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Report: Belichick Gives His Coaches Fat Wads of Cash for Jobs Well Done

Yes, Bill Belichick can come across as a stern, taciturn, unemotional taskmaster. You can't walk 15 minutes through any relatively crowded public place in New England without at least one "Many Moods of Belichick" t-shirt staring back at you, (Happy, Sad, Angry, etc, all with the same expression on his face). It's a major part of what the marketing people would say is his branding. 

But like I've said many times - as someone who has that deep, personal, emotional connection that can only come from someone who at times has gotten to ask him questions - underneath that hard outer shell is a sweet, gooey, center filled with nougat and caramel. And this latest report just confirms it:

Insider -  According to Seth Wickersham's new book on the New England Patriots, "It's Better To Be Feared," Belichick often gives the hardest-working coaches cash bonuses.

"Green balls," as they're known within the organization, can be worth hundreds, even thousands of dollars, according to Wickersham.

"Belichick would reward the coaches who made little, out of his own pocket," Wickersham wrote. "During the season, he gave out what were called 'green balls,' wads of cash that could reach thousands of dollars. After the season, he would write a personal check to staffers who had overperformed — sometimes up to the six figures." ...

Despite the tough conditions and poor pay, working for Belichick also had its benefits. As Wickersham noted, Belichick rarely fired coaches — "once you were in, you were mostly in."

In a profession with high turnover rates and instability, the Patriots became the face of stability. Coaches could stay put for a long time, allowing for local friendships and their kids to stay in the same school.

Lord knows I've had my issues with Wickersham's reporting before. But you can't tell me every word of this doesn't have the ring of truth. Belichick has spent quite literally his entire life in coaching, from the time he was breaking down game film for his dad at Naval Academy to Sunday while he silently drew his life force from the Jets suffering. So nobody understands what an often thankless life football coaching can be. Long hours at short pay. Laboring in obscurity as you find ways to help others achieve glory that will not reflect on you. Players get their faces on TV, millions of dollars and women throwing themselves at them. While the guy who found the flaw in the opposition's scheme that made them a champion can't hold a chick's attention in a bar by explaining what an entry level staffer in the Research & Analysis department does, and drives his Hyundai back to his studio apartment in Walpole alone.

But Belichick knows. This is a man who has often talked about his first NFL job with the Colts, driving Ted Marchibroda around and fetching coffee for like 50 bucks a week, the way guys used to talk about digging ditches for the WPA during the Depression. With a mixture of despair and pride. And he's often said that Marchibroda would sometimes pull bills out of his pocket and shove them into his hand. And over Belichick's objections, demand he keep them. So it's fitting that he would pay that forward. 

Furthermore, his dad Steve got tenure when he was coaching the defense at Navy, turning down dozens of job offers to become the head guy somewhere else. Because the last thing he wanted to do was be one of those coaching nomads, uprooting his family every few years chasing opportunities, getting fired, repeat. Instead, he opted for a life of stability and raising his savant son into a towering genius who would change the world. Mission: Accomplished. 

And so it follows that if Belichick the Second hires you, dedicate your life to him, you focus all your energy into finding ways to give his team a competitive edge, he'll be loyal to you, take care of you, and share the wealth out of his own pocket. Like a Tony Soprano, always having a little something extra for the earners in his family. No tougher enemy, no better friend. And a guy who above all else, has never forgotten where he came from.