Bill Belichick insists that revenge is not a factor for the New England Patriots when they face the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI on Feb. 5 in Indianapolis. Well, of course, why would it be? It's not like there's a reason for it.
Oh wait, there actually is. Kind of a big one.
Evidently, the three-time Super Bowl winning coach has forgotten Super Bowl XLII. You know, when the Patriots played the Giants? We all know the result by now, so I'll spare you the details. The final score was 17-14, advantage New York.
And yet, revenge isn't on the mind of Commander Belichick as he preps for round two.
"You can talk to all of those guys," Belichick said (via WEEI.com). "Their opinions are their opinions. But I see this game as this game. There aren't all that many people who played in the last game four years ago. This team is this team. I think our team is different than it was at midseason and different from what it was in December.
"I think the Giants are a different team than when we played them in November and I think they are a different team than where they were in early December. This game, the elements of it are what we have in front of us, not what happened two months ago or what happened two years ago or four years ago."
Bill is right, as he usually is (in his ever so annoying way). This is a new game. Super Bowl XLII doesn't have an impact on anything, expect trash talk for Giants fans. Nothing that happened in February of 2008 or on November 6 of this 2011. It's a fresh start, for both teams.
Granted, I am not on the same level of football intelligence as Belichick. Far, far from it. Alas, the thought process from The Hoodie intrigues me. Wouldn't one want to embrace revenge in this game, at least from the Patriots' standpoint?
Embrace the hate, as Kane would say.
If you aren't into the WWE, I'll explain that little segway. Kane, otherwise known as the Big Red Monster, has been targeting John Cena, the face of the WWE, because he fails to, as Kane says, "embrace the hate" that he is shown from some of the fans. Cena, who wears his trademark T-shirt that says "Rise Above Hate," refuses to do so (for good reason).
Maybe Kane is preaching to the wrong man. Why not tell that to Belichick and the Patriots?
Don't take this the wrong way. I'm not asking for Belichick to throw Tom Coughlin through a table (although, that would be an ... well, interesting wrestling match). Nor am I telling Tom Brady to run around in his underwear.
Instead, I offer this food for though. In a game where winning is everything, and the end result is legacy-defining regardless of the outcome, why wouldn't a coach embrace the same hate that oozes from Kane as a motivator?
Professional athletes shouldn't need motivation. That comes from the superstardom and their seven-figure salaries, or their actual desire to win the biggest game in the world. Yet some do, and revenge can be the ultimate motivator.
Belichick should not focus his game plan on revenge by any means. But would it hurt to watch the tape of the day when the Patriots' legacy was forever altered one more time? The angrier you can make Brady and company, the better.
We all saw what happened against the Denver Broncos in the playoff opener. While there wasn't a revenge factor per se in that one, the motivation came from the media. Remember? Tim Tebow was the greatest athlete in the history of sports, as some fans and media members would have you believe. That had to tick off Brady, a.k.a. the REAL great.
And how did they respond? Brady tied a playoff record with six touchdown passes as the Patriots stomped all over Tebow Time en route to a 45-10 demolition of the Broncos. Just like that.
So why not take a lesson from Kane? Embrace the hate, Bill. Embrace it.