FOXBORO - The media's getting blastedinto submissionthis week by Bill Belichick and the acorns that have dropped from his coaching tree. We told you earlier today about Belichick snarking about reporters providing him bad information in press conferences and then asking him to comment on it. (I refuse to name names as to who led him down the primrose path of inaccuracy). And here's Belichick buddy Nick Saban, the head coach at Alabama, getting exasperated about questions that distract from the Xs and Os of football. I almost forgot about this one until I saw it on The Deadspin. On Monday, Belichick lamented the fact the media's ruined the traditional postgame handshake with our nosy, intrusive, voyeuristic, judgmental, shallow insistence on paying attention to the interaction between the bosses of the two football teams who spent three hours locked in ... Gridiron. ... Combat. ..."Like a lot of things in football it's become something a lot different than what it really was intended to be or really is," Belichick said when asked about the postgame get-together, a conversation spurred by Jim Schwartz and Jim Harbaugh getting sideways on Sunday. "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 say something to him. Talk for a couple of seconds and then go into your locker room and that's it. You could easily go up and say something to the coach about the game if you lost, congratulate him or if he 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 is an event bigger than the game itself which is so absurd," he continued. "Like a lot of things it takes any personalization out of the game and makes it a public topic for discussion. I think it's ridiculous that the media focuses on it the way it does. I'd like to think the reason the people are there is to see the game and see the competition, but we seem to want to talk about anything but the game. That's the media's job so that's what they do but it takes away from the things you would say as a coach."I get his perspective on this stuff. Nobody's postgame demeanor has been more heavily dissected than Belichick's whether it be with Eric Mangini, Bill Parcells, Tony Dungy. The topic sprouts legs, wings and a giant, bloodthirsty maw and it devours the next three days of conversation when something goes . . . sideways. Its overkill. It's embarrassing. But the desire from fans and the media to see unscripted, unrehearsed, raw exchanges - no matter how trivial - is a demonstration of how compelling this game is in America. And while it is low-hanging fruit on whichmorning news shows can let their vapid, pea-brained and blow-dried anchors opine before getting to video of an adorable lemur, it beats the alternative. Which is nobody giving a crap at all.
A. Sherrod Blakely takes a look at the competition among the guards where some of the fiercest training camp battles will take place.