Although it may not be wise to say “you’re a funny guy” to Bill Belichick’s face, plenty of people have said, when Belichick isn’t in the room, that Belichick truly has a great sense of humor.
Jets coach Adam Gase explained to Boston-area reporters on Thursday that, indeed, he finds significant laughter in Belichick and his storytelling.
“I don’t think I really had a conversation with him until probably after I left Miami and we talked a little bit,” Gase said. “We talked at the Combine the last few years. I always try to listen as much as possible because I know there’s a lot of wisdom in things he says and things he’s always talked about when I’ve been around. Very helpful just as a professional-type deal for me. At the same time, I don’t think I’ve laughed harder being around somebody. Just some of the things that get brought up and some of the things that he’s experienced in his life. I mean, he’s experienced some things that are interesting to hear and when you’re around him and [Lions coach] Matt Patricia, I mean those two guys together are funny to be around.”
The response prompted a request for clarification from an incredulous media member.
“I just want to hear you right,” the reporter said. “You said you haven’t laughed harder, and you’re talking about Coach Belichick?
“Yeah, I mean you get him and [Matt] Patricia together, they got some really good stories over the years,” Gase said. “He’s seen a lot of things in his profession.”
Gase explained that Belichick called after Gase’s job in Miami ended.
“[H]e called me and we had a discussion about kind of that ending and seeing what I was going to do moving forward,” Gase said. “That was kind of the starting point there and just had a conversation to just kind of see what my next steps were going to be. . . .
“I was very appreciative. Not ever having a conversation except after games which were usually short when I was in Miami. To be able to have a conversation with him and kind of hear his experiences and how to go about things moving forward. He didn’t have to go out of his way to do that. I thought that was somebody great for me to hear from.”
Many who know Belichick say similar things about him. It’s unfortunate that he slips into such a guarded and, at times, belittling and hostile demeanor when dealing with the media. He truly is one of the best coaches of all time in any sport. He should let others, and more importantly himself, enjoy and appreciate the status he has earned.