In the scattershot moments where Patriots head coach Bill Belichick decides to let his guard down and give the rest of the world a glimpse into his personal life, philosophies, fears and goals, it’s difficult to boil down a wide-ranging conversation into a single headline.
His recent interview with author and journalist Suzy Welch in Annapolis is well worth your time and includes a cool moment where Belichick gives the owner of Mission BBQ — a restaurant that celebrates Belichickâs beloved Naval Academy — a piece of his own father’s Navy gear. Belichick’s father, Steve Belichick, was a coach and scout for Navy for more than 30 years.
“Again, I’m kind of shortsighted here,” Belichick said. “I’m good. Certainly good here this year. Good for a while. I like what I’m doing. I enjoy all parts of the game — the team building, training camp, game days, the excitement of Sundays.”
It’s still fun?
“It certainly is. It beats working.”
This nugget will be pulled from the bigger piece because there is a similar hysteria over the longevity of soon-to-be 40-year-old quarterback Tom Brady. Brady has said at different points over the last few years that he’d like to play into his early, mid and late forties. This past season, he put together an MVP caliber season despite missing four games due to suspension. But as I’ve said on the Brady issue, it’s more important to simply enjoy it while it exists. For Patriots fans, Brady and Belichick have provided a glimpse of sustained dominance that has rarely been seen in American professional sports. For those who dislike the Patriots, they have provided the perfect enemy — the rival that is despicable and unbeatable. Why else do we watch sports if not for moments like these?
Whenever Belichick retires, we may get a more substantial look at his life and career (if you can’t wait that long, consider this book by David Halberstam a damn fine introduction). But for now, this interview with Welch is as good as it gets for the Patriots coach post-2005.