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Home » New England PatriotsNovember 2005 » Happy About Halberstam

Happy About Halberstam

If only I could write as well as David Halberstam spoke. He is able to weave a rich tapestry of words both in person and on the page. I went to Brookline Booksmith this evening to have my copies of Summer of ’49 and The Teammates autographed as well as to pick up Halberstam’s latest book The Education of a Coach. I knew that the Pulitzer prize-winning author was a great storyteller from hearing him on the radio, but he is even more charismatic in person.

Halberstam said that Bill Belichick is a genius because he has learned how to learn. This in turn made him both a great teacher and successful coach. The Patriots head coach is able to convey his strategies effectively because he knows how to help others comprehend his lofty concepts. Moreover, Belichick knew he had to earn his players’ faith by showing them how he could help them succeed. He convinced defensive linemen to follow his lead, but not because he had the on-field experience that others tout. Instead, from a young age he was an ardent student of the game; a seeming outsider, but one who used that clinical distance to observe nuances that go unnoticed when one is caught up in the fray of the game.

Since the shop is in Brookline, there was the inevitable Theo Epstein query. A customer asked Halberstam if he thought Epstein’s departure was analogous to Belichick’s resignation from the New York Jets. Halberstam said he doesn’t think enough of the Red Sox situation has been made public to make a determination yet, but did state that he saw similarities between Epstein and Belichick.

I got a copy of the book on Belichick signed to present to my dad. Much like the subject of the story, it was my dad that introduced me football. I hope to get The Teammates signed by Bobby Doerr, Dom DiMaggio, and Johnny Pesky eventually. Now there’s a Red Sox trio that I can actually admire.

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