Will the NFL ever come up with a suspension and fine protocol that is consistent from one week to the next? One player to the next? One wrongdoing to the next? The answer, as 2017 winds down appears to be, NO.
Judge, Jury and Executioner Roger Goodell is like the older brother Mike from ET. He torments those he can while forcing them to say “you have absolute power.” Probably holding an action figure of the player in question and contorting its body in awful ways just for his entertainment. No Proof. Just Instinct. Oh by the way, the parameters of a 200 million dollar contract extension for Roger were reportedly agreed upon this week. So, get used to it, because he’s not going anywhere.
The crux of life in the NFL over the past few years has been player safety. Money paid out to fund players that have already retired. Cases of CTE found in the brains of numerous players who have donated their organs after passing away.
The way the game is played, and officiated have changed. A quarterback can barely be touched. I believe there is a rule that Tom Brady actually is not allowed to be hit. If there isn’t there should be. When players break the rule they are forced to pay the price. Suspended a game or two, or land a hefty fine.
I recognize that it’s more difficult to take away games from NFL players than say a baseball player. NFL plays 16 games. Baseball would need a 10 game suspension to equal the impact. MATH SKILLZ.
I watched two football games this past week. Bills-Patriots and Steelers-Bengals. What follows pains me to say. Gronk got off way too easy. WAY TOO EASY.
JuJu Smith Schuster hit Vontaze Burfict in the flow of the game. He stood over him afterward, taunting. Which is a no, no, but he had just made a football play.
Gronk had a temper tantrum after he didn’t get a pass interference call and came with a forearm shiver to the back of the head of a player who was lying face down on the ground… and out of bounds. Oh, by the way, the play was long over. Forearm shiver doesn’t quite cut it – he slammed his head like it was a can of beer on one of his cruises. Result, he gave the guy a concussion.
Each player suspended for a 1 game. It seems like if Gronk was less popular and perhaps less charismatic it would have been a different story. Am I wrong to think that? Do I want him out, ever? No, of course not. But if player safety is really the point, then I think this past week is a shining example of failure.