Bill Belichick can now change the name of his boat to VIII Rings and I Key.
The Patriots head coach received the key to the city of Annapolis on Saturday, at halftime of an Army-Navy lacrosse game.
“It feels so amazing to recognize a legendary figure in Coach Bill Belichick, who is one of the most humble people I’ve ever met,” Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley said, via the Capital Gazette. “It’s the classic example of local boy made good. Coach Belichick got his start here in Annapolis then went on to do so many incredible things.
“At every step along the way, he never forgot his hometown. He sells the City of Annapolis all over the world, and I’m just thrilled that today we were able to recognize that.”
Two prior attempts to give Belichick the honor didn’t pan out. As the dignitaries assembled at halftime of the game, a mild panic ensued because Belichick couldn’t be found. He was being interviewed by CBS Sports Network.
“It’s an incredible honor to be recognized by your hometown,” Belichick said. “There’s nothing bigger than that. I’m so proud to be an Annapolitan.”
A group of Belichick’s high school classmates surprised him at the presentation.
“That was amazing,” Belichick said. “Some of these guys I haven’t seen since I was living in Annapolis. It’s great to be back in Annapolis, great to be here at this stadium and great to be watching Army-Navy lacrosse.”
The timing of the event seems a little unusual, coming only five days before the start of the 2021 draft. If it was any other coach, eyebrows would be raised.
Belichick gets the benefit of the doubt, thanks to those eight rings. Plus, he probably ended up putting in as many total hours on the day in draft prep as the coaches who didn’t get keys to their hometowns on Saturday.