an espn documentary

Patriots coach Bill Belichick shouldn't bother appearing on a podium for the rest of Super Bowl week, or maybe even the rest of his life. It's all a useless exercise in getting to know him. For that, you need ESPN's latest 30 for 30 documentary.

"The Two Bills" debuts at 8 p.m. Thursday and chronicles the sometimes rocky relationship between Belichick and his chief NFL mentor, Bill Parcells.

An advance screening Wednesday at the Mall of America, with additional commentary from director Ken Rodgers, revealed plenty about the interesting dynamic between them.

Rodgers said he conceived the project years ago, but that it took three years to coordinate getting Belichick and Parcells to sit down for what ended up being a three-hour session at MetLife Stadium — home of the Giants and Jets, teams that represented the rise and temporary demise of their relationship. The men hugged at the start, but it was clear their history remains complicated.

The early part of the documentary has some great footage of Belichick's early coaching days in the mid-1970s, when he frankly looked at times like a frontman for a British pop band. It followed both men to the Giants, when Parcells took over as head coach and eventually promoted Belichick to defensive coordinator. (Belichick almost left in 1983 to join the Vikings staff, it is noted.)

It's clear how much those Giants days mean to them, when they won a pair of Super Bowls together. Belichick gets choked up recalling all the history. That said, winning was achieved through hard work and a no-nonsense approach.

"Sensitivity wasn't really in play very much," Parcells says.

After Belichick was hired and fired as Browns head coach, the duo reunited with the Patriots and then the Jets. That's when things really went sour, as Belichick was essentially the head coach in waiting but ultimately departed for New England in 2000. Parcells gets wistful at one point and wonders what might have happened had he stayed in New England. Would he be like Belichick, going for his sixth Super Bowl as head coach?

After that mess the two didn't talk for several years.

"I wish I had just gone directly to you and talked," Belichick says.

In the end, you get the impression that these two defensive masterminds and strong personalities are not at a full water-under-the-bridge stage, but when both are asked if they love each other they answer in the affirmative.

Perhaps the best scenes come at the end, when they admire the Giants' four Super Bowl trophies.

"Those are our two," Belichick says, pointing to the ones from the 1986 and 1990 seasons. "And those are the two we gave them," Belichick adds in reference to his Patriots' losses to New York.

Rodgers tries to coax them into the Jets locker room for a final shot, but neither of them would go.

Maybe some history needs to stay in the past.