Patriots

Ever Wonder Series: Why does Bill Belichick cut his sleeves?

Ever Wonder Series: Why does Bill Belichick cut his sleeves?

It’s a sideline, not a fashion runway. Just the same, plenty of football coaches — because of success, longevity and camera time — have seen their wardrobe choices become iconic.

Bear Bryant and his houndstooth hat. The fedoras of Tom Landry and Paul Brown. Bum Phillips and his Stetson. 

But none of that headgear surpasses the most iconic piece of attire in football sideline history: Bill Belichick’s hooded sweatshirt. 

Pocket in the front for keeping pencils and cold hands. Hood on the back for flipping up when the weather gets cold or clammy. Or when Bill just wants to go stealth. 

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Belichick himself might say, “We’re coaching a football game here, what are we even talking about?” Well, yes. And no. Because this piece of clothing actually represents the football philosophy Belichick’s espoused en route to nine Super Bowl appearances in 20 seasons. 

Pragmatic. Utilitarian. No frills. Designed to allow one to work as efficiently as possible toward the singular goal of winning. 

But do you ever wonder why he cuts the sleeves off?

I mean, it’s a move that takes an already schlubby look and makes it even schlubbier. 

Did he just look at the sweatshirt one day and say, “This thing needs shorter sleeves?”

Pretty much. 

In the fall of 2005, Belichick walked into the team’s equipment room and asked the late Don Brocher for a pair of scissors. They were produced. 

Belichick laid the gray sweatshirt on a table — it wasn’t a hoodie, by the way — and lopped off both arms just below the elbow. 

Why you doing that? He was asked. 

“My arms are too short,” he replied. 

Did he want the sweatshirts made differently?

“No.”

Belichick would be his own tailor.

Some of you might remember the itty-bitty arms explanation. It was offered to Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! back in 2012. It was offered to his girlfriend, Linda Holliday, when she interviewed him as a host for StyleBoston.

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But the history of Belichick’s hoodies and sweatshirts, the sleeve-ectomies and actually, every wardrobe choice he’s made as head coach of the Patriots? It’s all been compiled by a man named Mike Dussault who works for Patriots.com and previously worked for Pats Propaganda and Bleacher Report. 

The eagle-eyed Dussault notes that Belichick was driven to distraction by his sleeves in the Patriots Super Bowl 39 win over the Eagles. Belichick was just fiddling and tugging and tucking until finally he rolled them up inside themselves which is how they were when that game ended and Belichick thrust a stubby arm into the air.  

The next season, he took action. Belichick wore a sweatshirt with abbreviated sleeves for an October 2 game against the Chargers. 

Now, Belichick had once worn a chopped-up sweatshirt in the sidelines. On the road in Houston in 2003, he wore one in a 23-20 overtime win. 

But in 2005, he went all-in. And he immediately went 0-3 with the sleeves cut according to Dussault’s amazing research which is all found in spreadsheet form online. The spreadsheet was created by a man named Bob Yoon who, notably, knows why Belichick cuts the sleeves. 

What’s Belichick’s record with cut sleeves on either hoodies or plain sweatshirts? Not good, Bob. It’s 65-26. Which, relative to his overall coaching record, is subpar. 

Belichick lost all three Super Bowls he coached with cut sleeves. He’s 1-2 in Conference Championships with cut sleeves. And from 2005 through 2012, every single Patriots playoff loss came when Belichick was wearing a hoodie with cut sleeves. 

Makes you wonder. But wonder no more about why the sleeves were cut in the first place!

Is Antonio Brown still angling for Patriots return despite Tom Brady's exit?

Is Antonio Brown still angling for Patriots return despite Tom Brady's exit?

Wherever Tom Brady goes, Antonio Brown will try to follow. That was the expectation, anyway.

But the Tampa Bay Buccaneers reportedly aren't interested in signing the free agent wide receiver, who is under NFL investigation for multiple allegations of sexual assault and misconduct and has yet to be cleared to play in 2020.

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So, might Brown try to return to the team he last played for instead? The wideout raised a few eyebrows Wednesday by posting an Instagram photo of himself in a New England Patriots uniform with an alarm emoji as the caption.

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Either Brown is in a nostalgic mood, or he's sending a signal to the Patriots that he wants to return to New England.

Patriots running back Brandon Bolden replied to Brown's post with three 😤 (snorting) emojis, so perhaps he wouldn't mind this development.

While Brady is long gone, Brown may be intrigued by teaming up with new Patriots quarterback Cam Newton, who's aiming to return to Pro Bowl form in 2020 after an injury-shortened 2019 season.

Brown's post also could be another attempt to keep his name in the NFL conversation, as the 31-year-old has done throughout the offseason by posting workout videos and photos and film clips of his past accomplishments.

It seems unlikely the Patriots would re-sign Brown considering he lasted less than two weeks with the team last September, but we suppose you miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take.

Randy Moss claims he'd catch this many TDs in his prime with Patrick Mahomes

Randy Moss claims he'd catch this many TDs in his prime with Patrick Mahomes

Randy Moss and Tom Brady were a record-setting connection for the New England Patriots during the 2007 season. But would Moss in his prime catch more touchdown passes from Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes than the 23 he hauled in from Brady in that nearly perfect campaign?

Moss thinks so.

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The Hall of Fame wide receiver recently was asked how many receiving touchdowns he'd score in one season if Mahomes was his quarterback. You might be surprised by his answer.

“In my prime with Patrick Mahomes, being able to buy time? I’m saying 30,” Moss said on ESPN morning show "Get Up!" earlier this week. “I’m saying 30 touchdowns to set the mark and really set it at a high level, and I’m not joking by saying that."

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Moss in his prime with a quarterback as talented as Mahomes would've been amazing to watch, but let's not forget about what him and Brady accomplished in 2007. 

Brady set a single-season record with 50 touchdown passes, while Moss broke San Francisco 49ers legend Jerry Rice's receiving TD record with 23 scores. Brady and Moss each needed two TDs apiece entering the regular season finale versus the New York Giants, and a late deep pass down the right sideline for Moss ultimately sealed the records for both players.

Mahomes is one of three players, along with Brady and Peyton Manning, to throw 50 or more touchdown passes in one season. Manning holds the record with 55 set in 2013. The Chiefs quarterback tossed 50 scores in 2018 and was named league MVP. He does a pretty good job spreading his touchdowns around to several different players. Tyreek Hill was Kansas City's leader in receiving touchdowns with 12 in 2018. Tight end Travis Kelce (10 TDs) was the only other player with more than seven. 

Chiefs fans should see plenty more touchdowns from Mahomes after the reigning Super Bowl MVP reportedly agreed to a 10-year contract extension that is the richest in pro sports history.