BOSTON -- Bill Belichick has a reputation as someone who isn't always willing to open up when there's a microphone in front of him. That wasn't the case on Thursday night when he got up on stage and worked the crowd at West End Johnnie's like a late-night TV show host.
Belichick served as emcee for the Bill Belichick Foundation's 26.2 Party at West End Johnnies, a fundraiser that celebrated the six athletes who will participate in this year's Boston Marathon as members of Team Belichick. As they prepared for the race, members of the team raised money to support Belichick's foundation in its mission to support student athletes and youth sports organizations in need through grant and scholarship programs.
When the event kicked off, Belichick introduced each of his team's five runners -- Lisa Fox, Will DiTullio, Elizabeth Paul, Christopher McHallam and Rich DeCapua -- with a few words so that they could be recognized by the crowd on hand.
McHallam was billed as a lawyer and professional mediator. "Boy could we use your help," Belichick said with a smile.
When it was pointed out that DeCapua ran with the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation’s Boston Marathon Team last year, Belichick cracked, "We made a trade for an undisclosed draft pick."
And in thanking West End Johnnie's owner John Caron, Belichick pointed out that Caron was celebrating a birthday. Then, without any prompting, Belichick dove into song, singing happy birthday with the rest of the crowd joining in.
Belichick admitted that he wasn't the most accomplished runner, but he has run two marathons -- both while he was coaching with the Giants.
"I don’t have a lot of experience in this sport," he explained. "Just a little bit. I ran two marathons backs in my younger days . . . The first one, finished in a little over five hours. It was kind of humbling when the guy in front of me finished and they announced he was 83-years-old. I came in right behind him. I did it again the following year and it didn’t get any easier."
Belichick made headlines two years ago when he ran a half-marathon with his girlfriend Linda Holliday in Nashville. That distance seemed to be more his speed, he said.
"We had a choice to make there with about 1,000 yards to go," he began. "We could either veer right into the stadium and finish the half marathon, or veer left for the next 13 miles and run the full marathon. We went right. Very easy decision."
During his time on the microphone, though, Belichick made sure to focus on the accomplishments of his marathon team, which has raised about $33,000 for the foundation.
"We're very appreciative of them doing that," Belichick said. "They’ve done a great job supporting the cause. This will apply to scholarships and also to worthy organizations, schools, so we can help and assist them with their programs that they’re trying to grow. We’re proud of all those."
For more information on the Bill Belichick Foundation, you can head to their website.