We don't need to tell you that Nike, the dog of Bill Belichick and Linda Holliday, was the unofficial star of the draft weekend. The camera pan to Nike sitting at the dining room table in place of Coach Belichick was a wonderful, hilarious and adorable moment Patriots Nation didn't know they needed.
And this week, we got the official story of how Nike ended up in the spotlight from Holliday herself when she appeared on The Adam Schefter Podcast. With travel restrictions to Nantucket, Holliday was left in charge of the lighting and IT for draft weekend at her and Belichick's home. As the Patriots were preparing to make a pick and Belichick got up from his seat, Nike swooped in just as cameras panned over.
"I'm doing lighting and next thing I know, Bill had a couple of treats that were left over near his laptop. He stepped away from the table and all of a sudden he looks at me and goes, 'Look! Look at the table,'" Holliday said. "Nike was just sitting there, waiting patiently. He knew his treats were there so that's what prompted him sitting at the table. He was just sitting there, waiting patiently for the word to take his treats."
Holliday said she and Belichick have worked hard to train Nike, and that training showed as he stayed put, staring at his treats on the table. That moment was captured on national television, but it wasn't until Holliday looked on her phone that she realized how much people latched on to the pup.
"We had a thousand followers [on Nike's Instagram]. Maybe I posted four different pictures of him," she said. "It really didn't have a lot of activity on the account, but within 30 minutes, Nike went from about a thousand followers to about 10,000. My phone was just blowing up."
Schefter jokingly asked if Nike's ego had been inflated at all due to his weekend in the limelight, but Holliday maintained he has kept his cool.
"I think Nike thinks he's been a big star since the day he stepped foot in this house, so I don't know that anything has changed," she said.
With the NFL Draft allowing for an insider look into the homes and lives of those in the league, Nike was just one of many unexpected stars. Schefter himself had two of his three dogs crash a live TV hit, and people on social media were in awe of seeing coaches they know and love reveal another side of themselves.
Belichick was no exception.
"People saw a different side of Bill. People saw a different side of [Matt Patricia], like you just said. I think that was what brought the warmth and humanity to the whole draft," Holliday said. "You always see the families of the kids being drafted and you love that aspect of it. This brought a whole other dimension in. it did. It was very warm, and the dogs had their day in the sun."
Outside of draft weekend, it seems both Nike and Belichick are enjoying the extra time spent at home, Holliday said. Belichick and Nike go on walks on the island every day and play tug-of-war with the dog's stuffed animals.