Monday holds a special significance for the New England Patriots — and not just because it’s Patriots’ Day.
For starters, Monday is head coach Bill Belichick’s 66th birthday. That means it’s safe to say the Patriots would look a lot different now if William Stephen Belichick wasn’t born on April 16, 1952, in Nashville, Tenn.
But another franchise-altering event occurred exactly 48 years later. On April 16, 2000, in his first year as Patriots head coach, Belichick used the 199th overall pick in the NFL Draft to select Michigan quarterback Tom Brady.
Six quarterbacks were drafted ahead of Brady, as many teams considered the lanky quarterback too unathletic and slow to have any impact at the NFL level. Watching his NFL Scouting Combine highlights, we can’t say we blame those clubs.
But Belichick believed in TB12, and on his 48th birthday (no days off, right?), the Pats took a flier on Brady to pull off the greatest steal in the history of the NFL draft.
So, yeah. April 16 is a pretty good day around these parts. Oh, and just for good measure: Belichick also shares a birthday with New England long snapper Joe Cardona, who attended a school close to the head coach’s heart.
Perhaps Belichick and Brady can use this special day to iron out some of their reported differences.