Belichick: 'There's never been a game like that before'

Belichick: 'There's never been a game like that before'

By Tom E. Curran

When it comes to watershed moments in NFL history, the convergence of Nick Saban's glasses and Bill Belichick's sweater at the 7:40 mark of this video should be included.

You'll watch for the accessories and apparel, you'll remember it for the football.

Seriously, Wednesday's "Cleveland '95: A Football Life" is going to be as interesting as the Belichick documentary that NFL Films used to launch their "A Football Life" franchise.

The 1995 season was the Browns final one in Cleveland and it was marked by a visceral hatred by Browns fans for anyone in a position of authority with the team.

The irony is that that Browns regime - with Belichick at the head - was cast to the wind after that year and the seeds sown in Cleveland germinated throughout the NFL and in college football. Saban, Belichick, Ozzie Newsome, Scott Pioli, Eric Mangini, Thomas Dimitroff, George Kokinis, Pat Hill, Jim Schwartz and Mike Lombardi are among the coaches and personnel men who were on that staff and their influence on the game in the ensuing 17 years has been remarkable.

The documentary promises to show how Belichick's philosophy was distilled through the staff and also the strange, unprecedented circumstances of that Browns season and their final home game. Asked about that game on December 17, 1995, Belichick said, "I personally never felt threatened but it was not like a normal home game. There's never been a game like that before."


BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Could Gordon Hayward return this season?


BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Could Gordon Hayward return this season?

0:41 - Kyle Draper, Brain Scalabrine, Tommy Heinsohn, and Mike Gorman break down the Celtics loss to the Cavs and Gordon Hayward’s injury.

4:22 - Tom Curran, Michael Holley, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith give their reactions to the gruesome injury to Gordon Hayward and how it impacted the game.

9:39 - Dr. Chris Chihlas joins BST to give his medical opinion on Gordon Hayward and if he thinks there is a chance Hayward could return this season. 

13:40 - Chris Mannix and A. Sherrod Blakely discuss what the feeling was like in the arena when Hayward went down but how there is actually a 'cautious optimism' surrounding the injury.

Jayson Tatum flashes potential with double-double debut

Jayson Tatum flashes potential with double-double debut

CLEVELAND – Jayson Tatum has seen plenty of games featuring Cleveland’s LeBron James.

And in the Boston Celtics’ preparation for Tuesday night’s matchup, the 19-year-old rookie had seen plenty of James on film.

But facing him, up close and personal, was something entirely different.

“He’s way bigger than I thought,” Tatum said. “He’s way better than I imagined. That’s the reason why he is who he is.”


James’ play was among the key factors in Cleveland handing Boston a 102-99 loss on Tuesday night.

But Tatum showed he too has some big-time potential by finishing with a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds which included some nifty drives to the basket as well as showing the ability to hold his own on the glass in terms of rebounding the basketball.

The last Celtics rookie to post a double-double on opening night?

That was Larry Bird back in 1980, helping the Celtics to a 114-106 win over the Houston Rockets.

What’s even crazier?

Bird had 14 points and 10 rebounds in that Rockets game, too.

Tatum’s solid performance didn’t seem in the making in the first half when Tatum had missed all five of his shot attempts while tallying just two points.

But as the Celtics mounted their comeback, Tatum’s play was a key to the team’s improved play.

“Just being more relaxed” was how Tatum described his improved play in the second half.

Tatum added, “first half, I think I was nervous and anxious. And then the game slowed down for me. That helped out a lot.”

And the Celtics will need even more from Tatum going forward after Gordon Hayward’s left ankle injury that will keep him sidelined indefinitely.

There was plenty of room for him to improve upon following Tuesday’s game.

But for the most part, head coach Brad Stevens liked what he saw from the rookie.

“Jayson was pretty good,” Stevens said. “He did a pretty good job for a first game. That’s pretty hard to do, to be thrown into this environment, first game and play that well.”