Bill Belichick is a great strategist and a winner. Richard Nixon was a great strategist and a winner, too. Bill and Dick treated their opponents as formidable.

President Richard Nixon has been gone for a long time, but we are reminded of him constantly due to conditions in Washington, D.C. and the need to fill the hours of cable news shows.

Bill Belichick has established himself as one of the greatest coaches in the history of professional American football. His accomplishments have built him a devoted following and an equally devoted chorus of detractors.

Nixon was going to re-elected president in 1972. His opponent, Sen. George McGovern, was the candidate of "Acid, Abortion, and Amnesty," while President Nixon was the candidate of law and order and the middle-class voters who rejected the lawlessness of the radical left.

But for some reason, the people around President Nixon felt driven to break into the Watergate Hotel headquarters of the Democratic National Committee to gather intelligence. The Watergate burglars intended to use illegal electronic surveillance equipment to learn about the plans of the political team they were going to crush on Election Day.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick has been caught using electronic surveillance equipment to gather intelligence on his opponents in the past. A member of the Foxboro, Massachusetts-based organization was just caught using electronic equipment to record the Cincinnati Bengals.

I won't compare Sen. George McGovern to the Bengals. McGovern helped to defeat the Nazis as a pilot in World War II. But the Bengals have about as much of a chance to beat the Patriots as he did to beat President Nixon.

The Patriots are claiming they didn't do anything wrong on purpose. Maybe. But they are agreeing they were wrong to tape the Bengals.

Nixon and Belichick both play hard in their respective occupations. Old habits die hard and sometimes they can kill you.

Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at chris.mccarthy@townsquaremedia.com and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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