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Darth Vader Again!

charlie’s inside corner

POSTED January 29, 2018 10:44 a.m.

Head coach Bill Belichick, of the New England Patriots, is in the Super Bowl — again. Belichick is the Darth Vader of professional football. The guy, the team, that most fans love to hate. Belichick and the Patriots have replaced the New York Yankees as the most “rooted against” sports team in the country.
Darth Vader, also known by his birth name, ANAKIN SKYWALKER, is the villain in the popular movie series STAR WARS. The American Film Institute listed him as the third greatest movie villain in cinema history. Most certainly, Belichick ranks near the top of villains in the National Football League, except to Patriot fans.
Belichick has led the Patriots to 16 AFC East division titles and 13 appearances in the AFC Championship game and nine Super Bowl appearances. He is the NFL’s longest-tenured head coach and first in playoff coaching wins. In short, the dude can coach a little whether you root against him or not! Heck, he was even smart enough to only be the coach of the New York Jets for one day!
Keep in mind that under Belichick and owner Robert Kraft, the Patriots have continued this run of phenomenal success against all odds. The very setup of the NFL stacks the deck against successful teams. The more games you win, the tougher your schedule will be the next year. The more games you win, the lower on the draft order you will be the following year. In short, the strategy of the NFL is to make all teams competitive, all teams with a .500 record.
Thus, there is a premium on coaching and management. Though Belichick is listed as the head coach of the Patriots he is, in effect, also the general manager with almost total control of this team. Against a stacked deck against the Patriots, he not only keeps them winning but winning at a championship level.
So, like it or not football fans, DARTH VADER of the NFL is back in the Super Bowl. THE FORCE may be with the Eagles but the Patriots have Darth Vader. Who among you would be so foolish as to bet against him?

PREP BASKETBALL
What had been a promising 4-1 start for the Larned Indian boys basketball team has changed into a free-fall as they have lost 8 straight coming out of the Christmas break. They’ve lost their “mojo” and scoring has been a problem as numerous games have shown struggles shooting the ball. With the balance of a tough Central Kansas League slate remaining, the answers to a fix become urgent.
Meanwhile the Great Bend Panthers are playing some of their better basketball but are still failing to register those all-important wins. The Bluestem classic provided an important victory but a near-miss against Wichita Trinity only tantalized coaches and players.
The boys from Hoisington continue to improve and surprise. A six-point championship game win over Pratt completed a surprising run to the trophy in their own Winter Jam tournament. Coach Kyle Haxton’s team of young players is growing up fast!
What does a leaderless Tribe and the Super Bowl have in common? NO CHIEFS!

Buddy Tabler is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune and his views don’t necessarily reflect those of the paper. He can be reached at budtabler@gmail.com.

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