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Annapolis-raised NFL coach, icon rejects Presidential Medal of Freedom

| January 18, 2021, 12:35 PM

Head coach of the New England Patriots, Bill Belichick, has spurned the advances of President Trump who was keen to offer him the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Belichick, who was raised in Annapolis and graduated from Annapolis High School in 1970, has enjoyed a long and lucrative career in NFL. The 68-year-old has been involved in a coaching capacity at NFL level for 46 years, underlining the reasoning behind President Trump’s desire to award him the highest possible honor to a US civilian.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is awarded to those that have dedicated their lives to “the security or national interests of America”. It has been recently granted to golf icon Tiger Woods, as well as much-loved radio personality Rush Limbaugh. It was even awarded posthumously to the late Elvis Presley. However, Belichick released a statement explaining his reasons for rejecting the offer, citing the recent “tragic events” at the US Capitol in Washington DC. It was a decision that the BBC’s North America reporter, Anthony Zurcher, called a “stinging rebuke” considering Belichick had been a “personal friend” of President Trump. Belichick was also given the key to Annapolis by Annapolis MayorGavin Buckley last March, becoming the first man to have this honor bestowed upon him.

Liquified Creative Annapolis

Belichick: A man that courts controversy and a healthy dose of Super Bowls

During his time with New England, Bill Belichick has taken the Patriots to nine Super Bowls, winning six Lombardi Trophies in the process. Although his approach has won him plenty of fans and respect in New England, he is less so revered further afield in NFL circles. Fans and analysts alike have often failed to warm to his old-school approach and a “win at all costs” attitude that has seen him lock horns with many of his counterparts through the years.

Few could forget the “Spygate” saga in 2007 when Belichick was accused of illegally taping the signals of their rivals. Eight years on from this, Belichick and the Patriots were alleged to have played using underinflated footballs during the first two periods of a crucial playoff encounter with the Indianapolis Colts. Nevertheless, Belichick remains the only head coach to have six Super Bowl victories under his belt. He also stands third in the NFL’s all-time list for the most wins during the regular season. It’s these statistics which make him such a polarizing character, with some sports fans prepared to overlook his misgivings and respect his on-field successes.

What’s in store for Belichick and the Patriots in 2021?

Despite reaching the ripe age of 68, Belichick shows no signs of letting up in charge of the Patriots for 2021, which will be his 21st season in charge of New England. However, with Super Bowl title number seven ot of the picture for the Patriots, the off-season NFL betting odds from FOX Bet have the likes of Kansas City Chiefs (+190) and Green Bay Packers out in front.

The fact that the Patriots failed to even reach the Wild Card Round this season underlines the hard work that lies ahead for Belichick and his troops. Some may view this as a positive, given that New England will have more time to prepare in the off-season, due to not being involved in the playoffs for the first time in 13 years.

A 7-9 record in 2020 suggests that changes are likely to be afoot in the Patriots’ roster in the coming weeks and months. However, Belichick will also have his eye on developing some of New England’s rookie talent that came to the fore at times this season. The likes of Damien Harris, Jakobi Meyers and Chase Winovich all made their mark on occasion, while rookies Michael Onwenu and Kyle Dugger are already primed to become regular starters in 2021. As a team in transition, there are few better head coaches than Belichick to fully oversee the post-Brady era.

Severn Bank


Category: Local News, NEWS

About the Author - Stephanie Maris

Stefanie is a local blogger and social media content marketer from Maryland and most recently a wife and a mother. She has an unhealthy obsession with puns, sarcasm and caffeinated beverages.

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