Ndamukong Suh Birthday: Highlighting Suh's Most Captivating Career Moments

David Daniels@TheRealDDanielsSenior Writer IJanuary 6, 2012

Ndamukong Suh Birthday: Highlighting Suh's Most Captivating Career Moments

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    Ndamukong Suh entered the NFL with expectations to physically abuse the league. The former Nebraska Cornhusker has just done that, and more. And by more, I mean in a way no one would’ve imagined.

    Suh is arguably the most talented defensive tackle in the NFL, but he’s also built a reputation as the dirtiest player in the entire league.

    Friday, January 6 is Suhperman’s birthday, so to celebrate, let’s look back on the highs and lows of No. 90’s short professional career thus far.

5. Rookie Dominance

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    Suh’s NFL career couldn’t have started on a much higher note.

    In the two seasons before his arrival, the Detroit Lions won a total of two games. In his rookie season, Detroit went 6-10 and found themselves on everyone’s list of up and coming teams.

    Suh instantly made the Lions defensive line a force.

    He ended up winning Defense Rookie of the Year and earning a trip to the Pro Bowl.

4. Sign of Things to Come

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    Known as an extremely physical player coming into the league, Suh’s hit on the Cleveland Browns Jake Delhomme wasn’t exactly a shocker.

    No one knew at that point, though, that his dirty play would turn into a pattern.

    Commissioner Roger Goodell fined Suh $7,500, the defensive tackle’s first, of many, NFL fines.

    What seemed then like a young, immature player simply losing his cool—in a meaningless preseason game—developed into the Hit Man of the NFC that we know today.

3. Poor Suh

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    Believe it or not, there was a time when the majority of football fans sympathized for Suh. 

    That hit on Jay Cutler—which would’ve been legal in a two-hand touch football league—somehow, someway, resulted in a $15,000 fine.

    Suh was the poster boy not for dirty play, but the NFL’s soft officiating.

    He even came into this year with the image of a victim. Goodell fined Suh yet again for this hit on Andy Dalton in the preseason. 

    Sure, the tackle deserved a flag, but a $20,000 fine for a hit that makes players like Jack Tatum and Lawrence Taylor look like criminals in comparison is a complete joke.

    Suh’s reaction on Twitter pretty much summed up the injustice:



2. Loss of Innocence

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    If you still saw Suh as a victim going into the Lions matchup with the Atlanta Falcons this season, he entirely lost his innocence by the end of the day. 

    After Matt Ryan went down with an injury, Falcons players accused Suh of taunting their suffering quarterback. The D-lineman later called Ryan’s injury "karma."

    Whether he truly taunted an injured player or there was a misunderstanding, Suh officially became a villain at that point. 

    He would be alright, though, because after all, he had a chance to shortly redeem himself on national television Thanksgiving afternoon, right?

1. The Stomp

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    Suh put his short fuse on display in front of the entire country as he stomped the right arm of Green Bay Packers’ Evan Dietrich-Smith. 

    His quick temper led to a flag, ejection and two-game suspension. He separated himself from the rest of his competition for the title of the dirtiest player in the NFL.

    Hines Ward and his blindside hits are long forgotten. Cortland Finnegan, despite his desire for the label, falls far short. Even James Harrison, though he’s a close second, can’t compete.

    I honestly believe Suh isn’t a bad guy outside the lines.

    But the 25-year-old must learn keep his emotions in check on the gridiron or a potentially Hall of Fame career will unfortunely be overshadowed by a tarnished reputation.


    David Daniels is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.