Patriots coach Bill Belichick has 19 yearbooks worth of on-field memories with quarterback Tom Brady, but he offered a tale that has nothing to do with football when asked by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport for his favorite story.
“One story that I think really sums it up for Tom is when we were playing at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am, we were in the same group,” Belichick said on the first episode of Rapoport’s podcast, “Rapsheet and Friends.” “We were on the sixth hole, which is a long Par 5, and it goes up a big hill, and the ocean’s on the right. The fairway kind of falls off to the right, and most of us golfers are little slicers anyway, so a lot of balls end up over there — in or by the ocean.”
Because they were participating in a Pro-Am tournament, Belichick and Brady were matched with a professional golfer.
“As an amateur, if you hit a bad shot, you don’t really worry about it,” Belichick explained. “You play the pro’s ball anyway. That’s what you have him for. So there’s not a ton of pressure on the amateurs because you have a good player with you who’s probably going to make a par on almost every hole.”
The merciful rules, however, didn’t suppress the competitiveness in Brady.
Tom hit one, his second shot over there, and I see a starting quarterback, Super Bowl MVP, league MVP, literally hanging over the side of the cliff — probably two or three hundred feet above the ocean — trying to hit a golf ball that’s a pretty meaningless shot because the pro’s already going to do better than he would on the hole. But that’s Tom.
He’s very, very competitive, very focused, and plays kind of fearlessly, whether it’s in this case, on the golf course, or on the football field. I was just thinking to myself, ‘This is a crazy sight that I’m looking at here.’ He hit the ball, and his caddie kind of walked over there and gave him a hand and helped him back up this cliff that he was a few feet down on or below.
I certainly breathed a little bit easier when he came up for air on that one. When I think of Tom, I think of situations like that. It doesn’t really matter, but to him, it matters. He only knows one way to do it — and that’s the way he’s going to do it.
Listen to Belichick’s complete interview with Rapoport here.