No Surprise Here, But Bill Belichick Nails the NFL’s Covid Vaccinations
Bill Belichick is the greatest coach in NFL history. The only metric where he comes up short is in wins, where he currently sits third (38 behind George Halas and 48 behind Don Shula). But by every other metric, there is no comparison to Bill Belichick. If you want a defensive genius, he is your guy. Need somebody to wax poetically about special teams? There is nobody better. He even spearheaded an offensive revolution in 2007 and is currently sneakily zagging to the run game when everybody else is zigging to aerial attacks. In all three facets of the game, Belichick is the man. But where Belichick really separates himself is in preparation. Nobody comes close to Belichick when it comes to game-planning (15-6 after byes). So when Belichick took on the NFL’s Covid Vaccinations, the rest of the football world listened.
New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick is destroying the vaccination narrative in US professional sports. pic.twitter.com/dXmM7Zs68t
— LADY AMINA (@Alpha_Mind7) September 2, 2021
However, many did not like what he said. That is because his answer goes against the mainstream narrative that once you get vaccinated, you are in the clear. But Belichick is right. He nailed his answer. Before getting into why he is right, a quick question to the rest of the NFL; when it comes to game and season preparation, on whom would you bet to be the most prepared? To be the most knowledgeable when it comes to vaccinated vs. unvaccinated? If you had to pick one coach above all others, who would you pick?
Just from a pure football preparation perspective, the answer needs to be Bill Belichick, right? So why would anybody’s first reaction be to doubt Belichick? Nobody should. There is no logical reason to doubt Belichick, but hey, welcome to the NFL’s Covid Madness.
Despite the NFL’s Covid Vaccinations, Vaccinations Do Not Denote Availability
Immediately after Belichick made the comment, people jumped on him. Nancy Armour with USA Today called Belichick “irresponsible.” Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk even intimated Belichick was lying; claiming vaccination status was why Belichik chose Mac Jones over Cam Newton. Then there is the standard fair; New England reporters trashing Belichick like Logan Mullen of NESN did in his stupefyingly myopic article bemoaning Belichick’s Covid comments. Mullen even goes out of his way and acknowledges Belichick is all about a team-first ethos before tripping all over himself, “And for someone like Belichick — who falls all over himself about how important it is to do what’s best for the team — to say it doesn’t really matter is baffling.”
The question was did Cam Newton’s vaccination status have anything to do with the decision to cut him. The answer is “no.” A resounding no. But people do not want to believe that answer. Either because they don’t want to believe Belichick thwarted the NFL again and found his franchise quarterback for the next 10 years, or because they don’t want to believe Cam Newton is just not that good any longer.
While both scenarios are probable (nobody is currently tugging on Superman’s cape and Mac Jones seems to be the real deal) they still cannot fathom how vaccination status did not factor into the decision. But if you are going for vaccination status as a means to ensure your backup will be available for Sunday, that is a fool’s errand. Yes, it might be easier if and when you get Covid to clear the protocols if you are vaccinated, but vaccination as a status alone does not promise availability for game day.
The Looming Playoff Disaster Scenario
This is what Belichick got right and everybody else is getting wrong. If you are vaccinated and get Covid, you are out for at least 48 hours. If you experience symptoms, then that time is extended. It is why the reportedly vaccinated Zach Martin–the Cowboy’s best offensive player according to Ezekiel Elliott–will miss the season opener.
The NFL’s Covid vaccinations do not mean anything if you experience symptoms. If you experience symptoms, you must wait for two negative tests and be asymptomatic for 48 hours. Now, is that much better than 10 days? Absolutely. But do the NFL’s Covid vaccinations assure NFL coaches that will have players readily available in case a starter gets Covid? No chance.
That is why it is so important Belichick spoke out and clarified his Covid stance for all the midwives who think they know better than the greatest coach in NFL history.
Bill Belichick also opens press conference looking to clarify his vaccination comments from last week. He said, in part, "as a team, we're better off if everyone was vaccinated…" The full comment is below. #Patriots pic.twitter.com/0KTPqfOjyK
— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) September 6, 2021
Bill Belichick is Ahead of the Game Once Again
Every word of Belichick’s unnecessary clarification is true. Would Belichick prefer for everybody on the Patriots to be vaccinated? From a team-building perspective, yes. Does it solve all the problems? Not even close. If you still think so, ask Zach Martin, the Tennesee Titans, and Tyrann Mathieu how things are going. Additionally, for someone seen as a soulless, humorless, authoritarian, Belichick cites individual liberty and bodily autonomy when it comes to personal health and vaccinations, “an individual decision for each person to make.”
Like most things NFL-related, it looks like Bill Belichick is way out ahead of the NFL’s Covid vaccinations issue. At best, the NFL is only now realizing that vaccination status is not some magic elixir. You can–and probably will–still get Covid if you are vaccinated. You will probably get Covid if you are unvaccinated. That is the secret here as proven by Israel; your vaccination status does not matter. You will get Covid. Simple.
So what is Belichick doing? Belichick is taking the rational approach to Covid. He is so rational he admits the NFL’s Covid vaccinations have nothing to do with player availability and, therefore, his roster-building approach. Because the only question Belichick cares to answer is, “does this player help me win? Will he help the Patriots win a Super Bowl?” That is the only thing Bill Belichick ever cares about. With that approach, do not be surprised if at the end of the year Belichick is once again in a familiar spot staring at a familiar face.