Bill Belichick's impromptu Saturday press conference was fascinating for numerous reasons, but perhaps the most surreal moment came when the Patriots coach cited a character from a 23-year-old movie in explaining his naïveté in matters of ball deflation.
"I'm not a scientist. I'm not an expert in footballs. I'm not an expert in football measurements. I'm just telling you what I know," Belichick said Saturday. "I would not say I'm Mona Lisa Vito of the football world, as she was in the car-expertise area."
The Mona Lisa Vito reference -- delivered in a dry manner and without a trace of humor -- was a deft call back to My Cousin Vinny and the character played by Marisa Tomei. The actress won an Oscar for her performance in the 1992 comedy, and on Monday, she was a call-in guest on The Rich Eisen Show.
Eisen asked Tomei what it's been like to get suddenly, inexplicably, dropped into the biggest sports story of the year.
"It's pretty funny," she replied. "I was on a plane from Miami and my phone was just lighting up when I got off.
"I kind of had to catch up on what was going on and the whole ball-gate or deflate-gate."
Tomei called Belichick's deflated football explanation "pretty darn believable," adding that she believed the coach "underrated himself" as an expert on the topic. She texted with My Cousin Vinny co-star Joe Pesci about the moment.
Tomei was asked if she believed Mona Lisa could bail Brady and Belichick out of their predicament the way she did for like Vinny's cousin.
"That's a lot of pressure on Mona Lisa. I think she'd want to because, you know, who doesn't love him? But, I don't know, ultimately maybe, you know, she's a New Yorker. So she's a Jets fan.
"I don't know. It depends how many other cases are in the queue, perhaps. But he was definitely, you know, 'dead on balls accurate,' as she would say. One more moment, I know they have more important challenges at hand, as he well said."
The "Around The NFL Podcast" is available for download on iTunes! Click here to listen and subscribe.