TBO.com: Tampa Bay Online, The Tampa Tribune and The Tampa Times - breaking news and weather.
  • Home
National Football League

Bill Belichick
Belichick doubles down on denial
Archive Comments Facebook Twitter
John McMullen - NFL Editor
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - The New England Patriots have a pretty important game to prepare for in just over a week's time so Bill Belichick took to the podium on Saturday for a surprise press conference designed to move things along from DeflateGate, the NFL's sting operation designed to see if the Pats intentionally deflated footballs in the AFC Championship Game.

Communication isn't Belichick's forte but he put on his professor's hat in an effort to explain a process he claimed to know little about until this scandal enveloped the national news cycle.

It was a weird exercise in which Belichick even referenced Marisa Tomei's character from the film "My Cousin Vinny," Mona Lisa Vito.

"I'm not a scientist. I'm not an expert in footballs. I'm not an expert in football measurements," Belichick said. "I'm just telling you what I know. I would not say I'm Mona Lisa Vito of the football world, as she was in the car- expertise area."

But, while making sure to inform us all that he's not a scientist, the embattled Belichick nonetheless broke into a Bill Nye impression trying to cloud the issue with pedantic minutia, explaining the process New England goes through to prepare footballs for a game while also droning on about how the PSI could change in a football due to atmospheric conditions.

"It's similar to the concept of when you get into your car and the light comes on and it says low tire pressure, because the car has been sitting in the driveway outside overnight," Belichick claimed, "and you start it up and start driving it, and the light goes off -- it's a similar concept to that."

Except that doesn't explain why the Colts' footballs were fine and only the Pats were underinflated. Perhaps Tomei could have been used to explain Indianapolis' footballs were the equivalent of a Pontiac Tempest and New England's were Buick Skylarks -- similar but different.

Heck, Belichick even tried to say all footballs are different, you know like snowflakes or DNA.

The only real substance of what was a meaningless exercise designed to cloud the issue further by confusing those who want answers was Belichick's continued insistence that he and his team did nothing wrong.

"At no time was there any intent -- whatsoever -- to try and compromise the integrity of the game," Belichick said. "I believe now, 100 percent, that I have personally and (the Patriots) have absolutely followed every rule to the letter."

Which got me to thinking.

Belichick is a lot like another big Tomei fan -- Seinfeld's George Costanza, who once tried to teach his buddy Jerry how to lie.

"If you believe it," George said, "it's not a lie."

And Belichick "believes" all of it so "it's on to Seattle" ... finally.

"I'm embarrassed to talk about the amount of time that I've put into this relative to the other important challenge in front of us," the coach said. "We have a huge game, a huge challenge for our football team that is where that focus is going to go. I've spent more than enough time on this."