New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is always thinking one step ahead of his competition. He knows the value of preparation and the importance of perfect execution. He understands that champions have targets on their back and none have had a bigger target than the one on the Patriots at this point in time.
It's why Belichick created a time machine to provide advice to Bill Belichick.
Belichick traveled back in time to January 23rd, 2003 to ensure that his past self would be ready for the future. He knew that the 2002 Super Bowl hangover from the Patriots was unacceptable and he wanted to ensure that 2003 and 2004 would be far more successful. He also wanted to give advice to his 2015 self.
"Congratulations, Champion," Belichick writes to himself. "Yes. Champion...You're the best, and few can ever say that. Wait until you see the ring! You can count on one hand the moments that top putting that baby on."
Of course, the "you can count on one hand" reference is a tip of the hat acknowledgement that all of Belichick's rings can't fit on one hand. After the self-congratulations, Belichick made sure that Belichick knew about the offseason following a Super Bowl victory.
"Several of your players (and their agents) will come looking for a little extra at contract time," Belichick says in an obvious finger wag at Darrelle Revis. "After all, didn't they make Fantasyland possible? Of course they did. Be ready."
"You'll start to worry about your depth at guard, your sixth cornerback, your backup swing tackle," Belichick writes, reminding himself to draft Tre Jackson, Shaq Mason, and Darryl Roberts, and also to extend Marcus Cannon's contract.
"We're envious, but not of Fantasyland," Belichick says, referring to the Super Bowl. "We're envious because we lost, and you can count on one hand all the things worse than losing."
Belichick wanted to make sure everyone knew why DeflateGate was blown out of proportion, and why the complaints all came from teams the Patriots defeated in the playoffs. They're envious because they lost. And they conjured up a nonsensical scandal, where the subsequent seven months of coverage is one of the items that is worse than losing.
But Belichick reminds himself that the past is the past; don't get hung up on the deficiencies of teams that were defeated along the way.
"Do your job," Belichick writes to himself. "Now, good luck."