriots assistant video coach Matt Estrella was busted with a video camera as he departed the New York Jets sideline. Estrella, according to the New York Daily News, was wearing a sideline photographer’s vest – worn by members of the press at all NFL games – over his Patriots polo shirt. Estrella has been accused – and no member of the Patriots has bothered denying this – of videotaping the hand signals of Jets coaches. This practice is explicitly forbidden by the NFL.
Jets head coach Eric Mangini worked as a Belichick assistant from 2000-2005. He was a trusted member of Belichick’s inner circle, and he knows how his old boss works. It’s no coincidence Coach Bill got busted by one of his former workers.
Belichick, like many genius types, believes himself above authority. The NFL commands teams to provide truthful injury reports each week. Belichick sees this as an intrusion, so each week he lists superstar quarterback Tom Brady as probable with a right shoulder injury. Belichick has the same disdain for the NFL’s restrictions on spying.
Coach Bill has allowed his thirst for victories and dominance to cloud his judgment. He is, to put it simply, a cheater, a bad example to children everywhere and a threat to the NFL’s integrity.
He deserves a harsh rebuke. I’d suggest a two-game suspension. That will grab the attention of the football rebel/genius. He owns a stupendous football mind, but he’s not above the NFL’s laws.
And if Coach Bill is suspended, the NFL must keep a lookout for a man strolling the Patriots sidelines in a fake beard and mustache along with a really ugly hoodie.