By Stephen Kurkjian
WATERTOWN — Berj Najarian has been at the side of New England Patriots football coach Bill Belichick for 15 seasons, through the winning of four Super Bowls and through the controversies of Spygate in 2007 and Deflategate this year. Although he doesn’t assist in the coaching of players, Najarian, as director of football/head coach administration for the Patriots, handles everything else for Belichick on and off the field. As the New York Times wrote in 2012, Najarian is said to have spent more time with Belichick than Tom Brady or even members of Belichick’s family.
So it was no surprise that the two men were at one another’s side as about 100 members of the Patriots entourage — team members, coaches and officials — got ready to enter the White House last April 15th to be honored by President Obama for winning the 2015 Super Bowl.
Belichick noticed that Najarian was wearing a pin displaying Armenian flag on his lapel and knowing Najarian’s family history, particularly that his grandfather, Papken Kechichian, was a survivor of the Armenian Genocide, congratulated him for wearing it.
Knowing that the team’s head coach would be receiving much more press attention during the visit than he would be turned to Belichick and asked him if he would be willing to wear the pin. In a moment’s time, Belichick took it from Najarian’s lapel and put it on his own.