Bill Belichick has never been known as the best sport, but the gruff Patriots coach was under particular fire for skipping a postgame formality after his team lost in the AFC Championship game.
After the game ended, Belichick was supposed to meet with CBS sideline reporter Steve Tasker for some on-the-field comments, but Belichick skipped out instead.
The snub didn’t sit well with analyst Shannon Sharpe.
“There is something to be said about being gracious in defeat,” Sharpe said in this video, courtesy of Deadspin. “We’ve seen the New England Patriots five times in the last 12 years be victorious [in the AFC title game]. And we’ve seen the opposing coaches that lost come out and talk to our [reporter] Steve Tasker. Coach [Bill] Cowher did it when he lost to them.
“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 is unacceptable.”
ESPN reporter James Walker noted that among those who cover Bill Belichick regularly, the snub just seems to fit in with the coach’s history. After all, Belichick has never been one for following unspoken — or even spoken — rules of conduct. In his team’s Super Bowl loss to the New York Giants in 2008, he left the field with a few seconds remaining on the clock.
And during the Patriots 16-0 regular season that year, Bill Belichick was known for continuing the team’s fast-paced offensive attack even in blowouts, with quarterback Tom Brady free to throw to the endzone late in games even when the Patriots held comfortable leads.