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The Presidential Candidate Republicans Fear: Bill Belichick
Paul Corrigan

Rush Limbaugh is sounding the alarm: The Patriots are coming! The Patriots are coming. The Patriots are coming!

According to Rush, the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots are "socialists." I am not kidding. Rush not only made this claim on his radio show, but he also went out of his way later to explain his theory on both his show and web site. What caused Rush to paint the Patriots "Red?" Prior to the start of the Super Bowl, the majority of the St. Louis Rams came onto the playing field, turned, and waited for their starting offensive lineup to be individually introduced, including stars Kurt Warner and Marshall Faulk. The Patriots broke Super Bowl tradition and continued what they had done all season. Instead of having individual player names announced over the loudspeaker, the Patriots elected to be announced as a team.

Rush lamented to his listeners that his immediate reaction was that this was "not good," a "bad sign," "not what football is," and "not what football represents." Rush assured his fans that "teams are made up of individuals." Stars do not "de-emphasize themselves," he continued; "to do so would be false humility." The political seemed to be getting personal for Rush. Coach Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots' players were promoting qualities that were alien to Rush and downplaying two of his favorite personality traits, arrogance and ego. On first glance, Belichick is a right-winger's wet-dream, a "defensive genius" with the "IQ of a nuclear physicist," according to followers of the NFL and an admiring press. But Rush knows a subversive when he sees one.

Belichick did admit to the Boston Globe's Dan Shaughnessy that he favored the Democrats over Republicans during the media craze leading up to the Super Bowl. Is there another NFL coach with the honesty and integrity to even answer that question? What would Rush do if Mr. Belichick went to Washington? In his sleep, Rush sees a studious and hard-working Belichick working with Democratic majorities in the House and Senate. If Belichick can figure out the NFL salary cap, the nation's annual budget process would be simple arithmetic. Belichick wouldn't be giving $1.6 trillion to two-percent of the nation's team. Rush knows that no one is more prepared for a press conference than an NFL coach. Belichick was asked more tough questions in one week than Bush was in over a year. Rush fears a press conference in which a credible president compares public policy to a "team concept." Belichick has Bill Clinton's intelligence, and he's as personally boring as Al Gore. How would Republicans tear down Belichick's character? What if the Democrats captured not only the soccer moms, but also the football dads?

The Bush administration gives lip service to idea of teamwork but a code of silence will never replace what the "all for one and one for all" spirit that the New England Patriots used to defeat Goliath. "There is no such thing as equality," ranted Rush, confusing teamwork and cooperation with "mediocrity" and "misery." Rush could be the only person on the planet who believes the New England Patriots locker room is a repository for mediocrity and misery. No, the Patriots and their fans were resurrected from the dead last Sunday. A parade attended by 1.2 million cheering fans attested to that fact. "Liberals," Rush reminded us (lumping liberalism, socialism, and communism into one unholy trinity), are evil. Sorry, Rush. Evil lurks in the closed mind, not the open one.

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