Patriots

Patriots

Over the weekend, the good folks at Reddit’s r/Patriots unearthed a long lost op-ed that Bill Belichick wrote for the New York Times on January 26, 2003. This was the day of Super Bowl 37, and in this case Belichick, head coach of the still-reigning champs, offered the impending championship coach 37 thoughts on how much life was about to change. Twelve and a half years later, it’s really interesting to look back on the perspective and personality of then 50-year-old Bill Belichick. It’s also fun to think about what 63-year-old Belichick might have to say six months from now, on the morning of Super Bowl 50.

So . . .

February 7, 2016:

By: Bill Belichick

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Fifty thoughts for the victorious coach on today's national holiday:

I: Congratulations, champion. Yes. Champion.

II: You’ll shower in blue Gatorade and whether it’s your first or your fourth it will be the most refreshing shower of your life.

III: You’ll hit Sal Pal with a vicious stiff arm.

IV: You’ll smile on the podium for the first time in a decade.

V: You’ll offer Letterman a wonderful parting gift.

VI: There will be leaks, and then more leaks.

VII: You’ll know it was Kensil all along.

VIII: Enemies who became friends will become enemies once again.

IX: Friends who became enemies will become friends once again (well, that is until a late-night car accident with an imaginary deer).

X: You’ll think you’re free of Rex Ryan, and then you’ll think again.

XI: You’ll have Ted Wells’ car towed from the Gillette Stadium parking lot.

XII: You’ll ask the president: “What has one thumb and hates DeflateGate jokes?”

XIII: You’ll attend the White House Correspondents’ Dinner and develop a new found respect for how hard Chrissy Tiegen competes.

XIV: You’ll play an Easter Sunday round at Trump National and give a pep talk that re-shapes the presidential election.

XV: You’ll say goodbye to a legend, but stumble on his heir apparent in the draft.

XVI: You’ll remind every young player of how much can be accomplished through hard work and focus — and then bench the best example of that for the first week of OTAs.

XVII: You’ll show your kickers the money and all your cornerbacks the door.

XVIII: The word “deflate” will make you cringe more than the memory of walking in on Charlie Weis’ nude yoga session.

XIX: You’ll remind yourself to never let another Aaron Hernandez slip through the cracks.

XX: You’ll update your boat.

XXI: You’ll text a photo of the boat to your old buddy Kensil: “HEY MIKE WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE NEW PAINT JOB?”

XXII: You’ll wonder how anyone could ever put faith in this league.

XXIII: You’ll begrudgingly learn to spell Garappolo.

XXIV: Wellsreportincontext.com will replace Barstool Sports atop your Bookmarks Bar.

XXV: You’ll put your faith in the judicial system and — God bless America — that faith will be rewarded.

XXVI: You’ll preach the importance of the preseason while knowing the most important thing is that no one gets hurt.

XXVII: You’ll trust that they’re ready but know it might be months until they’re ready.

XXVIII: You’ll be on to the regular season.

XXIX: You’ll raise another banner, with No. 12 under center, as a pale-faced commissioner watches from within his new multi-million-dollar, bullet-proof GoodellMobile.

XXX: You’ll be out-played and out-coached Week 2 in Buffalo.

XXXI: The media will say horrible things about your team and your quarterback and your ego, and then wonder why you don’t respect them.

XXXII: You’ll do your job.

XXXIII: You’ll show Jerry Jones how unfair the NFL can really be.

XXXIV: You’ll move into the Top 5 all-time in NFL coaching victories.

XXXV: You’ll start Jimmy Garoppolo Week 5 in Indianapolis, just to prove a point in a blow-out win.

XXXVI: You’ll have a good laugh when Chris Mortensen reaches out for comment.

XXXVIII: You’ll make subtle reference to a plane carrying a banner after embarrassing the Jets in Week 7.

XXXIX: You’ll eat a sandwich. It will be OK, but still with room to improve in every facet of the sandwich-making process.

XL: You’ll get tied up in traffic and miss your Week 11 pre-production meeting with ESPN’s Monday Night Football crew. But what can you do? Traffic is so unreliable these days.

XLI: You’ll transfer your VHS copy of “My Cousin Vinny” onto DVD.

XLII: The season will creep into December and you’ll know that they’re ready.

XLIII: You’ll be first in line on Christmas night to watch “Concussion” make a fool out of the commissioner. (You’ll eat a medium popcorn with extra butter, a large Diet Coke and a carton of Dibs.)

XLIV: You’ll win 10+ games for the 13th consecutive season.

XLV: You’ll clinch your seventh straight AFC East title and a first round bye.

XLVI: Shot through the heart, and you’re to blame. You’ll give love a bad name.

XLVII: You’ll eek past the Ravens at home in the divisional round.

XLVIII: You’ll head out to Indianapolis and take down the Colts in the AFC title game.

XLIX: You’ll win another Super Bowl, and start this cycle all over again — SO GOOD LUCK, COACH.

50: Hey wait a second, why I am writing this to myself?

Bill Belichick, has won four rings as head coach of the New England Patriots, and was defensive coordinator of two New York Giants Super Bowl champion teams. Follow him on Twitter: @rich_levine