Parsing the Patriots Paradox

Their coach can be cold. And sure, they cheated. But the unbeaten Pats are the perfect team for an imperfect NFL season

Matt Campbell / epa / Corbis

Given a trip of upgraded receivers by Belichick, including a reformed Moss, Brady delivered a sterling season

So you think Bill Belichick, head coach of the perfect New England Patriots, the hoodie-wrapped Houdini of the sidelines, dresses down on game days? You should check out his sartorial selections during the week. Before a practice in late November, Belichick is wearing jeans and a ratty gray shirt; it looks as if a dog--and then a hyena--has feasted on his collar.

Outside of New England, fans are howling about Belichick and his team. For a healthy dose of anti-Pats vitriol, just visit the I Hate New England Patriots and Evil Patriots blogs on the Web. Belichick is asked if this...

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