New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick has a bone to pick on this Halloween, and he is waging war with meteorologists over the forecast for this weekend’s match-up at Gillette Stadium with the Denver Broncos. With a strong coastal storm looming off the New England coast this weekend, and considerable uncertainty remaining in the exact track of the system as to how much rain, snow and wind is received along the coast, Belichick isn’t exactly pleased with the forecasts he has heard. This latest development came along on Friday morning, after Belichick was asked about the expected weather conditions for Sunday afternoon’s game against the Broncos.
NFL coaches are always looking at the weather forecast, and implementing it into their game plan as weather conditions can have a huge impact on the coaching strategy. It was just two weeks ago when Belichick had his team practice with wet footballs to prepare for the rain that was in the forecast for Thursday night’s game against the Jets. It was not the first time Belichick has taken such measures, although on this particular occasion, as he mentioned, the heavy rainfall never came.
Among those who have coached at least 200 NFL games, Belichick has the fifth-highest winning percentage with a 205-107 record, a 65.7% winning percentage. In the postseason, he is 19-9 and a similar 67.9% winning percentage. NBC Charlotte meteorologist Brad Panovich pointed out in a recent blog post on the accuracy of meteorologists that a 24-hour weather forecast has a 94% accuracy.
Belichick states that he would be fired if he had the accuracy of meteorologists.
“I’m just telling you — if I did my job the way they do theirs, I’d be here about a week,” the coach said, indicating he’d quickly be fired for being so wrong. “Based on the forecasts we’ve gotten so far this year, none of them have been close to what game conditions were. There was 100 percent chance of rain last week, and the only water I saw was on the Gatorade table. It is what it is,” he said. “My experience going with the forecast in this area, two days before the game, I’d bet a lot that they’re wrong — just based on history, because they’re almost always wrong. An hour before the game? Maybe. You might have something to work with there. But if you start game-planning for what the weather is going to be, and you game-plan wrong, you’ve wasted a lot of time. When you walk out on the field, that’s really when you know what it is,” he added. “The rest of it really is just a lot of hot air.”
Those are some harsh words for somebody who probably never took a course in meteorology, as he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1975 from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. Plus, he admits that if predicting the weather were his job, he certainly wouldn’t be in the Meteorologist Hall of Fame. And Bill, our winning percentage is way better, so maybe you should be fired.