Bucs Giovani Bernard Annoyed At Reporters Asking Him About Blown Fake Punt; But Is That Why The Team Lost?

Giovani Bernard argue with reporters after blow punt
(Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Giovani Bernard didn’t want to answer questions about a blown fake punt after Sunday’s game, and ESPN reporter Jenna Laine posted the exchange on Twitter. A debate has started about what rights reporters and players have in that instance. But was the miscue on the fake punt the reason the team lost?

Why Was Giovani Bernard Arguing With Reporters? 

Following the game Bernard attempted to exit the locker room without speaking to reporters and what ensued was kind of ridiculous.

Bernard was annoyed and said the reporters haven’t talked to him all year and now they only want to talk to him because something bad happened.

Then the scrum of reporters, including Laine, barked back that he’s been injured all year and that’s why they haven’t spoken to him.

“Can I go to my family that I have outside?” Bernard asked reporters.

He finally agreed to speak to the scrum and was clearly annoyed and wouldn’t get into any specifics about whether or not he knew the play was a fake or what actually happened. Instead just taking full responsibility for the miscue.

“Miscommunication, that’s all it was on my part,” Bernard said. “I take complete fault for that. It was complete fault — my fault, that’s it. It’s on me, all me, something I did wrong. It was all on me. No. 25 out there, that’s me. I was the one who did it. It was just me. I messed up. I messed up. Thank you, guys.”

Giovani Bernard Takes Blame For Blown Fake Punt

As a fellow media member with locker room access, I understand the reporters’ need to hear from Bernard and ask about his perspective on a big play.

The tone with which some of the reporters responded to Bernard left something to be desired.

“What have you done all year?” asked one reporter with a little too much bass in his voice.

Even Laine had a hostile tone when she bucked back, “Well, you were injured all year.”

At the end of the day athletes are still human beings. As media members we can give grace and empathy when speaking with them.

On the athletes’ side, you know you have to speak to the media. Whatever league you are in, there are collectively bargained media obligations you must adhere to win or lose.

Obviously, Bernard felt some type of way about what went down, and he is entitled to give the media as much or as little insight as he feels.

The Bucs blew a 17-0 lead and lost 34-23 to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.

With 13:34 left in the third quarter and the Bucs up 17-3 it was fourth-and-1 for the Bucs at their own 26 and head coach Todd Bowles drew up a fake punt. That was the play call, and apparently the entire team knew that was the play. The snap appeared to catch Bernard by surprise, leading to a fumble, Bengals recovery, and a field goal with 12:04 left in the third.

Bucs lead was now 17-6

Was The Bucs’ Loss Giovani Bernard’s Fault?

Was this the most important play of the game? Did it change momentum and cause the Bucs to lose?

Sorry, that one play didn’t cause the loss. There was the majority of the third quarter and fourth quarter still to be played. A game is a cumulative thing. There were multiple turnovers and poor execution at several points throughout the game.