The New England Patriots might not have played in Super Bowl LIV, but the six-time champions had an undeniable presence on South Beach all week.
Rob Gronkowski hosted a party, free agent Tom Brady parlayed the intrigue about his future into a commercial, and Bill Belichick got a chance to flex on the entire football world during the NFL 100 celebration ahead of the actual game.
As Belichick was introduced, the eight-time Super Bowl champion was roundly booed by fans at Hard Rock Stadium. Belichick’s simple response? He just lifted his hands and showed off three of his Super Bowl rings, turning the audience in the process.
NFL Network’s Rich Eisen was among the many who loved the move by Belichick. Later that night, on his flight home, Eisen was seated by happenstance next to Gronkowski. As Eisen explained Monday on his radio/TV simulcast, he and Gronk shared quite a laugh about the coach’s braggadocious display.
“(Belichick’s) smiling, he showed his rings, and Gronk and I had such a — I said ‘Man, that was amazing,’ ” Eisen said. “Gronk, he goes, ‘We were laughing so hard,’ and he looks at me and goes, ‘Why do we find that so funny?’ I’m like, ‘I think the reason we find that so funny is it’s so off-brand for Belichick to say scoreboard.’
“Belichick will never really say ‘Look at the score.’ The only time he really does do scoreboard is on the name of his boat. It’s the only time where he goes ‘Scoreboard’ is with his boat, but that’s in his own personal life.”
Unsurprisingly, Belichick’s jewelry flash played quite well with his former players.
“Gronk was saying they were all laughing hysterically about it,” Eisen relayed. “Great stuff.”
Gronkowski wasn’t alone in that reaction. Brady also got a kick out of Belichick’s rarely seen humorous side.