Coach, star create a 1-2 punch for dynasties

by Gary Shelton on February 5, 2019 · 1 comment

in general

Tuesday, 4 a.m.

Those who can, do.

Those who cannot make up the plays.

At least, that's the way it works with dynasties in professional sports. You have the head. You have the heart. And everyone else is singing in the background.

It always has been that way. For all of the noise about teamwork, everyone on every team knows who sits at the head of the table. We were reminded of it again in Sunday's night's Super Bowl win by the Patriots (again). Essentially, a championship is a two-man operation. Usually

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it takes the head coach, and it takes the star player. Occasionally, a second-banana player will rise to the moment, but pretty much, it's the same formula as a 007 novel. You have M, and you have James Bond and everyone else is either a bad guy or a pretty girl.

In this case, you have Bill Belichick, the best ever, and you have Tom Brady, also the best ever, guiding the New England Patriots, the best ever. They run the factory. It churns out championships.

Take Brady, who is so old he has begun to creak. He's a fossil right up until the ball is kicked off, and then Brady becomes a handful. Sunday night wasn't one of his best games, but he still threw for 262 yards and led the Patriots to their 10-point fourth quarter to win the game.

In nine Super Bowls, Brady has thrown for 2,838 yards and 18 touchdowns. His rating is 95.6.

Then there is Bill Belichick, the grouchy coach who came with a warning to Pats' owner Robert Kraft. After six titles, I presume you can survive if he doesn't say good morning to you.

Together, they are immortal. You can debate all day who is the more important of the two, but when you have a coach who is better than all of the others, and a quarterback who is the same, you can get by with interchangeable parts.

You want the ultimate test of how good these two are? Here is is: Richard Seymour and Randy Moss and Wes Welker and Chandler Jones and Malcolm Butler and Aqib Talib and LeGarrett Blount and Jamie Collins and Jimmy Garoppolo. Those are among the many excellent players who stopped by for a while and left. And the winning keeps coming.

Has sports ever seen a twosome like this?

Well, actually, yes. It has.

There was Bill Walsh and Joe Montana, both at the top of their games when the 49ers were winning. There was Glen Sather and Wayne Gretzky. There was Red Auerbach and Bill Russell.

Want more? There was Chuck Noll and Jack Lambert (he was better than Terry Bradshaw). There was Joe Torre and Derek Jeter. There was Al Arbour and Denis Potvin.

Phil Jackson had Michael Jordan, and vice-versa. Pat Riley had Magic Johnson. Don Shula had Larry Csonka. In the old Montreal days, Scottie Bowman had Guy LaFleur.

Tom Landry had Roger Staubach. Paul Brown had Otto Graham. Vince Lombardi had Bart Starr. Gregg Popovich had Tim Duncan. Jimmy Johnson had Emmitt Smith.

Then there are the mortals. Check the local teams, if you dare. John McKay had Steve Spurrier. Ray Perkins had Vinny Testarverde. Sam Wyche had Trent Dilfer. Raheem Morris had Josh Freeman. Dirk Koetter had Jameis Winston, not to mention a gaggle of defensive backs who ran around  in circles. You get the picture.

Hey, mortal teams have won titles from time to time. It happens. You don't need a great coach or an impact player to win ... once.

But if you want to win a bunch of titles, you're going to need a star.

Then you're going to need a coach to decide where it should hang.

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