New England Patriots: Should Bill Belichick Retire When Tom Brady Does?
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In exactly one week, 44 states' least favorite football coach will turn the big six-oh. Bill Belichick will turn 60 years old next Monday and will be entering into his 37th season as an NFL coach. Tom Brady, the greatest player he has ever coached, will also turn 35 before he receives another regulation NFL snap. The two are coming off a somewhat improbable, somewhat not, Super Bowl run. Their fifth trip to the big game ended like their fourth: A loss to the New York Giants.
With three rings together, and enough memories to fill the Limbic system of the most forgetful New England teenager, it would seem the two are poised to go through the motions for a few more seasons before riding off into the sunset together.
This is not to say that BB and TB are just packing it in and calling it a career right now. In fact, two Super Bowl losses in five years to the same team has only fueled their desire to hoist Lombardi silver once more. They have the horses to make another run this coming season. In fact, B/R has them as at 6.5/1 to win, the best odds of any team not residing in Wisconsin.
However, both men have well-documented interests outside of the gridiron. Brady more so than Coach Bill, but in a way they are linked and will be forever. Thanks to countless graphics and talking head stories comparing the two to the greatest QB-Coach tandems of all time, Brady and Belichick almost have to leave together, don't they?
As much is made about number 12's drive and tenacity, and his compete level can never be questioned, there is more to his life than football. He has Gisele waiting at home and two children (granted one with Bridget Moynahan) whom he must miss often. He also recently purchased an $11 million home in Los Angeles. At 35, it would make sense that Brady, who's contract ends in 2015, is on the back nine of his illustrious career. I can't (or don't want to) imagine him playing anywhere else, and figure he will retire in the same blue and red he wore as a rookie.
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As for Bill, he is hardly a lifelong New Englander; however, I doubt he will coach anywhere else in the NFL. Should Brady last another five years, they will both hit the milestone ages of 65 and 40, respectively. A perfect time for Belichick to cut the ties and sail out of sight to Nantucket.
The seeds are in place for Bill. Josh McDaniels, possibly the only apprentice who can still stand him, has returned to be his offensive coordinator again. This is a bit surprising given the bundle of open head coaching jobs that were on the market this winter. Little talk has been made of McDaniels possibly being the successor, coming in to learn what ropes he hasn't grasped or merely forgotten in his time in Denver and Saint Louis.
Like Tom, Bill has a life now outside of football. Three children who have grown up and are either in college or out already. Talks of his contract are, as usual, mum around Patriot Place, though by now you figure he has made plenty of money. He has a place on the quiet island of Nantucket where he and his cougar girlfriend can live out their days outside the prying eyes of local media, just like Belichick likes it.
Should he retire with Brady?
I believe Coach Belichick has earned the right to do almost anything he wants within the six states of New England. It would be tough to disagree with any decision he makes concerning his career. There isn't much talk of this around the area though. Maybe we were too caught up in the magic of another Super Bowl run and stung by the subsequent heart-wrenching loss. Maybe we refuse to acknowledge the growing age of our idols. Maybe, just maybe, we are scared.
A little over a decade ago, these two men took down Goliath. The Greatest Show on Turf ran into a brick wall defense designed by Belichick and the boyish Tom Brady defied John Madden's wishes by orchestrating the game-winning drive for the Adam Vinatieri field goal.
That kicked off a decade of spoiled winnings for the New England area. Titles by the Bruins, Red Sox and Celtics. Two more by the Patriots, and even a Boston Cannons Lacrosse championship (Bill's favorite sport). We identify Brady and Belichick with our winning ways and happy feelings. No matter the obstacles facing us, solace is taken; "We still have Brady and Belichick," we say in the unmistakable accent.
Soon, that quote won't be true. Nantucket and Los Angeles are calling and we can't press the hold button forever. Tom and Bill will soon be gone, we just hope the winning doesn't follow them into retirement.
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