We are living in a very exciting time in the NFL, with a slew of talented players in the league, and no shortage of players who look amazing on paper. But every once in the while, the NFL is blessed with players who bring to the table more than just numbers on a stat sheet. Every once in while, we are lucky enough to watch a team whose magic and chemistry transcends analytics, logic, and sports in general. Friends, whether you like it or not, the modern day New England Patriots are one of these teams, and it owes its legendary status in many ways to its coach Bill Belichick.
The Patriots are a team that you either love, hate, or appreciate genuinely from a moderate distance, perhaps afraid of getting too close. And it goes without saying that with any team, you need a great cast of role players, and of course – leaders. Tom Brady, their future Hall of Fame quarterback, is one of these leaders, but just as important is head coach Belichick. This is a man who many consider to be the greatest coach of all-time – but although his accomplishments are undeniable, so are some of the controversial actions he’s done in process. So how well do you really know Bill Belichick?
He may have led the Patriots to a total of 15 AFC East division titles, and he may have led them to 12 AFC playoff Championship games. He may have led the Patriots to an irrefutably impressive eight Super Bowl appearances and finally – he may have helped them win five of those Super Bowls in dramatically epic fashion. But Bill Belichick has also done many other things in his career that raised many eyebrows, and made people doubt his overall moral ground when it came to fair play on the competitive field. Some of these things you may have heard of – such as his assistant getting caught videotaping an opponents sideline plays.
That being said, Belichick has also done many positive things with his life off of the field – although he is generally a private person, there are certain things we’ve uncovered about his day to day life that may change your overall opinion on the man for the better. And although his general demeanour on camera may suggest otherwise, he does enjoy letting loose and enjoying himself every now and then – such as joining Jon Bon Jovi himself on stage on a wild night out a long time ago. Unexpected stories just like that one are in store for you, so stay tuned as we go through the ups and downs of Bill Belichick’s life.
On the prowl
Before we start talking about Bill’s football career, and the impressive, yet questionable methods that enabled him to succeed so prolifically – we’re going to talk about how he used those talents in the ladies department. Decades before he had accomplished all he had done, Belichick got married to his high school sweetheart, Debby Clarke. But as time went on, they would gradually drift apart – and Bill was now single, ready to mingle, and on the prowl.
Avid club goer
Apparently, Bill likes going out to clubs – one night, Bill decided he’d allow himself to have a little bit of fun. Whether or not he was planning on meeting someone special is unclear, but he obviously got himself dressed up for a reason, understanding that anything is possible. So he found himself one night at a dark Florida club in 2007, probably unable to hear with all of the loud noise blaring in his ear. Luckily, he didn’t need ears to see the pretty women in his vicinity.
Boyfriend in the way
He then met a woman who was a boutique owner and entrepreneur named Linda Holliday. After the falling apart of his previous marriage, Bill must have been waiting for something like this. It seemed that Linda, who had also been married in the past, was also ecstatic about meeting him. But there was a little problem – she was actually seeing someone else at the time. It’s unclear what she thought was going to happen at that point, but Bill was ready to do all he could to get her.
Flowers are forward
If his tactics on the football field are any indicative reflection on how he handles himself with women, than it should come as no surprise how he managed to woo Linda Holliday into his personal quarters, even when she had a boyfriend. Reportedly he actually sent her flowers the day after they had met – and the funniest part about it all was that Linda’s boyfriend signed for them. The note on the flowers said, “Thanks for the wonderful evening.”
Sooner or later, Bill had Linda convinced that he was the one for her, and she began to pursue him just as much as he was pursuing her, and when that happens – you have romantic bliss. The two eventually got together, and reports say that they are very happy now. Even if these reports didn’t exist, it seems that it should be clear to all of us how happy they are, when you consider their smiles in this picture – and Bill doesn’t often smile for the camera.
New England Instagrammers
Bill Belichick was always known has a serious, reserved, willing-to-break-the-rules coach (as we’ll discuss very shortly). It was unclear to most of us if he ever likes to have fun when he’s not coaching football games – let alone if he likes to play around with new-generation applications such as Instagram. But ever since he and Linda got married, she’s got the word out on Bill – he does like to have fun, and thanks to her, he’s officially on Instagram too.
But before we move on to the different aspects of Bill’s life, such as the murky things that have existed regarding his time on the football field, we have to note that his love life hasn’t exactly always been peaches and cream. Or at least – it was better than it needed to be, and with the wrong person. This was a separate occurrence that took place around the time after Bill Belichick had gotten divorced – and it wasn’t pretty at all.
