You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Poor sport: Tom Brady didn’t congratulate Nick Foles after Super Bowl LII.

Touchdown Wire 2/5/2018 Chris Chase

UP NEXT
UP NEXT
Video by NFL

Tom Brady is catching heat on Monday morning for not shaking hands with opposing quarterback Nick Foles on his Super Bowl victory. The five-time Super Bowl champion was spied by television cameras leaving the field about 30 seconds after the final play of the game, but it was unclear whether Brady had gotten to congratulate the victorious Philadelphia Eagles quarterback before walking off the field.

But reports from the stadium and words from Foles himself confirm Brady's snub. And now the question is being asked, like so many losing superstars before him: is Tom Brady a poor sport?

At least the last four Super Bowl losers have found their quarterbacking counterpart to shake hands, including Russell Wilson and Matt Ryan, both of whom lost to Brady. There seems to be no video, pictures or news accounts of Brady shaking hands with Eli Manning after the Pats' two Super Bowl losses to the New York Giants, but it can't be said with certainty that he offered a snub in those game too.

Sunday was a no doubter. After the final 49-yard Hail Mary attempt bounced harmlessly to the turf, the field erupted in the usual Super Bowl chaos. Coaches rushing to midfield, players celebrating, players mourning, seemingly every cameraman in the world trying to get pictures and video, random NFL staff and millions of pieces of confetti falling from the ceiling. It's a zoo. And in that moment, Brady couldn't find Foles or, more likely, chose not to find him. Here's the NBC clip of the postgame celebration:

Again, while it doesn't look like Brady shook hands, you can't say for sure. The camera wasn't on him the whole time. But as Jonathan Jones wrote on MMQB:

Brady didn't stay on the field long after his last-chance Hail Mary fell incomplete in the end zone on the last play of the game. He jogged back to the locker room as the green and silver confetti fell, and by the time the doors were opened to the media, he was already beginning to peel off his ankle tape.

But then the confirmation came: Nick Foles confirmed he hadn't spoken to Brady when asked about it in a postgame press conference:

Peyton Manning once walked off the field in Super Bowl XLIV without congratulating Drew Brees. LeBron James was famous for storming off the court in what would be his final game with the Cavaliers (version 1.0). It's happened before and it'll happen again. And there's only one phrase to describe the lack of sportsmanship: WHO CARES.

First off, that field was pure chaos. Brady has just been on it, throwing the last-second Hail Mary. When it went uncaught, the Eagles sideline charged onto the field. Maybe Brady clearly snubbed Foles or maybe he just couldn't initially find him and decided he didn't want to be standing around to let someone else's confetti land on him.

What's so bad about that? Brady should be hurt by the loss. Why would he want to wait on the field to offer a perfunctory"good game," to a guy who's about to hoist an MVP trophy and a Lombardi trophy? He did shake at least one hand and it came in the immediate aftermath of the final play, proving he wasn't throwing a tantrum and refusing to shake anyone's hand.

Why is our definition of sportsmanship solely related to whether someone limply offer a congratulations at the end of a hard-fought battle? (Peyton Manning, who always shook hands with Brady after a win or loss, caught flak for his Super Bowl snub of Drew Brees. But it was reported later that Manning got in touch with Brees sometime after the game to offer congratulations. How is that any different than doing it on the field after the game? I'd argue it's a classier move, in fact. One can be mechanical. Routine. It's easy. Picking up the phone (or whatever) isn't.)

It's nice when a losing quarterback look into the eyes of their opponent, offer a hand and a hug after a three-hour battle and move on to the locker room, thinking about what might have been. The whole thing is great for photo ops and teaching six-year-olds about sportsmanship.. And since Brady has been on the receiving end of so many victorious handshakes, maybe he should feel obligated to do the same to Foles.

But that's not sportsmanship. Playing with integrity is sportsmanship. Playing within the rules is sportsmanlike. Giving 100% as your opponent does the same - that's sportsmanlike. So if you want to say Tom Brady is a bad sport because he deflates footballs or ruins cell phones or plays for a coach who one day might have his own exhibit at the Spy Museum, fine. Just don't say he's a bad sport because he didn't say "good game" to a guy who needed no such affirmation.

MORE:

Poor sport: Tom Brady didn't congratulate Nick Foles after Super Bowl LII.

Justin Timberlake selfie kid is the Super Bowl's biggest meme (so far) (UPDATE)

Three potential trade packages for Nikola Vucevic

Why did Belichick bench Butler in Super Bowl?

Roundup: The Nick Foles Question; LeBron Must Be Honest with the Cavaliers; & Greatest Super Bowl Ever?

Related slideshow: Best images of Super Bowl LII (Provided by photo services)

AdChoices
AdChoices

MORE FROM TOUCHDOWN WIRE

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon