Belichick Just Casually Hanging Out 10 Feet From Trump at His Own Golf Course is Why He is Still Leader of the Free World
This photo is from Saturday. The most powerful man on planet Earth sitting several feet away from the former second most powerful man on planet Earth. The Leader of the Free World, enjoying a post-golf lunch with his First Lady on the veranda of Trump International. The welcome, honored guest of the man who just a few months ago offered him the Presidental Medal of Freedom and was turned down cold.
The management textbooks I was assigned to read in college (and occasionally used to skim when I wasn't crushing 85 cent Bud Lights at the Weymouth KofC and listening to Springsteen on cassette) all had a common theme about the difference between authority and power. The first means that you technically have the right to issue commands that are supposed to be followed. The second means that you have actual influence over people and can get them to bend to your will, whether or not it's in writing. Here is that difference in picture form. As President, Trump had the authority to award Belichick the highest civilian award an American citizen can attain. As the man whose name is on the golf course, he has the authority to tell Belichick to honk off for refusing the award. But when it comes to actual power, it all belongs in the Super Bowl ring-fingered hands of the guy in the golf hat enjoying a leisurely lunch with the love of his life.
And this is a point I've been making forever with this guy. As a matter of fact, the premise of one of the first columns I ever wrote for the old paper edition of Barstool Sports back around 2004 or so, was that if I could be any other person on Earth, if I could Quantum Leap into someone else's life and live as them for a while, it would be Bill Belichick. Not some billionaire. Not some handsome actor. Not a rock star or an athlete with some uncanny talent I never had. It would be him. And this is a perfect illustration of why.
Because Belichick is the one person alive who's so good at his job and accomplished so much that he enjoys the one freedom the rest of us do not. The right to treat everyone else like hot garbage. I don't care who else you are, you've got to kiss somebody's ass. World leaders. The Pope. Oil barons. Elon Musk. Mark Zuckerberg. All the money and influence in the world doesn't prevent you from having to apologize, kowtow or bend the knee to someone, sometime.
But not The Hooded One. As I've said it on stage, he's got so much juice that Jennifer Lawrence could seduce him with the greatest sex anyone's had in the millennium, and afterwards he could look her in the eye and mumble, "Some things you did well. Some things you didn't do well. You're gonna have to get better in all three phases. I'm not going to know until I've looked at the film. ... >snooorrrkkk<"< em>"<>
And the truly remarkable thing is that this is Trump we're talking about dropping this grudge. At a time when he really needed a W, one of the most high profile people in the country, and someone he's been friends with since the 80s, told him to keep his medal. Took a moral stand and embarrassed him in front of the world. And no matter what you think about Trump, you have to acknowledge that nobody hangs onto bad blood the way he does. Hell, his most loyal supporters will tell you it's what they love most about him. That he refuses to squash a beef and will keep a fight going forever. And yet, as personally as he has always taken everything, here he is, forgiving and forgetting like nothing ever happened. And it's not because he's mellowed. It's because no one can stay mad at the coaching GOAT for long.
In the meantime, given this was over the weekend, I guess we can assume Belichick was on that phone, laying the groundwork for taking Jimmy Garoppolo off of San Francisco's hands. And figuring out how he can get them to not draft Mac Jones for good measure. Work that continued today at Alabama's Pro Day with Josh McDaniels' help.
And don't think he can't pull them both off. When the guy who spent four years with the power to launch nuclear Armageddon can't stand up to you, what chance do John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan have to resist you?