Early Monday morning, the day after the Pittsburgh Steelers had their way with his team, New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick begins his weekly session with his therapist.
Belichick: "I just don't know what happened, Doc."
Therapist: "Have a bad day, yesterday, Coach"?
Belichick: "Well, creating advantageous match-ups has always been my thing, ya know? I've always been known as the guy who can create mismatches and exploit them."
Therapist: "Mismatches, Coach"?
Belichick: "Yeah, Doc. You match a big, athletic tight end up against a smallish safety, or you match a small, fast receiver up against a slow, plodding linebacker. If the other team is expecting you to pass, you run. If the situation normally calls for a base 34 defense, you surprise them with a 43. Mismatches, ya know? Again, sorta my thing. But yesterday against Pittsburgh, nothing seemed to work. I usually have that team in my back-pocket."
Therapist: "I see. So you say you've always been good at match-ups. Here, let me do a little test. If a hat is to a head, then a glove is to a.."
Belichick: ..A hand! Come on, Doc. Give me something hard to match-up!"
Therapist: Sorry, Coach. Just trying to establish a baseline."
Belichick: "Oh, OK. Anyway, ever hear people say you can't pound a round peg into a square hole? Well, I never had a problem figuring that kind of stuff out, even as a kid. Whenever I watched Sesame Street, I always knew which one didn't belong. Here's another example, if you mix blue and yellow, what color would you get"?
Therapist: "Hmmmmmmm, I don't know. I guess I'm drawing a blank."
Belichick: "Green! Haha. See, told you I was good at match-ups!"
Belichick: "Yeah, I know. I guess I first realized I had a talent for creating ideal match-ups way back in Junior High."
Therapist: "Junior High, Coach"?
Belichick: "Yeah, I remember I used to peep into the girls locker room after gym class..."
Therapist: "...Let me stop you there, Coach. Watching someone when they don't realize it is kind of a violation of their rights."
Belichick: "Hey, what do you want from me? I was young and curious. May I continue, Freud? Anyway, this one day, I got caught by this kid, a boyfriend of one of the girls in the locker room, and he threatened to kick my ass after school. Well, this kid was twice my size and mean as all get out. There was no way I could possibly beat him straight-up. I knew I had to do something to tip the match-up in my favor, so right before the fight, I convinced this big idiot that the only way he could beat me was if he wore boxing gloves and I wore brass knuckles. He bought it hook line and sinker! Hahahaha! I had just created my very first mismatch. Needless to say, the kid didn't have a chance. I pounded him into submission. He was no match for my match-up prowess."
Belichick: "I know. Anyway, there was another time I remember quite fondly. I had entered a hot dog eating contest, but I knew I didn't have a great chance of winning. All the other contestants were real pros, and I wasn't much of a an eater. I knew I had to create a favorable match-up, so I convinced these morons that it would be a good idea to fill up on water right before the contest. I said it would expand their stomachs. Can you believe they actually took my advice? Hahahahaha! Expand their stomachs. I kill me! Anyway, needless to say, I didn't have any water and was able to eat twice as many hot dogs as the second-place finisher. In-fact, the one guy drank so much water, he was disqualified for leaving the table to take a pee break. Hahaha!"
Therapist: "I'm beginning to see a pattern here."
Belichick: "Yeah, of my excellence. Then there was the time I met my college girlfriend. So, I'm sitting in this restaurant one day, right Doc, and I spot this beautiful woman having dinner with this dork. They were obviously on a first date, and the guy had no idea what he was doing. I really wanted to date this girl, so when she excused herself to the bathroom, I went up to the guy and started convincing him that a woman really loves it when a guy only talks about himself, and I said if he really wanted to impress her, he should make her pay for dinner. He was no match for my intellect! Needless to say, the girl stormed out on him, and I swooped in with flowers and a shoulder to cry on. The rest, as they say, was history."
Therapist: "I see."
Belichick: "Yeah, then there was that one time back in 1998 when the Rock was taking on Mankind for the WWE Heavyweight Championship. The Rock had the upper hand in the match, that is, until I came out of nowhere and smashed him in the head with a folding chair. Mankind took advantage of the mismatch I had just created and won his first World title."
Therapist: "Excuse me, Coach, but I think that was Stone Cold Steve Austin."
Belichick: "Oh, right."
Therapist: "This is all quite alarming, Coach. You have engaged in some very unsavory and underhanded behavior."
Belichick: "Hey, give me a break, Doc. That was back when I was young and immature. Now, I only use my match-up powers for good. Like for example, there was this one time a lady friend was getting ready for a job interview, and she had no idea what to wear. She was simply frantic. I said, 'look, you have brown eyes. You need to wear earth-tones. Here, wear this grey pants suit I picked out. You'll knock'em dead.' Needless to say, she nailed the interview and got the job."
Therapist: "Go on."
Belichick: "Well, there was the time when my daughter was suffering from insomnia. She couldn't sleep for days. She said, 'Dad, I have some very important exams in the morning, but I can't get to sleep.' I said, 'you silly banana. Your bedroom is littered with Starbucks cups. Don't you know that caffeine is a bad match for insomnia? Here, drink this warm milk I made for you. It will do the trick, Pumpkin.' Needless to say, she went right to sleep and aced her exams the next day."
Belichick: "Yes, then there was that time my neighbor was so down on his luck with the ladies. He just couldn't meet the right girl no matter how hard he tried. He said, 'Bill, I got no where with that last girl I dated. I can't figure out what went wrong. I guess I'm just meant to be alone.' I said, 'well, it's no wonder you struck out with that girl. She was an Aquarius. You're a Taurus. You need to be dating Virgos or Cancers.' He said, 'hey, this girl I met at a party last week has a birthday in early September!' I said, 'she's a Virgo. You can't lose! Go get'em, Taurus.' Needless to say, they've been living happily ever after."
Therapist: "That was sweet."
Belichick: "I know. Anyway, just last year, my boss, Bob Kraft, was hosting a very important dinner party, but nobody seemed to be having a good time. I said to him, 'Kraftmeister, you're serving American cheese with corned beef. Swiss cheese goes much better with corned beef. Trust me, sir.' Well, needless to say, once the Swiss cheese was served, the party started rockin'."
Therapist: "Very good stuff, Coach."
Belichick: "Yeah, but like I said, I don't know what happened yesterday with the Steelers. My match-up powers are usually off the charts when I play them, but it seemed like everytime I thought they were going to zig, they zagged. When the situation called for a zag, they zigged us to death. Do you think I'm losing my touch"?
Therapist: "Coach, I don't know much about football, but from what I've read, the success you've had over the past decade hasn't been about your ability to find the ideal match-ups, it's been about your quarterback. What's his name, Bieber or something? Anyway, maybe he just had a bad day yesterday. Maybe Pittsburgh is just a really good team."
Belichick: "Nonsense! I'm a match-up guru! Everyone knows it! Pittsburgh better hope we don't meet them in the playoffs! I just hired a new videographer."
Therapist: "Excuse me, Coach"?
Belichick: "Oh, nothing. Hey, Doc, aren't we about done here? I have some film I have to study."
Therapist: "Yes, we'll pick up where we left off next time. Have a good week, Coach."
Belichick: "See you next time, Doc.....Hahahaha! $500,000 fine. Totally worth it."
Therapist: "Excuse me, Coach? What's that about $500,000"?
Belichick: Oh, that was nothing, Doc. I mumble."