So now we know the secret to financial independence, and it's not about coming up with the next Facebook. It's about coming up with the next 6-6 football season at Notre Dame.
That was Charlie Weis' sayonara turn in South Bend in 2009, and yet the man's legend lives on there, if only on the university's books. He may be the only man in America who's made more because he lost one game than he did by winning a bunch of others.
The one game was the USC game in 2005, when Weis' Irish pushed No. 1 USC to the wall before USC Pushed back in the final seconds. The Bush Push saved the Trojans that day, but it convinced the hierarchy at Notre Dame that Charlie Weis was someone worth hanging onto. And so, spooked by the notion that a man with four Super Bowl rings might eventually be lured back to the NFL, they handed Weis a 10-year contract extension.
After which, of course, Weis turned out not to be the genius those four rings implied he was, although perhaps his genius simply lived at another address. Failed stints in South Bend and Kansas, after all, have only succeeded in making him rich.
According to Matt Fortuna of ESPN.com, Kansas is still on the hook to Weis for more than $5 million. And Notre Dame, thanks to that 10-year sentence, paid him north of $2 million last year, and will eventually pay him somewhere close to $19 million for almost a decade of non-service.
The $2 mill is significantly more than the $1,187,272 current football coach Brian Kelly earned last year. It's also more than athletic director Jack Swarbrick and basketball coaches Mike Brey and Muffet McGraw made.
Nice work if you can get it. Or non-work, as the case may be.