The husband of former New York Giants receptionist Sharon Shenocca accused her of having an intimate relationship with Belichick. When the case was brought to the New Jersey legal system, they discovered that she had a separate income source – a monthly $3,000 deposit that was allegedly coming from Bill himself. In addition, they discovered that Bill had sent Shenocca a trip to Disney World on a private jet – and although that actually sounds kind of fun, that’s not something you send a married woman.
Cheating against the Rams?
Now we’re going to start talking about the different shady things that Bill has done in his football career. Let’s start with the 2002 Patriots-Rams Super Bowl game, where opponent Marshall Faulk had some accusatory remarks about it. He acknowledged the coaching prowess of Belichick, but he said that the Rams ran a play they had never ran before at the end of the game, and that the Patriots somehow knew what was about to happen. These are things that are hard to prove, but it certainly makes you wonder.
Caught cheating against the Steelers
Two years after Faulk accused Belichick for having known more than he was supposed to regarding their plays, James Harrison called Bill out for a very similar reason. In the 2004 AFC game, a dominant Steelers team were perplexed when the Patriots were able to read 90 percent of their blitzes – especially when they had already beaten New England in the regular season. This time, Belichick was proven guilty, but all he got was a $500,000 fine.
Don Shula, the former coach for the Miami Dolphins also agreed in 2015 that Belichick has always been an unfair competitor, even going so far as to give him the nickname “Beli-cheat”. Some people may find this nickname to be harsh, but when you devote your life to the sport of football like so many of these players do, it’s hard to lose and then find out the games weren’t being played fairly – that type of deception can leave scars.
And against the Ravens
In the 2015 AFC playoff divisional game, the Patriots were losing by 14 points, and eventually came back to win. But like many cases before, Ravens coach John Harbaugh was suspicious that Belichick knew way more than he should have about the his defense’s plays. “It was clearly deception,” he said, as he reflected on the heartbreak of losing the game. Belichick is a legendary coach, but his unethical methods may tarnish a legacy that could have potentially been a lot greater.
Caught red handed
An unfortunate occurrence took place one game in 2007 when the Patriots played the Jets – Matt Estrella, a Patriots coaching staff assistant, was caught on the Jets sideline videotaping their team. Belichick later confessed and apologized for what he had done, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell fined him $500,000, along with a future Patriots draft pick. This was an event that didn’t help Belichick’s reputation, and some people still wonder if he’s secretly sticking to his old tricks.
For those of you who don’t know about “Deflategate”, listen up and listen good. In a super important AFC Championship game against the Colts, the Patriots crushed them 45-7, but when the game was over, something strange was discovered. Upon investigating the football that was used with in the game, officials noticed that they were slightly deflated. Belichick, Brady, and the Patriots organization denied any involvement, but the league didn’t buy it, giving the team a $1 million dollar fine and relinquishing a few more future draft picks.
Ever since the start of the new millennium, the world has been taken by the stormy waves of tablets and smartphones. Belichick decided to take the plunge as well, experimenting with a tablet in order to streamline his playmaking system – except it didn’t exactly go too well. On October 2016, onlookers watched Belichick smash a tablet on the ground during a game, fed up with its inconsistency and inability to perform. “They’re just too undependable for me,” he said, sticking with traditional drawing boards ultimately.
A tactic that Belichick once used to try and psych out an opposing team was to put thermometers in their pre-game tunnel. It was well known around the league that the Patriots play well in the cold, and he wanted to remind the opposing team that they were in an uncomfortable climate. But what was his reasoning for it? After all, they were playing a Jets team that had no chance of making the playoffs, and the Patriots were poised to win anyway – perhaps certain rivalries are just that powerful.
Relentless record breaker
We mentioned earlier how Belichick and the Patriots were caught red handed video taping the hand signals of the New York Jets one game, and that it resulted in a $500,000 fine. But what you may not know is that this fine was the biggest fine for a coach to ever receive in NFL history. It’s funny, because Belichick has broken so many positive records as well, in regards to his team’s legendary success. Clearly a good milestone goes a long way for him, regardless of the type.
Here’s an interesting fact about Bill that may give you a newfound appreciation for who he is. As a popular celebrity who is constantly under the spotlight, he is naturally approached by car dealers who want to give him free cars, in hopes that his driving of them will help advertise their brand. Unfortunately for them, Bill has a good friend named Jim Farrell who is also a car dealer – and he only buys cars from him, in support of his friend’s business.
