Matt Patricia learned from the very best. Bill Belichick taught him how to win the biggest games with great regularity. He also showed his young squire how to adopt all the affectations of a singularly focused, hardscrabble football coach.
Neither can be bothered to clean up and put on real clothes. The more slovenly a football guy looks, the more serious. Who has time to attend to personal hygiene when there’s tape to eat? Neither has time for the press, who must be talked down to and treated like an annoying child in the backseat asking if they’re there yet at ever exit.
Although both guys are acutely aware of what’s being written and said and care more than they let on.
The act works better — in fact it only works — if buoyed by on-field success. Patricia walked into Detroit and believed Same Old Lions was only mysticism. It’s not. It’s very real.
Anyone who thinks otherwise is welcome to point out to me how Week 1 against the Arizona Cardinals wasn’t pure, uncut Lions. An epic fourth-quarter meltdown took away all hope for a productive season and should leave a metallic taste in the mouth of all the sad, tortured Michiganders who tune in thinking that this year, somehow, will be different.
Patricia took responsibility for calling timeout just before a third-down conversion that would have salted the game away for Detroit. It’s cool that he’s owning the mistake — and it was understandable in the moment. But it’s at moments like these that the whole Obsessed Football Coach shtick rings even more ridiculous.
Patricia, a big office rat, let it be known that he didn’t sleep Sunday night after the loss.
Good to see that mattress is not getting any use.
No one, of course, needs to know this. It’s a not-so-subtle humble brag supposedly proving a coach works harder than anyone else. But maybe, just maybe, it’d be helpful for Patricia to take one of the 1,440 minutes in the waking day to realize he can trust his veteran quarterback in key moments. What good is around-the-clock work if there’s never an epiphany that sometimes you just have to let go?
One wonders what the Lions’ record would be in the 17 games Patricia has been at the helm if he took his foot off the pedal. Imagine winning six of those contests. That’d be horrible. Definitely something to lose sleep over.
You probably don’t have to read very hard to feel the beaten-down, apathetic vibes here. That’s what 35 years of absolute soul-crushing professional football will do to a guy. I’ve just seen too many people I love lost to caring about the freaking Lions. Or, at least, letting the inevitable failure have a negative impact.
It’d be great if Patricia turns out to be the guy who pulls this sunken ship off the bottom of the ocean. I’m not rooting against him.
But he can go ahead and rest easy knowing that sneaking a few winks here or there won’t make things worse. In fact, had he dozed off late in the fourth quarter Sunday, perhaps the Lions are 1-0.
Every Honolulu blue has a silver lining.