Like Donald Trump, most people don’t like New England Patriots’ coach Bill Belichick, unless they’re from New England.
One reason people dislike the guy is because he wins repeatedly. People like to root for an underdog, until that underdog turns into a repeat champion. At some point the Patriots may overtake the Dallas Cowboys as the most hated team (who is also the most popular and most financially valuable team in any sport in the world. Look it up). The biggest reason people hate Belichick is that the man is a cheater.
Sure he’s a great coach. He constantly reloading his team and never seems to go into a rebuilding phase despite coaching the Patriots for seventeen years.
Belichick started his tenure at New England building animosity. He was an assistant for the New York Jets and he was promoted to head coach. At the press conference to announce his hiring he stunned everyone by instead announcing his resignation. In fact, Belichick has been named coach of the Jets TWICE, and he’s never coached a game for them. But the biggest reason people hate the guy is because his team cheats.
In 2007 the Pats were busted video taping the defensive signals of the New York Jets from the sidelines. In 2002 they were caught taping the walk-through practice of the Carolina Panthers before their game in the Super Bowl. We all know about Deflategate where they were caught deflating balls to give quarterback Tom Brady a better grip, thus an advantage, over the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC championship. Brady had to sit out the first five games of this season for this offense. That didn’t seem to matter as they went 4-1 without Tom-Tom. Correction: My cartooning colleague and evil Pats fan Don Landgren just corrected me that it was a four game suspension (originally five) and they went 3-1.
In 2015 Pittsburgh Steelers’ coach Mike Tomlin complained about the headsets used while playing in New England. He said it’s a common occurrence every time they play in the Patriots’ home stadium. The coaches communicate with each other with headsets throughout the game, and at times instead of hearing each other, the Steelers were hearing the Patriots’ radio network’s broadcast of the game. They were probably lucky it wasn’t the Lollipop song. The funniest part of this scandal is that if one team’s headsets malfunction then the other team has to stop using theirs, as a rule of equity. As soon as the Patriots would be told they had to stop using their headsets, the problem with Pittsburgh’s cleared up. A few minutes after everything was restored the problem would return for the Steelers.
Finally, last weekend before the AFC championship, once again, between the Patriots and Steelers there were some shenanigans. No, it wasn’t the Lollipop song. Before the game in Foxborough, Massachusetts someone triggered the fire alarm at the Steelers’ hotel while they were snoozing. This was an attempt to rob them of sleep and generally just to rattle and piss them off.
Belichick’s fingerprints were not found on the fire alarm but a fan of theirs was arrested for the crime. The fan was quoted saying “I’m drunk. I’m stupid. I’m a Pats fan.”
I believe that quote would also fit those supporters of a current leader many find illegitimate.
Creative notes: I like easing up on topics here and there, which helps when clients are screaming at me. I like combining sports into my work. While I can appreciate when an editorial cartoon tackles sports, I really hate cartoons that focus entirely on sports. I love sports but I find those cartoons to be the laziest. They tend to be cheerleaders without making any sort of statement and they overkill with the cliches. Of course the team’s fans love them because it’s about their team (Yeah! We do have the best mascot!). Over the weekend I saw a cartoon predicting the Packers would beat the Falcons. That cartoonist should be given points for a bold prediction but I’m sure he’s eating a lot of stinky cheese today after Atlanta blew out Green Bay 44-21. Ouch!
Several years ago I used the Saints’ “bountygate” in a political cartoon, and I’m a Saints fan. In that case I made fun of my own team. While I was employed at The Free Lance-Star I would have to explain every cartoon to my editor that used a sports analogy. He didn’t follow sports. I’d also have to convince him that it worked which was difficult at times.
On another note I have no idea who to root for in the Super Bowl. The Falcons are division rivals to my Saints and I have hard time cheering for them. And then the other team is New England, where the owner, coach, and quarterback, are Donald Trump supporters. Gad! I’ll probably just root for a good game.
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