Madden 24 will be released this Friday, but we're already seeing snippets of the legendary NFL video game emerging thanks to early access, including the first look at Fake Bill Belichick. Since the New England Patriots coach is not part of the NFL Coaches Association, he is not collectively bargained into the Madden franchise like every other coach in the league. Instead, he is replaced by an avatar with a fake name. This year it's Peter Gaffney, a bald guy with glasses and a beard.
Coach Gaffney is not the first Belichick stand-in. Previous iterations of Fake Belichick have taken the form of Chad Masters, Josh Moore, Griffin Murphy, Hal Ophamer and simply, "NE Coach."
Griffin Murphy - and one version of Chad Masters - was the opposite of Gaffney. Full head of hair, clean shaven, but still wearing glasses. That version of Fake Belichick was based on EA Tiburon VP GM and series executive producer Roy Harvey.
Here's Belichick in Madden 02, looking, uh stocky. Unfortunately, two decades ago they did not have the technology to make a sleeveless hoodie.
The year before that he was simply NE Coach.
Whatever your favorite version of Fake Madden Belichick, just know that Belichick does not care about any of them. Belichick loved John Madden, and his kids played the game, but like anything else that isn't special teams strategy, he just does not care. The fact that the Madden team has gone out of their way to make the most boring possible avatars for the Patriots coach is the ultimate testament to the old school do your job mentality.
[Screengrabs via the Madden wiki]