The New England Patriots (and the rest of the Foxboro, Massachusetts area) are about to be hit with a major snowstorm. Like, it’s going to be serious big, you guys. Weather services are predicting blizzard conditions and state Governor Charlie Baker has asked the public to please stay off the roads unless absolutely necessary. Schools and many non-essential businesses have already declared themselves preemptively closed.
However, the Patriots have a playoff game to prepare for. So if you work for them, you damn sure better show up on time, regardless of how much snow is on the ground.
In this report from ESPN, several Pats players were quoted as saying that Coach Belichick has zero tolerance for tardiness.
“You certainly better leave yourself enough time to get here on time tomorrow. We all know there is weather. Coach has mentioned that several times to the team, so I wouldn’t want to be the guy who is late tomorrow,” special teams captain Matthew Slater said.
Added safety Duron Harmon, another team captain: “Snow doesn’t matter. We have to find a way to get here. Just be prepared. … These days are too important for us to have guys missing and being late and being a distraction.”
“I tell guys, ‘Wake up earlier.’ Especially if you don’t have a garage or something. Wake up and go clean your car off. I think guys know. We’re in the NFL playoffs. I think everyone, if you’ve been here for a week or two weeks, you kind of get that — ‘this guy Bill that talks every day in the early morning, he doesn’t play,’ said safety Devin McCourty.
It’s interesting to note that the Patriots don’t even play this weekend. They have a first round bye, meaning they can watch the Wild Card games from the comfort of their own homes. But even though their game is over a week away, Belichick still expects everyone to brave the conditions tomorrow in order to run drills or watch film or whatever.
The precedent for punishment already exists. In 2009, then-linebacker Adalius Thomas was expelled from a team meeting for showing up nine minutes late — even after he called ahead and said that snowy conditions were slowing him down.
Belichick was even asked early Thursday morning about his decision to practice with a blizzard on the horizon.
“Every day is a work day,” he responded, flatly.
At least the idea of Tom Brady having to wake up at some godawful early hour in order to drive through a frozen wasteland to get to work on time warms our hearts ever so slightly.