The combination of Bill Belichick’s string of success and his personality have made him one of the most meme-worthy individuals in recent NFL history, and in his 20-plus years with the Patriots, there have been plenty of good ones.
But which one deserves to top the list? We put the question in a Twitter poll, and because Twitter never lies, here are the best, as voted on by you all. (We also tossed in some of the history behind each one, and added a few others people mentioned as contenders.)
1. Walking Out of The Tunnel — 46.5 percent
A video taken of Belichick’s arrival on the field before a 2018 Sunday night game against the Lions in Detroit, this is epic for a few reasons, including the fact that the hyper-focused coach appears to blow off young fans who were looking for a high five. This is best used when one player — usually one who Belichick has coveted in the past, or one who some believe would help the Patriots — is cut loose by another team. The Steve Austin entrance music takes the whole thing to another level. (Count me among those who believe T.J. Connelly — the DJ at Gillette Stadium — should play this when Belichick shows up on the field going forward.)
2. Orange Juice — 27.4 percent
This one was a picture taken of Belichick by then-Herald reporter Jeff Howe at the annual coaches’ breakfast in March 2015. (It’s safe to say Belichick would prefer just about anything else — a root canal, for example — instead of participating in this annual get-together. In 2016, he sat down at the table and instantly pushed back the mics and recorders that had been placed in front of him.) Sitting to his left, Howe snapped the coach midway through his glass of orange juice, and it became a “but that’s none of my business” meme almost instantly, one so famous you can now buy a sticker of the image.
3. Binoculars/Snacks — 21.6 percent
A GIF that arose from a Belichick appearance at the 2018 combine when he spotted SMU wide receiver Trey Quinn running the 40, this is also a good one to use when a league matter arises that might get the attention of the coach — Belichick, keeping a close eye on things with binoculars. (Most recently, it was worthy of posting in the wake of the Niners’ trade up in the draft that could conceivably set the stage for a Jimmy Garoppolo return to New England.) A bit underrated, given the strength of the rest of the field, but still worthy of a laugh.
Others receiving votes:
• Nike on draft day
This one doesn’t technically involve a picture of Belichick, but there were enough write-in votes to include it. The 2020 NFL Draft was an at-home production for just about everyone, including the Patriots’ coach, who spent his time on Nantucket with family, including their dog Nike. When ESPN cut to a shot of Belichick at one point, the coach was gone, and the dog was sitting by himself at the computer. Add a chyron with Belichick’s name, and you have an instantaneous meme. Nike became a social media star, with multiple parody Twitter accounts.
• The Phone Toss
The end of the 2020 season was rough for Belichick and the Patriots, and the one meme that probably best illustrated the coach’s’ frustration came out of a brutal Monday Night loss to the Bills in December. At one point, cameras caught Belichick on the phone, and at the end of the conversation, he angrily fired the phone down and walked away. It became a GIF that had no shortage of punchlines. (For the record, there’s a small subset of memes here that focus on Belichick’s occasional frustration with technology, including this one of him chucking a Microsoft tablet a few years ago.)
• The Dive
In March 2019, at the start of free agency, Belichick was spotted in Barbados, catching some rays and resting up roughly a month after the win in Super Bowl LIII. While the rest of the league was trying to catch up with the defending champions, the coach was enjoying some time away. The photo essay was punctuated by a shot of Belichick diving into the Atlantic.
• “Bernie” Belichick
Days after Bernie Sanders showed up at the Biden inauguration, sitting by himself with his arms crossed while sporting a pair of mittens, Tom Brady and the Buccaneers beat the Packers to win the NFC title and advance to the Super Bowl. The next day, a photoshopped version of Belichick’s face over Sanders had it looking like the coach was set to watch his former quarterback take the field for another shot at the Lombardi Trophy. It was unclear who created this one, but it certainly had some traction, thanks in large part to the popularity of the original photo.
• Let’s Party
This could very well be the first Belichick meme, and it’s a classic. Simple, direct, and to the point, it largely encapsulates his approach at the podium. It’s impossible to trace where or when this one started, but different variations of this one have popped up over the years, making it one of the originals. Honestly, there’s no way to argue with this one.
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