Needing to stop the Panthers on a crucial 3rd-and-short play late in the fourth quarter of New England's 20-10 win on Sunday, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick suddenly heard what the team’s cheerleaders were saying behind the bench.
“I heard them say: ‘Push ‘em back, push ‘em back, way back,’” said Belichick. “I called over our defensive coordinator and said: ‘Good God, man! Do you hear what I hear? They think we should push ‘em back.’ And he said: ‘You know, it might just be crazy enough to work.’ So we did it.”
And wonder of wonders, it did work. The Panthers were pushed back, failed to pick up the first down and had to punt.
“A lot of people don’t give cheerleaders the respect they deserve,” said Belichick. “But they clearly know a lot about football. That pushing ‘em back idea was genius. Genius, I say! You see, our plan was to not push 'em back, but let ‘em forward. In retrospect, it seems insane. I mean, had we done that, we probably lose the game and fall out of the playoff chase. But thanks to our cheerleaders, we're still in good shape. Those gals have brains even bigger than their team spirit.”
Belichick says he will consult with the cheerleading squad before he makes any calls in future game-changing situations.
“I am intrigued by their idea to take it away defense, take it away,” he said. “I think that approach could be huge for our defense and allow us to get the ball back in the hands of our offense. They also say they that hey, hey, they don’t want to frown, they want another … TOUCHdown. Which, let’s admit, is another pretty genius idea. I mean, why frown when you have other options? No one likes to frown.”
Despite New England's run of success this decade, Belichick says his offensive and defensive coordinators should know their jobs could be stripped.
“They’ve done well for us, but these cheerleaders are on a whole different level,” he said. “They are able to really break football down to its most simple levels, what with the pushing 'em back and the touchdowns and the smiling and the like. Plus, a nice set of tits can really boost morale in the locker room. I've seen it happen. We won three Super Bowl with Charlie Weis, remember.”