No detail of a football game escapes the attention of New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who has managed to apply an element of control to what seems like the chanciest of moments at a football game: the coin flip.
Belichick, a man for whom the Large Hadron Collider would be a Fisher-Price toy if he were a scientist, prefers to say little in his classic press conferences, but when he does speak, he always has something interesting to say about strategy and the micro level on which he approaches the game.
"It's one of the things we discuss prior to the game," he said of the coin flip to the Boston Globe's Jim McBride. "We try to do what's best for that particular game, for that particular situation.
"Sometimes we actually withhold that decision until we see what the actual field conditions are for that particular game — like last Thursday night (when the Dolphins won the toss and deferred). Games that are weather games, that could affect our decision, too."
So far, pretty pedestrian, right? But there are other factors, too, and Belichick considers them all. Which may be why his teams have won 19 of the past 25 — an "impossible clip," according to CBS Sports.
"Assuming the coin toss is a 50/50 proposition," CBS Sports' Ryan Wilson writes, "the probability of winning it at least 19 times in 25 tries is 0.0073. That's less than three-quarters of 1 percent."
"How you want to start the game (is a consideration). What your offense is, what the defensive game plan is. Maybe not the first play, but in general, here's how we want to start the game. Maybe that affects it," Belichick said. "There can be a lot of factors, so we try to consider them all and try to do what's best."