Belichick on post-game handshakes

October, 18, 2011
10/18/11
6:00
AM ET
Matt Sullivan/Getty ImagesHandshakes between Bill Belichick and Eric Mangini were often scrutinized.
One of the big stories from Week 6 of the NFL season was the post-game handshake fireworks between Lions head coach Jim Schwartz and 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh (link here).

Closer to home, Patriots coach Bill Belichick was asked about the post-game handshake during his weekly appearance on sports radio WEEI's "Big Show" with Glenn Ordway and Michael Holley (link here).

Ordway started by asking Belichick if the handshake can be difficult because emotions must be held back.

“There are a lot of different things going through your mind at the end of the game. That’s one of them,” Belichick responded.

Belichick was then asked if he felt it was an uncomfortable situation that coaches are placed, especially with all the people running on to the field to capture the moment.

“I don’t think so. You always want to go out there as the winning coach, that’s for sure,” Belichick said, before sharpening his knife a bit on the media's attention of the handshake.

“But I think probably, like a lot of things in football, it’s become something a lot different than what it was really intended to be or what it 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 and say something to him and talk for a couple seconds, then go into your locker room and that's it. As a coach, you could easily go up and say something to the coach about the game. If you lost, you could congratulate him. Or if you 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’s 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 of discussion. I think it’s pretty ridiculous that the media focuses on it the way it does.

“I’d like to think that the reason that the people are there is to see the game and to see the competition. But they seem to want to talk about everything but the game. That’s not uncommon. That’s the media’s job, so that’s what they do. It certainly takes away from, as a coach, the things that you would say, so you find other times to do it outside of that. Maybe before the game, or a phone call to the coach after the game, that kind of thing.”

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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