A 49ers Writer Says Bill Belichick Has Ruined Football

Belichick rings

It’s to be expected that with New England heading to it’s eighth Super Bowl in 17 years that the Patriots Derangement Syndrome would be at an all time high. Pats hatred is as much a part of Super Bowls in the 21st century as Media Day, big name halftime shows and Warren Sapp robbing prostitutes. But Grant Cohn of the Press Democrat in San Fran has already set the bar impossibly high:

The NFL would be better if Bill Belichick never coached.

I write that even though I look forward to watching his team, the New England Patriots, play in the upcoming Super Bowl. I appreciate his mastery of football schematics. I consider him the best coach in NFL history.

But, his legacy is negative. …

Belichick cheated. That’s even worse.

You remember what he did. From 2000 to 2007, Belichick videotaped other teams’ defensive signals. And his lifelong friend, Ernie Adams, decoded them. For eight seasons, the Patriots illegally stole teams’ signs and knew what plays opposing defenses were running before they ran them. …

Belichick dishonored football.

His destructive impact on the NFL goes far beyond ethics and cheating.

He took advantage of the NFL, and undid everything that made it the most popular league in America. …

Belichick’s utter secretiveness — you’d think he’s running the Pentagon — also hurts the NFL.

Belichick doesn’t let the media watch his practices. So now, most coaches close their practices, too. They want to be like him, want to be like the best. And, they’re afraid someone might be spying, because Belichick spied. He created a culture of paranoia in the NFL. Now that paranoia is all pervasive.

Gee, Grant. Is there anything else? Belichick ruined the NFL with his spying, paranoia and secrecy. What else is he responsible for? You want to blame him for the commercial after the extra point, the Catch Rule, five minute replay reviews and Warren Sapp’s inability to get an erection without beating up a teenage runaway too?

Let’s get one fact straight before I so another sentence. I hate repeating this but I’m left with no choice. Spygate had nothing to do with taping practices. Because no practices were taped. The entire thing was about Week 1 of the 2007 season when Matt Walsh taped the Jets sidelines from a spot outside the designated area for taping sidelines. That is it. John Tomase of the Herald (and now WEEI) wrote (incorrectly) that they’d taped the Rams walk through in February of 2002 and had to apologize for being wrong.

With that out of the way, this is just the latest example of what Brandon Marshall said: Everyone else in the NFL should be ashamed of themselves for letting the Patriots dominate them for so long. But instead they write these insipid, juvenile hissy-fit pieces decrying the injustice of Bill Belichick’s success while trying to pretend they respect his genius.

Belichick has turned the Patriots into an outlier in a league built to prevent long term success. And for that there is nothing to apologize for. The people who write this dreck are like the kids in class who are frustrated they can’t get their mediocre tests graded on a scale because the smart kid keeps getting A+s. So they convince themselves it’s somehow unfair. They’re Occupy: Wall Street kids who hate the thought of having to outwork everyone else to get ahead, so they claim the system is rigged.

Sorry, Grant Cohn, but the world doesn’t work like that. People come along who are way better at things than their contemporaries. All of civilization is built on their success. Counts on it. I’m sure Neanderthal Man told himself Homo Sapiens was ruining everything with his advanced tools and domesticated animals. The men who thought the sun revolves around the Earth threatened to cut Galileo’s head off for the crime of being right. Salieri was driven mad by the brilliance of Mozart. People told the Wright Brothers God didn’t want them to fly. The Soviets told themselves the US faked the moon landings. And so on.

But go right ahead an be one of those petty, resentful little minds who can’t appreciate greatness when it’s right in front of them, winning at everything. And if you do, you’ll just continue to wallow in failure.