Daniel T. Richards

Daniel T. Richards

Digital Strategist & Rhetorician

What Bill Belichick Can Teach Us About Rhetoric

He’s the most revered and most hated, most talked about and quietest coach in the NFL. And he’s a master of rhetoric.

Bill Belichick, head coach of the New England Patriots, is the hoodied wonder. Sometimes literally cloaked in secrecy, he’s known for saying little to media and eschewing the public spotlight. Yet master rhetors can learn a lot by studying Belichick at work…on the football field.

Yes, his press tactics and curt eloquence are worthy of rhetorical study, but I want to look at something I call “The Belichick Process.” It has nothing to do with what Belichick says or wears and has everything to do with how he thinks.

Let’s kick this off:

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Reality v. Media: Tebow Edition

JML has an excellent blog post over at The Midside about Tim Tebow, the Patriots, and getting the chance you deserve:

“[They said] He simply wasn’t good enough. His throwing mechanics were all wrong. He didn’t have the arm strength. He was better suited, due to his physicality and running ability, to be a tight end or running back of some kind. Never had a player been scouted and analyzed by so much of the American populace. Soon it seemed that almost every person was absolutely sure that Tebow would never be able to play quarterback in the NFL. That opinion became the unquestionable and irrefutable truth. Anyone who supported the former Gator from that point on wasn’t just a Tebow fan; he was a Tebowmaniac.”
The Tebow Myth

The media scrutiny of Tebow is a teachable moment for rhetors. Baseless assertions are not arguments. How can a pundit say Tebow will not be successful in the NFL if he hasn’t been given a chance in the NFL? The claim is disconnected from reality.