Monday, January 21, 2013

Bill Belichick: Sleeveless in New England

Fashion and sports fit together like a glove. (Not a fake O.J. trial glove, I'm talking a real "I murdered my wife wearing this" glove.)

Whether it be Tiger's red polo on Sunday, Rodman's rainbow-colored hair throughout his Bull's tenure, or Lance Armstrong's one testicle proudly protruding through his tight biking shorts, every great sports figure has their fashion trademark. (I almost added Jim Tressel's famous sweater vest, but I figured he sold it to get some extra cash. Not for tattoos though, those were free.)
The sleeveless wonder in action during practice.

That being said, there is one that is set apart from the rest.
One with an origin as mysterious as its possessor.

The ever-perplexing, Bill Belichick sleeveless hoody.

As much as no one wants to admit it, Bill Belichick is one of the greatest head coaches in the history of football.

In a mere 13 years coaching the Patriots, he has won three Super Bowl championships (competed in five), and five AFC Championships (competed in six), tallying an 18-7 record in the playoffs. He is a three-time NFL Coach of the Year with a career win percentage of .649 (7th all-time). The one common tie in all of those games: the sleeveless hooded sweatshirts.

I read in an interview once that he wears it because he "has short arms and the sleeves always went past his hands," but that was in an interview with his future wife. Sounds to me like a cover up for something more.

I know what you're thinking:

Belichick as Cleveland Browns head coach.
"It's not the sweatshirt, it's obviously the fact that he has Tom Brady."

Well, before Tom Brady was a Patriot he was a lowly sixth-round draft pick who couldn't buy a start over Brian Griese and barely won the job over Drew Henson.  Then, when Brady went down with an ACL injury in 2008, backup Matt Cassell stepped up and won 11 games, before getting traded the Chiefs, where he has only won more than four games in a season once.

"Then if its not Brady, it's Belichick himself."

Not so fast. Belichick had another head coaching job earlier in his career, and that was with the Cleveland Browns, where he only posted one winning season and held a pathetic 36-44 record. The difference, you ask? SLEEVES!

"… but that was with the Browns. They're terrible."

You've got me there. 

Maybe the hoody isn't magical, and maybe it is the man wearing it, and maybe, just maybe, that man has really short arms. Regardless, it's the common denominator; it's what makes Belichick more than a man, and it's what makes him more than a hall of famer. It's what makes him … a patriot.

God Bless America.

Tell us your favorite sports fashion icon in the comments below. Is it Allen Iverson's shooting sleeve, Pete Maravich's floppy socks, Horace Grant's goggles, Rodman's wedding dress, Rip Hamilton's face mask, Von Miller's thick-rimmed glasses or the always popular Craig Sager suits?


  1. I'll take it one step further. This is why all the Belichick disciples have failed in their head coaching attempts. They all forgot the most important part of the Belichick way: no sleeves on your team sweatshirt. Josh McDaniels, Romeo Crennel and Eric Mangini all had this key error.

  2. Look at the sleeved Belichick in the orange and brown- completely demoralized