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Bill Belichick - Tom Brady beef, Celtics injuries, Tiger Woods

Crunch Time is a sports gossip column by Metro Boston sports editor Matt Burke
Tom Brady
Bill Belichick reportedly took all the fun out of the 2017 season for the Patriots. Getty Images

The “Butch from the Cape” of our time, “Carlton in Norwell,” believes that Robert Kraft essentially fired Bill Belichick in the hours after the Super Bowl loss to the Eagles and brought back Josh McDaniels to take over for him. The issue, of course, is that Bill Belichick is still the head coach of the New England Patriots in mid-March.

Still, it’s clear that there is some sort of power struggle going on in Foxboro. The easiest scenarios are as follows: Belichick wanted to trade Brady after this season and go with Jimmy Garoppolo in 2018. Robert Kraft made it clear to Belichick he did not want that to happen, so Belichick essentially told him, “It’s your funeral,” and traded the heir apparent. In turn - Belichick, in an attempt to make it clear to everyone that he still runs the show, benched Malcolm Butler in the Super Bowl despite Butler’s popularity in the locker room.

Tom Brady was one of Butler’s big supporters and is reportedly tired of Belichick’s cynicism. Here is Gisele Bundchen during the final “Tom vs. Time” episode that came out this week: “These last two years have been very challenging for him in so many ways, and he tells me, ‘I love [football] so much and I just want to go to work and feel appreciated and have fun.”

“Appreciation” and “fun” was sorely lacking in Foxboro this past season, according to multiple reports. So while Carlton’s conspiracy theory is the craziest to date, I’ll believe just about anything related to Pats hierarchy drama at this point.


America loves Tiger

The self-righteous crowd (i.e. most golf fans) were ecstatic that Tiger Woods’ play dropped off dramatically following that bizarre incident in November 2009 when Tiger was chased out of his home by his now ex-wife Elin Nordegren. Nordegren, you’ll remember, was trying to KO Tiger with a golf club after she learned that he had been cheating on her. She smashed out the back window of his car, and then Tiger drove said car into a fire hydrant. What a night.

Anyway, Tiger has seen his career take an unprecedented nosedive since. In turn, golf’s TV ratings have plummeted.

But Tiger was in the mix this past weekend to win something called the Valspar Championship and it’s clear by now that America wants this redemption story to happen. NBC saw a record 3.26 overnight rating on Saturday for its coverage of Valspar’s third round. It was the highest rated Round 3 of a PGA Tour event on any broadcast network since 2006.

Is Tiger a scumbag for being a serial cheater? Yup. But here’s willing to bet that eight out of 10 of your favorite athletes or celebrities are also A-Holes behind closed doors too.

Can’t wait for The Masters.


The Celtics are cursed

This Celtics season is starting to feel cursed. First came the gruesome Gordon Hayward injury on opening night, then came the lingering issues Kyrie Irving has been having with his knee, then came the news Monday that Daniel Theis (one of the true feel-good stories of the season) is out for the season with a torn meniscus, and that Marcus Smart has a torn tendon in his right thumb.

The Irving knee issues are particularly worrisome as Irving left Sunday’s game against the Pacers with “left knee soreness.” This was the same soreness that caused Irving to miss last Monday’s game against the Bulls.

Celtics boss Danny Ainge told 98.5’s Toucher and Rich last week that Irving will likely “have to manage [the knee soreness] the rest of his career,” but added that it’s not “anything serious.”

Given that Irving is the key to the next championship for the franchise, this is something to be concerned about for sure.

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