Very recently, an NFL coach was overheard in the background noise of a social media post by a player calling the New England Patriots a bunch of “a-holes.” Of course, it was not “a-holes” but the actual, unedited, epithet.
When Bill Belichick, coach of the Patriots, was asked about the comment, he simply responded, “As you know, I’m not on SnapFace and all those. … I’m not too worried what they put on InstantChat.”
He went on to say that he is only concerned about preparing his team for next weekend.
SnapFace. Snicker. Bill is clearly not a techno-geek.
Let me preface this by saying that I am no fan of the New England Patriots, otherwise known as the Evil Team of Evil. I think they will do anything they must to win, including cheating.
They have a long history of winning and, shall we say, altering conditions to gain an unfair advantage.
Belichick is the head of this evil empire and is a master at winning football games. So much so that many call the team “Winning, Incorporated.” Belichick is also considered by many to be the best coach in football.
However, several things are striking about this exchange. Clearly, Belichick was being baited into a reactionary comment by representatives of the press. Once again, shameful behavior by the press.
This reminds me of the old legendary Oakland Raider Conrad Dobler beer commercial where Dobler tries to start a fight between two fans by whispering inflammatory things to each.
Why does the press feel it needs to do this? Is it news? Why did it repeatedly goad the president-elect and Hilary Clinton to exchange barbs over supposedly slights and insults?
Often, it seems, the press has lost its commission of reporting news and is in the business of creating it.
Signal excluded, of course.
But this is what zings me. Belichick clearly had an open shot at another NFL coach and declined to take it. In this age of media “wars of words,” this is fascinating.
Belichick rose above the fray and proved that his task was more important than getting involved in a ludicrous media squabble.
Rest assured, however, that the “a-holes” comment has been printed up in 72-size font and is now hanging prominently all over the Patriots’ locker room. This will be something that will fuel the emotion for Winning Incorporated.
Can we all take a lesson from Belichick’s example? (You have no idea how hard it was for me to type those words.)
Let’s think about that. What if we all were a bit less reactive when we hear of something foolish or insulting? Maybe a thicker skin would benefit all of us, as well as society.
We seem to have grown accustomed to going online and voicing our displeasure whenever something comes up with which we disagree. Often, comments are made without knowing the whole story or with mistaken information.
Our tongues need to be slower and our critical minds faster.
The last thing that Belichick shows us is that he is a man on a mission and that nothing will dissuade him from that goal. He is going to prepare his team for the Steelers and that is it.
Our society seems so easily blown off course. We let so many petty problems and politics interfere with the goal we should all work toward.
Take, for example, immigration. We know there are massive problems that need to be addressed now. People living in the shadows, porous borders, no control, and an unfair path to legalization is what we are saddled with.
Of course, anyone who tries to make changes is called a racist. People focus on the “who is paying for the wall” question and throw invectives at the president-elect. All we’ve done is created an angry stalemate.
As Belichick implies, let’s focus on the goal – a fair and controlled immigration policy that pulls people out of the shadows and makes companies and people law-abiding. Ignore the insults and the noise because that is all it is.
Let’s be all a little more thick-skinned and goal-focused.
Let’s also hope the Evil Team of Evil goes down in flames next Sunday.
Steve Lunetta is a resident of Santa Clarita and can’t believe his Cowboys lost. It’s all rigged! He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.