Bill Belichick has a reputation of being short with the media and even gruff at times, but the longtime New England Patriots coach has been downright endearing during Super Bowl week, cracking several one-liners and even declining to snap at one “media” member who asked if he’d pose for a selfie in the middle of a press conference.
Belichick went into great detail in response to some questions. During one mid-week media session at the team’s hotel, Belichick, who has led the Patriots to five Super Bowl titles in 19 seasons, was asked how he developed his love of both American and football history.
The 66-year-old coach spent seven minutes explaining how his parents, both educators, emphasized reading, how he took family trips and field trips to places such as Gettysburg and Washington, D.C., and how his father, Steve, an assistant coach at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., collected football books.
His parents were also from the Cleveland area, so they would take Bill on regular pilgrimages to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, where they would spend hours in the basement library perusing the museum’s extensive collection of football books.
“That’s how I grew up, and I’ve always enjoyed it,” Belichick said. “It’s always fascinating to talk to people who pre-date me, which, I guess, there aren’t that many any more.”
Belichick said his father’s collection consisted of at least 4,000 books, many of them written by coaching pioneers such as Amos Alonzo Stagg, George Halas, Curly Lambeau and Walter Camp. Belichick closed his answer by showing a genuine appreciation for the inquiry.
“That’s a long answer to a short question,” Belichick said. “Thank you for getting me going on that. Class will start tomorrow at 9 a.m.”