A good heart
It would also do quite well for you to know that Bill Belichick is an active humanitarian. Alongside NFL legend Jim Brown, Belichick works on a program called Amer-I-can, which lends emotional support and aid to the ones who are locked up in prison. Say what you want about his methods on the football field, but it needs to be acknowledged that the work he has done with them is highly commendable, and we thank him for it.
When you are a head coach, or for that matter any position of authority in relation to a professional sports team, you are given a lot of power. And sometimes that power comes back to bite you in harsh ways. During his time coaching the Cleveland Browns, Belichick received a lot of negative attention for cutting a fan favorite quarterback Bernie Kosar. People were so angry with him that he started receiving actual death threats – to the point where he was given protection from the FBI.
Here’s a cool fact about Bill Belichick that may intrigue you unexpectedly. While he may not seem like the most jovial guy on the street, Bill is apparently a fan of rock ‘n roll. Or at least… he’s friends with Bon Jovi, a rock star. Indeed, not only are the legendary singer and the head coach good friends, but they’re close enough that Bon Jovi even invited him and Charlie Weis, the Patriots defensive coordinator, on stage at a show once.
Video game no show
For all of you avid video gamers out there, you may very well appreciate this interesting fact about Bill Belichick. Madden NFL is one of the best football video games out there, for the realistic graphics of the players and coaches. That is, unless you choose to play as the Patriots. For whatever reason, Belichick isn’t shown on the game as their head coach – which is strange, considering he’s seen as one of the best coaches in history.
Old school nicknames
Throughout his entire NFL coaching career, Bill Belichick has been given a plethora of nicknames, and not everybody knows about all of them. When he started working for teams such as the New York Giants, the Detroit Lions and the Denver Broncos, his wealth of football knowledge earned him the nickname “Boy Genius,” but his attitude also got him the name “Punk.” Finally, in his time with the New York Jets, Bill Parcells found Belichick to have an aloof demeanour, so he gave him the alias “Doom and Gloom.”
One and done
Before he started coaching the Patriots, Bill Belichick had went through a slew of coaching jobs for other teams. One of the most interesting gigs out of them all was his one-day tenure as a head coach for the New York Jets. He had been the assistant coach under Bill Parcells, and Parcells stood down to let him take his place. Unfortunately, this didn’t seem to be what Belichick wanted. Stating that he didn’t want to coach a “team in transition,” he resigned after one game.
We want you
The nature of how Belichick came to join the Patriots is very interesting. In fact, he was “acquired” by the Patriots off of the Jets in the year 2000 in exchange for a first-round draft pick. The fact that New England was so eager to get Belichick that they’d be willing to give up a first-rounder makes you wonder how in the world they knew he would be such a success for them. They clearly had a gut feeling, and an acute eye for real talent.
A common misconception of the professionals of the world who make everything they do look easy is that they have no outside help. It’s true that each of these individuals has something raw and unique about them that keeps them relentless and motivated, but no man or woman is an island. Such is also the case with Bill Belichick, for although his confident demeanour suggests otherwise, he actually has his own personal advisor, Patriots director of football research Ernie Adams, who is Belichick’s wizard behind the scenes during games.
In any major organization, especially one as successful as the modern day New England Patriots, there is generally an overflow of talented and intelligent people – and sometimes they can’t help but but heads. Such has been the case recently with Tom Brady’s personal trainer Alex Guerrero, who apparently had many Patriots players influenced by his advice – even if it came into conflict with what the medical staff was advising – something that led Belichick to relinquish Guerrero from team privileges.
Crazy college days
Most people know Bill Belichick well for his mostly reserved behavior on the sidelines of the football field. But it turns out that when he was in college, he was a lot more extroverted and rowdy. His 1975 Wesleyan University days were something out of a teenage comedy movie, and we know this because former classmates of his have come out of the woodworks recently and claimed that Belichick (pictured on the right below) could frequently be found among frat boys who were urinating on the houses of rivals.
Less success elsewhere
Although Belichick has earned himself a cornucopia of accomplishments during his time on the Patriots, his coaching stints on other teams were less successful. During his five seasons with the Cleveland Browns, in only one of those seasons did his team have a winning record, and it certainly makes you think. It’s hard to imagine the Patriots accomplishing everything they have done without the help of Belichick, but then again – clearly he needed them just as much as they needed him, if not more.
The punch line to anything you might say about Belichick and all of his questionable antics is that he is without a doubt one of the best NFL coaches of all time, and many consider him to be the absolute best. It’s hard to argue against this case, when you consider that the Belichick and Brady Patriots have accumulated more playoffs wins in 17 seasons than teams such as the Cardinals, Browns, and Lions have put up in their combined 231 seasons of existence in the league.