The Belichick Era: A Revisionist History

|
After their recent video spying scandal, some have suggested that the New England Patriots' Super Bowl titles may have been tainted. This is, of course, ridiculous. After all, somebody needed the skill to set up all the video equipment. Still, in light of recent events, certain moments in the Belichick era are being reexamined.

December 22, 2001
Patriots 20 Dolphins 13

Lacking all the necessary video equipment in these early days of the dynasty, the Patriots instead use Google to search for "Dolphins defensive signals" and are able to win the game and clinch their first playoff berth under Belichick.

January 19, 2002
AFC Divisional Playoff
Patriots 16, Raiders 13 (OT)

While setting up a new video spying system, the Patriots notice that they can also jam the video in the replay booth and replace it with their own video. During the famous tuck rule play, referees overturn the fumble call after viewing an incomplete pass by Drew Bledsoe from the 1999 season. While the referees do think that Tom Brady looks taller than usual and express surprise at the lack of snow on the video, in the end they fall for the ruse, and the Patriots go on to win the game.

February 3, 2002
Super Bowl XXXVI
Patriots 20 Rams 17

Original plans to spy on their opponent in the Super Bowl are scrapped when the Patriots realize that they will be playing the Rams and that Mike Martz will probably just call pass plays all the time anyway.

September 7, 2003
Bills 31 Patriots 0

The Patriots' new code-breaking computer system accidentally breaks the Enigma code revealing the location of several German U-Boats in World War II rather than breaking down the defensive schemes of the Buffalo Bills, as it was supposed to have done. The Patriots lose badly.

January 18, 2004
AFC Championship Game
Patriots 24 Colts 14

By tivoing all 57 of Peyton Manning's commercials, the Patriots are able to break down his mannerisms, key knowledge that helps the Patriots' defense decipher all his audibles and win the AFC Championship.

February 1, 2004
Super Bowl XXXVIII
Patriots 32 Panthers 29

The Patriots use their video advantage to build a lead, only to see the game almost slip away in the fourth quarter, when certain coaches insist on using their video equipment to replay the Super Bowl halftime show instead of studying the signals of the Panther coaches. After careful study, Patriot coaches are able to determine the exact hand signals likely to be used by Janet Jackson if in the future she again asks Justin Timberlake to reveal her breast on national television. However, they aren't so good at figuring out what the Panthers are planning on offense.

October 31, 2004
Steelers 34 Patriots 20

Due to technical difficulties, the Patriots video surveillance system malfunctions. In a valiant attempt to save the day, Video Assistant Coach Ted Bryer drives to a nearby Circuit City where he watches the game in high definition and reports back to Coach Belichick by cell phone. Tragically, it is not quite enough. The Patriots fall to the Steelers, and their 21-game winning streak comes to an end.

February 6, 2005
Super Bowl XXXIX
Patriots 24 Eagles 21

The Patriots are helped dramatically by the United States Congress when a new provision of the Patriot Act, inserted into the bill by New England legislators, allows the Patriots to use wiretapping devices during all playoff games without a warrant. "They don't call it the Patriot Act for nothing," Senator John Kerry brags to reporters after voting.

September 17, 2006
Patriots 24 Jets 17

By secretly filming Jets head coach Eric Mangini all week, the Patriots are able to pinpoint the exact gestures he uses before all handshakes, important data that allows Bill Belichick to avoid shaking Mangini's hand at the end of the game. As an added bonus, the Patriots also win the game.

January 14, 2007
AFC Divisional Playoff
Patriots 24 Chargers 21

Video Assistant Coach Matt Taylor is fired after this key playoff game when it is determined that instead of taping Marty Schottenheimer, he spent the entire first half filming Tom Brady's new girlfriend Gisele Bundchen. Taylor is later reinstated when the coaching staff decides that they didn't really want to watch film of Schottenheimer anyway.

January 21, 2007
AFC Championship
Colts 38 Patriots 34

In a surprise move, the Colts abandon their signaling system for the second half, instead using a complex semaphore and Morse code signaling method that completely baffles the Patriots and leads the Colts onto the Super Bowl. "It is what it is," Belichick says when asked about the Colts' 4th quarter success sending in defensive plays via a wholesome game of charades.

November 4, 2007
Patriots 24 Colts 20

The Patriots turn over a new leaf and finally give up spying entirely, opting instead to rely on pure evil. That works out pretty well too.

  • http://JoeLavin.com

    A periodic humor column, disguised as a blog. New columns published on Tuesdays or not as the case may be.

    joe@joelavin.com

Archives

  • I've written for Slate, The Boston Globe Magazine, Salon, McSweeney's, WBUR Radio, The Christian Science Monitor, The Globe and Mail, and many other publications. Thanks for dropping by. I hope you enjoy my Internet column.

  • ©1995-2009 Joe Lavin