FOXBORO, Mass. — Bill Belichick isn't one to wear his emotions on his sleeve, but Friday, he made no secret of his allegiance to St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa.
Belichick marched through the Patriots' locker room sporting a home white Cardinals jersey with La Russa's name and No. 10 on the back, and Belichick had a big grin on his face as his players turned around in bewilderment.
Moments prior, Belichick reflected on Thursday night's wild Game 6, which the Cardinals won 10-9 in 11 innings.
"What a game, what a game," Belichick said. "It's just, [the Cardinals were] behind five times, whatever it was, scored in the last however many, seventh, eighth, ninth, 10th, 11th [innings]? Happy for Tony and wishing him well [Friday in Game 7]. That team has shown a lot of resiliency and physical toughness, mental toughness from being way behind in September and in the Series in various games. They've lost a couple games I'm sure they feel like they should have won. They've been able to bounce back from those, and now it's a one-game season. It's two good teams. The Rangers are a good team, too. It's two good teams. Great series."
Belichick has been friends with La Russa for quite some time, and the bond formed due to a mutual relationship with Bill Parcells.
"We have a couple mutual friends, one in particular," Belichick said. "It's good to talk to people in other sports. Coaching is coaching — dealing with players, dealing with coaches, dealing with other situations. There is certainly a lot of common ground there. I'm fortunate to have a great relationship with a person like Tony or [University of Florida basketball coach] Billy Donovan or [Johns Hopkins lacrosse coach] Dave Pietramala, guys like that that are real good coaches. [They're] different sports, but again, I think we share some common philosophies. Unfortunately, where Tony is at and where I'm at, there's not a lot of overlap. I've spent at least a day with him in spring training every year, and that's always fun to watch. Unfortunately, I don't get to see him at this time of year because it's a whole different type of coaching and preparation and structure and everything. Seeing him at training camp and being able to connect a little bit with his team has been a good experience for me. I've learned a lot. I think he does a great job."
Belichick then concluded his news conference by exclaiming, "Go Cards."