When New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick refused to be interviewed by CBS after the Pats 28-13 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship Game, CBS Sports analyst Shannon Sharpe took out his dagger. Sharpe stated that Belichick was a “poor sport” and makes it “real easy” to root against the Patriots.
First off, I am not a New England Patriots fan, nor am I a gambler, therefore, I do not root for or against them. Whether or not the Patriots succeed has very little effect on my menial existence.
Secondly, if a football fan is petty enough to worry whether or not a head coach speaks to the media after the game, they really need to get out more often. Just like Sharpe needs to be on top of his game and show a little more consistency with his analysis.
For example, Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning also declined a CBS interview last week after choking away the division playoff game against the Ravens. Does anyone recall Sharpe also harshly criticizing Manning for refusing to talk to CBS after the game? Since Sharpe kept his mouth shut about Manning’s less than sportsmanlike behavior, and complained about Belichick’s, there seems to be a double standard at play here.
Of course, the real issue here is the NFL does not rely on Belichick, as they do on Manning, to profit from selling merchandise, tickets and televised games. Therefore, while it is open season on the morose Belichick, golden boy Manning is off limits when it comes to criticism, regardless of how many times he chokes away playoff games and blows off the media, or the opposing team.
And if anyone thinks last week was the first time in his career Manning showed poor sportsmanship after a game, recall that he also did the same after his terrible performance against the New Orleans Saints in Super Bowl XLIV. As some may recall, Manning ran off the field, and refused to shake hands with any of the Saints players.
If Sharpe is going to rip into Belichick for being a poor sport, he should have also ripped into Manning for doing the same exact thing the previous week. If he is not “permitted” to blast Manning, Sharpe should have kept his mouth shut about Belichick. It is a simple as that.
By failing to be consistent with his criticisms and displaying an obvious double standard, Sharpe has lost whatever credibility he may have had as a sports analyst. But then again, in defense of Sharpe, credibility is not much of a requirement when working as a glorified salesman for the mainstream media.