FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - ``Santa'' Belichick and the Patriots are taking it one magazine cover at a time.
For the fourth consecutive month, the team with the perfect record is featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
The latest is the current year-end double issue with a doctored picture of New England coach Bill Belichick and his well-known serious look dressed in a red-and-white Santa Claus outfit. The caption reads, ``Perfect Season's GREETINGS.''
Even Belichick had to smile at that.
``Being associated with Santa Claus, there's a lot worse associations to have,'' he said Thursday. ``I'll take it. When you're a kid, sometimes you dream about being on the cover of Sports Illustrated. That's not actually the one I pictured, but it's pretty funny. Whatever sells.''
Linebacker Junior Seau knew about the cover but hadn't seen it.
``I heard Santa Claus is on it,'' he said. ``It comes with winning. It's fun when you win. The game of football is only a game when you win. When you lose it becomes a business and right now it's a game, so everything's fun right now.''
Winning is why the Patriots have been popular cover boys for the magazine.
Randy Moss appeared on the cover of the Sept. 17 issue with the word, ``SCARY.'' Then it was Tom Brady's turn on the Oct. 12 issue with the words, ``Yes, That Good.'' And on Nov. 12, the Patriots five top linebackers posed with the message, ``Still Smiling, STILL PERFECT.''
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