There was no Christmas cheer shared between the New England Patriots and Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.
Things got heated between the teams when the Vikings — in need of a comeback — seemed to just barely convert on a desperately-needed fourth down with eight minutes left and the Patriots up by two touchdowns.
As Minnesota hurried to get another play off before New England could dispute the ruling, Pats safety Patrick Chung suddenly (and conveniently) fell to the field with an injury, which stopped the clock and gave coach Bill Belichick enough time to challenge the conversion.
This didn’t sit too well with Vikings receiver Adam Thielen, who then marched over to the Patriots sideline to give Belichick a piece of his mind, and had to be held back by referees.
While Belichick is known for being reserved when it comes to displays of emotion, Belichick looked Thielen dead in the eye and shouted, “Shut the f— up!” in full view of FOX Sports cameras.
While the fourth-down conversion would be held up after the challenge, it wouldn’t matter in the end, as the Pats would go on to win the game 24-10.
“I just thought the play was cheap,” Thielen told reporters after the game, according to NBC Sports.
“I let my emotions get the best of me because it’s a smart football play,” Thielen, 28, said. “If you are in that situation, why not? It’s not cheating, because there’s no rule against from a guy going down. I don’t know if he was hurt or not — he might have been hurt. That’s fine, it is what it is. Just interesting timing for a guy to go down when it’s a close play.”
When asked about Belichick yelling back at him, Thielen said he simply took it in stride.
“No offense taken,” he replied. “It’s football. There’s emotions.”
In a post-game press conference, Belichick agreed with a reporter who suggested the argument was nothing but a friendly “holiday greeting.”
The whole exchange was humorous for New England quarterback Tom Brady, who says he has been on the receiving end of Belichick’s wrath.
“I’ve been on the other end of that a few times in my career,” Brady told WEEI. “Pretty funny… It’s competitive out there. It’s very feisty and everyone’s emotions are on their sleeves. You say something and there is just an emotional reaction. That was pretty funny.”