Thursday, December 09, 2010

The NFL is ruining football

During last week's Bears-Lions game, Lion defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh was penalized for putting both hands Bears' quarterback Jay Cutler's back and shoving him down after he scrabbled for 8 yards. Referee Ed Hochuli thought he saw Suh use his forearm to knock Cutler down and penalized him for "a non-football act." Replays clearly show otherwise but moving at full speed one can understand how Hochuli missed the call.

What's not understandable is how the NFL can fine Suh $15,000 for a perfectly legal shove in the back.

The officials messed up and instead of admitting their mistake, the NFL is doubling down. Suh has appealed the fine and any body of reasonable individuals will overturn this fine. The fine is just symptom of a cancer that is haunting the NFL; the league's willingness to defend and even support bad officiating.

I think Eric Edholm nails it on the head,
Allow me to rephrase: The NFL is hiding behind the auspice of wanting to protect players, when all it really is doing is trying to protect the referees, who blew a call.....

The league has helped create this mess. It wants to curb violence to protect itself and avoid public scrutiny, but what it has done is open to the door even wider to that exact thing. Now every hit that happens is scrutinized and dissected, and when Suh is fined for this kind of thing — as well as numerous other hits this season — there is a reaction: good, bad or otherwise.

It has become the story in the NFL this season, and players no longer know how to play the game the way they have been taught to play it.
If there's a lockout I think the NFL players should lobby for a new policy in which after each game, each team is allowed to submit one bad call or bad no-call to the NFL for review (I'm not talking about close calls here but calls which are obviously missed) and if that call is found to be especially egregious, then the official who either made or missed the call should be required to submit a video admitting his mistake and apologizing.

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