It might be more than 20 years since Welsh rockers Funeral for a Friend (yes, that’s right, a screamo who shares their name with an Elton John song, just go with it) released “The Art of American Football.” And their central tenet is as valid now as it was then; in many ways, football is about painting pictures.
And some coaches are better at it than others, but what if the coaches were Renaissance painters? Yes, I know you’ve never considered it, but I have. In some depth, as it turns out.
Jerod Mayo – Raphael
They’re both the youngest in their fields. Raphael is well known for his “Madonna's”. He is known to have painted 34 images of the Virgin Mary with a child. Mayo’s Grandfather was a pastor, and he has been known to lean on his faith. In an interview before Super Bowl XLVI, Mayo said, “It’s all about faith, family, and football, in that particular order.”
Like Mayo, who worked under Belichick before his promotion, Raphael was an apprentice in Perugia, although Raphael began his life as an assistant at the age of 12! He learned from Umbrian painter Petro Perugino in the late 15th Century, eventually graduating to paint frescoes in the Vatican between 1508 and 1517.
Patriots’ fans can only hope Mayo’s career at the helm culminates with nine years of magnificence!
Mike McDaniel – Tintoretto
Tintoretto was known for his use of bright colors, and after his 1592 painting of The Last Supper, he is usually compared to Da Vinci. McDaniel’s offense is known for eye-catching plays, but his struggles against teams with a winning record mean he’s still in Kyle Shanahan’s shadow. And yes, that does make Shanahan Leonardo da Vinci.
Tintoretto was nicknamed “Il Furioso” or the furious; McDaniel doesn’t get angry very often. But when he does, he is definitely Il Furioso.
Sean McDermott – Hieronymus Bosch
Bosch is renowned for his depictions of depicting the human anxieties regarding death and the afterlife. And if that doesn’t sound like watching the Bills this season, what does?
Robert Saleh – Caravaggio
This one’s a bit of an extreme comparison; Caravaggio did commit some heinous crimes, something Saleh has not. But he does tend to look absolutely furious at officials. Rather, like Tintoretto, Caravaggio is usually viewed as the second-best painter in his chosen field.
Caravaggio was born Michaelangelo Merisi and suffered as a result. Not only was he born with the same name as THE Michaelangelo (Buonarotti), but they also lived in the same city, Rome. And Caravaggio was just seven years younger than his namesake.
And yes, that makes Kyle Shanahan THE Michaelangelo, too (just go with that, too).
Despite being named after Michael the Archangel, they had very different outlooks on life. Buonarotti’s art fell on the immaculate side of Michael, while Caravaggio was more taken with the Saint’s “spiritual warrior” side. Caravaggio’s art is described as “intense” and “unsettling, " two things Jets fans are well used to by now.