NFL Network’s “A Football Life,” a comprehensive lifting of the veil on Bill Belichick‘s decorated NFL career, provides rare access to a coach and organization that has long thrived on keeping a lid on it.
The most-talked about segment of Thursday night’s debut was Belichick’s run-in with then-Ravens WR Derrick Mason during a 2009 regular-season game the Pats won 27-21.
During the segment, Mason grabs a first-down pass before he’s forced out of bounds near Belichick. He tells the coach he plans to have a “smile on his face all day,” to which Belichick responds: “Oh, (expletive) you Mason, just (expletive) you. Why don’t we talk after the game, just shut the (expletive) up.”
As Mason strolls down the sideline, Belichick trails behind, shouting: “Can you look at the scoreboard?”
Mason took to Twitter on Friday after seeing a replay of their tiff.
“Just saw that belichick video thing all u ppl are commenting about. He might As well called me boy! Lol total Disrespect,” he wrote. “Had I said that to him, everyone would have been in a uproar! I have to much respect for the game to speck to a coach in that manner!”
Now with the Jets, Mason promised to “See u soon coach b.. Sg”
The 37-year-old wideout shared more with The Star-Ledger on Friday: “I respect him because he’s a very good head coach. They won a bunch of games during those times. When they were allegedly … you know (referring to the Patriots’ taping scandal, according to the newspaper). They won a bunch of games.
“But nah, I respect coach, he’s a good coach. But I will see him out there.”
The NFL Network presentation was viewed by an average of 657,000 fans, ranking as the most-watched documentary in the eight-year history of the network.
In case you missed it, the documentary will re-air on NFL Network on Friday at 9 p.m. ET.
And for your viewing pleasure, we’ve clipped off five segments from “A Football Life” here:
Part Two of the documentary debuts Thursday, Sept. 22, at 10 p.m. ET.
– Marc Sessler