During Belichick’s press conference the other day, someone asked about his leaving the game early. What did we get? Here are his words:
“Basically, on that last play I wasn’t really sure of the time,” Belichick said. “Everybody started onto the field and then I got over there. I wanted to congratulate Tom … on the championship. They deserved it. There really wasn’t much left at that point.”
That quote, taken from February 7 article in the Hartford Courant, is not only a lie, it’s insulting. Let’s look at three key points:
1. “I wasn’t really sure of the time.”
Bullpucky. We watched on national television as the referee stopped Belichick while he was en route to “congratulate” Coughlin. I don’t think he was asking Belichick if he wanted to do coffee together after the game.
2. “Everybody started onto the field and then I got over there.”
Bill Belichick, head coach, the guy responsible for leading his team and the guy who has authority over everything that happens on his side of the field, suddenly becomes a follower of the masses? This comes straight out of Childish Behavior 101: “Everybody else was going so I went, too.”
What happened to the idea of leadership? Hey Billy! Show some respect for the game’s rules (oops, sorry — forgot about the videotape thing) and stand firm. Tell your people to get back on the sideline — that the game is not over yet. You are the head coach, remember?
By making this lame excuse, Belichick makes himself out to be a lemming. But he’s not a lemming. He’s an immature bully who won’t take responsibility for his own irresponsible behavior.
3. “There really wasn’t much left at that point.”
Not much left of what? Belichick’s integrity? His pride? His ability to think? On 18 previous occasions this season, there “wasn’t much left” at the end of the game for opposing team’s coaches, yet they managed to stick around.
It is unfathomable that Belichick let his players absorb the humiliation of a loss while he scampered off to the locker room. There wasn’t much left at that point for them, either, but they still had the integrity to finish the game.
Essentially, Belichick is offering us a sorry excuse for an excuse. In it, he lies, he blames others, and he’s so self-centered he can’t see how his actions affect other people.
Now he not only owes us an apology for leaving the field early, he also owes us an apology for lying to us and thinking we’re stupid enough to accept his lame, childish line of bull. Shame on Belichick for giving it, and shame on the NFL and the sporting community for accepting it.