Why Bill Belichick Is Lucky to Escape Referee Incident with Just a Fine

Jesse Reed@@JesseReed78Correspondent ISeptember 26, 2012

Big Brother is watching.
Big Brother is watching.The Star-Ledger-US PRESSWIRE

The way Roger Goodell is power-tripping lately, Bill Belichick is lucky he didn't get suspended for laying a hand on the head referee at the end of the Sunday Night Football game against the Baltimore Ravens

After all, Goodell and the NFL sent out a league-wide memo to all the teams specifically warning them not to confront the replacement officials (h/t NFL.com):

We're not gonna tolerate it. And we expect that everyone we talked to pass word on to everyone involved on the sideline that we expect there to be a respect for what's going on

Whoever the official is needs to be respected...These guys are professionals, and we expect a professional football environment.

Let me be clear: I don't believe what Belichick did was worthy of a suspension. But given the stubborn hypocrisy oozing out of the NFL's front office these days, it wouldn't have surprised me to see Goodell come down hard on him just to make a point. 

Goodell's been doing it with players for years now. Gotta protect the shield, right?

And while most reports leading up to Goodell's ultimate decision to fine him $50,000 didn't indicate Belichick would be suspended, there were some insiders, like CBS's Pete Prisco, who thought a suspension was in order:

Belichick played bully again. He needs to fined and maybe even suspended, considering the past.

— Pete Prisco (@PriscoCBS) September 24, 2012


It's a good thing Goodell made the right decision to simply fine Belichick.

It was also the right call. It is never acceptable for players or coaches to lay hands on an official in frustration or anger—both of which were strong emotions Belichick displayed at the time of his action. 

Hopefully, this can now go the way of the dodo bird and just fall off the face of the earth. 


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