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I am a die hard Pats fan and I have always wondered this. Before the 2012-2013 season, the Patriots released their captain list...

  • Tom Brady
  • Logan Mankins
  • Vince Wilfork
  • Jerod Mayo
  • Devin McCourty
  • Matthew Slater


As you can see from the following photos, none of these players wear the traditional "C" captain's patch on their uniform. Why is that?

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As an aside, I have seen Green Bay Packers captains wear the patch only during the playoffs. Also, the New York Jets decided to have no captains for the 2012 season. Furthermore, some teams (Packers during the regular season, Philadelphia Eagles, and Miami Dolphins) designate captains weekly. source – ᴍᴀsᴛᴇʀᴍɪɴᴅ_ᴇᴅ Jan 2 '13 at 21:35
Regarding the recognition (or lack thereof) of patches in its inaugural year as pointed out by NFL players:… – ᴍᴀsᴛᴇʀᴍɪɴᴅ_ᴇᴅ Jan 2 '13 at 21:39
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Wikipedia says:

Some teams (e.g. Baltimore and New England) do not have this patch on their jerseys but still designate captains.

A response on confirms this and adds that it may have something to do with Belichick's philosophy:

We've asked Belichick about this in the past and haven't really gotten a semblance of an answer. Basically he's said they don't wear the patch because they don't want to. He went on to say that football survived for decades without the captains wearing patches and got along just fine. It's obviously not a requirement but most teams adhere to it.

And ESPN says something similar:

Later, when asked why the Patriots don't wear captains patches, Belichick tossed a little zinger at the NFL. "I guess that's another one of the new traditions in the league. I've seen a lot of football games, there has been football for a long time, and there have been captains with no patches and it seemed like everything was fine. I guess that's another one of our improvements, with the new overtime rules and all that."

All of this points to it being a choice by Belichick not to have the patches on his captain's jerseys.

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So you would lean towards it being Belichick's choice and not the players? Or a little bit of both? Also, did you find a quote from a player about the topic in your research? – Zack Dec 31 '12 at 12:57
I didn't see a quote from a player. It may be a little of both, but Belichick is the only person I found talking about it. – SocioMatt Jan 1 '13 at 12:17
If someone can find a quote from a player, upvote for them! – Zack Jan 2 '13 at 12:59

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