So I've mentioned before, I was at Patriots Preseason Game No.1, which brought me close enough to Bill Belichick to step in and join the coaching staff if he wanted. (Spoiler: Not this time.) But still not as close at the TV cameras did. So I missed a detail others caught:
And that, frankly has been noticed by others before, but I've missed.
Rings on a guy's hand are to most of us what Red said about Andy Dufresne walking out of the warden's office in a shiny pair of wingtips. "Honestly, how often do you look at a man's shoes?" And in Belichick's case, I watch him for the pearls of wisdom, the wit, the twinkle in his eye, and the occasional death stare at any questioner who displeases him. So forgive me for not being observant about a thing that I've spent a lifetime never paying attention to on any fella.
The Boston Globe has some speculation:
Belichick could have invested in a so-called “smart ring.” Brands like Oura or Motiv track fitness and sleep activity through bands people wear on a finger rather than on their wrist like other watch-like fitness trackers. …
[Linda] Holliday also sports some bling on her ring finger. If you look closely at her latest Instagram photo with Belichick, from Bridgehampton, N.Y. on July 25, there’s something sparkly on her left hand. (Internet sleuths will rightly point out that she’s been wearing a ring of some sort on that finger at least as early as 2018. But notably, a 2017 photo of the couple at the Preakness Stakes shows Holliday’s left hand ring free.)
… So, could Holliday’s Instagram bio offer a clue? She currently describes herself as “Ms Bill Belichick” — not quite “Mrs.” but close. …
So did the no-nonsense coach finally say “I do”? The Globe reached out for comment to Stacey James, vice president of media relations for the Patriots, but has yet to hear back. For now, we can confirm that Belichick remains married to football.
Until now, I've not been aware that there are Fitbit like "smart rings" and this could possibly be one. This is, after all, a man notorious for spending time on his fitness. Famously breaking down game film while exercising and who was on the treadmill in Jets headquarters minutes before he handed Steven Gutman the legendary "I resign as hc of nyjs" historical document. It just seems a bit odd that if you're going to wear a ring that monitors your health, you'd choose to put in on the one finger everyone associates with marriage. Eliminating the thumb because he's not the owner of a tattoo parlor and the pinkies since he's not a crime boss, that leave a 1-in-6 chance he'd choose that particular digit for that particular wellness method.
The odds seem better that he did, in fact, jump the broom with Linda Holliday. Because if they did, this is exactly how he would choose to do it. No public pronouncement. No big gala event that would turn into a media circus like a Royal wedding or Obama's birthday. No having to decide which of his football/celebrity friends to invite. No taking up a Saturday of his staff's and player' lives to come watch him do the nuptials, since they need that time to do evaluations and learn the playbook.
However he did it - if he did it - you know it was in the most Belichickian way imaginable. Efficiently. Punctually. No wasted time. He no doubt schemed up the ceremony ahead of time. Scouted the officiant to the point he knew where he learned to perform weddings and what kind of vows and readings he prefers so he could be prepared. Probably handed out notes outlining the key points every toast needed to include.
I bet even popped the question in Belichick fashion. Didn't get down on one knee because it's wasted motion and a two-point stance with feet shoulder width apart keeps you balanced and in position to move in for the hug. I can just hear him.
"Linda, we've done things well for a lot of years here. Some things we haven't done as well. But we're working hard. Putting in the effort to improve each day and be a better couple than we were earlier on. It takes time and, like I said, effort, and I think we're seeing that. But there's still a ways to go to really be as productive as we can in all three phases. Which is what dating is for. To get us ready for wedding season. So I'm going to go ahead and propose marriage to you right now. I can't control how you'll react and what you're answer will be. All I can do is pop the question. We'll see what your response is, and then we'll work from there."
And if he wasn't dressed like this, all my illusions of what his man is all about will be crushed.
So yes, I'm going to assume he and Linda secretly married. Like the two star-crossed young lovers keeping a forbidden romance hidden in a romance novel. Theirs is a love too pure and sacred to share with the outside world. We don't deserve it. If I'm right, then congratulations to these two crazy kids. These soulmates who were born for each other. And to me, that ring is the 7th most precious one he has, behind his six Patriots ones just ahead of the two he won with the Giants.
P.S. I hope he had it made of melted down Lamar Hunt trophies and it has a poison needle in it for the next time he shakes hands with Roger Goodell.