Why I Keep My Dates with Bill Belichik

My conversion to football fan came relatively late in life and is due largely to one man– Bill Belichick.

As I was drawn, along with all of New England, to the compelling dynasty of the Patriots’ winning seasons, my life entered a season of constant change.

Some changes are exhilarating and welcome. Others are devastating and prolonged. Change and transition appear to be the way of life for the foreseeable future and that’s the appeal of Bill Belichick.

Every Sunday afternoon throughout football season, I can reliably find Coach Belichick standing on the sidelines, wearing the same gray sweatshirt and the same focused, grim expression throughout an entire game of dramatic ups and downs.

Whether the team has just scored a breathtaking touchdown or suffered a humiliating setback, the camera doesn’t even need to pan to Belichick’s expression – it’s always the same.

Did Tom Brady just get sacked on fourth down? Belichick appears grim and focused.

Are the Patriot’s up by 35 points? Belichick appears grim and focused.

Have they just lost their first game in fifteen? Belichick appears grim and focused.

Have they just won their seventeenth game in an unprecedented winning streak? Belichick appears grim and focused.

Belichick displays the same aplomb when he is at a post-game press conference. He never seems overawed by the cameras, the reporters, the attention or the questions.

Here are a few of his classic quotes:

At the 2009 combine, when asked why teams were signing young coaches: “I don’t know. I’m just trying to coach the Patriots. I’m not trying to solve the world’s problems.”

After losing Super XLII to the Giants, spoiling the NFL’s first 19-0 season: “Well, we’re disappointed.”

On whether or not he sees himself making the Hall of Fame: “No. Let’s just see if we can get the team to get off on the count and get 11 guys on the field on a punt return right now. No.”

See, don’t you just love it?

He reminds me of the words of the apostle Paul: “So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God. Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.” I Corinthians 4:1-5

In seasons of constant change, I want to take a cue from the winning strategy of Coach Belichick.

Focus on the game. Pay attention to the fundamentals. Work hard on the foundation.

Don’t be too impressed with victory nor too devastated by loss.

Remember who you are and who you aren’t. Do your job and let God judge the rest.

Did you experience a win? Move on. Hit the showers and show up early tomorrow for practice.

Did you experience a tragic failure? Move on. Hit the showers and show up early tomorrow for practice.

Are people saying ugly things about you? What do they know? Hit the showers and show up early tomorrow for practice.

Are people singing your praises? What do they know? Hit the showers and show up early tomorrow for practice.

We waste significant energy trying to judge the game before the final clock – in football and in life. “Judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes.” is a vital passage to keep in the forefront of our thinking in these days of constant change.

Sometimes I can almost hear Jesus, standing in the locker room at the end of my day full of its own wins and losses – “That game’s over, Lori, move on. Hit the showers and show up early tomorrow for practice.”

And I listen. Because in the midst of the grit and the glamour of the game where everything can change at the flip of a coin, my God is always there, never changing, focused and prepared for the next play.

So, go on, all of you. Hit the showers and show up early tomorrow for practice.

Bookmark and Share


Get in on the conversation

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

2 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Anonymous says:

    LOVE this 🙂 Perfect pre-game reading!
    laura

  2. I loved your post. I have seen him on the side lines I know what your saying.

    Glenda Parker
    http:glendaparkerfictionwriter.blogspot.com