Bill Belichick & Deflategate

No, I don’t know Bill Belichick, though I saw him several times in 1965-66, when I was Plebe Basketball Coach at the U.S. Naval Academy and his father, Steve Belichick, was on the football staff with head coach Bill Elias, a group which also included TV star Lee Corso. Bill was a 13-year old kid that we all saw in passing while there. I guess he picked up a lot of football ideas watching the USNA play and practice. I’m not sure if he picked up anything else while in Annapolis!

Which brings me to his latest scrape with the NFL: deflated footballs. Did he do this? Did he authorize it? Did he condone it? I have no idea. But you would think this guy would bend over backwards to avoid any and all controversy after all the trouble he has had with accusations of cheating in the past. As this article says, no less than Hall of Fame coach Don Shula called him Ball-Cheat. That’s heavy. John Harbaugh of the Baltimore Ravens, after a trick play by Belichick’s New England Patriots led to an important touchdown, accused him of ‘deception.’

Here is my question. This guy is on his way to his sixth Super Bowl, a record: Isn’t that enough? Why live on the edge? Then, a second question: What in the name of God was the advantage in deflating the footballs? Would Andrew Luck, the QB of the Indianapolis Colts, 45-7 losers to New England on Sunday, have trouble passing the football … which was the case? Did Tom Brady practice all week with ‘different’ footballs? Would the outcome of the game been any different had regulation-weight footballs been used? I suppose there are other questions.

Now, the NFL is … upset. There will, of course, be no decision here. Here’s the way the NFL should have handled this. One, they should have dealt with it immediately, not now. Two, they should have come to a decision: Guilty or Not Guilty, on the basis of the evidence at hand. Three, if New England knowingly cheated, they forfeit the game and Indianapolis goes to the Super Bowl and Bill Belichick no longer coaches in the NFL. He may coach anywhere else he wishes, but not in the NFL. Of course, that will never happen. Business as usual.