The NFL picks and chooses their battles, and have now decided to wage war on silly quarterbacks who decide to wear non-sanctioned hats after NFL games.
Silly, silly, Alex Smith.
Deadspin reports it will cost the 49ers quarterback thousands if he dare don a San Francisco Giants hat after a game as he has been known to do.
The NFL served Smith with a fine of $15,000 when he decided to wear the hat after Sunday's victory. Smith later explained the odd punishment, via a SF Gate report.
The crime? Smith said he was fined for wearing non-NFL-sponsored gear of a competing league, a no-no for players in the 90 minutes after a game.
“So it’s weird,” Smith said. “I could wear a Polo shirt after the game and they’re not going to fine me.”
As Deadspin reminds us, the hat is meant to be a lucky charm, and has been worn by Smith since last year.
Yet, the league has waited these many months to pounce on a player wearing a baseball cap to a football function. For shame, Smith.
If you fear for the quarterback's wallet, rest assured the fine has been rescinded, but he will suffer an actual fine of $15,000 if he wears the hat after a game again.
San Francisco fans better hope that hat really isn't good luck, because that is a great way to invite bad juju to what could be a historic season.
If you are wondering why it took so long to catch up to the nefarious hat-wearing ways of Smith, Barry Petchesky of Deadspin has some ideas.
It could be the league's new apparel supplier Nike throwing its weight around, but a more likely answer is that the NFL's branding watchdog is only occasionally paying attention.
I agree that it's a matter of some personnel barely catching wind of this and being alerted that it was a concern.
I certainly hope the NFL cleans up this rampant mess. We wouldn't want people to stop watching the NFL—all because Smith just had to wear his baseball cap.
I'm glad to see the quaint NFL stick up for itself, because this is totally not a ridiculous burrito with a side of lame sauce.
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