Over the summer, I was listening to the Rich Eisen show. After being away for two days, Rich let listeners in on why he’d been off the air for a couple of days. Rich had been filming a show for NFL Network, where over the course of 6 episodes, the NFL 100’s All-Time Team would be announced. Co-hosting with Rich would be Cris Collinsworth and Bill Belichick. (Cue record scratch.)
BILL BELICHICK? A studio analyst?
It makes sense when you think about it, this is a team built up over the 100-year history of NFL and who knows that history better than Bill Belichick? The unbelievable thing is that someone convinced Coach Belichick to work on the project.
Rich described a scene where the producer was in his ear telling him to cut off Coach Belichick because he was talking too much. TALKING TOO MUCH! Never has it happened in the history of human events that with a camera on him, that Bill Belichick has ever been accused of talking TOO MUCH.
Eisen said that this is the Bill Belichick you hear exists but have never seen before. For months I have waited for this show and last week it premiered.
In the first episode, the 12 running backs were announced; legends Jim Brown and Emmitt Smith joined Rich, Cris and Coach Belichick in studio. You’ve never seen the coach like this, the reverence in his eyes as he asks Emmitt Smith “What did you see out there?” After watching Coach Belichick interact with two of the all-time greats, my first thought was: “God I hope they have Lawrence Taylor in studio!”
My prayers were answered this past Friday night as the panel announced the defensive line and linebackers of the team. After yakking it up with Ray Lewis, the group was joined in studio by LT. The greatest defensive player of all-time and the greatest defensive coach of all-time, coach and pupil, legend & legend at the same table.
Coach Belichick’s reverence (second time I’ve used that word) for Taylor knows no bounds. Last year when reporters asked Belichick if Khalil Mack is in the same class as Lawrence Taylor, the coach guffawed out loud:
"Now, wait a minute. We're talking about Lawrence Taylor now," Belichick said, at which point everyone started to chuckle at his response before realizing he was not being funny.
"Yeah, I'm not putting anybody in Lawrence Taylor's class," Belichick said before an extremely pregnant pause. "So ...
"You can put everybody down below that," Belichick continued. "With a lot of respect to a lot of good players now, but we're talking about Lawrence Taylor." (Will Brinson, CBSSports.com)
It is incredible to see these two at the same table. Bill Belichick: the never satisfied task master, who was determined to outwork everybody and LT: the ultimate defensive weapon who fell asleep during team meetings and would still dominate on Sundays.
There may have been times in that moment where they were oil and water but the combination made each the best ever at what they did. The respect between the two and the perspective both have gained with the passage of time makes this show special.
How often do shows, movies or games disappoint after massive amounts of buildup and bluster? Not the NFL 100’s All-Time Team, this is Belichick like we’ve never seen before.
Who knows, if we will again either.