New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick during the fourth quarter of the AFC championship game against the Baltimore Ravens at Gillette Stadium. / Greg M. Cooper, USA TODAY Sports
Bill Belichick may not be a poor sport, but he plays one on TV.
The New England Patriots coach continued his long history of petulant behavior when he declined an interview with CBS following his team's loss to the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC championship.
During the network's postgame show, host James Brown told viewers that sideline reporter Steve Tasker had requested an interview with Belichick, but that the coach declined. The Patriots sent out third-year safety Devin McCourty instead, which is like asking for an interview with the president and getting Joe Biden's secretary.
When CBS cut back to its studio set after the brief chat with McCourty, analyst Shannon Sharpe was seething.
"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 speak to our Steve Tasker. Coach [Bill] Cowher [who was sitting next to Sharpe] did it when they lost. We saw this last week. Bill Belichick makes it very easy for you to root against the Patriots. You can't be a poor sport all the time. You're not going to win every time. And he does this every time he loses. It is unacceptable."
Sharpe is spot-on. Belichick always comes off as arrogant, aloof and unlikable. He's the stereotypical haughty genius who has no use for the opinions of the masses.
And you know how much Belichick probably cares what you, me or Shannon Sharpe thinks? Zippy. He couldn't care less. Shoot, he'd have been happy to decline comment after a win.
That's why it's hard to be too angry with this move. If he was the sort of coach who'd rub it in your face after he won (think Pete Carroll), his silence after losses would be hypocritical. But he doesn't do that. He's comes off like a guarded misanthrope after wins or losses. It's simply Bill being Bill, to borrow a Boston phrase. That's the way he rolls.
Postgame interviews are worthless anyway. You know what McCourty's opening line was? "They outplayed us." Insightful stuff.
That's not to say Belichick is right to blow off CBS. The network paid $622 million to air AFC games this season. The contract jumps to $1 billion starting in 2014. When the paid broadcast partner asks for an interview, it should get an interview. Tasker wanted a few perfunctory words, not Belichick's first-born child. The whole thing lasted 45 seconds. He couldn't spare 45 seconds?
McCourty is one of three defensive captains for New England, so it's not as if he's a completely random team member. (Though you know Belichick would have sent the assistant equipment manager if he could.) Still, a third-year player serving as a representative of a team is a joke.
So is Bill Belichick a bad loser? His handshake with John Harbaugh was almost magnanimous. That's a better barometer than whether or not he wants to stand outside the locker room and answer the same questions he'll hear a few minutes later in the media room, right?
No coach who's experienced as much success as Belichick is a good loser. Their determination and competitiveness is what fuels their greatness. But what of all those coaches who seem like good losers after big defeats? They're just better at faking it.
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Read the original story: Bill Belichick snubbed CBS after Patriots loss, then got ripped by Shannon Sharpe