It almost seems like more has been made of what took place off the field following the AFC Championship game Sunday rather than what happened on the field during the game. Much has been made of Bill Belichick denying an interview to CBS following the game, and instead the Patriots having Devin McCourty speak to them. Many have called Belichick a “sore loser” and heavily criticized the coach for failing to give an exclusive interview to CBS, led by CBS analyst Shannon Sharpe.
Some have even said to look for a possible fine to be assessed to Belichick — don’t hold your breath. BSMW confirmed with an NFL media relations representative that Belichick did not violate the NFL’s media relations policy by not speaking with CBS following the game.
This raises the question of why was this made into such a big deal? Belichick sought out Ravens coach John Harbaugh following the game and told the Ravens coach the respect he had for them, something which Harbaugh really took to heart. Following addressing his team briefly in the locker room, Belichick took to the podium to answer questions from reporters for nearly 10 minutes. While he did not elaborate on his answers, that is standard Belichick. What else did people expect, especially following a season-ending loss in the AFC Championship game?
Belichick certainly isn’t the only losing coach in a championship game not to give an exclusive interview to the network which broadcasted the game. It is a very rare occurrence, in any sport, and when it does happen those coaches are often given great praise for doing so. Now, Belichick doesn’t do it and he gets killed for it. Furthermore, in case you missed it, 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh didn’t give FOX an exclusive interview following their win over Atlanta, so why aren’t the same people who are criticizing Belichick doing the same to Harbaugh?
For whatever reason some people playing in the league, the media and fans in general have a dislike for Belichick. He gets held to a completely different standard than any other coach in the league, and maybe even in sports as a whole. Sure, he isn’t the best coach in the world with the media, but who said that’s required of being a head coach? His main job is to coach football and he is one of the best in the history of the game.
Everyone’s opinion differs on how Belichick handles the media, but whether you agree or disagree, you have to take a step back and say he didn’t do anything wrong by not speaking with CBS following Sunday’s loss. Even some of the best coaches with the media in sports have not spoken exclusively with networks following losses in Championship games and there was nothing being said about them. It should be no different with Belichick.
And let’s be real here, following the Super Bowl in two weeks, does anyone really think the losing Harbaugh brother will do an exclusive interview with CBS? Not particularly, but if they do hats off to them, and if they don’t, no big deal we’ll carry on.
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