Archive for the ‘NFL Football’ Category

Belichick and Crisis Management

September 15, 2007

One huge error Coach Belichick has made in the press management of the videogate problem is his refusal to say anything whatsoever to the media about it. It’s one thing for Belichick to offer two prepared statements about the matter — one before NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s decision to penalize the Patriots, one following — as he has. Generally, this method works. Belichick, however, has barely acknowledged his written statement during his press conferences. Typically, it is necessary for the principal, in this case Belichck, to get up before cameras and say or read the statement on camera; otherwise, t.v. reporters don’t have “sound” on the statement, which means, for the t.v. world, the statement doesn’t exist.

When a principal goes so far as to act with disdain about a prepared statement and announce that it’s time to “move on,” the effect is to render the meaning and the substance of that statement null and void. The story can’t be over because Belichick hasn’t acted with any regret or contrition whatsoever — despite the prepared statement.

The argument can be made about Belichik that he doesn’t care about his place in football history or his legacy. But we know this is not so. Despite refusing to ever say much to members of the daily press corps, Belichick was effusive with author David Halberstam. The only reason a source decides to sit down with the great Halberstam is a sense of history. Now, Belichick is tainted in this regard. And, sadly, Halberstam’s no longer around to comment on it.

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A Team Victory for the Patriots

January 15, 2007

Hail to the Victors!

Consistently experts fail to understand The New England Patriots. How many times did I hear this week that The San Diego Chargers, with nine Pro Bowlers, were the superior team. But in a true team, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. And Tom Brady. Internet128 puts it nicely. “The Patriots earned their victory by fighting and giving it everything they had on every down. They never quit. They never gave up and they were never cowed by Chargers athletically superior players.”

Perhaps the play of the game was made by the ultimate team player, Troy Brown, who plays offense, defense and special teams. (Steve Buckley of The Boston Herald wrote yesterday that today’s game could be the last for the aging star). He’ll live to play again another day.

The Patriots success over the last six years transcends sports. In an era where ESPN celebrates individual achievement, such as endlessly broadcasting Shawne Merriman’s grotesque victory dance, the Patriots put the spotlight on teamwork, an apt lesson for everyone.