But Belichick's respect for filmmaker Steve Sabol goes beyond even that.
Belichick reflected on what Sabol did for the game Friday, including when Sabol came to Foxboro to try to persuade the usually tight-lipped coach to let himself be recorded for a film.
Belichick had already impressed Sabol once by answering a questionnaire that asked what his favorite movie was by saying, "Anything by NFL Films," according to the Boston Globe.
But Sabol thought he had to give Belichick the works to get his exclusive in 2009. So, as Belichick told it, Sabol pulled together a presentation, talking about taping legendary Packers coach Vince Lombardi and what the project would entail.
"He's going on and on and on," Belichick told the Boston Globe, "and I'm sitting there thinking to myself, 'Well, I'm going to do this.' "
Belichick let Sabol say his piece. After about 10 minutes of imploring Belichick to trust him, Sabol finally asked him if he would do the project. Belichick, his mind already made up, agreed.
"I'm sure he felt like it was his sales pitch that did it, but I was sold before he even tried to make the sale," Belichick said.
Such was the influence of Sabol, who reinvented the way the world saw the NFL and sports as a whole.
"He certainly opened a lot of doors from an entertainment and appreciation of football standpoint," said Belichick, whose project became NFL Film's A Football Life. "I mean, the guy puts a spiral to music and you're spellbound by it. A lot of talent there."
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who was part of another memorable NFL Films project, The Brady 6, was also impressed by his few interactions with Sabol.
"I kind of agreed to do it when he asked because of him," Brady said. "I always felt with the documentation that NFL Films has done over the years, it's hard when Steve Sabol asks you to do something to say no. … He always found the story within the story, and I think that's why people watch all those NFL Films stuff like they do."
That's at least why Belichick and Brady watched it.
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