The actions of first-year Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano to rush across the New York Giants victory formation line on the last play this past Sunday has drawn mixed reviews from former and current coaches as well as players.
With just five seconds left, Giants quarterback Eli Manning shockingly lost control of the ball before taking a knee to nail down the win as the Tampa Bay’s defenders came charging in trying to produce a fumble down 41-34.
I don’t know who came up with it but it’s always been an unwritten rule that the quarterback couldn’t be rushed during a kneel-down, Schiano’s defense at Rutgers during his time there produced four fumbles while going after the signal caller.
Schiano and Tom Coughlin exchanged some heated words and Couglin walked away without shaking the Tampa Bay coach’s hand but seconds later turned around to do so while still blasting Schiano for the incident.
And even in the last seconds of Monday night’s Denver-Atlanta game, we saw the Broncos defense similarly use Schiano’s scheme in trying to make Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan fumble on the kneel-down.
Patricia Napier-Fitzpatrick, founder and director of The Etiquette School of New York, is one of those that agrees that the unwritten rule of charging the quarterback was indeed broken and told Fox Deportes that Schiano was wrong for having his defense do so in the last seconds of the game.
“They call them gentleman’s codes, the unwritten rule of etiquette that people agree on. … I don’t want to take sides but I will say that it does seem to me that when a man is down you don’t touch him,” Napier-Fitzpatrick said.
“There’s two ways to look at it. Number one (The Buccaneers) were a bad sport but that’s what the coach was telling them to do. If there was no chance (to rally), it’s just bad sportsmanship.”
The etiquette expert also said that while she understood why Coughlin was upset for what had transpired, he was wrong for not shaking hands with Schiano.
“He was angry because the Tampa Bay coach told his players to do something that violated a gentleman’s code (but) that doesn’t make it right that he refused to shake his hand. But I can see from a human standpoint why he would do that.”
She also said that the idea of exchanging pleasantries at the point was a gateway towards “goodwill”.
“Handshakes open the door for discussions with a show of goodwill. Refusing a handshake is an outright insult and rejection of a person,” Napier-Fitzpatrick said.
“It’s a very emotional thing. He was upset for his player. He realized that was wrong and he had to go back and shake his hand. That’s what gentlemen do and that’s what good sports do at the end of a game, win or lose.”