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#pounditTuesday, August 3, 2021

Ernie Adams keeps ‘pink stripes’ a mystery in surprise Patriots presser

Ernie Adams

Ernie Adams is a New England Patriots legend who has notoriously kept a low profile while helping the team win championships, but the media finally got to ask him some questions on Wednesday. Of course, Adams did his best to remain a man of mystery.

Belichick made a surprise announcement on Wednesday that Adams — his longtime “Director of Football Research” — would be available to the media. The 68-year-old Massachusetts native is retiring, and he’s taking an intriguing legacy with him. One of the first questions Adams was asked was about the famous “pink stripes” phrase that Patriots fans are familiar with yet know absolutely nothing about. Adams chose to keep it that way.

What does “pink stripes” mean? No one outside the Patriots organization really knows. The phrase was first discovered in a 2014 NFL Films documentary when it was seen on a whiteboard inside Adams’ office. It then surfaced again in a documentary the Patriots released about Adams in 2020.

For years, people have wondered what the phrase means. Adams said in 2020 that it is “proprietary football information,” which he repeated on Wednesday.

Like the phrase “pink stripes,” there has always been a ton of mystery surrounding Adams himself. He worked for the Patriots as an administrative assistant from 1975-1978. He then spent time with the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns, and Belichick brought him back to New England in 2000. Adams has been with the Patriots through all six of their Super Bowl titles.

When asked on Wednesday what exactly he did in New England for the past two decades, Adams kept things vague.

Many people believe Adams was at the center of the Patriots’ infamous Spygate scandal in 2007, but that has never been proven. The fact that he met with the media for the first time in 20-plus years on Wednesday and still managed to reveal nothing was the perfect ending to his career.

If you thought you knew very little about Belichick from the way the coach has always answered questions, just know that Patriots fans and those who cover the team know even less about his right-hand man. That is likely the way it is going to stay.

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