Bill Belichek, Randian Superhero



Will writes from Washington, D.C. (well, Arlington, Virginia). You can reach him at willblogcorrespondence at gmail dot com.

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10 Responses

  1. “Randian Superhero” is exactly the right term for Belicheck, and I mean that as a complement. He is not an Eddie Willers-type with delusions of grandeur, thinking that he, yes, he is John Galt personified, as so many of today’s Randroids are (at best….often they’re more of the James Taggart variety). He does what he thinks is the right move and his success demonstrates that he usually hits the nail on the head. He takes risks fully aware of what will happen if the risks don’t pay off, and accepting of the consequences of such – he’s not usually one to whine or complain about criticism, and he takes responsibility when he makes a mistake or when a decision goes wrong.

    When the league changed the pass interference rules to benefit the Colts, you didn’t see him complain or take to the streets threatening to go on strike – he just dealt with it. You get the feeling that if, for some strange reason, the league were to ever go too far in its rulemaking, he would just quit, rather than make some big show of things, whine and complain about how the league was being unfair to him.Report

  2. Avatar Chad says:

    I spit on Bill Belichek’s superheroness. We in Cleveland will Nevar Forget!
    Of course, we may just be bitter.
    Bitter and sad.
    And lonely.
    So very, very lonely.
    Hold me.Report

  3. Avatar Jay Daniel says:

    Amen. My only fear is that the incredible backlash on this one will actually get to Belickek. He better go for it on 4th and 2 again next time (how sweet it will feel when he makes it and the announcers sit there in silence). It’s so refreshing to watch a coach with the balls to be rationally aggressive even when the chorus screams, “you’ll never get blamed if you just punt!” And I don’t even like the Patriots.Report

  4. Avatar Freddie says:

    This reads like a parody of the new metrics vision of football.Report

  5. Avatar Freddie says:

    I have to tell you, man– saying that the only difference between Madden players and real players is that one is seen nationally and the other is not, and not only saying it but prefacing it with an “of course”– of course!– that seems, frankly, crazy to me. I know the metrics people like to deny that this is the case, but athletes are not purely deterministic automatons. Yes, many commentators overemphasize the power of emotions in sports, but in fact there is such a thing as human psychology, and athletes are not immune.Report

  6. Avatar Michael Drew says:

    Maybe it’s a matter of personal choice, but I think much of the resistance comes from the belief that it’s the sportsmanlike thing to make the other guy do what he supposedly is so great over your best efforts to prevent him, than to just try to avoid having to face that. That might be also because f the avoidance tactic fails, the results look so much more catastrophic. If you decide to make the other guy do it, then credit goes to the other guy if he can. But if you’re already an offense-led team and your defense is visibly tiring, this perhaps(!) turns into the smart play.

    I was initially absolutely as incredulous as Freddie that the view that this was a good or even defensible call was even being expressed, much less gaining steam. Perhaps he and I just look at this through Humean eyes together and inherently distrust what the past tells us about the future. Butterflies and hurricanes and all that. It’s been amazing to watch the statistical view take hold among “informed” commenters over two days.Report

  7. Avatar Herb says:

    I think I saw Joe Thiesmann on Conan last night saying it was a bad call…which means it was the right call. (According to the Law of Theismann is Always Wrong.)

    I don’t know about all this Randian stuff. If he wanted to be like John Galt he should withdraw from football until the NFL hires a coach who’s his intellectual and competitive match. Until then, he’s just left playing with all the moochers.Report