Hey Bill! Boring Bill Belichick!
Remember Adam Vinatieri? You know, your kicker!
Remember how he won you the Super Bowl?
Know how he is one of the best kickers in the NFL? How he’s eight-for-13 from 50-plus yards in his career?
Yeah, he’s pretty good, huh.
Then let me speak for all of New England when I say: Trust him, ya dope!
Yes, I know he missed a 46-yarder earlier in the game against Washington. Yeah, I noticed how your offense was clicking against the Redskins’ pathetic prevent defense. Sure, I understand how a game-winning drive could have given Tom Brady a world of confidence amidst all the speculation regarding his health and accuracy.
But when you’re down three, facing fourth and three at the 38-yard line with 43 seconds left and Vinatieri’s clutch leg waiting on the sideline, you kick. You don’t even have to think about it.
I know kickers choke all the time. But Vinatieri is no normal kicker. He’s in freakin’ Ford truck commercials for crying out loud! He’s a celebrity beyond the wildest dreams of most NFL kickers, and the soccer-playing grocery store stock boys who will become NFL kickers by midseason. He has a rep to live up to.
Yes, he missed the previous field goal badly. But that 46-yarder didn’t come in a clutch situation. The two field goals he made against the Raiders in the playoffs in a snow storm? Those were clutch. The field goal that won the Super Bowl? That, dear William, was uber-clutch. Kicking a 55-yarder to send the game into overtime? Looks like Vinatieri’s forte to me.
But instead of giving Vinatieri that chance, you, Boring Brainy Bill, did something so out of character, I almost wanted you to succeed. You cowboyed up (which, appropriately enough for a protege like you, is a Parcellsian move these days) and went for it.
Maybe Tom Brady would rather sink than swim. Maybe your lack of a consistent running game has come back to bite you in the butt. Maybe you’re just a bad gambler.
I don’t profess to know anything about it, but it seems to me that when it comes to gambling, some people have the knack and some people don’t.
Boring Bill Belichick, you don’t have it. Daring Dom Capers? He has it in spades.
Capers decided to gamble on Sunday as well. Facing first and goal from the one with two seconds left, his Houston Texans, like your Patriots, were trailing by three. Despite the fact that his team had already been denied the end zone by the opposing Jacksonville Jaguars no less than six times from inside the five-yard line, Daring Dom decided, against all logic and reason, to go for the risky touchdown and the win rather than the chip-shot field goal and overtime. If rebuffed once again, the Texans would have been dealt a devastating loss. Ninety-nine out of 100 NFL coaches, when faced with the same situation, would kick the field goal to save face, if for no other reason.
But not Daring Dom. He sent quarterback David Carr diving over the middle and the Texans plunging into the win column for the second time this season.
Maybe it’s a matter of moxie. Capers’ decision was a gutsy move, even gutsier than yours insofar as the alternative was an almost automatic field goal, not a 55-yard prayer. Put in Capers’ situation, you and I kick the field goal. But Daring Dom knows he needs to build confidence in his young players, and gambles that pay off like Sunday’s build that confidence. Plus, Capers is a gambler by nature: this is, after all, his second job as the inaugural head coach of an expansion team. (The first was Carolina in 1995.) But you, Bill, are not a natural gambler. You’re a defensive X’s and O’s guy. You’re a straight-edge who’s more than earned every paycheck thanks to countless hours of hard work.ÊYou’d look more out of place at a poker table than Martha Stewart at a KISS concert.
In short, you’re boring, Bill. But that’s ok. You have a ring to back up your Vanilla coaching flavor. Just remember who got you that diamond-encrusted bauble. When the game is on the line and Adam Vinatieri is ready to go, kick the ball.