As the son of a Navy veteran, Bill Belichick’s military upbringing taught him to delegate at an early age. But I’d argue the long-tenured Patriots coach took it a bridge too far Friday night, handing off GM duties to his four-legged proxy on Day 2 of the NFL Draft.
That screen grab was all it took for Nike, an Alaskan Klee Kai, to become a viral sensation. Having Nike at the wheel could explain why New England reached for a D-II safety in the second round. That selection may have been a bit on the reckless side, but you have to admire the pup’s rapid ascension through the Patriots’ front-office ranks.
Belichick, who is spending his quarantine sheltered in the comfort of his beachfront Nantucket home, hasn’t lost much since taking the reins in Foxboro 20 years ago (his six Lombardi Trophies during that span would attest to that). But he did take a rare L when it came to naming the family pooch, as his preferred “Jack” was apparently left on the cutting room floor.
“He could be a Jack,” Belichick told CNBC in a recent segment highlighting the coach’s canine companion. “I like Jack, but that didn’t make it.” Portrayed as a ruthless micromanager whose rigid code may have rubbed stars Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski the wrong way (leading both to explore opportunities elsewhere), it’s not often we see Belichick let his guard down. But dogs have a magical way of bringing out the best in people and the heart-melting Jack—I mean Nike—is no exception.
“He’s aggressive,” said Belichick, providing a full scouting report on his furry friend. “He wants to pull out the stuffing, the squeaker. He likes to mix it up and get tossed around a little bit. He’s pretty good with his paws too.” From the sound of it, Belichick’s pet is a well-rounded athlete with a mind for victory. Unfortunately, Nike's lack of opposable thumbs disqualifies him from the Patriots' ongoing quarterback search.