In 2001, Patriots coach Bill Belichick buried a ball after a 1-3 start in an attempt to get his players to focus on the future rather than the past.
The Pats would lose two more games that year and win the Super Bowl. Jets coach Rex Ryan stole the bit in 2010 after a blowout loss to Belichick’s Patriots and the Jets went on to beat the Pats in New England in the playoffs on their way to the AFC Championship Game.
Raiders interim coach Tony Sparano hopes lightning strikes thrice. A video from NFL Media shows Sparano with a shovel and a ball telling his team to bury the memories of their 0-4 start along with the ball.
“Here’s your shovel, here’s your tool and those four games are over with. And we’re about ready to go to work here,” Sparano said. “Everybody understand that?”
The players then took turns shoveling or kicking dirt into the hole to cover up the ball. The gambit’s past success is going to be hard to repeat as this Raiders team has showed little of the talent of those AFC East clubs, but you certainly can’t blame Sparano for trying anything he can to snap the Raiders out of the doldrums they’ve been living in for far too long.