Sunday, 13 November 2016


I wrote what follows as the introduction to my Friday Morning Tight End column at, except the column is now actually christened simply picks of the week's upcoming games, and accordingly the intro wasn't a part of it. So I offer it here, wondering what kind of juju the The Donald connection will have on Bill and the Pats...


The one thing Bill Belichick's letter to Donald Trump proved was that Bill can make a winner out of just about anyone. The bizarre thing about it was that it read as if it had been written (well, dictated) by The Donald himself. I doubt it was intended to be read out at a press conference, as Bill explained it well enough, the two are friends, and it was a friend's congratulations on his campaign, not intended as a public endorsement. With friends like these, a neutral might think. Trump also claimed Tom Brady had voted for him, when Brady at that point hadn't voted at all, and Giselle then said no they wouldn't vote for Trump and told TB to shut up about it! As a model she would probably know a side of Trump that Bill and Brady didn't.

This puts Bill and Rex Ryan on the same team for the first time, and raises an interesting dilemma. Football coaches tend to be very conservative, small c, and so do players. It's an authoritarian sport, everybody is wealthy to an extent, and although most players have natural advantages in terms of size, speed or ability, they also work very hard and feel they have earned what they have, and everyone else should work as hard to do the same. America is a relatively conservative country; its liberals are far less left than in most western countries. But as we saw with the reaction to Rex when he appeared at a Trump rally, Trump's positions on minorities in particular transcend some of the usual definitions. Will there be fallout? There was much talk about that with Rex earlier in the season, but as far as I've seen, nothing really came of it.

In the opening scene of Aaron Sorkin's show The Newsroom, Jeff Daniels talks about how America isn't the greatest country in the world. But it sure used to be, he says (Sorkin might've given Trump his campaign slogan right there). Among the reasons, he says, was that 'we didn't define ourselves by who we voted for'. That might be a good lesson to learn this week..

1 comment :

Unknown said...

get in touch with your cousin that you knocked down as a child....please