Bill Belichick will lead his New England Patriots into Super Bowl XLVI on Sunday, in a rematch of the 2008 edition of the Big Game against the New York Giants. Belichick has a chance to win his fourth Super Bowl ring, which will also mean that he will join a very elite class of NFL coaches.
Gary Mihoces of USA Today points out that if Belichick's team comes away with the win on Sunday, he will become just the second head coach in NFL history to win four Super Bowl titles. The only other head coach to accomplish the feat is Chuck Noll, who guided the Pittsburgh Steelers to Super Bowl victories in 1974, '75, '78 and '79. Mihoces reports that Belichick is very aware of the possible future link between himself and Noll.
"I have a tremendous amount of respect for Chuck and the job he did with his team and the organization," says Belichick, 59. "So it is very flattering to be mentioned in the same sentence with Chuck Noll."
If Belichick picks up the victory, he will have earned Super Bowl his rings over a longer stretch of time than did Noll. The former Steelers coach only needed a span of six years to earn his four titles, while Belichick's first came in 2001. Then again, when Noll won his Super Bowls, there was no such thing as free agency.