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4.0 von 5 Sternen Required Reading for Patriots Nation in the Off Season, 23. Februar 2007
Von 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
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Rezension bezieht sich auf: Patriot Reign: Bill Belichick, the Coaches, and the Players Who Built a Champion (Taschenbuch)
Three Super Bowl titles in four years: The Patriots are obviously able to manage in the era of free agency and the salary cap better than any other team before them. Unless you've been away in Antarctica for the last few years, you know how special Bill Belichick, Scott Pioli and the rest of the Patriots coaches and staff have been. Match those resources with talented, dedicated athletes who want to win, and you have something special indeed.

Shortly after February ends each year, I find myself yearning for more about the Patriots. I look at the official Web site every day, read newspaper and magazine articles, watch replays of the past season . . . and pine for more.

I was glad that I had saved Patriot Reign to help me get through the never-ending off season until training camp opens and I can again sit on the sunny hillside at Gillette Stadium and watch my favorite team run its drills.

Michael Holley was one of my favorite sportswriters at the Boston Globe during the years he was there. His columns about the Celtics lifted a mediocre team into deliciously interesting scrutiny. That made this book an even more "must read" event for me.

As you probably know, the Patriots (and especially their coach) are notoriously tight-lipped. Who would have thought that they would open their doors to a sportswriter to follow them around for two seasons? Well, that's what happened.

As a result of that unparalleled access, we get a sense of the private Belichick as he steals a few hours here and there to be with his parents and family, we see the Patriots operate their successful 2003 draft in real time, we find out how Scott Pioli co-exists between two tough men (Coach Belichick and Scott's father-in-law, Bill Parcells), and we get a sense of how game plans are prepared and adjusted during the course of a game. It's overwhelming to realize how much this organization takes on in pursuit of winning. At the same time, we feel their pain when the 2002 season has more than its share of hiccups, when Coach Belichick is insulted on national television after the Lawyer Milloy release ("They hate their coach"), and as trusted veterans reel at the realization that no one is safe from the need to constantly upgrade the player organization.

You also find out that the approach behind the scenes can be brutally frank and profane. That won't surprise you, but it will make you realize what it takes to produce all those wins that we all appreciate so much.

The book has some serious weaknesses though. Michael Holley doesn't seem to understand football as well as his does basketball. As a result, his capturing of the coaching and managing process involved is a little more general than a passionate Patriots fan would like to read. I would have liked to see more context about how other good coaches do it.

The book could have been written by anyone up until about the middle of the text . . . when the 2002 season opens. The book would have been better if it was shorter up to that point.

Naturally, the story finishes incomplete . . . without the astonishing season in 2004-2005 when the Patriots won back-to-back Super Bowl titles. What was different about this season from 2002? Inquiring minds want to know, but those minds will have to guess.

If you have favorite players who you just cannot learn enough about, you will be somewhat disappointed in the book. Players don't show up much in the text. This is a book that's more about coaching and management than a player's eye-view of the games.

I hope that Mr. Holley will write a new edition to this book, or a sequel, that adds on the last season. In addition, I hope he will write a book seeing these remarkable years from the players' viewpoints as well. For instance, Troy Brown, who has done so much for the Patriots, is no longer a Patriot. His story alone would make for a remarkable book.
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