What Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots have accomplished is virtually unsurpassed in the history of professional sports. Ironically enough the only dynasty that was more fruitful was the Boston Celtics amazing run in between 1956 and 1968 which saw them end their season in the NBA finals every year except 1966 and winning the title 11 out of 12 times.
However, those Celtics didn’t have to deal with free agency. They drafted smartly and were able to keep all their talent together until players were considered expendable. Meanwhile, the Patriots seem to lose quality players every year because they refuse to overspend on talent. The possibility that they have ‘lost’ championships over the period of their run due to free agency can certainly be debated.
What can’t be debated is that they are the best-run franchise in any sport since the advent of free agency and it’s not even close.
And now here come the Lions, like many teams before them that have hired away Belichick protege’s for their front office or head coaching positions, trying to make the magic work in a new location. But it simply can’t be done, right?
If history has told us anything, it’s that only Bill Belichick can be Bill Belichick. Just like back in the ’60s only Vince Lombardi could be Vince Lombardi. Those that have discovered a path to success and the delicate balance that is needed to make it work become the masters of that balance. Re-creating it is almost impossible.
That doesn’t mean that lightning can’t strike twice, but let’s be realistic, it generally doesn’t.
So everything the Lions are doing is in vain, right? Maybe not because if we’re being honest, neither Bob Quinn nor Matt Patricia have played completely by the Belichick book in their respective times here. So, despite the comparisons and assumptions that everything is being done by the Belichick blueprint in Allen Park, Bob Quinn, and Matt Patricia are still singing their own version of ‘My way’.