By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
ST. PAUL, Minn. (CBS) — Monday began with a literal mic drop from Tom Brady at the Patriots’ sendoff rally. It ended with a figurative one from the head coach.
You see, for one reason or another, Bill Belichick has lately expressed a rather strong belief that having playoff experience doesn’t really matter a whole lot for a football team. Prior to the AFC Championship Game, he explained that having the more-experienced team didn’t matter, and that the only thing that did matter is which team plays better on Sunday.
He’s got a point.
And at Super Bowl LII Opening Night at the Xcel Energy Center, Belichick was hit with back-to-back questions about how much it helps to have a team that has been through the Super Bowl experience before.
His answers were about what you’d imagine.
Well, actually, his first answer was polite enough. But it was a follow-up question that temporarily sent Bill over the edge on what was largely a lighthearted session.
Here was his exchange with a well-meaning reporter.
WELL-MEANING REPORTER: Bill, what’s the biggest benefit to having been here this many times when you’re facing a team that’s going through this for the first time in a while?
Belichick: “I mean. We haven’t played the Eagles in a while. I don’t know what the benefit is. They haven’t played us, we haven’t played them. It’s going to be a great competition. It’s two good teams. Both have won a lot of games this year, both have played a lot of good football. So I wouldn’t say it’s an advantage for anybody, other than the team that plays the best on Sunday. That’d be the only advantage.”
WELL-MEANING REPORTER: Just having been through the experience, does that give you, I guess, any extra benefit that you wouldn’t have?
Belichick: “We didn’t have any experience in 2001. It didn’t seem to bother us.”
So there you have it. Experience doesn’t matter. The 2001 Patriots proved that to be true forever. Now, Bill would rather not be asked about it anymore.