Bill Belichick: I meant no disrespect, just wanted to talk to the ref


Patriots coach Bill Belichick grabbed an official as he was leaving the field following Sunday night’s loss to the Ravens, a move that has led to calls for Belichick to be fined or even suspended. But Belichick said today that he meant no harm.

Instead, Belichick said, he was only trying to get the official’s attention so he could talk to him about the Ravens’ game-winning field goal, which Belichick thought should have been reviewed to make sure that the ball passed through the uprights. (Replays appeared to show that the kick was good, although it was close.)

“I did try to get the official’s attention as he was coming off the field,” Belichick said, via Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald. “I have never meant any disrespect or in any way tried to abuse or be disrespectful to the officials.”

Belichick said that some of the Patriots’ players on the field thought the ball looked like it was outside the upright, and that Belichick wanted to know if the officials were going to review the field goal. Belichick referenced a 2000 Patriots-Dolphins game when both teams left the field and went to their locker rooms after the game, only to have the officials walk into the locker rooms after players had already showered to explain that they all had to come out for one final play because a replay review had shown there should be three seconds on the clock. Belichick said he wanted to be certain there wouldn’t be a repeat of that incident.

Whether or not you buy Belichick’s explanation may depend on large par

99 responses to “Bill Belichick: I meant no disrespect, just wanted to talk to the ref

  1. I believe him, but if everyone that wanted their attention grabbed them, there would not be a lot of ref left.

  2. Of course thats all he was trying to do. Anyone who thinks he was trying to fight the official is letting their imagination run wild. Doesnt change the fact that he isnt allowed to do it, however, and a fine should still be coming

  3. fine him, but no need to make an example of him. this has nothing to do with the “replacement” in front of the refs name.

    that being said, bills version of the story sure doesn’t match that look on his face while he grabbed the refs arm.

  4. yeah, yeah yeah, and you just “misinterpreted” the rules about cheating and video taping opponents.

    This troll should be suspended once and for all.

  5. The Pats had the ball with 3-4 min left in the game. They had 15yrds from Unsportsmanlike conduct on Jim.

    Instead of getting a first down, and make the last Ravens drive impossible, just like they did in the Super Bowl, they punt.

    The rest is history.

    Leave the REFs alone.

  6. What the hell is there to review??? The official standing directly underneath the field goal post has the absolute best view of the call.

  7. I think he’s being truthful, but if that’s not a reviewable play, didn’t have any reason to talk to the ref in the first place.

  8. Sure looked like you meant disrespect yelling and hollering on the sidelines. Pathetic attempt at damage control bet he doesn’t even get a fine.

  9. It wasn’t a tie game, and the clock had reached 0:00. Regarless of whether they reversed the call on replay, the game was over. There’s no reason why players would have had to come out for another play after showering.

    Having said that, I don’t have any problem with Belichick wanting to find out whether the play was being reviewed – the outcome of that play was somewhat important.

  10. mattwalshvideo says: Sep 24, 2012 3:30 PM

    yeah, yeah yeah, and you just “misinterpreted” the rules about cheating and video taping opponents.

    This troll should be suspended once and for all.
    correct … also … i think NFL should take away first round picks for the next 5 years … ban them from the super bowl for the next 10 (they go to the big game way too often anyways) … better yet banish the entire organization to … maybe Mexico. … should that be enough?!!??

  11. Personally, I think a spineless official, following a game in which the “refs” did another abnormally horrible job, trying to run away from the coach so he didnt have to answer for his call is a little bit worse

  12. If he says he meant no disrespect, so be it, but the way he grabbed the ref looked quite confrontational. If a player did that, I bet they would be suspended.

  13. I believe that all Belicheck was trying to do was get confirmation of whether the FG was good or not, and if it wasn’t, could it be challenged. That’s it! Emotions were running high on both sidelines all game, so I don’t blame him for overreacting the way he did.

    The ref just ignored him and didn’t want to be bothered with giving him at least 5 seconds to say yes or no. That’s a true sign of disrespect.

  14. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Belichick is a hundred “large” lighter in the wallet by week’s end. In my judgment, the league would be entirely justified in making an example out of him. Perhaps Belichick should spend less time jawing with the officials, and more time doing his job by coaching up his defense—the backfield, in particular.

  15. Bill probably saw how difficult it was for Harbaugh to get the refs attention just to call a timeout earlier. Come on people, this is no big deal, he just wanted a word with the official and got the same treatment he’d probably give someone questioning him.

