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A Thing of Beauty: Patriots’ Press Conferences

It’s official. Football season is upon us. And growing up in Massachusetts means the world once again revolves around the New England Patriots. I have to admit, despite my family’s best attempts, I’m not a die-hard football fan. But I do watch the games—partly out of fear of being shunned by my community, but mostly because the Patriots press conferences are simply awe-inspiring.
That’s right. I said it. For years, I have marveled at how they’ve mastered the art of media interviews. They stick to their talking points better than any politician I have heard. (The main one is always a variation on “It’s good to get a win, but there is a lot we could do better.”) They are all on message at all times. They can bridge back to that message seamlessly and effortlessly. They never answer a question they don’t want to, yet (except maybe in the case of Bill Belichick) they do it gracefully. And they’re never tripped up by speculative questions—which frankly make up the majority of what’s asked.
If you haven’t seen them in action, I encourage you to watch yesterday’s interviews with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. They have differently styles, for sure, but they’re right on with their talking points.
I can imagine that all of this is extremely irritating to people outside of New England. And I admit that Bill Belichick’s “approach,” could be a little friendlier and chattier at times. But on the plus side, he hardly ever misspeaks. And, every move he makes is intentional. For example, he joked recently with journalists about not wanting to “ruin their Christmas morning” by commenting on who would be included in the week’s injury report before the report actually came out. And, this summer when former tight end Aaron Hernandez was arrested for murder, he showed appropriate emotion and made more personal statements than he ever does when he’s talking about the business of football.
This year could be tricky for the Patriots in terms of wins vs. losses. But no matter how they do on the field, I have no doubt their press conferences will continue to impress.
All this being said, however, Patriots ownership could make some improvements. The whole “Putin stole my Super Bowl ring” thing still baffles me!