Belichick, Koppen Visit ‘Snubbed’ School

Ian Logue
May 13, 2010 at 10:14 am ET

Last week it was reported that the Patriots were a “no show” after the Lebanon Middle School in Connecticut beat out middle school students across the state in a contest called a “Fuel Up To Play 60” – and were mistakenly told by a school official would give them a chance to meet the New England Patriots.

After a week of negative publicity for the Patriots, they decided to make quite a splash and sent the biggest ‘Celebrity Coach’ in the world, as the Norwich Bulletin reported that head coach Bill Belichick paid them a visit on Wednesday.

“I know that you want to get back to class, so we’ll keep this short,” said Belichick who received a huge reply of “No!” from the students.

According to the Bulletin, Belichick, starting center Dan Koppen, the team mascot, and a Patriots cheerleader attended the event.  Each of the students who attended were also reportedly given a Patriots hat by the team mascot.

Principal Rob Laskarzewski was thirlled with the fact owner Robert Kraft decided to make the event up to the students – even though it wasn’t their fault.

“I know it wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for the generosity and the time Mr. Kraft devoted to make this right, and it really shows the heart of the Patriots,” he told Patriots Today.

The program, which was run by the Patriots and the New England Dairy and Food Council, encourages students to fuel up on nutritious foods and play for at least 60 minutes a day. According to reports the letter the Dairy Association sent the school gave them the impression that an NFL player would be at the school because it said, “a celebrity coach would be coming to their school” and it also featured a picture with a Patriots player. The e-mail also reportedly stated that a special event at which “All activities are led by celebrity coaches.”

Apparently the reported event ended up as an hour featuring a registered dietitian giving the kids tips on healthy eating and a communications intern from the New England Patriots playing kickboxing workout videos.

Instead the gym full of students were expecting to meet a player or coach from the team, but according to published reports the Dairy Council claimed the celebrity coaches referred to in that email were always meant to be presented on a video shown to the children.

The fact that the promo used for the program had featured a photo of a Patriots player was definitely misleading, and the team has since requested that they be more clear to the participants going forward to prevent something like this from occurring again.

A video from the event is featured on the team’s website, and can be viewed by clicking here.


  • redsoxmaniac

    Also having a hard time with your chart. Chrome kills rigid-sized tables. I think possibly an .xml format that can be downloaded or a screenshot might be better.

    Was going to your site ever 2 minutes to see if it was updated lol

  • ConstitutionalAmerican2016

    The last time Brady did this for the Patriots, they pocketed the money and didn’t even make a good-faith effort to sign Wes Welker. If they do the same thing to Darrelle Revis … Brady ought to walk away. Take the largest contract he can get from the best, closest contender and concentrate on winning that fourth title elsewhere. Kraft needs to live up to his word once it is given. That is just good business.

  • redsoxmaniac

    They didn’t pocket the money. The Pats were already looking at Amendola that year and the year before to replace Welker. And its a SALARY CAP: You can’t pocket money since you have to use at least 90% of your cap or the rest get divided up to all the players on the 53-man squad at the end of year.

    PLUS, if you don’t use a certain amount, some of that (Miguel can vouch the real percentage) can be rolled over into the cap for the following year. The Patriots have always spent up to a certain amount and allow some rollover for the following year in event of getting free agents they might covet or getting depth on players during the season (ala Ayers/Casilla/ promoting from practice squad).

    The Patriots have also had to deal with keeping their cap steady while having some big contracts (Brady, Wilfork, Mayo, Revis, formerly Mankins) on board AND with the dead money from Aaron Hernandez spread through for a few years. So essentially they had to add to the cap just to replace Hernandez’s production and rebuild a different plan going forward without him (why that Mankins/Wright deal looks to be a great win-win in hindsight, and possibly more magnified that Solder, not Gronk, is injured going into the playoffs).

    This pocketing money stuff should be said more for an owner under a non-cap industry, like David Glass for the Royals. Patriots first restructure was to clear cap space, and give freedom for QB spending if Brady went down. And they know they have SB aspirations every year with Brady at the helm.

    This new restructure allows them to throw down more bonuses this offseason which can in effect lower some players salary if they get guarantees up front (Revis, Gronk), Brady gives up guaranteed money in exchange for an extra million/year, and if Brady/Belichick connection has to end if they feel Jimmy is ready in 2-3 years, Brady knows he can get Peyton Manning money on the market if he’s healthy, and Patriots have no cap hit if they move on from him.

    It’s a win-win for everyone, especially if Brady wants to get paid at 39, and I’m pretty sure the Patriots don’t want to give him $18 mil legacy contract if a $2 million Garapolo and another FA defensive stud might work out just as well.

    Pocket money is a bogus argument. Welker is limping out of the league, and Amendola and if Welker stays are both behind Edelman. If Edelman leaves or gets injured, you still have a 29-year old slot guy that still put up 4-100 yard games last season. $6 million/year for Edelman/Danny looks amazing compared to $6.5 for Edelman/Welker for 2014, and a no-brainer for 2015 and beyond.

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