- End of the Bench
- Belichick Departure Leaves Patriots Fans Deflated
Belichick Departure Leaves Patriots Fans Deflated
By Meg Reid
BOSTON - The announcement by the New England Patriots that Head Coach Bill Belichick will not return to the team next season took the air right out of the NFL team’s usually buoyant fan base early Thursday.
Despite the team’s disappointing 4 - 13 record during the 2023 season, fans largely supported the decorated coach, who has led the team since 2000. The news was disappointing to many of the team’s supporters End of the Bench spoke to shortly after the announcement.
Self-described Patriots superfan Steven Tailor said, “I feel like this news has taken the wind out of my sails, so to speak. I’m usually so full of Patriot pride, but now I feel like it’s been emptied out of me. Not all of it of course, but just enough to make a noticeable difference in both how I feel and how the rest of my day will go.”
Similarly, Boston native Mandy Bowen described feeling her support for the team “shrinking just a little” upon hearing the news, as she commiserated with fellow fans at Sullivan’s Tap to mourn the end of the Belichick era.
A nearby patron, who chose to remain anonymous, said that soon after a friend texted him the news, he felt like he couldn’t breathe.
“Air was going out of my lungs, but wasn’t coming back in, you know?”
These strong reactions were accompanied by criticism from many fans of the Patriots’ front office for making this decision.
Many noted the departure three seasons ago of star quarterback Tom Brady, who aired it out more than anyone in NFL history, and the resulting need to rebuild as the reason the team has fallen flat the past few seasons.
Not the actions of Belichick.
“He always pushed us to succeed. And gave us players the leeway to do everything in our power to make that happen,” Brady said when reached for comment. “As long as he had plausible deniability, there was nothing we couldn’t do under Coach Belichick. The game will miss him dearly.”
End of the Bench will have more on this story after we pump ourselves back up.