Bill Belichick Fined $50,000 for Bumping NFL Official Following Loss to Ravens

Tim Keeney@@t_keenContributor ISeptember 26, 2012

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick lost more than just a football game on Sunday night. 

In fact, according to The New York Times' Judy Battista, he lost 50,000 big ones:

Belichick fined $50,000 for touching an official.

— Judy Battista (@judybattista) September 26, 2012


UPDATE: Wednesday, September 26, 3:25 p.m. ET by Donald Wood

After being fined $50,000 for contacting an official in the New England Patriots’ loss Sunday night to the Baltimore Ravens, head coach Bill Belichick issued a statement on the incident.

Belichick acknowledges his actions in a statement released by the Patriots’ Official Team Twitter account:

It was inappropriate for me to contact the official. I take responsibility for what happened. I accept the discipline and I apologize for the incident Sunday night in Baltimore.

In typical Belichick fashion, he kept his words short and sweet. While it is perfectly clear that the veteran coach shouldn’t have touched a referee, the actions of these replacement officials have been atrocious.

---End of Update---


Belichick's Patriots fell to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday night when rookie kicker Justin Tucker hit a game-winning 27-yard field goal as time expired.

But did he actually put the ball through the uprights? That's all Belichick wanted to know. 

Tucker's kick seemed to travel directly over the right upright, and while the referees signaled the kick to be good, the Patriots' sideline understandably thought otherwise.

Confusion ensued and Belichick looked for an official answer from one of the refs. That led to this:

Which, in turn, led to a lighter wallet for the veteran head coach. 

Judging by the postgame press conference, Belichick appeared to know that he was headed for hot water, as he took to explaining himself before any questions were even asked (via's Danny Picard):

I didn't know whether or not that play was going to be under review, or whether it wasn't.

So when the game was over, I went out and I was really looking for an explanation from the officials as to whether or not the play was under review. And I did try to get the official's attention, as he was coming off the field, to ask that. But I really wasn't able to do that.

It's understandable why the refs were in such a hurry to get off the field, as they put forth arguably the worst-called game of the season, but it seems like someone could have at least told the head coaches whether the controversial play would be reviewed.

It would have taken precisely four seconds. 

Chalk this one up to yet another loss for the replacement referees, as it's hard to imagine any of this ever would have went down had the regular zebras been on the field. 

Nonetheless, you never touch a referee. Bill Belichick knows that now.