Troy Polamalu's Sideline Cell Phone Call Does Not Deserve Fine from Uptight NFL

Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistOctober 19, 2011

LATROBE, PA - JULY 29:  Troy Polamalu #43 of the Pittsburgh Steelers watches his teammates during training camp on July 29, 2011 at St Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

While the NFL has been known for fining players for miniscule offenses such as wearing the wrong color gloves or wrong type of cleats, it is certainly on the verge of reaching a brand new low in terms of fine-worthy offenses.

Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu suffered a concussion in Sunday's win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. While on the sideline Polamalu used a cell phone to call his wife and let her know he was okay.

Apparently, it is illegal for players to make calls from the sideline, and Polamalu may be fined for doing so. If the NFL does decide to go through with fining Polamalu, it just proves that it makes arbitrary decisions without looking into the circumstances surrounding certain situations.

I would imagine the spirit of the "no phone calls rule" is so that players can't call people who may be able to give them information that will help them in the game. That is a notion I can get behind, obviously, but when a player like Polamalu, who has a history of concussions, calls to let his wife know he is fine, the NFL needs to turn the other cheek.

That same sentiment was echoed by Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin who saw nothing wrong with the phone call either. 

"It wasn't a personal call. He wasn't checking on his bank account," Tomlin said. "He was talking to his wife to let her know that he was fine."

I highly doubt Polamalu's wife was feeding him vital information about how Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert reads a Cover 2, so it's safe to say the phone call was nothing more than an innocent conversation between a husband and wife.

If the NFL does decide to fine Polamalu, I'm sure it will come up with some cockamamie excuse about how not doing so would set a precedent and create some slippery slope effect that will result in players ordering pizzas on the sideline during games.

This is, of course, a one-off occurrence, but leave it to the NFL to make a mountain out of a molehill. At this rate pretty soon players are going to start getting fined for wearing their hats incorrectly on the sidelines (watch out Ben Roethlisberger and Tony Romo).

Perhaps the NFL will finally use a bit of common sense and prove me wrong, but based upon how fines have been handled in the past, I highly doubt it.