Howard Herman | Designated Hitter: Ignoring Brady vs. Belichick


Thinking of things this Sunday morning, while the coffee is brewing and the bagel is toasting.

Have we had enough of the contretemps between New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady?

This tale of woe has been going on long enough that if you're a Patriots fan, you have a side. Either you think Belichick is Darth Vader in a hoodie, willing to suck the Force out of Jedi Master Brady, or you think the coach is right and Brady is a prima donna on steroids (Figuratively speaking. I'm not trying to get anything started).

The real truth is that they might love each other, they might hate each other, it does not matter. All that is important is that the Patriots win games.

If you think for a moment that just to mess with the Hoodie's head, Brady might throw an interception or two on purpose, just to spite his coach — and by extension, owner Bob Kraft, think again. No elite athlete, and the best players in the National Football League are elite athletes, would do that. Brady might be unhappy with his contract, or he might really dislike his head coach. All Brady wants to do is win. Losing games hurts Tom Terrific's legacy in football, and if nothing else, everything you read or hear about Thomas Brady is that he wants to be the best ever. He'd lose that crown if he goes and plays some petty games.

Belichick, I'm sure, is also concerned about his legacy.

Too many Hall of Fame coaches like Don Shula, Chuck Noll, Chuck Knox and even Joe Gibbs did not see their careers end the way they should have. Maybe they lost something off their fastballs.

There's no way Bill Belichick wants to have that happen in the waning years of his Hall of Fame career. So he's not going to try and lose games just to play head games with Brady or Kraft. That's just not going to happen.

So remember that all of this is nothing but noise. You should tune it out because it won't have any impact on how the Pats play this fall.


Larry Merchant has been a sports journalism pioneer. He started in newspapers and was one of the first to completely transition over to television.

He once called sports the "toy department" of the newspaper. Which is why when sad things happen, they tend to hit us in the sports business hard.

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It has been a tough summer when it comes to losing people I know from the sports world.

Al Nelson of North Adams died earlier this month. Nelson started his Berkshire County career like I did, in local radio. He went on to spend decades in public service in North Berkshire County.

That's why the Williams College Sideline Quarterback Club meetings this fall will feel a little emptier.

Nelson had been a longtime member of the club, a huge Williams football fan, and a big supporter of both Williams and MCLA basketball teams.

If I wrote something good, he was the first to compliment me. Were I to make a mistake, he'd let me know in his quiet way. I'll miss that.

We'll all miss seeing him at Farley-Lamb Field.

About six weeks earlier, Millie Gladstone passed away. She was the wife of Bill Gladstone, who owned the Pittsfield Mets before moving them to Troy, N.Y., for the 2002 baseball season.

Like her husband, Millie was at every Mets game. She also went to every ValleyCats game.

While you might not have been able to discuss launch angles with Millie Gladstone, there wasn't a bigger baseball fan around.

It was also like everyone who came to a Mets or ValleyCats game was an extended member of her family. She would greet fans and you could always catch her conversing with some of them on the concourse behind home plate in Troy.

Much like how games at Williams won't be the same, it isn't the same going to Joe Bruno Stadium and not seeing her around.

May they both rest in peace.

Howard Herman can followed on Twitter @howardherman, reached at, or 413-496-6253.


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