Mike on America

Brady Isn't, Patriots Aren't And Belichick Can't

Just as sure as it snows in Green Bay in the winter time, you knew it was coming. The "excuse" train. Why was it that a much depleted San Diego Charger team could make the "best team of all time" Patriots look so, well, not so best of all time? Because they're not.

Why was it that "the best quarterback of all time" didn't look that way? Because he isn't.

And if Bill Belichick is a "genius", I'm Thomas Edison.

I won't bore you with allot of complicated reasoning. You've heard the basics from me before. A team that wins is only as good as the competition it defeats. The NFL isn't the league it used to be, so defeating 18 other teams in a league of so-so clubs doesn't make you the "best of all time". Does it make you good? Absolutely, very good in fact. And lucky, particularly when it comes to injuries.

Is Tom Brady a good quarterback? You bet. Maybe even great, although we do throw that word around allot. The "best of all time"? No. His stats this year were soooooo good, you say? See above.

Now, as for Bill Belichick. Let's first take the word "genius". The common definition is someone with great mental capacity and inventive ability. Let me say first I don't know Bill Belichick and have never interviewed him. Can he multiply many columns of numbers all at once in his head? Read a book upside down and backwards? Don't know.

So I'm not sure about his general "mental capacity." I do think that was called into question once when he took and then left the New York Jets job, in what 6 hours?, but let's give him a pass on that. As for "inventive ability" as it pertains to football, he's invented what exactly? Is he a good coach? Seems to be, particularly when it comes to managing his team, keeping them focused (That's another favorite over used sports word of mine, "focused". What does that mean exactly?) Belichick likely qualifies for the "NFL Team Management of the Year" trophy. Genius? No.

My rebellion here is at the lack of restraint my sports colleagues have when it comes to the use of the language. Phrases like "greatest of all time" and "genius" dropped into sentences like pennies in a wishing well, hoping for the same result. If I say it, it must be true.

I'm wondering if my economic reporting colleagues will suffer from the same disease this week? The markets around the world have taken a beating. Are economic conditions the "worst of all time"? Who will emerge as the "genius" with the right stimulus plan?

By the way, the team with the best focus will win the Super Bowl. You know the one with the statistical edge and hottest quarterback.

'Mike On America' will be in North Carolina this week. You can catch our 'MOA' offerings on "Power Lunch" on CNBC from noon till 2 pm Eastern time.

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