The media has a way of saying things, the coaches have their biases and the players certainly have their favorites. But one man who enjoys a unanimous vote is undoubtedly the New England Patriots' head coach Bill Belichick.
For a sport that is dominated more by the strategy of a coach than the talent of a single player, Bill Belichick has defied the law of averages consistently. Five rings in a total of seven Super Bowl appearances and 277 career wins later, it is safe to say that he is in a league of his own.
Like Rob Gronkowski simply puts it, "He does football 24/7, that's it. And he's a genius at it."
People often bring the great Vince Lombardi into the conversation, but very simply the 'trophy' never faced the competition that Belichick faces today. In a hard capped league that is built to ensure that teams go 8-8, Belichick has a significantly better track record than any other coach in NFL history.
Talk about Phil Jackson in basketball? Fine.
He inherited two teams that were led by two of the greatest players to ever play the game of basketball. Add to them, a great supporting cast that got the job done on most nights. With Jordan and Pippen at the Bulls and Kobe and Shaq at the Lakers, it would be tough to be average! With the GOAT and the Black Mamba in two successive spells, you're expected to win 11 rings Mr. Phil Jackson! Not to forget, the players have a much greater influence on the final outcome in the NBA, unlike the NFL which is much more strategic and lesser player-driven.
For all those who say that Belichick's success is all but a product of Brady's greatness - please rewind to season '08. Tom Brady goes down with a knee injury, Matt Cassel comes in - and the Patriots win 11 games to finish second in the AFC East! With a season ending injury for your star QB and a young backup in Cassel, Belichick ran the show like a man possessed.
Comparisons and stats aside, the greatness of Bill Belichick is his ability to make players and coaches around him better. It is distinctly similar to Michael Jordan in basketball. While Jordan had a great cast in Pippen, Rodman, Grant and Kerr, it was his unique ability to push them and get them to deliver in clutch moments. Similarly, any player who joins the Patriots surprisingly plays so much better than they previously did. Bill Belichick gets the best out of players, making them mentally strong and intrinsically better.
Play by play, drive by drive, game by game - Bill Belichick struts his hoodie and owns the field. Measure him by the championships or the unanimous sentiment, he most definitely will come on top. With all due to respect to the other great coaches in American sports history, Bill Belichick is the Mt. Rushmore. Period.Published 14 Jun 2018, 11:27 IST