Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Julien plans to reach out to Belichick
By Joe McDonald
BOSTON -- During the Stanley Cup playoffs last spring, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick showed his support for the Boston Bruins and attended a few games at TD Garden.
Belichick wasn’t shy when he was shown on the video board as he stood up and waved a rally towel frantically to get the fans going. The place erupted the few times he did it. Bruins coach Claude Julien appreciated the gesture and he plans on returning the favor in his own way on Tuesday.
Since today is the Super Bowl’s Media Day, Julien said he would send Belichick either a text message or leave him a voicemail today, wishing the Patriots good luck.
“I’m certainly not going to chat with him because I know what the coach is going through at this time,” Julien said. “But, certainly, that’s going to happen. I want him to know he has my support. I’m looking forward to the game.”
The Bruins are playing at 12:30 on Sunday in Washington against the Capitals, so the early puck drop will give Julien and his players time to enjoy the Super Bowl.
“It would have been disappointing had we had a mid-afternoon game because we would have missed some of it,” Julien said. “It’s going to be exciting.”
Julien is picking the Patriots to win, 31-28.
“I’m taking the Patriots,” Julien said. “I don’t care what anybody says. I’m cheering for them and I think it’s going to be a tight game.
“A lot of it depends whether [Rob] Gronkowski plays, to me, that’s a big factor,” added Julien.
Julien, of course, joined the fraternity of local coaches who have won championships in Boston after the Bruins won the Stanley Cup last spring. In fact, he’s been an avid Red Sox fan for the majority of his adult life, and it’s also no secret he roots for the Patriots, too.
A native of Ontario, Julien became a Red Sox fan when he was coaching junior hockey for the Hull Olympiques of the QMJHL during the 1996-97 season. At the time, Pedro Martinez was pitching for the Montreal Expos, and the owner of the team, Claude Brochu, was also part owner of the Hull junior hockey team. Martinez would attend Hull games when Julien was the coach.
“Something about the Red Sox attracted me, so he probably helped me become a Red Sox fan,” explained Julien. “Since then I’ve stuck with the Red Sox. He’s moved on, but I stuck with the Red Sox.
“And the Patriots, for some reason, there’s something about them that I liked. As a younger person, I went from the 49ers, to Pittsburgh and now the Patriots. I’ve been a Patriots fan, for easily, a dozen years.”
The Bruins created a good luck video with management, coaches and players all wishing the Patriots good luck in the Super Bowl.