Why we love Mr. Excitement: Bill Belichick is adored in New England

Bill Belichick.

There is no more polarizing non-player in professional sports than Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.

In the eyes of many a New England honk, he is regarded as a gridiron genius that can do no wrong.

Everywhere else, he’s reviled as some sort of dour and humorless curmudgeon that is always one step ahead of the NFL’s rulebook. So why do we love him so much? It has to be about more than his five Super Bowl appearances (3 wins) since he took over in Foxboro before the 2000 season. 

For me, what he represents is the best quality that many possess in this region: authenticity. Belichick is not a self-promoter (Rex Ryan), cheerleader (Pete Carroll) or fake tough guy (Bill Cowher). All he cares about is winning football games. Sounds simple enough, right? Yes, his wardrobe could best be described as slightly homeless but since when did we turn to NFL coaches for fashion advice?  He is a coach’s coach that would rather break down game film until the wee hours and run endless practices with his team than basically anything else in life. 

Of course, he’s only human (at least partially) and there are signs that he enjoys the finer things: namely buxom blonde cougars and summers on Nantucket. Oh and Bon Jovi. I cannot explain that strange obsession. 

In many ways, I think the level of hate he elicits from people across the country is simply jealousy that he isn’t coaching their favorite NFL team. Otherwise, what isn’t there to like? You’ll never see him waste time on locker room drama (hi Red Sox) or what he says to the media since he invented one of the most famous phrases in the English language: “It is what it is.”

He deeply respects the history of the game and always gives his teams the best chance to win any given week. I realize that Philips Andover and Wesleyan aren’t exactly schools that everybody has the chance to attend, but Belichick has deep local roots that make him an honorary New Englander. If he never wins another NFL game, he will still receive standing ovations at every Bruins and Celtics playoff game that he drags Linda Holliday along to. 

Bill Belichick is an original, the furthest thing from a fraud that you can find and that is a big reason as to why we love him. Not just because of the Super Bowl rings. 

Breaking: Local

Judge rules Tsarnaev can view victim autopsy photos

Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev can view the autopsy photographs of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.


Police warn of attempted assault on woman near…

Police in Cambridge issued an alert after a woman said she was the victim of an attempted sexual assault after leaving Porter Square early Wednesday.…


Kevin Kayvon Edson: Finish line hoax suspect sent…

The man who allegedly left a backpack near the finish line on the anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings was due in court on Wednesday.


Wahlbergs expanding Wahlburgers fast food joint across North…

Wahlburgers, a fast casual burger restaurant founded by brothers Mark, Donnie, and Paul Wahlberg and subject of a new A&E Network’s original series, “Wahlburgers”, announced expansion plans in North America,…

The Word

Wahlburgers announce North America domination

Tuesday was a huge day for Donnie Wahlberg.


Here's what to do in Boston this weekend

THEATER The Wholehearted Thursday through April 27 Paramount Center 559 Washington St., Boston $25-$49, 617-824-8400 www.artsemerson.org This conceptually rich show from Stein | Holum Projects,…


Becoming friends with New York City's oldest known…

"The Life and Times of Richard Musto" tells the story, through a poem, of the oldest known homeless man in New York City.


Interview: Johnny Depp says he looks like himself,…

Johnny Depp talks about his new sci-fi thriller "Transcendence," not wearing gaudy makeup and wigs for a change and how he's a bit of a Luddite.


Bruins 2014 playoffs preview: Vegas odds say Stanley…

Bruins 2014 playoffs preview: Vegas odds say Stanley Cup will return to Boston


MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers…

MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers and Braves right behind


Injury bug tearing holes in Red Sox

Red Sox fans will recall that last year the bullpen was decimated by injuries. From Franklin Morales to Andrew Miller, from Craig Breslow to Andrew…


MLB video highlights: White Sox beat Red Sox…

Red Sox fall on walk-off error to White Sox


5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.


Cognitive skills begin to drop at age 24

But the news isn't all that bad.


How to get a job at a startup:…

We talked to Tarek Pertew, one of the co-founders behind Uncubed, about how to get your dream job at a startup.


The 'smartest' summer camps across the country

See a list of summer camps across the country that emphasis learning, while still being fun.