EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

February 5, 2008

Time for classless Belichick to eat some humble pie

On Pro Football

Michael Muldoon

He's been deified, and rightly so.

Now it's time to be vilified, and rightly so.

Bill Belichick was badly outcoached and just as disturbing was again classless after the Greatest Team Ever Assembled (GTEA) was pushed around by the presumed sacrificial lambs from New York in Super Bowl XLII.

But the Giants were Giant Killers, thanks to MVP Eli Manning, who came of age on sports' biggest stage, the relentless defensive line play of speedy linemen Osi Umenyiora, Michael Strahan and Justin Tuck (Rules), and the subpar performance by the HC of the GTEA.

Belichick has enjoyed a glorious eight-year run in New England — four Super Bowl appearances and three titles is still mindboggling in the salary-cap era. He still might be the greatest coach of all-time (and are you ruling out the Pats next year?), but not as great as we've built him up to be.

At least he wasn't Sunday night.

The Patriots had the talent, the cachet, the perfect record, the incomparable quarterback, the once-in-a-lifetime wide receiver going against a suspect at best defensive backfield, and perhaps most importantly, Belichick.

The great Belichick had two weeks to prepare

... for a Wild Card team!

... for an unproven Eli Manning!

... for a team with six losses!

... for a team coached by Tom Coughlin, who not only had never won the big one, but had never even been to the big one.

Who among us wasn't cockier than Muhammad Ali in his prime that Belichick was going to make all the right adjustments?

The only adjustment he seemed to make was to the drawstrings on his hoodie.

Maybe the look-at-me-America! dapper red hoodie was too tight and cut off blood flow to the brain.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports

Local Sports Videos
Sports Videos
SI Now: How Lee Jenkins landed the story of the year with LeBron James The World Waits on King James Norm Macdonald: Why LeBron Should Play For The Spurs - @TheBuzzeronFOX Canada excited for Women's World Cup to get underway Up To Speed: Loudon Preview Photographic 'Proof' That LeBron Is Leaving Miami - @TheBuzzeronFOX Lorenzo Fertitta Explains the Cancellation of UFC 176 on FOX Sports Live Brazil brought to tears after devastating loss to Germany Netherlands, Argentina take center stage Klose nets record, Germany rout Brazil 7-1 Samardzija will root for AL, even with NL jersey Morosi: Cardinals/Red Sox talking Peavy trade Johnny Manziel needs to work, even if it is the offseason Big shoes to fill for Brazil ahead of Germany clash Will Messi lead Argentina past Netherlands? Hollins says getting Nets job was "miracle-like" 2014 MLB All-Star Game Snubs 2026 World Cup coming to USA? USMNT's bright future for Russia 2018 Best Major League Soccer players in Brazil 2014
Boston Sports
SI Now: How Lee Jenkins landed the story of the year with LeBron James Victorino 0-for-2 in Lowell rehab game Ross: Nice to give front office 'something to think about' Haggerty: Pastrnak wants to stay in America The World Waits on King James Norm Macdonald: Why LeBron Should Play For The Spurs - @TheBuzzeronFOX Canada excited for Women's World Cup to get underway Up To Speed: Loudon Preview Ortiz outraged over PED accusations Photographic 'Proof' That LeBron Is Leaving Miami - @TheBuzzeronFOX Lorenzo Fertitta Explains the Cancellation of UFC 176 on FOX Sports Live Brazil brought to tears after devastating loss to Germany Netherlands, Argentina take center stage Klose nets record, Germany rout Brazil 7-1 Samardzija will root for AL, even with NL jersey Morosi: Cardinals/Red Sox talking Peavy trade Johnny Manziel needs to work, even if it is the offseason Big shoes to fill for Brazil ahead of Germany clash Will Messi lead Argentina past Netherlands? Hollins says getting Nets job was "miracle-like"