About ninety percent of the time, Shannon Sharpe is an incoherent idiot. Every once in a while, however, he makes sense and has a good point, and Sunday night was one of those times. Following the New England Patriots’ loss to the Baltimore Ravens, Sharpe rightly called out New England head coach Bill Belichick for denying a post-game interview with the network.
Here’s what Sharpe had to say:
There’s something to be said about being gracious in defeat. We’ve seen the New England Patriots five times in the last 12 years be victorious and we’ve seen the opposing coaches that lost come out and talk to our Steve Tasker. Coach [Bill] Cowher did it when they lost to them, we saw this last week. Bill Belichick makes it real easy for you to root against the Patriots. You can’t be a poor sport all the time. You’re not going to win all the time, and he does this every time he loses. It’s unacceptable.
Now, Belichick has no obligation to conduct an interview with the network that showed the game, but it is generally done as a courtesy, considering the NFL’s contracts with television networks. No coach wants to talk to the media after his team’s season has just ended. No coach enjoys that. No coach enjoys the inane questions about how does he “feel” after losing. No coach likes having to try to answer, “What went wrong?” over and over. I’m sure the Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith really didn’t want to do an interview after his team lost a heartbreaker on Sunday. But he did.
They all do – well, almost all – because they are professionals. They do it out of respect for the winning team. They do it because they understand that they represent their entire organization and when a head coach acts petulant after a loss, it makes the whole club look childish and petty.
This is certainly not the first time Belichick has come under fire for his behavior following a big loss. The head coach famously walked off the field with a second left on the clock when his team was upset in Super Bowl XLII.
It’s enough, Bill. Time to grow up. It’s not fair to Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft, it’s not fair to the Patriots fans, and it’s not fair to the Patriots players for Belichick to represent them in this manner.
Sharpe is absolutely right when he says that Belichick’s behavior is simply “unacceptable.”