It seemed an inevitability that Patriots head coach Bill Belichick would be fined for grabbing a referee following the final play of Sunday night's game against the Ravens. However, with Belichick being fined $50,000 and Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan only being $25,000 for more abusive conduct, ESPN's James Walker argues that Belichick's fine was "excessive:"
Although I'm probably in the minority, I think this fine was excessive. Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan verbally berated an official and received a $25,000 fine. Is what Belichick did worth twice the penalty?
Belichick's arm grab of replacement official Esteban Garza took all of one second. It was actually a pretty weak attempt, as Garza quickly pulled his arm away from Belichick and continued with his jog into the tunnel. Belichick said he only wanted an explanation of whether the Baltimore Ravens' game-winning field goal was reviewable.
The biggest issue is respect. Would Belichick have grabbed a real NFL official in the same way he did the substitute? Probably not. The lack of respect probably had a lot to do with the amount of the fine. But verbally bashing an official showed a similar lack for authority. Shanahan, Denver Broncos coach John Fox ($30,000) and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio ($25,000) were all guilty of that this week.
Personally, I think the $50k fine is appropriate, but like Walker, I don't think Belichick's fine should have been double that of Kyle Shanahan. What's your opinion?