ATLANTA ( - Many have tried to spin Super Bowl LIII as old school vs. new school, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick trying to win a sixth Lombardi Trophy against the NFL's latest flavor of the month, Jared Goff and Sean McVay.

The problem with that is the old dog -- in this case, Belichick -- seems to always be ahead of the curve despite the ageism that seems to be overtaking our society.

So many confuse new with innovation and to be fair, everything innovative is by definition new but the larger point here is that not everything new is innovative.

Think about it this way, for every good idea that turns into something in any industry there are hundreds abandoned because they never pan out.

Belichick is now a senior citizen but instead of worrying about the next AARP discount he's often teaching the so-called innovators in the NFL a thing or two when it comes to offensive and defensive schemes on the field. His willingness to embrace new ideas before others reaches off the field as well, however, and Josh McDaniels let the world in on one example earlier this week when the offensive coordinator said the Patriots have a special room with float tanks for the coaches to sleep at Gillette Stadium, something that can simulate four to five hours of sleep in just 40 or 45 minutes.

Float tanks have been around since the late 1970s but have recently been embraced by the fitness world. As usual, it seems like the Patriots were at the forefront of that acceptance.

Sports Illustrated got a hold of the CEO of Superior Float Tanks, James Ramsey, who said that Belichick discovered the devices while visiting with the United States Special Forces in 2014.

“[Belichick] is at the forefront of technology,” Ramsey told SI. “I feel like, people don’t understand. He’s not cheating. He just knows things that people don’t know.”

Maybe a better way to phrase that is a willingness to learn from others and embrace new ideas.

Ramsey was told to keep quiet about the tanks that the Pats had installed but McDaniels wasn't talking out of turn. While the float tanks became public this week, news travels fast in the league and other teams have already started using the devices with one of them being the Pats' opponent in SB LII, the Los Angeles Rams.

Tom Brady, meanwhile, coughed up $30K to get a commercial model in his home.

As for the latest innovation? Those of us behind the curve will just have to wait for that.

-John McMullen is a national football columnist for Extra Points Media and You can reach him at or on Twitter @JFMcMullen

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