ESPN’s primary telecast spared Bill Belichick during an embarrassing moment caught on national television.
There was no such luck on the ManningCast.
With David Letterman joining Eli and Peyton Manning as a guest during the second quarter of the ESPN2 telecast Monday, the former “Late Show’’ TV host seized the moment to poke fun of the New England Patriots coach when he was caught on camera using his hand to mop his face on a cold, blustery night.
“Oh, look at that guy,’’ Letterman said of Belichick. “Ooooo. Yeah, just go ahead of use your hand, Bill. And then wipe it on your shirt. I love that move.’’
The Manning brothers broke into laughter, and surely they weren’t the only ones.
With Belichick in charge, the Patriots extended their winning streak to seven games with a 14-10 victory over the Buffalo Bills. But, more importantly, at least on the ManningCast, Belichick proved to be the source of much amusement.
In 2015, Belichick appeared on the “Late Show with David Letterman.” On Monday night, Eli asked what Letterman’s impressions were of the Patriots coach.
“Oh, buddy,’’ Letterman replied. “Well, I’ll tell you, you get two different Bill Belichicks. You get the guy who blows his nose in his hand and wipes his sweatshirt, you got that guy. I’ll take all of that you’ve got.
“When he was on the show, he was like this Kiwanis Club after-dinner speaker. He had stories. He had anecdotes. He had clips. He was taking questions from the audience, and then you get the other guy.’’
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And there was yet another Bill Belichick to learn about Monday night.
In the third quarter, the Mannings welcomed Aqib Talib, a retired cornerback. He won a Super Bowl ring with Peyton and the Denver Broncos in 2015. He also played for the Patriots in 2012 and 2013, and Peyton inquired about the rules under Belichick.
“He just care about a couple of things,’’ Talib said. “Man, don’t be late. If you late, he’s sending you home for the whole day. Know your stuff and don’t play around with the media. You stick to those three rules and you’ll have a great time in New England, just like I did.’’
Then Eli wanted to know if it was true Patriots players could show up at the team practice facility in onesie pajamas and Belichick couldn’t have cared less.
In fact, Talib said, he had seen players such as Vince Wilfork and Rob Gronkowski arrive in onesies or pajamas for morning walkthroughs.
“Bill not worried about no dress code,’’ Talib said. “Man, he’s worried that you know what to do when it’s a walkthrough.
“I feel like that got a lot to do with why they win. Man, Bill don’t worry about the minor stuff. I done been with coaches who are like police with what you wear in the building. Why do you care what I got on on a Wednesday morning? I just want to prepare for the game. I didn’t get dressed for work. You know what I’m saying.
“Bill got it figured out, man.’’
About that “don’t play around with the media’’ rule Talib spoke of, FOX announcer Joe Buck offered insight for the Mannings as a guest in the fourth quarter.
Peyton wanted to know what it was like when Buck interviewed Belichick in FOX’s pregame production meetings.
“It’s unlike any other meeting we have with any other head coach,’’ Buck said. “… If I wanted to talk about the history of the designated hitter with Bill Belichick, he’ll talk for an hour and half. But try to pin him down on who’s playing quarterback that next game, it’s like … (Buck began to mutter) … ‘Oh, we’ll see who takes the field.’ And that’s about all you get.”
When Buck began his segment, the Patriots had thrown only one pass and were in position to set the record for the fewest pass attempts by a team during the Super Bowl era.
Buck pointed out that a different history would be made as the cameras showed Belichick doing something on the sideline more shocking than wiping his face with the palm of his hand.
Belichick was caught smiling and rejoicing in the closing moments of his team’s pivotal AFC East victory over the Bills.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: ManningCast: Bill Belichick is big topic of discussion on ESPN show