BOSTON, MA. - APRIL 17: Bill Belichick and his girlfriend Linda Holliday watch during the first quarter of Game 2 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Indiana Pacers at the TD Garden on April 17, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts .
Photo by Matt Stone/Digital First Media/Boston Herald via Getty Images

Bill Belichick Splits With Longtime Girlfriend Days Before Season

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is back on the market after splitting up with his longtime girlfriend.

Bill Belichick has always been all about staying focused on football; he's not exactly a lightning rod for off-field drama, save for the various scandals directly related to the Patriots. But just three days before the Patriots open their season against the Philadelphia Eagles, rumors are surfacing that the coach and longtime girlfriend Linda Holliday have called it quits.

According to sports writer Dov Kleiman, the news has Patriots executives "on edge," as this is an unprecedented situation throughout any of their tenures. Belichick and Holliday, who serves as the executive director of the Bill Belichick Foundation, have been together since 2007, so it's hard to know how the split might affect the legendary coach's mental state heading into the season.

Patriots officials close to the situation are reportedly worried about what Holliday might post online after what appears to have been a long, drawn-out breakup, potentially over the course of a year. After controversies such as "spygate," "deflategate" and a second, lesser spygate-esque incident back in 2019, it's easy to imagine that Belichick's closet could hold a few more skeletons — and that Holliday could have information on just about all of them.

The timing is brutal with the season just a few days away, especially with opening day also doubling as the setting for Tom Brady's jersey retirement ceremony in New England. Surely, Belichick would have been happy to steal the spotlight from his old quarterback — but with a win over the defending NFC champs, not like this. Curiously enough, Brady went through his own very public, very contentious split a year ago as he and his now-ex-wife Gisele Bündchen divorced shortly before the season. As the two titans' football legacies are so often compared, now their romantic histories have a commonality as well.

The pair don't have any children, but one can only wonder how the breakup will affect custody of Nike, the couple's adorable Alaskan Klee Kai dog, who was caught red-handed at Belichick's computer during the 2020 NFL Draft in which the Patriots made some truly shocking picks.

With a huge season ahead from Belichick, Patriots nation will be on the edge of their collective seat waiting to see what news might come from Holliday's end — and what kind of results the team will have as their coach deals with a new challenge of balancing his personal conflict with the rigors of navigating an NFL season.

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