  16. With all this money from the fines that are being collected from coaches “disrespecting” the replacement refs…you would think Goodell would have enough collected to pay the real refs what they want.

  17. I think that 2000 incident mentioned in Smith’s article should serve as a reminder that even the regular refs have shown astonishing levels of incompetence.

    That being said, these replacement officials are even WORSE.

  18. He should be suspended. That was a horrible example of what to do when you cant get the refs attn. Coaches are suppose to be held to a higher standard.

  19. Bullychick is losing control. The refs sucked, that’s a fact. But NE coach is losing control of himself. He’s easy to not like.

  20. Belichick should be congratulated for airing his grievance in an appropriate manner. I am sure most of us would have reacted far more angrily in the face of such ineptitude. Pats/Ravens was the worst officiated game I have ever seen – any sport at any level. So much so that the game turned into a lottery: who the refs will decide in favour of according to which minute detail they will choose to see (and misinterpret) at any given moment.

  21. this is a joke.

    I’m not a Pats fan, not even close, but he did not grab or put his hand on the refs in a aggressive manner, he tried to reach out and get the guy’s attention to ask a question, it only looked weird because of the way the ref reacted.

  22. i saw the game and replay many times and it looked out to me… although you shouldnt blame the ref if you were hoping to win a game on a missed chiphot fieldgoal… but still the no call was horrible!

  23. This guy is as ignorant as they come. Of course he was not trying to fight the guy or anything but he thinks rules do not apply to him. He needs to be fined/punished and not to be made an example of but to show him that he’s not “untouchable” like he thinks he is.

  24. This websites explanation of this event is really bad. Embarrassing actually. It’s a one sided analysis geared against the Patriots. This Eagles fan believes Belichick’s explanation. Belichick wanted to know if the kick was up for review, I don’t blame him it was really close.

  25. ravenator says:
    Sep 24, 2012 3:39 PM
    Oh and the field goal was good. Soak it in New England.


    I’ll take a close loss the third game into the season over a shanked kick in the AFC Championship game any day.

  26. I really wanted the pats to lose but I am still not quite convinced that kick was good. Its awfully close. Now with that said the refs screwed Baltimore earlier so it was only fitting

  27. did he grab the ref after the ‘tuck rule” game? guess its a different story when they mess up and it cost you the game.

    Try winning a super bowl without cheating, loser…

  28. ravenator says:
    Sep 24, 2012 3:38 PM
    Sure looked like you meant disrespect yelling and hollering on the sidelines.


    Says the Ravens fan. Because Harbaugh wasn’t yelling or hollering during the game at all….right. Both coaches were angry at the calls.

  29. So he was concerned that the players would take a shower and have to come out for another play ? What’s the concern ? Wasting water on a second shower ? Is he that eco friendly ?

    The dynasty is over Bill, deal with it.

  30. I love these morons calling for Belichick’s head because he touched the arm of the official. The party line now is “if a player did that, he would be suspended.” Well I saw John Harbaugh drop F-bombs at the official for no less than 20 seconds, calling him every name in the book. If a player did that, he would be suspended, so let’s suspend Harbaugh as well. It is a ridiculous premise. Coaches are not players and have different rules. When Bill Cowher shoved a photo copy in an official’s shirt, he got fined $7,500 with no suspension. You tell me what is worse. Stop hatin’ the Pats because they win. You just wish you were them. The Ravens needed a couple of lucky calls to beat the Patriots at home on Sunday night in a game where they were “out for revenge from last year.” They are two even teams and this game won’t even matter come January in the playoffs.

  31. Bill simply “misinterpreted” the rule about where his hands could legally be placed on the ref’s body.

    Unfortunately, Goodell will now have to destroy the ref, in case another team gets ahold of him and gains a “competitive advantage”.

  32. I have no horse in this race and I thought that field goal was missed.

    At the very least it should have been reviewed.

  33. “It wasn’t a tie game, and the clock had reached 0:00. Regardless of whether they reversed the call on replay, the game was over. There’s no reason why players would have had to come out for another play after showering.”

    It’s happened before, with Belichick coaching, in 2000, in Foxboro. In Bill’s words:

    “Drew (Bledsoe) was trying to throw a pass at the end of the game against Miami. The ball was ruled a fumble. The clock ran out. The game was over. As I was walking off the field with Johnny at that time, I talked to him about, ‘This seemed like an incomplete pass. There should be more time on the clock. We should have another play here.’ (He said), ‘No, that’s the ruling. The game is over.’ We go back into the locker room. Ten minutes or so later, Johnny comes back and says they’re reviewing the play. We may have to go back out and finish the game. Five minutes after that, the players got dressed. We came back out for the final play of that game.”

