Much has been made of the New England Patriots’ 52-7 bludgeoning of the Washington Redskins last Sunday. It was the latest in a string of lopsided victories for Bill Belichick and Co. in 2007, a season in which the Patriots are not only gutting their opponents, they are returning to the scene of the crime 20 minutes later to light the team’s innards ablaze.

In employing an arsenal of linebackers and back-up quarterbacks to pile on points, Belichick has made an instrument of death out of every man on the roster. He is running up the score in a way that makes the king of tasteless gloating – South Carolina Coach Steve Spurrier, the man who once said, “It’s not my job to stop my offense,” – weep with pity for the Patriots’ poor victims.

No one can agree whether or not the Pats’ attempts to short-circuit the scoreboard are merited. I, for one, think that in Pro Football, there is no shame in running up the score. Belichick doesn’t owe anything to anyone. Not to the other coach and players, who had equal time to prepare for his team as he did for theirs. Not to his own players on the bench who never get a chance to play.

Reserves in the NFL are not like the third-string wonders on college sidelines – they aren’t sacrificing their social lives and academic careers to commit to football. So the only thing their coach owes to them is a steady paycheck. But does running up the score make sense in other arenas of sport?

What would happen if Belichick were to .

. replace Terry Francona in the Red Sox dugout? Belichick would wear a tattered hoodie, obviously. He would insist on pitching Josh Beckett every day, for nine innings, until his arm suddenly melted away like that foot soldier in “Starship Troopers” who gets breathed on by the giant firebug. Belichick would then calmly walk out to the mound and, without saying a word, shoot Beckett through the head as he lay writhing on the ground like a dying horse. After a steely, “I would expect you to do the same to me,” he would motion for Dice-K to take the mound. As the season wore on and more of the Sox pitching staff passed on, other aces from around the League would line up to gladly to take a pay cut to pitch for Belichick.

. go hunting? Belichick would wear a tattered camo hoodie, obviously. While as a college-educated human being, he would possess a large mental advantage over a deer, Belichick would videotape the plot of wilderness for weeks leading up to the hunt, taking copious notes on where and when the game gathered. He would stalk his prey with a Gatling gun perched on top of his Panzer tank. After spotting his target, Belichick would toss his gun aside and chuck hand grenades at the animal for a few minutes. He would then return to his high-powered firearm and coolly take aim of the jugular. Then for the carotid, followed by both the right and left coronaries. He would then heave one last grenade, just to be sure. Kind of like in real life when he put Brady back in during the fourth quarter of New England’s spanking of the Miami Dolphins two weeks ago to throw another touchdown pass when the Pats were already up three scores. Except in this case, he would be killing Bambi, not Flipper.

… play Wimbledon? Belichick would wear a tattered hoodie – and Rafael Nadal Spants. Then he would get his old pal Lawrence Taylor – who snorted coke and cracked heads for the New York Giants when Belichick was linebackers coach in the late 1980s – to take Martina Hingis out for a night on the town on the eve of the big match. When she showed up the next morning, Hingis would be so strung out she would sit there and let Belichick rifle 105 mph serves at her saucer-sized pupils.

… coached seventh grade football? Belichick would wear a tattered Regents Christian School hoodie. Regents is a K-12 school in Austin, Texas, that, according to its website, “equips students to love and practice that which is true, good and beautiful, and challenges them to strive for excellence as they live purposefully and intelligently in the service of God and man.” That was what the coaches of the `B’ team football team were doing Wednesday when they left their starters in for the entirety of a 45-6 squeaker over my 12-year-old brother’s St. Andrew’s Episcopal School team. This was perfectly warranted, of course, because A) St. Andrew’s had lost both its starting quarterback

and running back to injury early in the game, B) it was the last game of the season for both teams and C) Jesus obviously wanted them to win.

Evidently, The Education of a Coach – David Halberstam’s Belichick tell-all – has replaced the King James Bible at Regents. We all know Bill Belichick is miffed about being caught cheating earlier this season. Thank goodness he has a place to constructively take out his anger, for, as we have seen, it might work in other mediums. Say what you will about Belichick’s cut-throat coaching manner, but he has never once gone Dennis Green or Mike Gundy in a post-game press conference. His players don’t fight dogs or drive drunk or unload their Glocks outside a nightclub at 4 a.m. The Patriots show up on Sunday afternoons, kick the other team’s ass for all four quarters, and then go about their business as normal.

This weekend, we will see what Belichick does in a head-to-head, winner-takes-all, [insert another hyperbolic sports cliche here] clash with the Indianapolis Colts, the NFL’s other undefeated team. The Patriots will win. But by how much? That is another matter.

Harlan Goode is a senior in the College and features editor at THE HOYA. He can be reached at goodethehoya.com.

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