An assistant once pranked Bill Belichick by emailing him a file that said 'I'm watching porn' repeatedly

·2 min read
Bill Belichick takes off his headset and smiles during a game in 2009.
Bill Belichick. Elise Amendola/AP Images
  • With the Jets, an assistant once emailed Bill Belichick a file that said "I am watching porn" aloud.

  • Belichick did not know how to stop the audio and eventually unplugged the computer as others laughed.

  • When Belichick became head coach of the Patriots, he became more business-minded, and pranks ceased.

Before Bill Belichick became the embidoment of "strictly business" with the New England Patriots, he was the victim of a classic prank with the New York Jets.

According to Seth Wickersham's book "It's Better To Be Feared," Belichick's Jets assistant Eric Mangini emailed Belichick an audio file that said "I am watching porn" over and over.

Horrified by the audio blaring out of his computer, Belichick, a "technology novice," reportedly banged on the keyboard to no avail. As Mangini and others laughed, Belichick eventually went under the desk and unplugged the computer entirely to get the audio to stop.

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According to Wickersham, while Belichick was with the Jets, he was a more relaxed, "approachable" presence. Belichick reportedly would hang around meeting rooms and the weight room, chatting with others about football, sharing stories, or griping about ownership

Once he became head coach of the Patriots, his attitude changed. As Wickersham wrote, there were no more pranks, "shooting the bull," or wasted minutes.

Belichick began putting in excruciating hours, showing up at 4:30 AM and leaving after midnight. He made assistants and other coaches work similar hours.

Belichick had little regard for what people thought of him. Former Patriots defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel told Wickersham that he thought Belichick enjoyed the "Doom" nickname former coach Bill Parcells gave him because it meant Belichick didn't have to be nice to anyone.

That culture helped the Patriots create a dynasty, but it came at a cost, including no more "I am watching porn" pranks.

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