Former Globe / current Herald columnist Ron Borges once famously boasted that he’d separate Bill Belichick from his lunch money. After the Patriots’ resident Hooded Casanova let the unbeaten Colts off the hook with an ill-advised decision to go for it on 4th and 2, deep in New England territory while nursing a 6 point lead with 2:08 remaining, Borges asks, “is there an insanity defense for football coaches?” From Monday’s Herald :
Maybe the Twinkie defense that got Dan White a reduced sentence after assasinating the mayor of San Francisco and a city councilman named Harvey Milk might work. A Bay area shrink named Martin Blinder convinced a jury that White™s œcapacity for rational thought had been diminished by eating junk food so maybe there™s a defense for anything. Anybody check Belichick™s lunch box?
With 2:08 to play and a decision to be made, Belichick made the kind of choice Shemp would have made because even Larry and Moe would know better. He turned to his defense and said, œTo fight this Lord Manning, strong enough you are not.
At that moment, on an evening when Randy Moss and Tom Brady [stats] played out of their minds, Bill Belichick went out of his mind. The decision he had to make, in the opinion of NBC analyst and former Colts head coach Tony Dungy, really was no decision at all. It was a no-brainer. For a genius that can be a problem.
œAs much as you respect Peyton Manning you have to punt the ball, Dungy said.
Mere mortals punt downfield and try to put as much real estate between their end zone and Manning™s right arm. Geniuses commit hubris instead.
Tom Brady defended Belichick’s call after the game, citing his coach’s “confidence in the team”. On this occasion, said confidence didn’t extend to the New England defense.