Just Saying, Is All... | Bill Belichick's Worst Nightmare
This is all wrong.
It was supposed to be another banner season in New England. Then came The Snap Heard ‘Round the World. Now the Patriots are muddling on in the face of adversity, which must be driving Bill Belichick utterly out of his mind.
It’s trite when hubris leads to ruin.
It’s tragic, on the other hand, when it leads to mediocrity.
You’ll find no pity in this space. Karma isn’t just for Hindus, after all, and only Mick Jagger could feel sympathy for a schemer with Belichick’s track record. But even Evil Geniuses get the blues. If Wild Bill’s sins reveal anything about his psyche, it’s that he can’t stand the thought of being just another 9-7 coach.
There’s reward in flying high.
There’s release in falling hard.
There’s no relief in the middle, unfortunately—and certainly nothing to soothe the Fire Beneath the Hoodie.
The sports world is most compelling at its most extreme. Soaring triumph, shuddering defeat—it’s the drama that we love, with or without the happy ending. The catch, of course, is that the same preferences are bred into our idols. That’s why Gatorade baths are so joyous. It’s also why third place tends to be more galling than last.
Napoleon didn’t punt at Waterloo.
Nixon didn’t pass on Watergate.
When a megalomaniac hits the skids, it’s never wise to wait around for the denouement.
Fighters aren’t fit for life at .500. If you can’t win, you might as well lose; if you’re going to lose, you might as well be the Lions. Bill Belichick’s worst nightmare is this abject averageness: a marginal record, a shot at the Wild Card. Earthly angst inclines madmen towards spectacular failure. It also spurs great ones to occasional success.
For all the miles between Shanghai and Foxboro, I'm pretty sure the immolative impulse is universal:
Some men die by shrapnel,
And some go down in flames,
But most men perish inch by inch,
In play at little games.
Which is no fate for a self-respecting egoist.
Because "Death or Glory" may amount to mortal rhetoric, but it sure is easier to live with than only just saying, is all...
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