In a riveting new book ‘The Asterisk,’ the author gives the reader a first-hand account of the differences between New England Patriots’ Coach Bill Belichick and Pittsburgh Steelers’ Mike Tomlin, two of the winningest coaches in the National Football League. The book doesn’t hold any punches in outlining the pros and cons of both coaches approach to success.
The book also gives the reader an extensive historical outline of the two organization by giving a comparison analysis of the Steelers’ 70s success and the Patriots success in the 2000s. The Asterisk, described as ‘A Fan’s Rallying Cry’ also give an in-depth look at Rule Changes and cheating by the Patriots in two of the AFC Championships in the early 2000s.
“In 2007 the Pittsburgh Steelers hired Mike Tomlin as head coach. Little did he know the changes that would occur during his time as coach of one of the most storied franchises in professional football. Some of the changes have had significant effects on his meteoric rise, him being one of the youngest NFL head coaches to ever win a championship. Tomlin led the Steelers to glory at Super Bowl XLIII.
During his close to thirty-minute press conference after Art Rooney II announced him as head coach, a reporter asked him about the type of offense he would like to see. His response was more emblematic of the old league:
Um a fundamentalist football team that wins by attrition, that’s mentally and physically tough. You know, in order to win in the NFL, you have to stop the run, you gotta run the ball effectively. To be general, that’s what our football team will be about.
Little did Tomlin know, the New England Patriots would be dominant against that strategy for his entire tenure, even owning the Steelers during regular season and postseason play at times. But it is very important to point out that as of 2018, Tomlin’s .659 winning percentage among active NFL head coaches is second only to the Patriots’ Bill Belichick (.679). Did Spygate, Headsetgate, Deflategate, and the League’s rule changes have an effect on the .20 percentage difference between the two coaches?
Belichick’s perceived greatness would have a little less luster if he was considered the second winningest coach behind Tomlin. Imagine that for a couple of seconds. Why is it not reasonable to assume that some of Belichick’s success came about as a result of cheating the sport, as well as the implementation of Goodell’s rule changes that, as discussed, had the effect of benefiting less athletic players like Tom Brady?
By all accounts there’s no love lost between the organizations, at least from Coach Tomlin’s perspective. This was evident when Pittsburgh’s star receiver, Antonio Brown, filmed a Facebook Live session in the locker room after the Steelers stunning 18-16 win over the Kansas City Chiefs after a 2017 AFC Playoff Game. Mike Tomlin used colorful words about the Patriots…”