This Sunday, the NFL’s Wild Card Round will be between the New York Jets and the New England Patriots. As some of you might know, this will be putting two Wesleyan alums head-to-head–and that’s just the beginning:
Bill Belichick ’75 is the head coach of the Patriots and a 3-time Super Bowl winner. Eric Mangini ’94, the Jets head coach, also has 3 Super Bowl rings, but they were earned as one of Belichick’s assistants – which adds to the rivalry between the two teams. Beyond the typical mentor versus master angle (before going to the Jets, Mangini’s 11-year NFL career was spent entirely working for, and learning from, Belichick), Belichick was reportedly extremely displeased when Mangini decided to take the head job last year with New England’s most hated rival. The result was a rather frosty treatment of the student by the teacher in their first two meetings. But the mood has warmed somewhat in the last week. The New England coach even lauded Mangini by name in a recent press conference – something Belichick had not done before or after the two previous games.
For more info on the game: