By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — More than a year-and-a-half ago, Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson suggested that it was more fun to play for the Philadelphia Eagles than it is to play for the New England Patriots. Somehow, this comment created a controversy that seemingly will not ever die.READ MORE: Man Arrested After Armed Robbery At Haverhill Pot Shop
At least, if you were to read in to Bill Belichick’s postgame comments from Sunday, you’d be led to believe that.
In his standard opening remarks to the media after the Patriots’ victory in Philadelphia, Belichick used a word he almost never uses to describe an NFL game.
He said it was fun.
“They just did a good job,” Belichick said of his players. “It looked like everyone had fun out there today and we played a lot of good energy and it was good to come down here and get a win.”
Slipped in there was a very short but seemingly direct message: “Everyone had fun out there today.”
Again, it’s not often that Belichick used the F word to describe the mood or feeling of an NFL game, and given the fact that Johnson gently stoked the “fun” flame, it’s not at all a stretch to ponder whether Belichick was offering a return volley with this postgame commentary.
Johnson made the comments partly in jest after the Eagles beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl. He went on “Pardon My Take” to try to clarify his message shortly thereafter, and he also said the following: “If that stuff ends up getting on their bulletin board, I just don’t know what I’m going to do. We’re going to get a spell put on us, and we’re going to lose.”
There was no magic spell (Belichick has not developed that power yet), but it seems as though it did land on the head coach’s radar.READ MORE: Gov. Baker Proposes Waiving Massachusetts Sales Tax For All Of August And September
Just two weeks ago, after the Patriots lost in Baltimore, Johnson tweeted, “Gonna have some fun at the Linc in 2 weeks!” Johnson’s afternoon was unfortunately cut short due to suffering a concussion.
The Patriots have responded to Johnson before, most notably when Duron Harmon and Devin McCourty took to Instagram to share just how fun it is to be a member of the Patriots.
“When you’ve been to four Super Bowls in six years, that’s fun, baby!” Harmon shouted during the Patriots’ victory parade in February.MORE NEWS: Rep. Chris Pappas Mourns 15-Year-Old Nephew Who Drowned In Sebbins Pond In Bedford, NH
Belichick’s message was of course a bit more understated. But those who listen closely to Belichick every day know that it would have to be a mighty coincidence for the “fun” word to have slipped in to those opening remarks accidentally.