  34. If you didn’t spend the previous 3 hours screaming at them maybe they would have been more receptive to you wanting an explanation at the end. Can’t have it both ways Billy.

  35. Belicheck didn’t mean any disrespect to NFL officials when he ignored their warning letter and continued to cheat anyway. He’s Bill Freaking Belicheck, by golly!

  36. I dislike the Patriots as much as the next person. But Bill Belichick didn’t touch the official in an aggressive way. Just give him his fine and be done with it.

  37. “Youd think with the money theyre getting from these fines that theyd be able to pay the real refs what they want.”

    If it was actually about money, sure.

  38. chipwade says:
    Sep 24, 2012 3:35 PM
    What the hell is there to review??? The official standing directly underneath the field goal post has the absolute best view of the call.

    yep…they were under posts…and they didn’t get any calls wrong to that point.

  39. Patriots should have won that game period. Without a doubt. That being said i seriouslly didnt think the refs could possiblly be this bad. I mean both ravens and pats were ripped off of a quality game. These refs are so terrible i wouldnt even let them make big macs and mcdonalds if i ran one. And it not just this game. My steelers game was a rip off to. Mabye the raiders should have won? Good for them. I can accept the fact we are on a down fall but if someone is gunna sit here and tell me the raiders barley had any penaltys you ought to be slapped in your mouth. And how did the refs not call that clear helemt to helmet on Mundy. Lol. I hate that guy and he is horrible. How do you miss that. I mean heyward bey was pretty much lying their dying and these guys are telling them selves it was a clean shot? Pffff please. If we as fans boycotted watching and going to games we can take a stand. But to many people just laugh about it because people complain but dont truley care. Just want something to whine about.

  40. arrogantnation says:
    Sep 24, 2012 4:00 PM
    Bill Belichick is the greatest NFL coach of all time.

    Those that cheat cannot be put in the class of All Time Greats.

    Proven Cheater, I wonder how many illegal things Belichick did in their Superbowl seasons that he didn’t get caught doing?

  41. Putting a hand on an official should result in a suspension. I don’t care who the coach is, what his intent was or wasn’t, disrespect or not….there is no excuse or defense. If the league let’s this slide without a suspension then there will be more coaches doing it and we will have another bountygate on our hands with the league having to have a freakin’ hearing, appeal, b.s. depositions, etc. etc.. The best way to enforce any rule is to rule with an iron fist the first time it happens.

  42. Isn’t it obvious he was trying to get a ref’s attention to get an answer about reviewing the last play? If not, what was he doing? Just trying to start a brawl right there with a ref?

    His intentions were clear, as were his actions, which you simply cannot do. Fine him, move on.

  43. You can almost understand this one with Bill wanting to know about replay of kick. To many of the coaches are doing their best to push and push officials and they should be delt with. It took two weeks for two to get fined, what about both Hairbaughs with their actions, not just Sunday but every week this year. Every one is pointing at the refs but players and coaches are going out of their way to continue play and harass the refs. The NFL office could help by hitting both with hefty fines. You want the game faster get rid of all the rules that are year in and year out added. PLAY FOOTBALL!

  44. That whole game was out of control. How long did I have to here the crowd chanting an obsenity? They take the camera off when some one runs out on the field. They should have muted the sound during that. What makes that okay?

  45. “that being said, bills version of the story sure doesn’t match that look on his face while he grabbed the refs arm.”

    Yeah…because the place was silent and there was nothing going on…loud pa, screaming crowd, people running around, etc. He could have whispered in his ear and stopped the ref from getting out of Dodge right?

    Nonetheless, you can’t grab…so I suppose we are splitting hairs here. Sigh…I’ve been patient with these replacements, but I’ve seen some wildly inconsistent calls derail my team in a couple close games.

  46. I really like Bill as a matter of fact I thought he did a good job at Cleveland considering the move. However this deserves a 100,000 dollar fine. That will help him keep his hands to himself.

  47. This whole game is getting sissified. These refs deserve to be berated for some of the calls they’re making and if a coach wants to chew them out they should be allowed. No one really believes that Belichick was trying to fight the guy. I’m sure a fine will come down but Goodell and the NFL need to wake up and realize they’re in the wrong here.

  48. wte1 says: Sep 24, 2012 3:45 PM

    The kick would have gone wide right. The Ravens got lucky.


    What do you mean “would have”? It didn’t.

    While I do think Belichick was very frustrated, the game was over. What was he going to say to the ref that would/could change anything?

