(John Henry) - Dan? it's John. Can you come into my office for a minute?Today, we get one of those columns.
(Shank) - Sure thing, boss...
(John Henry) - Dan, I know you're a miserable, negative bastard, writing the nastiest columns about the Patriots, Deflategate and MY FUCKING RED SOX TEAM! Would it kill you to write one god damn positive column a month, even though next to no one will believe it's sincere for even a second?
(Shank) - Sure thing, boss.
(John Henry) - Outstanding. Now get the fuck outta here!
Maybe the rest of the country doesn’t see it this way. We don’t care.What do you mean we, kemosabe?
At the age of 63, after 40 years in the NFL, Bill Belichick is at the absolute top of his game. Defiant, unapologetic, protective of his guys, and master of the pro football universe, Belichick in the last week has been on a roll like Larry Bird in 1986, like Bobby Orr in 1970.Or maybe they were just doing a documentary on the most successful pro football coach in the modern era, or perhaps all time?
This latest surge of appreciation and awe of the Hoodie started last Wednesday with the release of “Do Your Job,’’ an NFL Films propaganda documentary taking us behind the scenes at Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale, Ariz.
No matter - even when he tries to write a positive column, his cynicism simply cannot be contained.
Let's review a few other positive Shaughnessy columns about Bill Belichick, shall we? We all remember last year's Kansas City Massacre, right?
By the end of the night, the darts and arrows were coming from every direction. Bill Belichick was grilled about his musical-chair offensive line and the notion of starting two rookies in front of Brady in a loud enemy theater. The coach was asked if he might have to “evaluate” his quarterback position; the question from CSNNE’s Mike Giardi elicited a smirk with no comment.And who can forget the infamous '4th and 2' column?
There were hysterical calls for out-of-work Charlie Weis to replace Josh McDaniels as offensive coordinator. Darrelle Revis was compared to Carl Crawford (OK, that one was me). It was noted that no Belichick defense had ever surrendered 300 yards in a first half. There was a television graphic explaining that the Patriots offense ranks last in the NFL, averaging 4.6 yards per play. We were told that Brady has missed his target more than 25 percent of the time.
“I’ve never seen a team so unprepared,’’ former Patriot Rodney Harrison said on WEEI.
This was as bad as anything the Red Sox ever did. Had it been a playoff game, it would be right up there with Bucky Dent, Bill Buckner, Aaron Boone, and History Derailed in Glendale, Ariz.As we noted at the time, this is the column Shank has been waiting nearly a decade to write. He hates the Patriots (and Bill Belichick) so much, he wrote another column about that loss the next day.
And Bill Belichick played the part of Grady Little.
Even the legions of zombies who say “In Bill We Trust’’ and the formidable pay-for-play Patriot media machine will have a hard time defending the brilliant coach on this one.
The Patriots spin machine was in overdrive yesterday (speaking of spin, nice try by the Red Sox - raising ticket prices on the day after Belichick channeled Grady Little).And now Shank is singing Belichick's praises, probably from the wrong end of a gun. Who's buying this? We sure as hell aren't, and this insincerity will be amply demonstrated if the Patriots lose big this season.
There are New England football fans who’d support Belichick if he pledged to eradicate indoor plumbing. And the Kraft family’s media partners do a nifty job spreading the gospel of Bob, Bill, and Tom. But the blind loyalty was put to the test on the day after the disaster at Lucas Oil Can Boyd Stadium.