A Survey Declares Bill Belichick the Greatest Coach in History. In a Landslide.
You might be tempted to think, when one man in the century-plus of professional football in America can legitimately own a boat VIII Rings because he and he alone has won that many, that his claim to the title of Greatest There Ever Was in This Game would be beyond question. That when you've achieved the ultimate goal of most championships, and will soon capture the secondary goal of most wins, period, you would be proclaimed the GOAT of your profession by acclimation. That it would be unanimous. Because in a competitive world, the person who has won the most competitions is, by definition, the best.
And were it any other person in any other field of endeavor, you'd be correct. There would simply be no valid counter argument. But when said figure is Bill Belichick, that case still has to be made. He has always had detractors. None more than he has now, after going 25-25 and 0-1 in the playoffs over the last three years. As it reads in Luke 4:24, "Then He said, 'Assuredly, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own country.'" So very true.
However, there are people who share my sentiments that Belichick is the best tackle football coach ever to twirl a whistle around his finger. These are people commonly referred to as "experts." And while I would never place myself in their mighty company (I'll leave that to you, my devoted readers), I can confirm that we share the expert opinion on this. And even if it's not technically not unanimous, this as close as you're ever going to get a group of experts to form a consensus opinion on anything:
Source - [T]he winner was the only coach without a bust in Canton – and that’s because Bill Belichick is still coaching. Belichick received almost half of the votes – 99 of 201 – to easily outdistance the runnerup Lombardi with 56. The came Paul Brown with 19, Don Shula with 13, Joe Gibbs with 6, Tom Landry with 4 and George Halas and Chuck Noll with two apiece. Curly Lambeau, who won six NFL championships with the Green Bay Packers and ranks sixth on the all-time list with 229 victories, was the only coach who did not receive a vote.
“It should be noted that five of Belichick’s championships came when the NFL had its current number of 32 teams and one when it had 31 teams,” said Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “Vince Lombardi’s three NFL titles came when the league had 14 teams … and his two Super Bowl teams came when the NFL and AFL had 24, and then 25 teams.”
Added Gene Frenette of the Florida Times Union: “Picking the greatest coach is difficult as most coached before the advent of free agency, which means they had the benefit of keeping their teams together. Belichick gets the nod because he kept a dynasty together over nearly two decades when roster turnover was greater than before 1993.”
Well done, ladies and gentlemen. Well done, indeed.
And this is something that needs to be said. Because for years this great man has been subjected to all manners of abuse from his doubters and haters. The ones who mock him as an operator of spy cameras and a deflator of footballs:
Who minimize his accomplishments, not as the residue of hard work and out-preparing his opponents, but of pure, dumb luck. Who can't shut up about his record without Tom Brady, as if it's his fault Art Modell blew up everything he'd built in Cleveland when he moved to Baltimore (where the Ravens won a Super Bowl with players he'd drafted and a front office he'd assembled). Or that replacing the GOAT of quarterbacks is child's play. While ignoring the truth that it was he who drafted and developed Brady and made him what he became.
Well now, what do you petty ingrates have to say now that a list of the nine most legendary coaches in the history of the league was compiled, and he beat them like he's Secretariat at the Belmont Stakes? What are you lizard people going to do, claim recency bias or something? Because it's not like these eight earlier coaches have been forgotten. Shula is the all time winningest coach. The championship trophy has Lombardi's name on it. The most sacred stadium is named after Lambeau. Halas has his initials on his team's uniforms to this day. Brown has a frigging franchise named after him. The only things that bear Belichick's name are two of his assistant coaches. It's not like these other names have labored in obscurity lo these many years. They've all simply been surpassed by someone who came after them and has outdone all their stellar accomplishments.
So file this away for the next time someone tries to argue HC Bill is overrated, the game has passed him by, or one of his contemporaries like Andy Reid or Sean McVay is actually better. Because Belichick faced off against eight of the best there ever was and came within two of getting as many votes as all of them put together.
And the truly beautiful thing is that he's still got plenty of time to keep winning and swing those other votes his way. So bend the knee. Put respect in this man's name or do not sully it with your filthy mouth.