Ndamukong Suh Must Be Suspended to End Detroit Lions' Bad Behavior
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This article is not going to be met well by the Detroit Lions fans, but it needs to be said.
Everyone, including this Green Bay Packers fan, was rooting for this team because they were bouncing back from the humiliation of an 0-16 season.
Now everyone will be rooting against them because of how they have handled the adversity that followed the success of a 5-0 start.
Since then they are 2-4 because they are not mature enough to handle the adversity that follows success. They mocked opposing quarterback Tim Tebow and denied it despite thousands of people seeing it.
Their defensive leader did the same thing Thursday.
Despite having dominated the first half, the Lions were about to go down 10-0 early in the third quarter because of turnovers, penalties and a missed field goal.
That was when Ndamukong Suh gift-wrapped an early Christmas touchdown for the defending champions.
Everyone saw Suh slam Packers guard Evan Dietrich-Smith's head into the turf multiple times, try to kick his way free and stomp on his arm as he was moving away. But despite the camera evidence, that is not Suh's account of the transgression:
I was on top of a guy being pulled down and trying to get up off the ground. Why you see me pushing his helmet down [is] because I'm trying to remove myself from the situation. And as I'm getting up, I'm getting pushed, so I'm getting myself on balance and getting out of the situation.
I understand in this world because of the type of player and the type of person I am, all eyes are on me. So why would I do something to jeopardize myself and jeopardize my team first and foremost? So with that, that's why, I don't do bad things.
What punishment is valid for Ndamukong Suh?
It seems like you do—repeatedly.
One push on the helmet and a couple on the shoulder pads could be explained this way. The kick before you had both feet on the ground might be explained this way.
But multiple head shots and a stomp backward once you were free cannot.
Suh's blatant misrepresentation of what can be seen by cameras smacks of the lie of a six-year old being caught misbehaving. Such a lack of accountability from a repeat offender is why he should be suspended, perhaps even for five games (the rest of the season) just like Albert Haynesworth was for a similar incident.
It is a problem that is pervasive throughout the Lions personnel.
Jim Schwartz was the defensive coordinator for Tennessee when Haynesworth got that suspension.
Cliff Avril is tied with Suh for a league-leading seven personal foul penalties since 2010. In one of their losses, they responded to being dominated by taking cheapshots at the division rival Chicago Bears.
And yet Suh blames other people for the perception of him throughout the league that includes being voted the dirtiest player in the league by his peers.
He is just following his coach's lead, who instead of being focused on how the San Francisco 49ers exploited his previously unbeaten team at home, whined about an overly exuberant handshake.
Thus, it is not only sportsmanship and class the Lions lack, but maturity. Until they grow up, they will be known more for what they do wrong than what they do right.
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