Bill Belichick took time away from the NFL Draft prep to celebrate his 70th birthday in an unusual setting

Patriots coach Bill Belichick celebrated his 70th birthday over the weekend and although some people like to turn their milestone birthdays into big events, Belichick decided to keep things casual by attending an event you don’t usually see him at: A college baseball game.

Of course, the biggest surprise here is that he took time away from draft preparation to do anything at all.

The six-time Super Bowl winner was in Nashville where he watched Vanderbilt take on the Florida Gators in a weekend series. Not only did the Patriots coach show up for the opener series on Friday night – which Vanderbilt won 5-4 – but he also returned for a game on Saturday, which was the day of his 70th birthday.

That’s Belichick and his long-time girlfriend Linda Holliday. The two were also caught on camera during a broadcast of the game.

If you’re wondering why Belichick decided to spend his birthday in Nashville, it’s because he has close ties to the city. For one, he was born there. Belichick’s dad, Steve Belichick, was an assistant football coach at Vanderbilt from 1949 to 1952 and Bill was born at the tail end of his dad’s time with the team.

According to the broadcast from the Vanderbilt-Florida game, Belichick was also planning to spend some time with Commodores baseball coach Tim Corbin over the weekend.

Belichick visits Nashville often enough that he actually owns a home there. The Patriots coach revealed that information before a game against the Titans back in November 2018.

“I actually don’t get back there,” Belichick said of whether he visits Nashville. “I get down to Tootsies.… It’s a great town, a great atmosphere. Linda and I have a place in Franklin. She’s from Brentwood, so we know the area pretty well. We’re getting to know it even better. We’re just love the people and love the atmosphere down there. I’ve gone over to Puckett’s, it’s a great area. We love the people down there. “

The fact that Belichick has now hit his 70th birthday is kind of interesting and that’s because the Patriots coach once said that he would retire before he hit 70.

“I won’t be like Marv Levy and coaching in my 70s,” Belichick said in 2009, via Pro Football Talk.

That comment came when Belichick was just 57 years old and it’s pretty clear that at some point over the past 13 years, he changed his mind about how long he’s willing to coach. In more recent years, the closest Belichick has come to talking about retirement came in January when he was asked if his coaching career is now a year-to-year thing due to his age.

“Nobody ever said it was year-to-year or something else,” Belchick said, via the Sporting News. “I enjoy the job that I have and trying to do everything I can to help the team. That’s what I’ve always done and that’s what I’ll continue to do.”

That doesn’t sound like anyone who plans on retiring anytime soon.

Those who know Belichick best believe that he could end up coaching for another decade. Former Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said he wouldn’t be surprised if Belchick is still coaching in his 80s.

“If he’s there 10 years from now, it wouldn’t surprise me to see that,” McDaniels said. “He still attacks the job the same now that I saw him attack it when I first started in 2001. Doesn’t matter what part of the year it is. The big thing that Bill has going for him and has always done is he loves all the facets of the football season, whether it’s scouting, preparation for a game, roster evaluation, team-building, developmental parts of the year for the young players. ”

Coaching until he’s 80 could actually happen and that’s because the Patriots would love to keep him that long. According to PFT’s Mike Florio, Patriots owner Robert Kraft has made it known that he’d like Belichick to stick around until he reaches his 80s.

If Belichick does stick around that long, he’d smash the NFL record for oldest coach. That record is currently held by Romeo Crennel, who was 73 years and 199 days old for his final game as the Texans interim coach in 2020. The only other coaches to even reach their 70s and keep a job were George Halas, Marv Levy and Seahawks coach Pete Carroll.

Carroll is seven months older than Belichick, so it will be almost impossible for the Patriots coach to break any age records if Carroll also keeps coaching.

Of course, Belichick doesn’t seem to be thinking about any of that right now. Right now, he’s just trying to celebrate his 70th birthday with a delicious cake.

I’m guessing that his birthday wish this year is that his 70th birthday turns out as well as his 48th birthday. On April 16, 2000, Belichick had to work on his birthday because that was the final day of the NFL Draft that year and one of the picks that New England made on his birthday just happened to be none other than Tom Brady.

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