The Corner

Sports

Belichick, Brady, and More

Bill Belichick, head coach of the New England Patriots, after his team’s win over the Cincinnati Bengals in Cincinnati, Ohio, December 15, 2019 (Joe Maiorana/USA TODAY Sports)

Pleased to report that I have a sportscast for you, with three top-notch gurus: Sally Jenkins, the prize-winning columnist for the Washington Post; David French, the Tennessee titan; and Vivek Dave, the Motor City bad boy. Go here.

There is a lot of Bill Belichick in our discussion, for several reasons. He declined the Presidential Medal of Freedom. This is very rare. Sally tells us it has happened only twice before: Jacqueline Kennedy declined, and so did Moe Berg, the baseball player and spy.

For Sally’s column on Belichick and the Medal of Freedom, go here. In our podcast, David suggests that Joe Biden offer him the medal.

So, Nick Saban has won another college championship. Amazing record. Is he the greatest football coach of all time? Or is Belichick?

For years and years, people asked, “What is the secret of the Patriots’ success? Belichick or Tom Brady? Or the combination of them?” Okay: Does the current season tell us anything about this question? Brady is chugging to another conference championship game; the Pats had a mediocre season.

Speaking of Brady: He is a marvel, yes. Too much of a marvel? Is he availing himself of some illicit methods, maybe? Vivek raises this incendiary subject. A lively conversation ensues, with mentions of Lance Armstrong (whom Sally has been studying for a long time).

Some other items on our agenda: Urban Meyer, and his return to coaching. James Harden, and his trade to Brooklyn. Can Harden, Kevin Durant, and Kyrie Irving work in harmony? Is the town big enough for the both of them, or rather, the three of them? Super-team or super-fiasco? (Lookin’ pretty good, so far.)

Also, what makes a GOAT? When assessing the question of the Greatest of All Time, what should we consider? It’s harder in a team sport than in an individual sport, isn’t it? I mean, should Rod Carew be punished, reputationally, for his years on the Twins?

Michael has six “rings,” yes. Russell has eleven. So?

At the end of our podcast, I ask the gurus, “What athlete are you lovin’ at the moment? What athlete are you enjoying, or marveling at?” The answers are very interesting.

As is the whole ’cast, thanks to this panel. Again, go here. What would we do without the wide, wonderful world of sports? Fortunately, we have it, even in a pandemic.

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