Embracing Bill Belichick

Tom Herman (Will Gallagher/IT)
Tom Herman (Will Gallagher/IT)

Like a normal human being, I hated Bill Belichick. Two games into this season, I have a confession: I love Bill Belichick.

 No, I don’t love that he videoed the practices of his opponents. I don’t love that he acts all smug when talking about the Tuck Rule game, without which he would not be considered one of the greatest coaches who ever lived. I don’t really like the way he uses players to help him and his son, Tom Brady, win championships and then quickly sends those players to Oakland.

I definitely don’t like the way he takes a pair of scissors and destroys a perfectly good hoodie. And I don’t like the way he denied having anything to do with Brady’s balls.

But two weeks into the season, I’m ready for Tom Herman to go all-Belichick in his dealings with the press. Seriously.

Here’s what I wanted him to say at his press conference this week: “We’re on to USC.” That’s all.

In the last couple of weeks he’s talk about novels and social media and Bevo Boulevard, and I don’t give one damn about any of that stuff. Well, I kind of care about Bevo Boulevard, but I’ve decided I don’t want Herman to talk about any of that stuff. Football-related commentary only, please; and when it’s a DUMB football-related question, I’d like him to respond as if he’s been asked a dumb question. Because that’s exactly what has happened. Bark at’em Nick Saban-style.

Nothing extra. No weekly coach’s show. No Longhorn Network. Nada.

And please understand, my desire to have Herman channel his inner Belichick is not only because I am sometimes frustrated by his answers. It has as much to do with the questions he’s asked as it does with his answers. I’m weary of both and it’s only September.

Why does your team sometime play as if it’s not having fun? Why doesn’t your running back play more? Why doesn’t your quarterback play less? Why do you throw so much inside the 10? Why don’t you throw the ball more to all of those receivers? Why did you pass on 3rd and 1? Why didn’t you pass on 3rd and 4? Do you think what you said at halftime had a negative effect on the team? What’s your take on your name cropping up during the Ohio State controversy? What is your feeling about some people saying you are arrogant?

When Herman and his team loses, the “media” says it’s because he’s not smart enough, doesn’t call the right plays, doesn’t have his team ready. Sometimes when he loses, it’s because he’s too smart – after all, he’s a Mensa, right? Sometimes when he wins, he doesn’t win with a margin that is large enough; somewhere along the line, fans and “media” stopped appreciating a win of any kind. Now, depending on the point spread that we all pay attention to, a team needs to win by a certain amount of points, and the punishment if this doesn’t happen is having to face asinine questions.

I’m part of the media, but the media has officially worn me out. If you want a clear example of why, watch the video of a smug Michigan State reporter asking Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh a question during Big 10 Media Days; cringe-worthy, made me want a shower just watching it.

I used to disdain coaches who spent their press conferences not answering questions. Now I disdain both the questions and the answers. In 2018, the best thing about news conferences – by far – is the free food.

The time has come for a change.

Question from media (or facsimile thereof): “Coach, what do you think about social media?”

Answer: “We’re on to USC.”