Presser Points – Belichick: Ravens challenge and lessons of Pearl Harbor
— Patriots.com (@PATRIOTSdotCOM) December 7, 2016
Patriots.com - “A pretty big day in our history, certainly in Naval history,” Belichick began. “For me, the lesson on Pearl Harbor and for us as a team individually I would say is not what happened on December 7, although that was a lesson there, but the response and what the response was from our nation, from our military, from our civilians and from our population to battle the world on two fronts and win both of them. What this country did under [President Franklin Delano] Roosevelt’s leadership as well as the multiple military leaders to go fight in Europe and then go fight in Southeast Asia and Japan in response to what happened on December 7, 1941 is pretty impressive. I remember my dad talking a lot about that – when it happened and when he found out. Then when he went into the Navy and went to Great Lakes and then eventually went to Europe and eventually went to Okinawa, it was a tough time for this country but it was a great example of the patriotism of our citizens, men and women fighting together, pulling together and being victorious in a lot of different ways. It’s a special, special day, one we hope we don’t have to see again. A tough day for the Navy, though. But they responded, they bounced back, and then the Battle of Midway, that was really a huge turning point that had that not gone the way it did, then I don’t know, it probably would have been a longer fight.”
There’s only one thing in the world I appreciate more than Bill Belichick talking about football, and that’s Bill Belichick talking about history. With football, he’s careful about what he says. But with history, it’s not like he’s worried about giving away strategy to the Imperial Japanese Navy. So he gets expansive and gives you a peak behind the stoic, guarded front he puts on for public consumption. One question about a world-changing day like Pearl Harbor Day on the 75th anniversary and he lets down his guard and becomes the kid who grew up on the grounds of the Naval Academy, being raised to admire the proud men and women of the greatest seafaring force the world has ever known.
Remember the “Seinfeld” where George got flagged at the bookstore for taking a Civil War book into the men’s room? And when he picked it up he said “I always wanted to be a Civil War buff? Well when it comes to military history, Belichick really is a buff. He’s not just pretending. On my radio job I got to talk to him about it in person. I asked him about the time in 2014 when the Patriots were in San Diego and visited the Naval Medical Center. I got to see the look in his eye and hear the emotion in his voice as he talked about with wounded who refuse to be called heroes because they say “the real heroes are the ones who didn’t come back.” I’ve talked to him about the underground NORAD facility the team went to in West Virginia when the Pats were down there to play the Redskins in preseason. And had him describe the WWII museum in Natick in detail. To the point he was still in the studio when we came back from break and had to shuffle him out of the room. He’s that sincere about it.
It’s one of those things all the media haters and cyberbullies who want to believe he’s a misanthrope and a miserable excuse for a human being who spends 23 hours a day plotting ways to win football games refuse to accept. That Bill Belichick is not just a Patriot, he’s a patriot.
And of course, he’s right about the lessons we can take away from Dec. 7th, 1941. Though not ever Hall of Fame coach has: