Lots of storylines for this year’s Super Bowl. Enough to keep the sports punditry industry happy for the next few weeks. I’m sure the incident that prompted this post — Bill Belichick blowing off the post-game interview — will soon be forgotten.
I have to note, though, that one of the things sports supposedly teaches is sportsmanship. Last time I checked, sportsmanship includes being gracious in both victory and defeat. And that includes crusty old curmudgeons like Belichick.
Most people will probably give Belichick a pass. Why? Because he’s successful. If he was both a bad coach AND a jerk, people would be less likely to forgive. But, since he’s obviously a great coach, the public tends to overlook his jerkness.
Not Shannon Sharpe. He called out Belichick after the game, calling his behavior “unacceptable.” Guess what? I agree. If you’re going to hold a leadership position, you take the good with the bad and you deal with defeat. Even if someone is being rude, you manage yourself appropriately.
Belichick is a great coach. He is probably a warm human being in certain circumstances. He is effective at what he does and does not suffer fools gladly.
But that doesn’t give him a pass to be a jerk in defeat.