NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has levied a fine against Raheem Brock, defensive end of the Seattle Seahawks, for his hit on Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers in their game on September 18th.
Seahawks fans were unhappy that Brock was even flagged for the play, as he was clearly tripped/leg-whipped on the play. He put a veteran move on rookie Marcus Gilbert, leaving the right tackle lost and out of position. His only means to stop Brock was sticking his leg back.
It worked to perfection for Gilbert and the Steelers. Brock tripped and fell into Roethlisberger's leg, a violation of NFL rules that prohibits players from touching quarterbacks below the waist, above the shoulder pads or with too much gusto. Roethlisberger did a much better Deon Grant and a flag was thrown for roughing the passer.
The flag for roughing the passer was understandable. The referee is responsible for watching and protecting the quarterback, and it is asking too much of him to also watch for infractions on the offensive line. That is the responsibility of the line judge, who is the one that missed the tripping call.
Or so we thought...now it appears as though Roger Goodell missed it, too.
While reading through tweets today, I saw an interesting statement from one of my favorite follows...@RaheemBrock.
Fined by the NFL today for being 'TRIPPED' by an o'lineman and fallin into the QB's legs! Smh if I only had super powers to stop mid air
The video of this play that was on NFL.com appears to have been taken down. It can also be seen here.
Was the fine on Brock prompted by his offseason video pranking Goodell?
Perhaps it is a different video that prompted the fine on Brock. During the lockout, he joined former Seahawk Chester Pitts in prank-calling Goodell. While good for a laugh for the fans, there is little evidence of Goodell having a sense of humor.
With some of the actions taken by Goodell over recent years, retribution seems to be more the expectation than exception. Since he couldn't touch Brock for conduct he felt was unbecoming during the lockout, there was speculation he was lying in wait for Brock's first misstep.
It certainly didn't take him long to find it.
The amount of Brock's fine hasn't been announced. Perhaps he should send the bill to Gilbert for the lesson...or maybe Pitts will pony up his half.
UPDATE: The league has announced that the fine on Brock was for $15,000. Brock will most likely appeal the fine, but if he isn't successful Gilbert and Pitts should each be ready to fork over $5,000.