January 4, 2000
Citing the uncertainty surrounding a possible change in team ownership, Bill Belichick resigns less than one day after being named head coach of the New York Jets and minutes before the news conference announcing his promotion. He reportedly writes “I resign as HC of the NYJ” on a napkin. OMG.
January 27, 2000
Robert Kraft names Belichick head coach of the Patriots, giving the Jets New England’s first pick in the 2000 draft, among other concessions. (The Jets trade up and take Shaun Ellis, who would go to his first Super Bowl in 2012 — as a New England Patriot.)
April 15-16, 2000
With their sixth-round pick in the NFL draft (199th overall), Belichick and then assistant director of player personnel Scott Pioli select Tom Brady, out of the University of Michigan. Says Belichick: “We’ll just put him out there with everybody else . . . and see what happens.”
January 19, 2002
In what became the “tuck rule” game, a fumble call on Tom Brady is reversed based on the infamous regulation. The Patriots beat the Oakland Raiders 16-13 in overtime in the last game at Foxboro Stadium and advance to the AFC Championships.
January 29, 2002
In New Orleans for the Super Bowl, an accommodating Belichick switches rooms with Lawyer Milloy, who was upset about the size of his. (In an unrelated story, the fan favorite Milloy is released in September 2003, just days before the start of the regular season. The Patriots would lose their opener to Buffalo — and Milloy — 31-0, but win in their next matchup against the Bills. New England went on to victory in the next Super Bowl — and the one after that.)
February 3, 2002
Patriots win Super Bowl XXXVI in New Orleans, beating the heavily favored St. Louis Rams 20-17 with a 48-yard field goal by Adam Vinatieri as time expires.
November 11, 2003
Football Fashionisto Belichick first dons the infamous gray hooded sweat shirt, but the sleeves are still intact. He won’t wear a hacked hoodie at a game until two years later, according to the online Bleacher Report.
February 1, 2004
Patriots win a wild Super Bowl XXXVIII, 32-29, over the Carolina Panthers in Houston. Vinatieri kicks a 41-yard field goal with four seconds left. (When asked about Janet Jackson’s halftime show wardrobe malfunction, Belichick later tells David Letterman: “We didn’t see [it]. We were in the locker room. . . . Nobody kept us abreast of that.”)
February 6, 2005
The Patriots win back-to-back titles, beating the Philadelphia Eagles, 24-21, in Super Bowl XXXIX in Jacksonville, Florida. Belichick becomes the only NFL coach to win three Super Bowls in a four-year span.
September 13, 2007
Critics and foes hurl invective and asterisks at the Patriots after it is revealed that the team was illegally taping opposing coaches’ signals. Belichick says he misunderstood the rules. For Spygate, he was fined $500,000 and the team was tapped for $250,000, plus the loss of a first-round draft pick. Belichick circles the wagons and leads the team to the league’s first 16-0 season.
February 3, 2008
Heavily favored New England loses to the New York Giants, 17-14, in Super Bowl XLII in Glendale, Arizona, derailing the Patriots’ pursuit of a 19-0 season.
July 28, 2011
Patriots acquire Chad Ochocinco, a longtime Belichick favorite while an opponent in Cincinnati; he would score only 6 points of the 547 New England would get that season. “Ochocinco” means 85 in Spanish (well, eight five, to be precise) — and also probably the number of plays in the Patriots playbook he couldn’t get the hang of.
December 17, 2011
In a “Saturday Night Live”skit, an athletic-sock-and-sandal-wearing Jesus Christ tells Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos: “If I’m the son of God, then Tom Brady’s got to be the guy’s nephew. . . . But that coach Belichick? Well, let’s just say [makes devil horns and sounds].”
February 5, 2012
There be Giants . . . The Patriots fall to New York again, 21-17, in Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis, after the Giants make an 88-yard touchdown drive late in the fourth quarter.
January 20, 2013
The Baltimore Ravens crush the Patriots, 28-13, in the AFC championship, dashing New England’s hopes of winning its first Super Bowl since 2005.
June 11, 2013
The Patriots sign free agent and former Jet Tim Tebow, a quarterback known more for taking a knee off the field than on. Belichick explains: “Tim is a talented player that’s smart and works hard. We’ll see how it goes.” Lightning doesn’t strike twice in the same place, Bill. Tebow was cut on August 31.