    Bottom line, the NFL puts out a product that we spend money on. The product is far less right now.

  49. ynot1381 says:Sep 24, 2012 3:37 PM

    Teams that consistently win are far easier to hate than teams that don’t.

    Unless it involves the Jets!

  50. I love Bill Belichick and am endlessly thankful that Bob Kraft brought him to NE. There is no coach in the history of the game that I would rather have.

    That said, if the Ravens had lost, it would have been Harbaugh chasing the ref down. This game was such a mess, that I am surprised there wasn’t a riot.

  51. ronmexico4life says: Sep 24, 2012 3:42 PM

    Personally, I think a spineless official, following a game in which the “refs” did another abnormally horrible job, trying to run away from the coach so he didnt have to answer for his call is a little bit worse

    The refs are SUPPOSED to leave the field immediately after the game without speaking to anyone,the regulars and replacements. As long as Bill has been doing this,you’d think he’d know that.

  52. The refs have always run off the field after a game. Why do Patriots fans think this stuff just started last night, as if there was something monumental that hadn’t happened to other teams… THIS SEASON… much less in history… this year?

  53. Bill is a great coach. I admire his non-nonsense approach to doing whatever is necessary to improve the team, like not letting personal feelings get in the way of tough personnel decisions.

    But there is a good reason you have to draw a hard line on physically touching officials in any sport – you can’t determine “intent.” You can’t put officials at risk. Just can’t do it, even if the ref is the most incompetent ref in history. There is a difference between yelling and touching an official. Bill has to be hit with more than the usual fine.

  54. “Whether or not you buy Belichick’s explanation may depend…”

    I “buy” his explanation since it was pretty obvious even at the time that that was exactly what he was doing – trying to ask if there was a replay of the FG. It’s surprising to me that so many people have misconstrued it as attacking the official, but I know Bellichick is a target for a lot of fans.

    (PS Not a Pats fan … no reason to be making excuses for their coach)

  55. Rumor is that the issue with Regular Refs is not pay, it is systemic corruption with the Union and Las Vegas and Refs throwing the games. ie Tuck Rule, etc.

  56. LOL at butthurt Raiders fans who will use any opportunity to bring up the Tuck Rule call. Which, by the way, as everyone is aware by now, was exactly the right call.

  57. Bill wanted to stab the guy. I would too after all the ridiculous phantom calls that cost my football team a much needed win against a great team.

    Bill in normally a mild mannered soft spoken guy. So when he gets angry like that, you know these officials need to go

  58. I could see exactly that Bill was doing just that. In fact, I think most fans were unsure at that point.

    It was the most important play of the game, maybe take a look?

  59. It doesn’t matter what he intended to do – you don’t put your hands on another man like that. It’s not only against NFL regulation to touch an official, it’s also impolite and usually an open door for escalation of tempers.

  60. Bill Belichick should be fined and suspended if that was a player and they pulled on an official they would be suspended no questions asked. Goodell needs to step up and do the same to Belichick as he would do to the players!

  61. “if that was a player he would be suspended! derp!” shut up. a player touching a ref is much more troubling because players are bigger and stronger than coaches.

    you obviously have to fine him but a suspension would be ridiculously overboard. trying to grab a guys arm to get his attention is different from throwing a punch

  62. Bill is EXACTLY what we THOUGHT he Was..A smug Sobb.

    Bill is NORMALLY a soft spoken guy because he was always the beneficiary of phantom calls – especially those that are game changing. Now we have refs that are not paid off…Oh…Bill soft spoken…NOT SO MUCH.

  63. If this is going to be the quality of officiating after one more week then I am going to quit watching because I get so irritated with missed calls, imaginary fouls and a lack of knowledge of the rules. Every person who played or watched the games over the weekend had to feel unsatisfied.

    No doubt BB was upset…. and if you look at the video he immediately turned and went the other way after the ref passed him by. He touched him. WTF…the ref should be happy he got out of the stadium without being tared and feathered.

    NFL is so careful with their image that they should end this strike, pay the officials and put a quality product back on the field. Or fold up for one year.

  64. Every team gets every minute of game film of their opponents that week. I’ve never heard any team say they don’t want that game film from the NFL. Besides the game film they also can have scouts go to their opponents games and study their upcoming opponents. I’ve never heard any fans complain because their team scouts the opponents.

    In a fair competition there should not be any studying of the opponents film or scouting of the other teams. Stealing signs is expected in baseball and part of the game. If an NFL team is too stupid to change hand signals like a baseball team does they should be beat.

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