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Yup, you read that correctly: Bill Belichick took the New England Patriots to the movies on Friday to catch Lone Survivor, starring Mark Wahlberg.
Apparently, the team had an extra early set of team meetings on Friday morning, hit the practice field by 10 AM, then had an afternoon watching Hollywood’s account of a four-person Navy SEAL team trying to escape from a jeopardized mission in Afghanistan in 2005.
I mean, team bonding is great and all, but I’d prefer they spent the extra time preparing for the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday rather than chowing down on Swedish Fish and chugging giant sodas. Though the thought of Belichick sharing a tub of synthetically buttered popcorn with Josh McDaniels and Aqib Talib is extremely entertaining to consider…
I’d like to think this is as simple as a fun, team-building exercise to lighten the mood as the regular season winds and grinds down, full of metaphors for each person focussing on performing his role and duties (a Belichick-ism in itself), persevering to the end (not that this Patriots team seems to need that lesson with all these nail-biters), and being the last one standing (Super Bowl champions, knock on wood). I wouldn’t use a Hollywood film starring Marky Mark to impart that lesson on my players, frankly, but who am I to question Belichick’s motivational techniques?
Still, considering that Wahlberg is supposedly friends with Belichick and Patriots owner Robert Kraft (isn’t the above picture evidence enough?), there seems to be more at stake than on-screen inspiration… Perhaps Belichick and Kraft are doing Mark a solid by boosting Lone Survivor sales 53 roster spots at a time???
As long as the Patriots can pull off a win on the road against the Baltimore Ravens, though, Belichick can host as many movie nights in honor of Marky Mark as he pleases.