When running back Dion Lewis rushed for a first down to effectively seal yet another AFC championship for the New England Patriots, CBS cameras found Bill Belichick looking … happy.
Belichick clapped demonstratively. He put his fist in the air. This is a normal human response, especially after seeing his team come back from a 20-10 deficit in the fourth quarter to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars. Yet, for Belichick, it seemed weird. He’s a robot, right?
Just in case you thought Belichick was getting the warm and fuzzies, he dispelled that in the postgame ceremony. Belichick was handed the Lamar Hunt Trophy, given to the AFC champions. It’s a nice trophy. It’s a heck of an accomplishment to earn one. But Belichick passed it off to Patriots president Jonathan Kraft like it was on fire.
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There aren’t many better Belichick clips than that one (though his staredowns of reporters asking questions have to be in the conversation, especially last week when he was asked if he regretted trading Jimmy Garoppolo). Maybe Belichick treats the conference championship trophy like hockey players, and doesn’t want to touch it or suffer bad luck. Or maybe after winning eight of them as a head coach, the thrill is gone.
Either way, it epitomizes where the Patriots are heading into Super Bowl LII. Winning a conference championship isn’t their goal, and they’re not going to get too excited about it. Hopefully the AFC championship trophy doesn’t get lost in a storage closet or something.
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