I want to start out by saying that what Ndamukong Suh did was wrong and stupid. That being said, the backlash for how this has been talked about and handled is ridiculous. The year is now 2011 and between HDTV, 25 camera angles (including one that runs on a cable just over the field), everyone having a blog and twitter account, there is more vision of every sport action than ever. Back in even the 1990’s there were still just a few angles, less replays, no instant replay, and no internet for viral videos, and blogs. It is absolutely impossible to think that the NFL’s decision to go suspend Suh for two games isn’t based on what 2 million people put on their twitter accounts, blogs and every NFL analyst on the 13 different ESPN channels also said.
There were a few people out there who said give him four games, five games or a whole season, and others who said being ejected half way through a big game was enough. For the most part, your John Claytons, Mike Pereiras, Skip Bayless’ and so on all said that he should get 2 games, and boom a two game suspension is doled out.
Isn’t it true that Suh did a dumb move but was more in the wrong place at the wrong time, that being during the Thanksgiving Day nationally televised game against the 10-0 Green Bay Packers? What really happened was he was being held and he retaliated by doing a faux stomp on a lineman he was pissed at. There was no cut, no blood, no bruise or injury and Evan Dietrich-Smith did not miss a single play, not even for evaluation to see if they needed to amputate his arm after such a powerful kick by Suh.
I want to take yet another second to reiterate that what Suh did was wrong and I am not condoning it, the timing of the play and how it played out was stupid, juvenile and downright selfish.
It wasn’t until this morning that I read an article stating that this is only the third multiple game suspension in NFL history resulting from a play on the field.
The first was in 1986 when Charles Martin, who was considered the dirtiest player in the game, body slammed Jim McMahon after an interception. McMahon didn’t see it coming and had his head slammed into the Astroturf at Soldier Field. The play resulted in a season ending injury to McMahon. The suspension was for 2 games for Martin.
The second was the twenty years later in the very famous Albert Haynesworth stomping incident. Haynesworth stomped twice on the head of Andre Gurode, whose helmet had come off during the play. The stomp resulted in 30 stitches to Gurode’s head. This incident resulted in a five game suspension.
So should there be a stipulation that results of an incident like these plays should hold weight into the punishment? If there’s no injury resulting from a play there should never be more than a one game suspension.
Is this suspension a way for the league to now enforce larger and harsher fines and suspensions for actions? After 12 weeks of this season it has become abundantly clear that league is going to a softer, higher scoring format and do not care what they have to do to get there. Players can not hit a Quarterback above the shoulder, under the knee, or too hard from behind, they know only get one step after the ball is thrown to stop themselves or it’s a late hit.
If a defensive player tackles another player and their momentum causes their helmets to touch, fifteen yard helmet to helmet personal foul.
There are so many more rules in the game now than when I started watching football, horse collar, cannot launch into a player, cannot hit a defenseless receiver, cannot touch Tom Brady anywhere under any circumstances.
Do not even get me started on instant replay. If I have to hear one more commentator say the words “indisputable video evidence” I am literally going to throw up. They don’t need “indisputable video evidence “and they never will look for it. How is it possible that seven officials who are trained and paid very well can miss a play, then their leader can go look inside a video screen and see as many replays with as many angles as he needs and they still manage to fuck it up?
The only thing we can hope for is that the NFL starts to make less money than they were and changes have to be made back to the old style. Otherwise I will just learn more about Hockey and Basketball.