Bill Belichick isn't one to make fashion statements. But he's also a man of reason.
If you've watched any Patriots game in the last 15 years, you've probably wondered why the surly head coach occasionally stalks New England's sideline in a gray hoodie with cut-off sleeves.
When did Belichick start this bizarre tradition? Does he cut the sleeves off himself? And most importantly, what's his reason for doing so?
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Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran has the answers in the first installment of our "Ever Wonder" series.
As Curran tells it, Belichick was seen uncomfortably fiddling with the sleeves on his gray hoodie during the Patriots' Super Bowl XXXIX win over the Philadelphia Eagles.
The following fall, he walked into the Patriots' equipment room, grabbed a pair of scissors and started cutting.
When asked why he was ruining a perfectly good sweatshirt, Belichick replied:
"My arms are too short."
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A staffer offered to make the sweatshirt differently, but Belichick insisted it was fine. He'd cut the sleeves off himself, creating his own game-day outfit that was "designed to allow one to work as efficiently as possible toward the singular goal of winning."
The chopped-off sleeves also show zero concern toward fashion, which is probably just the way Belichick likes it. As Yahoo Sports' Dan Wetzel reported in 2012, Belichick demonstrated his displeasure toward an NFL mandate that required coaches to wear approved Reebok apparel by choosing "the most unstylish outfit" -- a gray hooded sweatshirt -- and chopping the sleeves off.
"It's comfortable," Belichick said at the time. "I carry my stuff in my pouch."
So, Belichick's decision to cut off his sleeves is part pragmatic and part rebellious. But has it worked?
Patriots.com's Mike Dussault and Pats Propaganda's Bob Yoon have charted Belichick's record in every Patriots game by his clothing choice. And the "Hooded One" actually has a better winning percentage (regular and postseason) when he doesn't use scissors.
Record in games coached in cut-off sleeves: 65-24 (73.0 percent)
Record in games coached short- or long-sleeves: 202-68 (74.8 percent)
Most notably, Belichick has lost three Super Bowls while wearing a hoodie with cutoff sleeves (2007, 2011 and 2018), while every Patriots playoff loss from 2005 to 2012 came when he wore a hoodie with cut-off sleeves.
Belichick wore a short-sleeved jacket during the Patriots' Super Bowl LIII win over the Los Angeles Rams, so it sounds like he got the message.