There is much to write about when it comes to how the Patriots plan to regroup following their traumatic loss to their sworn archenemies last month, but there has also been plenty of baseball distraction to preoccupy those of us in the chattering classes.
However, there is some must-see Patriots TV happening tonight, on the always-great Patriots All Access. If you're a Pats fan, PAA is a must-watch in-season, but I don't always make it must-see TV during the offseason. Tonight is an exception.
From my homegirl* Karen Guregian in the Herald --
Bill Belichick isn’t the easiest guy to get to know, or get a handle on, especially during the football season. For many years, Patriots fans have been trying to find out what the coach is really like.
Is he always so dour, humorless and business-like?
If you happen to check out tonight’s Patriots “All Access” program on WBZ, you may discover the answer.
During the half-hour show, you’ll get to see plenty of footage from Belichick’s week in Hawaii coaching the AFC team in the Pro Bowl, as he allowed “All Access” to put a microphone on him during practice sessions as well as the game.
While he has been miked before during the season, this is different because it’s a much more relaxed atmosphere and a much more easy-going Belichick.
“You get to see him in unguarded moments, and those moments are rare,’’ said Matt Smith, executive producer of Kraft Sports Productions. “That’s what makes this so interesting.’’
I know there are even some Patriots fans who would rather go through a complex dental procedure sans anaesthesia than watch this, but I find it fascinating.In fact, if you're like me and this kind of thing is your bag, baby, you should check out the SoundFX episode the NFL Network recently produced, also focused on Big Bill, if you haven't already.
Me, I wholeheartedly believe that Belichick is not, at heart, the persona he puts on at press conferences. From what I've seen in similar 'mic'd up' moments, my armchair theory is that the problem is Belichick's very dry and cutting wit combined with his utter inability to suffer fools gracefully. Those two come together in toxic combination when he's outside his comfort zone and being interviewed by reporters, given the formative memories he must still carry of dealing with the press during his time in Cleveland.
More recently, however, as head coach of the Patriots I think you can sometimes see him working on it. There are times I've gotten the sense he's biting back his knee-jerk sarcastic answer in favor of something more diplomatic, even if that something is delivered in his trademark deadpan style. Really, I think his refusal to say anything, at times, is an attempt to follow Mom's old rule about "if you can't say something nice..." Really, I think he is doing his best with the personality he's got...even if admittedly his best still isn't very good at all.
He should be better at this -- relating to the public and the press -- whether he likes it or not, or whether it's his strength or not. It's simply the truth that this is a relatively small but important part of his job as, essentially, the CEO of the team. No CEO in any field ever gets away with *not* speaking to the public via the press about what's going on in their organization, and most, including other football head coaches, are able to suck it up and do it without the kind of struggles Belichick has had.
Then again, everyone has their shortcomings. Maybe allowing himself to be mic'd up in less scripted moments is part of an attempt by Belichick to overcome this one of his.
* Seriously, we went to the same high school, albeit in different years...ditto Sean McAdam. And Gerry Callahan, but I try to forget about that one.