Sports fans have very long memories. Whether it was the 86 years between Babe Ruth exiting Beantown and their next title or a certain goat in Chicago, pain tends to linger.
Patriots fans might not even remember the brief history of Jan. 4, 2000, but Jets fans do.
Bill Belichick was the heir apparent to take over from his mentor Bill Parcells in New York. It lasted one day.
He resigned — at his introductory press conference — and became the head coach of the Patriots just a few weeks later instead.
Belichick was asked Friday about the incident —something that has become tradition for beat writers leading up to the annual Jets games. He called it “water under the bridge.”
“At that point in time, that situation, I did what I felt like I needed to do and I don’t have any regrets about that,” Belichick said. “Certainly a lot of things could have been handled differently or whatever, but anyway; it doesn’t matter now.”
The explanation was surprisingly wordy for a coach not known to answer routine questions let alone ones of a controversial nature. Even if it’s been almost 12 years after the incident happened.
For years the rivalry was almost nonexistent, but with the resurgence of the Jets since the signing of head coach Rex Ryan, the water under the bridge is raging once again.
The Jets have gone to the playoffs, and the AFC?championship game, two years in a row. They upset the Patriots as marked underdogs in order to make it last year.
And now it is the Jets’ fans chance to maybe forget an ugly chapter in their history they’ve longed to get past.