While I am not particularly a fan of the New England Patriots, I am a fan of Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. The “Hoodie” appeared on WEEI in Boston to discuss a few topics of the weekend, the Patriots win over the Dallas Cowboys, the lack of production from Chad Ochocinco and then the interview got to the media driven drama over the post-game handshake/scrum between Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz and San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh. You can listen to the entire interview right here.
Belichick takes the media to task for blowing this post-game ritual and this particular event to task stating- (as transcribed by (Sports Radio Interviews)
“No I dont think so. You always want to go out there as the winning coach that’s for sure. I think probably like a lot of things in football it’s become something a lot different than what it really was intended to be or really is. I think there was a time when you could go out there and actually exchange some words with your competitor after the game like a lot of other players do you have a relationship with a guy or whatever and after the game you go up say something to him. Talk for a couple of seconds and then go into your locker room and that’s it. You could easily go up and say something to the coach about the game if you lost, congratulate him or if he won to maybe talk about the way his team played or whatever. Of course now it’s so heavily scrutinized by the media that it is an event bigger than the game itself which is so absurd. Like a lot of things it takes any personalization out of the game and makes it a public topic for discussion. I think it’s ridiculous that the media focuses on it the way it does. I’d like to think the reason the people are there is to see the game and see the competition, but we seem to want to talk about anything but the game. Thats the media’s job so that’s what they do but it takes away from the things you would say as a coach.”
I couldn’t agree more.This “handshake” is still being discussed this week. ESPN has likely dedicated 4 hours of total discussion a day since Sunday on the issue. Some writers have written columns about the fact that the NFL missed the boat to make a statement. A statement about what? Issue a fine? A fine for what exactly?
Perhaps the league could have issued a memo this week, crafting new rules to be enforced by officials for post game handshakes. Designate a 10 square yard area in which the opposing coaches are to meet. Hands should be extended at equal speed and velocity. There is to me no grabbing of any part of the opposing head coach other than the hand, and the shake is to last no longer than 5 seconds. Any infractions will be subject to a 15-yard personal foul penalty, imposed on the opening kickoff of the team’s next game.
Sounds just about as ridiculous as the entire discussion over basically nothing.
Lions head coach Jim Schwartz should have shown more restraint? Someone his actions could be detrimental to his team or give his players the wrong message? Schwartz coaches DT Ndamukong Suh, who tries to remove opposing quarterback’s heads like he’s opening the top of a screw top bottle of wine (see Jake Delhomme). Somehow I don’t think Schwartz’s actions are going to make his players any more violent.