Hazing in the NFL isn’t the exclusive domain of the Miami Dolphins. It’s also prevalent on the New England Patriots, with coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady two of the biggest bullies.
Before Sunday’s 55-31 blowout of the Pittsburgh Steelers, NFL Films caught Belichick, Brady and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels on camera making fun of members of the world champion Boston Red Sox, who were honored prior to kickoff at Gillette Stadium.
Second baseman Dustin Pedroia and right fielder Shane Victorino came up huge for the Sox this season, but they weren’t imposing on the football field.
“They’re tiny,” McDaniels said to Belichick, who replied, “Oh, I know. They’re little.”
McDaniels: “It’s unbelievable.”
Belichick: “Pedroia is like 150 pounds.”
McDaniels: “Victorino is like 20 pounds less than (wide receiver Danny) Amendola.”
A few minutes later, Brady told Belichick, “They must be going, ‘Geez, these guys are huge!’ ”
Belichick, again: “Oh, I know. They’re so little.”
Pedroia is 5 feet 8 inches and 165 pounds, Victorino 5-9, 190 and Amendola 5-11, 195.
Belichick’s aversion to undersized players might explain why he didn’t re-sign Danny Woodhead (5-8, 200) and Wes Welker (5-9, 185) in the offseason. Those decisions have left The Genius looking small-minded, as they’ve had big seasons for their new teams.
■ OCHOCINCO THE SECOND? — LaQuan Williams, the wide receiver who recently signed with New England, must not have been paying attention in 2011, when former NFL star Chad Ochocinco struggled to learn the playbook in his only season with the Pats.
On Thursday, he sent an unintentionally hilarious tweet to Chad Johnson — who has changed his name back from Ochocinco — asking @ochocinco if he had “any tips on how to pick up on this NE playbook quick?”
“No joke at all,” he wrote in a follow-up tweet. “Any advice would be a step in the right direction.”
Here’s some: Ask Patriots rookie receiver Aaron Dobson, who — with 31 catches for 454 yards and four touchdowns — has doubled Ochocinco’s production with the team (15 catches, 276 yards, one TD).
■ PONDER ATWITTER — Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Or, in the case of ESPN college football analyst Samantha Steele Ponder, a woman whose husband has been scorned.
Ponder, who is married to Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder, took exception to a tweet posted by a John Madden parody account (@FauxJohnMadden) after her husband suffered an injury in Thursday’s win over the Washington Redskins: “INJURY REPORT: Christian Ponder reportedly dislocated his non interception throwing shoulder tonight.”
Steele Ponder, who apparently knows the person behind the account — which has almost 200,000 followers — shot back: “Says the guy using a parody account who asks the injured guys wife for career help? ‘I’m a lil confused by ur tactics…’ ”
Replied the fake Madden: “I’m not even mad. That was perfect. #Schooled.”
As the real Madden once said: “Boom! Touch actin’ Tinactin.”
COMPILED BY TODD DEWEY LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL