Imagine you had superpowers, but no interest in being a superhero.
You had the strength, speed and uncanny ability of Superman, or even 1/2 of Superman. You could do things like this. And this.
But you had no interest in putting on a cape and fighting crime. Maybe there are no aliens or super-villains to fight. Maybe you have no idea how to use your powers to lower the Chicago murder rate or stop ISIS or shut down Donald Trump's Twitter account. Maybe you feel like using your powers for more selfish motives. In other words, you're an ordinary person with extraordinary abilities.
What would you do? Professional sports seems like a good call. You can make a lot of money. Be adored by millions. Hang with celebrities. That'd be a lot of fun (well, maybe not the celebrities part. Ick).
But then, you'd need ease up on your powers, go half speed to not make it so obvious. Like Dash in The Incredibles, you'd need to tap the brakes once in a while so as not to give up your secret, and keep it interesting for yourself.
I'm starting to think this is what's happening with Bill Belichick. He's some sort of wizard, a magical power unseen since Merlin, his powers growing every year. And he loves football so frickin much, he's decided to use his powers to be the greatest coach the world has ever seen, in any sport. But as he grows in his power, he keeps putting obstacles in front of himself to keep it interesting, and to keep suspicious conspiracy theorists at bay.
Let's review his career:
- As Defensive Coordinator of the Giants, he's just growing into his power. He guides one of the greatest Ds of all time in 1986. Four years later he holds the high-powered Bills' offense to 19 points (I couldn't find footage of him during Norwood kick, but I bet we'd see him waving his arms like an Enchanter, pushing the ball right).
- As Patriots' head coach, he's given a very good quarterback in Drew Bledsoe. 6'5", college stud, #1 overall pick. He's already a 3-time Pro Bowler before the Magi of Massachusetts arrives. Too easy, says the Sorcerer. Give me this guy instead.
- This guy, Tom Brady, was a lightly regarded prospect coming out of college. His senior year at Michigan, he played in a platoon with Drew Henson. He was drafted 199th, behind such stalwarts as Chris Redman, Tee Martin, Todd Husak and Giovanni Carmazzi. The Jedi of Gillette win 3 Super Bowls the first 4 years with the Wolverine platooner.
- But...some of the seams of his wizardry began to show. "It's like he has eyes at our practice!", say the opposing coaches. Hence, Spygate. (There were no cameras, just Bill in his tower like the Eye of Sauron.)
- He decides to lay low for a couple years. Then in 07, he destroys the league so thoroughly that once again people are getting suspicious, and decides to throw some games. But he can't even figure out how to lose. Concerned the conspiracy theorists are getting too close for comfort, at the last minute of the Super Bowl, he weaves a Helmet Glue spell enabling a 3rd rate wide receiver to make the greatest catch in Super Bowl history. Suspicion averted.
- By 2011, he's decided the coast is clear, and it's okay to win again. But due to an elaborate Quadrennial Spell he cast back in 1990, the Giants are prophesied to win a Super Bowl 4 years after winning a previous one. Oops!
- 2015, he reads Pete Carroll's mind, and positions Malcolm Butler perfectly for a game-sealing pick. 4th Super Bowl in the bag.
(And if you're wondering about the Cleveland Browns stint, well, c'mon, Cleveland needs a helluva lot more than a powerful wizard to solve their problems.)
Which brings us to this year.
The Enchanter of the East (AFC) is getting bored. His division is a mess. His one truly worthy nemesis, Peyton Manning, is finally out of the league after showing the effects of the Neck-romancy Hex Bill put on him years before. So he sets himself some challenges:
- Puts Deflation Charm on footballs. Gets his QB suspended for 4 games, including one against what seems like a very good Cardinal team, and 2 against 2016 playoff opponents. Wins them all with backup. (Then takes out backup and loses to his other sometime nemesis, Buffalo Rex.
- Brady's back. He's 39 now, but the Anti-Aging Abra Cadabra he put on him 5 years earlier is still working. Winning is once again too easy.
- So he takes out Gronk for most of the season, and trades Jamie Collins, one of his best defensive players. Still goes 11-1.
- In the playoffs, throws most of his passes to an undrafted lacrosse player. Keeps winning.
- In Super Bowl, spots the Falcons 25 points. Chuckles as Gostkowki's PAT doinks the upright.
None of it matters. He wins his 5th Super Bowl. No obstacle, self-imposed, magical, or mortal, can stop him.
That night John Wooden, the Wizard of Westwood, sends him a simple 5 word text.
"I know what you are."