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Bill Belichick's famously grumpy moments over the years

"We're on to Cincinnati."
/ Source: TODAY

Bill Belichick not only had the greatest run of any coach in NFL history during his time with the New England Patriots, he did it in his own signature way — with as few words as possible.

His gruff, monosyllabic style and clear disdain for press conferences, combined with his hoodie-centric fashion sense, made him a classic curmudgeon character to NFL fans over the years.

While he may be wearing the hoodie of another NFL team next season, his 24-year run with the Patriots has come to an end. He is parting ways with the franchise after six Super Bowl titles, nine AFC championships and nearly 300 victories, including playoffs.

Along with that came plenty of indelible Belichickian moments. Here are some of the best.

Bill Belichick wears a hoodie at 2022 game.
No one rocks a hoodie like Bill Belichick.Kathryn Riley / Getty Images

'We're on to Cincinnati'

Belichick never masked his displeasure at having every aspect of a game picked over by reporters during postgame press conferences. It was as if he was trying to set records for the least words spoken before he was able to exit the podium.

Early in the 2014 season, the Patriots were blown out 41-14 by the Kansas City Chiefs to drop to 2-2. Many NFL pundits began saying it was the end of the New England dynasty.

A clearly irked Belichick then gave perhaps his most signature press conference of all time. He responded to five different questions by just saying some version of, "We're on to Cincinnati," in reference to the team's upcoming game against the Bengals.

Belichick reflected on that moment a year later in an NFL Network special called "Do Your Job."

“I could have done it three times, I could have done it 53 times," Belichick said. "It could have been 103 times if that’s what they wanted to keep asking, because we had to turn the page."

They definitely did, as they went on to win the Super Bowl that season.

While Belichick treated most press conferences like an extended root canal, the best way to get him to expand was to ask him about arcane football minutiae. He once spent nearly 10 minutes breaking down the intricacies of special teams play at a press conference.

A hoodie for all seasons

Belichick always cut a distinct figure on the sideline for wearing hoodies, many of which looked like they dated back to the '90s.

It was as if he went on a shopping spree in the Patriots team store in about 2001 and then had all he needed for the next 20-plus years. He lived the American dream of wearing sweats to work for more than two decades, defying NFL norms while other head coaches went for a more professional look on the sidelines.

Head coach Bill Belichick wearing  a hoodie in a December 2023 game.
Bill Belichick wearing one of his signature hoodies in a game last month. Maddie Meyer / Getty Images

He often cut off the sleeves on his hoodies for the warm-weather games or for layering during frigid home games, leaving frayed fabric at the elbows. Fans would grow superstitious about the color of hoodie he was wearing, usually blue or gray, if it brought good luck.

Bill Belichick at AFC Championship Game in 2012.
The gray hoodie was on display when Belichick and the Patriots clinched a spot in the Super Bowl in 2012. Simon M Bruty / Getty Images

Belichick even presented former President George W. Bush with a hoodie in 2005 when the Patriots were honored at the White House for winning the Super Bowl. The NFL Shop sells a "heathered charcoal Bill Belichick raglan pullover hoodie" on its website.

Bill Belichick at press conference in January 2024.
Wait a second, is that Bill Belichick with a collared shirt on?!Winslow Townson / Getty Images

He became so synonymous with looking rumpled in his various hoodies that it was almost jarring to see him dressed up.

The challenge flag spike

Unlike most NFL head coaches who keep the red challenge flag in their pockets to be ready in case they want to get a play reversed by replay, Belichick often keeps his in one of his socks. Also, while most coaches loft it onto the field to alert the officials, Belichick delivers his with a little more force.

His most famous effort at deploying the flag came in a "Sunday Night Football" game against the rival Miami Dolphins this season. Belichick was unhappy with the spot of the ball after it was short of a first down, so with an official crouched right next to him, he petulantly spiked the flag into the ground to issue his challenge.

The GIF of the scene quickly became shorthand for being exasperated in a "my boss just asked me to work late on a Friday" way.

Letting the NFL draft go to the dogs

The 2020 NFL draft was a rare occasion to get a glimpse inside the home lives of NFL coaches and draft picks because it was conducted over video.

The COVID-19 pandemic prevented the usual in-person gathering for the annual event, so general managers and other team personnel were calling in picks via video conferencing and had cameras set up in their homes.

Videos showed many NFL general managers and team personnel working in a home office or kitchen, often with their spouses and children in the background, as they tried to determine which player they were going to draft.

However, when the camera panned to Belichick's dining room during the broadcast, viewers were met with the image of Belichick's dog, an Alaskan Klee Kai named Nike, sitting on a chair in front of a laptop like he was making the picks.

Belichick's former girlfriend, Linda Holliday, explained to ESPN's "The Adam Schefter Podcast" that Belichick had actually left a few dog treats near the laptop. When he stepped away from the table, Nike hopped up to wait patiently for the go-ahead to eat the treats.

For the record, the Patriots' first pick that year was safety Kyle Dugger, who was taken in the second round. Dugger has become one of the top safeties in the NFL and finished with 108 tackles and two interceptions this season. Nice job, Nike.

Surprising pop culture opinions

Belichick had such a reputation as an obsessive football mind, it was assumed he just spent his free time watching game film and breaking down footage of the backup punter.

That's what made it so surprising to see he's a Swiftie. Belichick was seen in the crowd in May 2023 during Taylor Swift's concert at the Patriots' stadium. She played three-plus hours in a rainstorm that night.


"That was pretty impressive," he said in August on "The Greg Hill Show" on Boston radio station WEEI. "She's tough. She stood out there and played right through it."

He even had a take on his favorite Swift song, even though he didn't quite get the title of "You Need to Calm Down" correct.

"Look, I'm definitely on the 'You've Got to Calm Down,'" he said. "That's pretty good. ... There's a lot of times when that's very appropriate."