Welcome to sports talk radio in Boston. There's simply no other institution like it. Where you can be totally negative about one thing and then equally negative about its polar opposite a day later. Where you can bitch about a lack of talent on a quarterback depth chart, watch the team add 6-foot-5, 245 pound, freakishly gifted 31-year-old MVP for the low, low price of nothing, and then bitch about the fact he dabs and does this:
... and act like that that is going to create an all-out culture war on your team. That's how you keep the negativity going, and generate phone calls from a horde of deranged, self-loathing Massholes who inexplicably have managed to stay frustrated and angry through a period of 12 Duckboat parades over 18 years.
This clip is further evidence of something that has been settled science for a long time now. Bill Belichick is the most misunderstood public figure in the world.
Superman gestures might trigger the bejeebers out of sports radio hosts and old farts who live their lives on the verge of telling you an old Bronko Nagurski story from the days when men were men while they yell at a cloud. You know who isn't that guy? Bill Belichick. Don't project that bullshit on him.
He wants his players to celebrate good plays. He likes when they play with passion. In fact, he insists upon it. It took me half the morning to find this clip, but here he lays it all out. It's from the Part I of the two-parter Belichick "A Football Life." Which was filmed during the 2009 Patriots season, by far the least likeable of his 20 teams in New England. The Pats suffered a huge leadership drain after the '08 season, having traded Mike Vrabel and Richard Seymour and losing Rodney Harrison and Tedy Bruschi. Into that vacuum stepped malcontents like Adalius Thomas. The bad attitude was so prevalent and caused such a lack of enthusiasm on the field that it showed up on tape. And before the Week 1 game against Buffalo, Belichick called them out for it, with video evidence to make his point. The clips of the meeting are intercut with footage from Mr. Kraft throwing a party for the Pats 50th anniversary team, so stick with it for about two minutes (cued up to the 13:13 mark):
I mean, how much clearer could he be? "There is nothing wrong, in fact you should be excited, when you make a play. ... And your teammates should be excited too." Then he proceeds to chew them out for example after example of them not acknowleging a teammate's great play. Followed by them the year before against Denver, playing with heart and emotion, jumping all over each other after a score and breaking the Bronco's will to fight back. To show "This is a football team. It's not just a bunch of guys running around in the same jersey."
This notion that he hates celebrations is simply a fallacy. Or it's just a projection of the attitude of whoever is saying it. He doesn't want a bunch of Vulcans on the field. Nor does he want you to waste time breaking out into "Ten Duel Commandments" from "Hamiton" every time you get in the endzone. He's not going to tolerate anything that's going to risk a 15-yard unsportsmanlike on the subsequent kick. He's also going to demand you knock off climbing on Gronk's back (Note: it was Brandin Cooks riding him like a pony, not Jacoby Brissett) after he's had a million surgeries, for obvious reasons. But look no further than Gronk's entire career in New England to see how he feels about touchdown celebrations. Gronk didn't invent the TD spike, but he for sure perfected it. Even put variations on it, like the "little nutcracker dude who guards the castle."
Randy Moss didn't stop doing the "splitting the defense" gesture on Belichick's watch.
And all this coach will ask of Cam Newton is that, if he's going to dab or do the Superman thing in New England, that he does it early and often and throughout the postseason.
Saying anything different is just being ignorant of history. Or worse, making it up just to stay as negative as possible about a free agent signing that has no downside whatsoever. And I think I know which it is.