The aftermath of Monday night’s memorable win by the Panthers over the Patriots, fueled by a controversial non-call to end the game, included a press conference from New England coach Bill Belichick.
Which included not much of anything by way of memorable comments, as they usually do.
“There was no explanation given to me,” Belichick said. “[The] officials ran off the field, and I didn’t see anything. [I’ ve] been through that before. The last time I tried to ask an official about a call, it was the wrong thing to do. . . . Didn’t get [an explanation] tonight, didn’t get one at the Baltimore game. I guess that’s the way we do it.”
Belichick was referring to a 2012 incident with a replacement official, where the “wrong thing to do” wasn’t asking for an explanation but making contact with an official in an effort to get an explanation. After a loss to the Ravens, which ended with a field goal that appeared to be close but wasn’t reviewed by instant replay, Belichick grabbed an official who was leaving the playing area.
Belichick was fined $50,000 for that incident. The magnitude surely was influenced by the league’s effort to protect the replacement officials from abuse by coaches who were more exasperated than usual with the quality of the calls or lack of them from the officials who were working in place of the regular officials, who had been locked out.
He definitely won’t be fined for Monday night, given that Belichick neither did nor said anything remotely controversial after losing a game on one of the most controversial officiating decisions of the season.