Bill Belichick Plays Word Association Inside a Maryland BBQ Joint

The Patriots head coach also offered his thoughts on social media.

Bill Belichick’s offseason has been decidedly quieter than tight-end Rob Gronkowski’s, opting for a narrator gig on a PBS documentary about D-Day over any show-stopping Wrestlemania appearance.

Patriots head coach joined CNBC’s Suzy Welch for an interview this week inside Mission BBQ in Annapolis, Maryland—Belichick’s choice. Every day at noon, the staff there sings the National Anthem, and when Belichick last visited, they were packing up a few hundred pounds of grub to ship to the troops in Iraq.

After quoting Sun Tzu and former President Dwight Eisenhower, the five-time Super Bowl champion agreed to play a round of word association:

  • FOOTBALL: “More sport than business, but it’s a business. But I respect the game for the game and for the sport.
  • THE MEDIA: “It’s how a team connects to its fans.”
  • DEFLATEGATE: “Ridiculous.”
  • AARON HERNANDEZ: “Tragedy.”
  • WINNING: “The goal. There’s no medals for trying. This isn’t like eighth grade where everybody gets a trophy. We’re in a professional sport, and it’s competitive to win. That’s what we do.”

When the conversation turned to distractions, Welch noted that Belichick isn’t a big fan of social media. “That’d be putting it mildly,” he said.

I do all I can to fight it. We have rules that prohibit our players form posting things on InstantFace. I think it’s important for us to, as a team, know each other, to know our teammates, to know our coaches, to interact with them more than it is to be like whoever on a chatroom. We try to encourage the interaction and the personal contact and experiences and not really pay attention what people are saying out there who we don’t even know. Look, I understand, I’m not going to eliminate it. I don’t even care whether people go on it, or if our players go on it or not. I don’t really care about that. I care about it as it relates to our football team, and as much as I can eliminate it from our team, I’m going to stamp it out.

At the end of the interview, Belichick presented Mission BBQ founder Bill Kraus with his father’s jacket from his time as a physical education instructor at the U.S. Naval Academy, to be displayed in the restaurant.