Columnist’s miscue was underestimating Eagles’ coach, QB
Dan Shaughnessy’s pre-Super Bowl column “Mismatch on the sidelines” (Sports, Jan. 31) lacked logic. He wrote, “You can’t play back on your heels against [Bill] Belichick in a Super Bowl. You can’t be indecisive. You can’t coach scared.” For proof, he quoted Mike Lombardi from last year saying Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson “might be less qualified to coach a team than anyone I’ve seen in my 30-plus years in the NFL.”
Shaughnessy wrote, “There’s simply no indication that Pederson is up to the task of coaching against Belichick in a game of this magnitude.” No indication? Shaughnessy seems to have ignored this past season, especially the playoffs, where Pederson was anything but indecisive. Now Pederson’s boldness and creativity have made the Eagles world champions.
Shaughnessy followed that column with a similar one about Eagles quarterback Nick Foles (“Foles a good story, but he’s not good,” Feb. 1), citing Foles’s recent years as a backup and some of his poor late-season games. Again, he ignored the more recent data, such as what Foles did to the Vikings and the league’s top defense. Again, totally lacking in logic.
I expect a columnist to say that his hometown team will win, but I also expect that writer to apply some reasoned analysis and critical thinking. The Super Bowl exposed the lack of both.
Thinking, and rethinking,
the Butler effect in Patriots’ loss
Monday morning, after a tough Super Bowl loss, I heard on the radio how it was a coach’s decision to bench Malcolm Butler, and Bill Belichick refused to insert the player into the game, even though the team’s defense was being shredded by Philadelphia. Belichick’s stubbornness reminds me of an old limerick:
Here lies the body of William Jay
Who died maintaining his right of way.
He was right, dead right, as he sped along,
But he’s just as dead, as though he’d been wrong.