Playing Golf With Belichick
No real golfer wants to play with a cheater. I have said it many times that there are not many things that one can do that is more reprehensible than cheating at golf. It is a game that is based on honor, and cheating is not something that takes any skill, slyness or cunning. Unless you are playing golf under the watchful eye of television and PGA Tour size galleries, cheating is always an option. It truly is just a choice.
So today I challenge the country’s most infamous cheater, having just dethroned another Bill, to a round of golf. And since cheaters are also cowards, I don’t expect him to accept my offer. BUT, if he did….it might unfold something like this:
>>>>>>>>>>>>Editor’s note: for the non-golfer, six golf rules violations are described below, the other stuff is just generally predictable unpleasantness.>>>>>>>>>>
He arrives at the first tee in clear violation of the dress code. That’s not a snobby golf thing–he doesn’t fit in any dress code and he is the exact wrong age to try to be hip. Uh coach, get rid of the dirty tattered hoodie and tuck in your shirt. Next he rudely tees his ball up first without discussion, and in a classic Belicheat move, he tees it precisely one foot in front of the tee marker. He promptly slices his first shot into the woods a la Judge Smails at Bushwood. But unlike Smails, Beli-drip walks emotionless toward the woods to play his second shot. Why get upset? He’s gonna kick it out into the fairway any way.
Side note: he is on record as saying his golf game comes and goes and his handicap fluctuates between a 12 and an 18. To golfers, that positions him perfectly to be a lying, cheating, sandbagging ass—-. All industry terms. Shockingly, Belichick just happens to be “that” guy.
We are on the fifth hole and he has hit a miraculous recovery shot out of the woods again. He hits a good birdie putt that just misses and stops on the edge of the cup. In a gentlemanly way, I concede his par by picking up his Taylor Made ball and tossing it to him. Hmmm, didn’t he tee off Number 1 with a Titleist? I mean, who plays a Taylor Made ball any way? Never mind. What a great shot out of the woods.
The thing about golf is that it takes four hours to play a round, but you’re only actually “playing” for about two. The rest of the time, you’re walking, riding in a cart and more importantly bullshitting with your playing partners. Belichick isn’t a big talker. But how could I not ask him about the deflated ball thing? His simple answer to that: “only Tom Brady knows the truth.”
We are finished with 9 and I run in to the clubhouse for hot dogs and beers. My treat of course. While in there, I can’t help stew a little as to how my match is all square even though Belichick hit his driver all over the place on the front nine. I get to the tenth tee in time to see him teeing off, precisely one foot in front of the tee markers again with a different driver. “Hey Bill, did you buy that when I was in the snack bar?” “No,” he says, “I always carry two drivers. The other one wasn’t working on the front.” I can’t help but ask, “how many clubs you got in that bag?” He ignores me like I am Roger Goodell and digs into the hot dog I paid for…
We are deep into the back nine now and even though I am pretty sure I am losing the match, I have to ask him what it’s like to be considered one of the greatest NFL coaches ever. He grumbles some BS about how paying attention to the little things is what made the difference for him. His irritating answer reminded me that I couldn’t stand him for a long list of reasons. And when he says “little things” he means spending a small fortune on equipment and the training of a small crew of criminals to videotape and decode other NFL teams’ play calling. Sounds bigger than “little” when it’s happening TO you and not BY you…
We are walking up the eighteenth fairway and I realize I have lost track of the match. I ask him if I can see the card and I realize that even though I am playing well, I have already lost the match because of the shots I had to give him and the unbelievable recovery shots he has hit today. I also didn’t realize he made par on number 15. I thought his tee shot went in the hazard. I guess he got a lucky bounce out of there. Great break for him. I shoot 74. He shoots 83. With his 15 handicap, it turns out to not even be close. Congratulations Coach. Oh, and sorry the pro came out and made you tuck in your shirt…again. I will set him straight later.
Coach heads to the parking lot without joining us in the 19th Hole, but not without the $20 I owed him. I hated losing to him, but what did I expect? He coaches world class athletes for a living. Did he turn out to be the asshole I expected? I guess so. Quietly. Seemed to be thinking an awful lot all day, like his focus was just at a higher level than mine. Oh well, I am pretty sure I won’t ever play with him again.
Bill Belichick is a cheater. I actually don’t play golf with cheaters. Ever. Somehow when he learned to play golf as a youngster, he missed the first part about honor. Either that or the lesson just doesn’t translate into the NFL. Maybe this one organization’s leader is just innovative in its destruction.
Earlier in the season, Ray Rice forced the NFL to figure out a way to deal with “people problems.” Anyone in management knows those kinds of scenarios can be difficult to address. But now the league is being forced to deal with true integrity of the game issues. This is different than performance enhancing drugs or even gambling, because it is ORGANIZATIONALLY BASED. These scenarios are actually far easier to address. Much like the decision to cheat, dealing with it is nothing more than a simple choice.
Legendary golfer Bobby Jones once called a penalty on himself for inadvertently moving a ball in the 1925 U.S. Open. No one else saw the infraction, but Jones insisted it had occurred. The penalty cost him the championship. Afterward, the media began praising him for his integrity and honesty, but Jones would have none of it. He quickly commented back “you might as well praise me for not robbing a bank.”
Belichick and his Patriots are bank robbers. Mr. Goodell, it is time to arrest them.