In recent years, the NFL and the Roger Goodell regime has really stepped up in the safety and image of the league, dishing out fines for outlandish behavior and on the field “maliciousness” in effect to promote the image of the league and prolong players careers.
What appeared to be a beneficial policy in some aspects soon has turned into what appears a way to get money grabbing policy.
In the past two years, the NFL has handed out its share of fines that leave some scratching their heads as to why. I mean, after all, football is a contact sport where big hits are glorified and worshipped. In fact, at the end of each season, NFL films releases its DVD of the biggest hits of the year.
And let’s not forget the series of video games in NFL Blitz where the focus of the game was to see how much you could hurt an opposing player. In the game you could hit another player back 20 yards and were able to body slam him after the play.
In recent news, Pittsburgh Steeler safety Tyrone Carter was fined $5,000 for a hit he put on Chicago Bears’ tight end Greg Olsen to break up a pass in last Sunday’s game – a hit that didn’t even receive a flag.
Olsen was slow to get up, but simply because he was winded, is what he explained. "My head was fine,'' Olsen said, "It was a great hit, he made a great play.
This Pittsburgh Steelers aren’t strangers to being fined for what appears as no apparent reason. Wide receiver Hines Ward, the best blocking receiver in the game, received two fines last season in consecutive weeks. Ward did not receive a flag on either play.
Safety Troy Polamalu decided to take his shot at the league stating that defensive greats from the past such as Dick Butkus and Jack Tatum wouldn’t survive in the league now because they wouldn’t have enough money.
And he’s right. The Steel Curtain would never be able to survive with the punishing blows that Jack Lambert set up.
Lawrence Taylor, arguably the best linebacker to play the game was idolized due to the magnitude of the tackles he delivered.
"I think regarding the evolution of football, it's becoming more and more flag football, two-hand touch," Polamalu said. "We've really lost the essence of what real American football is about. I think it's probably all about money. They're not really concerned about safety."
The Steelers have questioned the NFL for an answer as why to Carter was fined.
I think what the bigger question is what all the fines truly stand for. The NFL can always justify vaguely for their fines, but it appears that the NFL has entirely become a business and no longer a sport.
The league gets money however and whenever they can and instead of promoting the league’s image, it’s detracting from it to true fans.