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Volume 26 No. 207
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Belichick Shows Love For Football In New NFL 100 All-Time Team Series

Bill Belichick is co-hosting NFL Network's "NFL 100 All-Time Team" series that premiered on Friday, and fans "haven't seen anything like" what he is providing on the show, according to Chad Finn of the BOSTON GLOBE. Viewers are getting a "prolonged look" at Belichick, an "enthusiastic NFL historian, and it's amazing." Co-host Rich Eisen said, "I can't overstate how good he is in this." The series, which names the NFL's 100 best players and 10 best coaches in league history, "does not rank the players; Belichick wanted no part of that." His role is to "use his clicker to tell you on the show's state-of-the-art set why a player was so great and belongs in the top 100" (BOSTON GLOBE, 11/23). In Boston, Greg Bedard wrote the series shows Belichick "as we never get to see and hear him." The "best part is Belichick breaking down film of players from the NFL's earliest days -- and he really knows what he talks about when he breaks down their strengths and weaknesses." Bedard: "It's a treat" (BOSTONSPORTSJOURNAL.com, 11/24). ESPN.com's Mike Reiss wrote Belichick's "love of football and its history was on display" in the first episode (ESPN.com, 11/24).

LEVEL OF COMFORT: NBCSPORTS.com's Peter King, one of the voters for the All-Time Team, notes cutting the list to 100 "was hard." King: "The most surprising thing about the process? I'd guess -- no one was keeping a clock -- that the most talkative voter among the 25 was Belichick." A task like this was "right up his alley." During the meetings, Belichick "talked more about the players from the first 30 years of pro football than the last 30." In some cases, he and "another influential voter, John Madden, educated the room on why the old timers matter." Meanwhile, as for the show, King screened the first two episodes and wrote Eisen, Belichick and co-host Cris Collinsworth are a "good and natural trio." Belichick "showed he'll have a future in TV if he ever wants it." He is "into it, and his stories are very insider" (NBCSPORTS.com, 11/25).