New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick will be fined for making contact with a referee this weekend. The NFL has a strict “hands off” rule when it comes to the officials and it almost always results in a fine.
After Baltimore kicked a field goal to win the game against the Patriots Belichick wanted to know why exactly the play wasn’t being reviewed by the officials. The referee who most likely didn’t want to make eye contact with an angry Belichick, and who would, gave him the cold shoulder. So Belichick grabbed the officials elbow in an effort to get his attention and confront him.
“I’m trying to get an explanation for obviously an important call, play, in that game,” Belichick claims. “That’s the number one thing between coaches and officials. It’s always at the forefront. It’s just communication of what’s going on, of what’s happening.”
There is a precedent for this, in 2009 Brandon Stokley was ejected and fined $25,000 for unintentionally touching a referee while disputing a call. That same season Tony Stewart was also ejected and fined $25,000 for touching an official.
So given the league wide warnings regarding how to handle and criticize the replacement referees you can expect the minimum Belichick would be fined to be that $25,000 figure. But if Kyle Shannahan gets a $25,000 fine for berating a ref in the tunnel, you’d have to think Belichick’s fine would be higher for actually making contact.
“I have never meant any disrespect or in any way tried to abuse or be disrespectful to the officials and the job that they do,” Belichick said.