As much as we profess to be a culture caught up in winning at all costs, we also care a great deal about sportsmanship. Bill Belichick has been chided for avoiding handshakes with his former assistant, Eric Mangini, following Jets and Patriots games. LeBron James was lambasted for skipping out on handshakes with the Magic two years ago. Sidney Crosby was crucified for not shaking the hand of Nicklas Lidstrom after winning the Stanley Cup. The latest victim is 49ers coach Mike Singletary who was criticized for not shaking Mike Smith’s hand after the Falcons beat the Niners with a last-second field goal Sunday.
Singletary was no doubt upset that his team had dropped to 0-4 and was probably even more upset about how it happened. Nate Clements had an interception that would have ended the game but he was stripped of the ball on his run back, giving the Falcons another chance to win the game. Atlanta drove for the field goal and made it, and Singletary apparently snubbed Smith. Singletary explained his actions saying “that was poor sportsmanship on my behalf. That’s all it was. I don’t know if any of you guys ever get ticked, I’d be the first to tell my kid that was wrong. I should have went over and shook his hand. I chose not to for a number of reasons but nothing else was on my mind. I was disappointed and that was a very honest feeling after the game.”
Singletary recognized what he did was wrong but he won’t go out of his way to call Smith to apologize. At least he knows not to do the same thing in the future, though he probably won’t have many more opportunities. With his team 0-4, Singletary may be one of the first coaches fired this year.Google+