Last season in Reliant stadium one of the NFL's most embarrassing moments happened. Courtland Finnegan and Andre Johnson threw punches on he field. Both were ejected and fined. Because of this fight Courtland Finnegan got labeled "dirty", while Andre Johnson was praised and told what a good person he was. By the way Andre Johnson threw the first punch.
While Finnegan is not innocent I feel that this label has gone too far. I will admit that he has a tendency to play rougher than he should and sometimes be dirty, but he is a great player and other great dirty players get nowhere near this treatment. Ray Lewis, James Harrison, and Hines Ward gets labeled tough or aggressive.
Why should Finnegan be a target?
I feel the fight was a huge issue in this label for Finnegan. Before this fight Finnegan was known as a dirty player, not a real standout nothing to offensive, but relatively dirty. Andre Johnson was just known as a great player.
So Finnegan Jams him hard illegally to the face after the two have words. Okay illegal hit, but nothing serious it should be a flag, but it happens every so often, but know Andre Johnson goes nuts rips Finnegan's helmet off and starts beating him. Throughout the fight Finnegan did not throw a punch.
Sadly Finnegan had stated earlier in the year "I want to be the NFL's dirtiest player". It was a stupid thing to say. Because of hims saying this and his dirty play people went nuts. They said he was an awful person, a thug, and they had no respect for him.
Who's fault was the fight
Yeah he's dirty he needs to control his emotions more and not make dumb plays, but to call him an awful person, to say Andre Johnson is innocent, to say that Finnegan is the single most dirty player in the league, it's ridiculous.
Finnegan got beat up for being dirty by a man bigger than him he stood no chance. If Ray Lewis or James Harrison got beat up by a no name Offensive Lineman after a cheap hit what would be our reaction. We would still celebrate them because they are great players and it would have obviously been the Offensive Lineman's fault not thier's. But since it's the great Andre Johnson beating up Finnegan who is not all that big of a name it's different.
Should Finnegan clean up his act? Yes! But he isn't the dirtiest player in the league and he is not a bad person.
Every year Finnegan hosts a charity Christmas dinner, a charity karaoke night, a charity golf tournament, takes under privileged kids Christmas shopping, stands for hours signing autographs for fans after other players leave, and even has a charity called Ark 31 serve kids with special needs.
I've met the guy once he was very nice and personable and around Nashville, despite what people think about his on the field antics, everyone agrees he makes the community better.
Courtland Finnegan should be a very popular guy among league fans, but sadly his label as a dirty player has stopped that. Yes he brought it upon him self, but everyone deserves a second chance. He is everything you want in fan favorite; an underdog (he was a seventh round draft pick), he is a great guy, and he plays his heart out for his team every day.
Maybe it is time we move on from the fight and give this guy an second chance, if anyone deserves it he does.