Please remove that stick from your ass and quit playing favorites.
An NFL Fan playing the role of your conscious.
So the NFL is making an example of Bengals WR Chad Ocho Cinco for his misguided "bribe" of an NFL official during a replay. Fine, I get that (even if it was kind of funny in a getting-out-of-a-speeding-ticket-via-donuts sort of way.)
I understand the fine on Falcons head coach Mike Smith as well since a coach needs to be the coolest head in the room/sideline. Although I find it commendable that he stood up for his players, but that doesn't make it right.
The fines on Bears QB Jay Cutler and DT Tommie Harris are probably well deserved if a bit puzzling. Cutler was fined $10,000 for "verbally abusing" an official while Harris was fined $7,500 for punching a defenseless player in the face. That's like expelling a kid from a school for calling his teacher a doody head but giving another kid detention for stabbing his peer with a pencil.
And that brings me to my point. The NFL is often times guilty of some egregious meting out of punishments. I thought the previously mentio'ned fines were somewhat hefty but understandable. They cast momentary dark shadows on the NFL shield (even, some would say, Ocho Cinco's attempt at levity.) I think the fines can be excessive but not without merit.
On the other hand, the celebration fines are out of control. Worse yet, it's hard to tell what the league deems worthy of fining.
Over the past few years the NFL has amended its rules in regard to end zone celebrations. It dictates that an automatic 15 yard penalty will be assessed (and of course fines if Lord Goodell says thusly) if props are used or if the player leaves their feet.
This struck me funny bone as I watched the Cowboys-Packers game this past Sunday. All football fans are familiar with the Lambeau Leap I assume. If you're not, it's a term reserved for when Green Bay Packer players score a touchdown on their home field and then run and jump into the waiting arms of fans. Did you notice the key word? Jump? I believe that constitutes someone "leaving their feet."
I can count on my closed fist how many times the NFL referees have penalized players for the Leap or God forbid, fined them.
So what's the deal? Your guess is as good as mine.
The NFL also didn't fine Philadelphia Eagles TE Brent Celek this past week after he scored a touchdown and mimicked the Captain Morgan pose. Did not fine him . I should be stoked right? The NFL loosened up for one week!
Nay. Two weeks before Indianapolis Colts rookie CB Jacob Lacey was fined $10,000 for sliding feet first, baseball style after his first NFL pick-six.
So essentially, rum: good, baseball: bad.
Got it. Thank you NFL for clearing that up.
Oh and I forgot to mention that honoring dead teammates is also a no-no. Shame on you Ryan Clark for bringing that sort of sentimental filth into our greedy, corporately, monolithic cash cow sport! Tsk tsk.
To end this article on a positive note, I will point out one celebration fine that was most definitely appropriate. During last years playoffs, Arizona Cardinals DE Antonio Smith sacked Falcons QB in the end zone for a safety. For some bizarre reason, his teammate Darnell Dockett decided to ride him like a bucking bronco . Dockett was fined twenty grand while his pony was fined ten large.
Honestly, I would've fined Dockett twice that for making everyone in the stadium and everyone watching at home extremely uncomfortable. Even worse, Smith should've been allowed to sue for sexual harassment to recoup the ridiculous fine the NFL levied against him.
I leave this one last thought to Commissioner Goodell and his band of merry thieves:
"He that is of the opinion money will do everything may well be suspected of doing everything for money."
- Benjamin Franklin