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How to talk like the Patriots and survive Thanksgiving with your family – Boston Herald

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Before the turkey makes its rounds, with mashed potatoes, football and a nap to follow, Thanksgiving kicks off with family time.

Time to to catch up. Time to engage in occasionally awkward small talk. Time for crazy Uncle Bob to swagger over, beer in hand, and uncork a highly personal question with all the grace of the Butt Fumble.

How’s your ex doing?

When are you going to get married and have kids?

How’s your weight loss going?

So, how do you answer?

By channeling Bill Belichick, of course, master of the microphone. But spare Uncle Bob the sneers, snorts, sarcasm and glares that have made Belichick’s press conferences famous.

Stick to his rules, those that have invisibly shaped the answers he and his players have given for 22 seasons.

While it’s true every NFL team adheres to a media policy, Belichick is unique in that he handcrafted most of the Patriots’ rules himself and elevated their place within his program. In more than a dozen interviews with the Herald, currnt and former Patriots players universally agreed the organization cares more about media relations than any other team they played for. For example, Belichick will display players’ quotes to reporters in team meetings if they’ve transgressed and lambast them, just like he spotlights bad plays on film.

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