This newsletter often writes about the subject of apologies. Good apologies, fake apologies, non-apologies, along with examples and critiques. Jason Gay from the Wall Street Journal, is arguably one of the best sports writers in the country. Here’s his take on a recent apology by New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick.
Belichick Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry
My friends, there are certain things you can count on with football. You know that snow makes any game better. So does grilled sausage and a cold beer. You know there will be a moment while watching any Jacksonville Jaguars contest when you will say to yourself, “What am I doing with my life?”
To those I’ll add another:
You know Bill Belichick does not apologize to the media.
And yet it happened, just the other day, in a New England Patriots media briefing, the Grumpy Lobster Boat Captain stepping to a Foxborough podium in a drab hoodie and apologizing to the press for being gruff following Saturday’s 27-17 loss to the Indianapolis Colts.
“Look, fellas, I apologize if it seemed like I was a little short with you after the game,” Belichick said. “Obviously, a frustrating game.”
Was it polite? Yes. Admirable? Sure. This column endorses civility and self-awareness, especially during these acrimonious, know-it-all times.
But a Belichick apology? To the media? It was like hearing a leopard say it was sorry for his spots. It was like a doughnut apologizing for being delicious.
Perhaps the greatest coach to ever do it, Belichick has a long, deserved reputation of not suffering fools of the Fourth Estate, of regarding his media obligations like a request to help a stranger move a piano.
The Grumpy Lobster Boat Captain has never been interested in currying the media’s fickle favor. He’s a brilliant tactician who hasn’t met a question he couldn’t answer with a grunt, or, at most, two grunts. The GLBC can flick away any query—even sharp ones—by simply staring long enough into the camera that it melts from embarrassment.
For the rest of this piece, click here.
This column originally ran in the December 24, 2021 edition of The Wall Street Journal. We are grateful to Jason Gay for permission to run this column.