Back in 1976, Debbie Clark Belichick made the team! Coach Bill’s home team that is! She won the job of starting 1st mate, and she managed to keep it for almost 30 years. But that’s not her sole claim to fame. Debbie is a great success in her own right with many talents, as we came to learn when we spoke last weekend.
She certainly has no qualms about telling the story of her time with the famously brooding and grumpy coach Bill. “He’s really a teddy bear!” she says warmly. “I knew right when I first met him there was something different about him, but I couldn’t say what. He was so shy and awkward, you know. A real misfit!”
But as dorky as he was, it seems Lady Luck smiled down on Coach Bill. Reminiscing on the old days, Debbie tells us “my best friend Suzy and I were kind of perverse and we’d get a kick out of toying with nerds.” Sound familiar? This is why the guy is known to be a legitimate genius! His knack for being in the right place at the right time is second to none.
“Suzy and I used to have a competition over how many nerds we could get in our fan clubs, and I always won out easily! You know how it is with nerds, all you have to do is make out with them and they want to marry you! Billy was a cute kind of nerd, even though his mumbling got worse when he’d get nervous and I had trouble understanding him half the time.”
We wanted to know, was it love at first sight? Debbie may not be the overly romantic type, but you can decide: “Obviously we knew he’d marry the first girl who had sex with him and I got there first!” she says with a big smile.
“Of course, I had no idea he’d get to where he is today. Couldn’t even imagine that! But then again, after he made the big time, he dumped me with barely a word! Well, maybe a couple of words, but I honestly couldn’t make them out.”
I asked Debbie how she and Bill got together.
“Well, really it’s ‘what you see is what you get’ with Bill. No doubt he’s always been dweebish. Back then you’d never have thought he’d amount to anything. My mom predicted he’d be a bank teller, but my dad saw something in Bill, thinking he’d climb the retail ladder to become Grocery Manager at Stop & Shop or Star Market. Dad managed a Pigly-Wiggly for over 20 years and he thought Bill could follow in his footsteps.”
“We had some things in common. Bill and I were just friends at first. We both loved football and he obviously knew a lot about the game. I didn’t have a boyfriend for a while and he slowly grew on me. I don’t mind telling you I was highly skilled in certain womanly arts…and Bill swore his lifelong love to me. That’s all I’ll say on that for now!” she says with a chuckle.
During their 30 years of marital bliss, they produced two children. “I love them both so much!” says Debbie, “It’s too bad they both sound just like Bill when they talk…in that dreary monotone drone that just drags on and on. It got to a point where I couldn’t even process what any of them were saying anymore. I got very depressed. My doctor prescribed a regimen of anti-depressants for me in the late 80s, but they didn’t help at all.”
Showing some genius of her own, Debbie eventually worked out a strategy to solve her problem. In the early 90s, while Bill worked for the New York Giants, Debbie befriended the team’s receptionist, Sharon Shenocca, and offered to provide her with a few tips on how to get a rise out of “Little Bill”, as Bill was then known to Giants fans - naturally Bill Parcells was Big Bill. It wasn’t long before Bill was giving Shenocca a monthly allowance. Payments that didn’t stop until they had a falling out in 2005. Reportedly Shenocca considered her allowance a goodwill gesture rather than fee for service. Bill’s mindset was that of a customer, and when he becamea disgruntled customerhe put a stop to the payments.
In 2006 Bill met his current partner Linda Holiday. Linda isn’t sharing the specifics of her story but we can see Linda’s influence in Bill’s hair and wardrobe changes. The guy known as “the genius” and “the hoodie” hasn’t been seen wearing the infamous hoodie since his relationship with Linda was consummated in 2007.
A source close to Bill and the team told us that sometime during spring of 2019, Bill started coming his hair meticulously and parting it on the right. “I’d never seen his hair combed like that before.” the source told us. The same source mentioned that Linda is partial to the annual late summer Back to School specials.
“Just take a stroll through Target’s Young Men’s Department and you’ll see Bill’s sideline attire!” she exclaimed, chuckling a bit too emphatically.
“Linda put the hammer down!” she says with a big smile! Linda took action because she was incredulous at Bill’s indifference about his appearances on national television. She also claimed Linda tried to help him with his manners when speaking with the press, but Bill reportedly locked himself in his room until she relented.
Like it or not, that's just how geniuses do things these days.