Wes Welker has a theory about why New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick seems more relaxed before this Super Bowl.
As Will Brinson notes on Eye on Football, Welker thinks it has to do with the coach's love life:
"I don't know, I think he's enjoying himself," Welker said when asked about Belichick's demeanor. "I think he's got a lady in his life, so that could definitely be the case; I don't know. We're just coming here to try and win a ballgame. However we do that or whatever demeanor we have to take, that's what it's going to be."
If you're more of a visual thinker, picture that scene from "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" where the Grinch's heart swells to three times its normal size after he realizes that love exists in the world.
It's a great theory, and one that would inevitably make for good theatre when the Bill Belichick musical goes to Broadway in 2050, except that Belichick and Linda Holliday have been dating since before the undefeated Patriots lost in Super Bowl XLII. They're not exactly in the honeymoon phase anymore.
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Belichick was divorced from his wife in 2006 and began seeing Holliday soon after. The thrice-divorced mother of two became a fixture at Belichick's side that summer and during New England's 16-0 season. There were even whispers that the hard-nosed coach was more relaxed and jovial in her presence that year, a claim which did not go unnoticed by the Boston Herald.
In the Monday edition after that Super Bowl loss, the Herald led a notebook column with the suggestion that New England lost because Belichick was too relaxed:
In the days leading up to Super Bowl XLII, the usually dour, nasty, foul-tempered gridiron genius was relaxed - dare we say jovial??? - and even joking around with the media he usually disdains. This was not good. Was Belichick overconfident? Or was it the addition of galpal Linda Holliday to his Super Bowl game plan that was making Dr. Evil so giddy? And if so, was the coach spending too much time on his love moves and not enough on the defensive scheme???
All those question marks must make it true.
So be careful what you wish for, Wes Welker. A happier Bill Belichick isn't necessarily a more effective Bill Belichick.
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