Thursday, October 21, 2010
Enough with this head shot penalty debate in the NFL
So if you have been breathing at all the last couple days, you know what this post is all about just by the title. This is because it is all every sports writer in the world is talking about since Sunday when the NFL deemed there was a series of "egregious" hits. First, 90% of the players in the NFL don't know what egregious means and neither do I, so use normal words. Second, the NFL just decided randomly to become strict on this issue after years of letting it slide for the most part. This was never going to win any players over and it hasn't as many big name defensive players:present and past have spoken out against the new policy. The list goes forever from Ray Lewis to Mark Schlereth on ESPN. The players want to be able to play and some of them have taken it upon themselves to make a point by taking a stance on this issue.
Steelers LB Jerome Harrison is contemplating retirement after he was fine 75k for two hits to the head on Sunday. As Lil Wayne once told Katie Couric " I am a gangsta Miss Kaite. I do what I want. If I can't do what I want I'll just die." This is Harrison's mindset here. He is threatening to retire because he is a hard hitter and if he can't do that, he is less effective as a player.
The fine is too steep and is not the best way for the league to deal with these hits. I feel like you can't just decide to enforce the rules Week 7 into a season. The three players fined this week were the example for the rest of the league and unjustly so. The league simply needs to tell the officials to use the rules in place. These rules have been in place for multiple years. Yet, no official has thrown a player out of a game for such a hit when that punishment is the fairest and most reasonable option. Fining players is just going to piss them off. Suspending them after is going to piss off fans and coaches. If a player makes a helmet to helmet hit with intent then he should be ejected. As a Patriots fan, I think Brandon Meriweather deserved to be ejected on Sunday against the Ravens. Belichick quickly yanked him out of the game anyway. Guys are going to get hit in the head in football. The hits are what makes the NFL great. Trying to protect little pussy receivers going across the middle of the field isn't going to win any fans besides those players and their agents. Most defensive players will be more careful about this now but some still won't. The game is meant to be physical and this is a huge overreaction by the league because some of their jerseys don't sell if the player is a vegetable apparently. Wes Welker got clobbered in the head in Week 2 by the Jets' Eric Smith and he was fine 7500 and not thrown out. Simply throw him out of the game and the players will get the message enough to not try to kill each other. The refs need to do their fucking jobs.
Ok. I am done ranting now. This is way overblown and not the publicity the league needs. Talk about the games coming up in Week 7 not what will happen if someone gets a boo boo from a hit.
Look for money in the bank locks of the week tomorrow as I will be traveling for "business" purposes out to Amherst on Friday. That's right all two of our followers will get a recap of the hockey game where they will be allowed to hit each other in the head without any 15 yard penalties.