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After jumping out to a 17-3 lead at halftime, the Buccaneers completely fell apart in the second half. They went on to lose to the Bengals, who scored 31 points in the second half and won by 11 on the road.
It was an extremely demoralizing loss for Tampa Bay.
The highlight— rather, lowlight — of the embarrassing second half came early in the third quarter. On 4th-and-1, the Buccaneers dialed-up a fake punt.
It did not work. At all.
Running back Giovani Bernard, who lined up as the personal protector, did not expect the direct snap. He fumbled.
Cincinnati recovered, which sparked the dominant comeback.
After the game, the media approached Bernard in the locker room and asked him what happened. It is their job to do so.
Giovani Bernard didn’t care and got very sassy.
He was not interested in addressing the blunder and questioned why reporters were interested in talking to him after the costly error, but not throughout the early portion of the season.
In response, the media reiterated that Bernard played a crucial role in one of the biggest plays of the game and that it is fair to ask about what happened. They also spoke to the fact that he was injured for most of the season, which is why they did not talk to him before.
Bernard eventually gave in and answered the media’s questions, and took full responsibility for the failed fake punt. He did so with a smirk on his face and tongue-in-cheek, but he did.
However, when asked to expand further on what happened, Bernard did not.
While it is undeniably frustrating to have a gaggle of reporters shove cameras and microphones in your face after a loss in which you were largely responsible for a huge momentum swing, Bernard should have seen it coming. This is not his first time speaking to the media.
And just as he is paid $1.2(ish) million per year to play for Tampa Bay, the people asking him the questions are paid a lot less than he is to ask them. Even if it was warranted, as could be said about every media obligation after a loss, Bernard’s reaction was unnecessary.