Belichick, 69, is depicted as brilliant, tireless, meticulous and ruthless. He lacks empathy and is, to put it bluntly, a jerk. “The job turned good men into —holes,” Wickersham writes about NFL coaching, “or maybe it self-selected for —holes.” Belichick thrives in a league in which sentimentality is a bad business model — savvy teams know better than to reward a player for past performance, and he repeatedly, dispassionately discards men who no longer serve his needs. He is the smartest man in the room, and he has complete power; now just do as he says. Belichick’s leadership style is effective but grating, particularly if exposed to it for two decades. The cost of his stern approach is the loss of relationships.