Bill Belichick is just as classless as he is intelligent.
I wouldn’t be shocked if Belichick has compiled a massive amount of speeding tickets during his lifetime because he doesn’t understand the concept of taking your foot off of the gas pedal. The Hoodie lived up to his reputation yet again on Sunday afternoon by prioritizing an individual player’s record over showing the slightest amount of sportsmanship.
Up 49-21 over the Buffalo Bills with 1:30 remaining in the fourth quarter, the New England Patriots could’ve simply kneeled the football and run out the clock. Instead, Brian Hoyer threw a 22-yard pass to Rob Gronkowski. Those 22 yards shattered the single-season tight end receiving record for Gronkowski, but were they worth humiliating the Bills over?
Not at all.
And yes, New England made the play call with statistics in mind, as Dan Dugan of the Boston Globe tweeted: “No secrets here. Gronk admits the Pats called his last catch to ensure he got the TE receiving yardage record.”
The first quarter ended with the Bills up 21-0, but 49 unanswered points by the Patriots made it seem like they were never in danger. After surrendering 49 straight points, do you understand the psyche of the entire Bills team? Overwhelming discouragement—they just wanted the ball game to end, but the Patriots wouldn’t even put them out of their misery.
New England threw the football over the Bills’ hanging heads for what? Belichick chose to disrespect an entire franchise in order to benefit a single player. No one is going to remember how Gronkowski achieved his accolade a decade down the line, but fans around the league will remember Belichick and the Patriots' lack of sportsmanship.
And it isn’t like this is out of the ordinary for the Patriots at all. In 2007, New England repeatedly ran up the score on their opponents on their way to a perfect regular season and by doing so, they placed a massive target on their backs. Watch opposing teams play that much harder against the classless clowns this postseason and knock them off just like they did to Team 19-0.
David Daniels is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.