London Fletcher Was Given the Worst Penalty of the Season: Why It Means More
Congratulations to Jeff Triplette for being responsible for the worst penalty called this NFL season, and simultaneously summing up all that is wrong with the NFL's player safety brouhaha.
Washington Redskins linebacker London Fletcher (regularly considered a model NFL citizen, or the anti-James Harrison in Roger Goodell's mind) hit Tom Brady mid-slide, garnering a 15-yard personal foul. It appeared to be a violent hit, but further examination revealed that Brady was in mid-air and only in the early stages of his slide.
Triplette's justification for the penalty was that Fletcher had thrown "a forearm to the head of the quarterback", which is obviously absurd upon actually watching the play. Fletcher hit Brady in the shoulders before Brady had officially began his slide. My problem with the reasoning for the penalty, the "forearm to the head", runs deeper than just the fact that it was blatantly wrong.
Shouldn't Brady have been removed from the game had he suffered a blow to the head? He's the NFL's golden grail (a phrase I made up), which is probably the reason why the penalty was even called in the first place (you think T.J. Yates earns that penalty?).
After what happened with James Harrison and Colt McCoy Thursday (Harrison, obviously to anyone watching, helmet-to-helmeted McCoy, causing concussion-like symptoms for McCoy, but McCoy stayed in the game), shouldn't Brady have been examined, according to the refs' explanation for the penalty? Aren't the refs supposed to be on-field doctors now anyway?
Otherwise, their justification for this is just a horrible load of crap, given out only because Brady is Brady and you can't hurt the Most Valuable Product.
Honestly, this made me really angry Sunday watching this. It's just a perfect display of all that is wrong with everything the NFL is trying to do right now. It's the NFL putting commerce before safety, saying it's doing the opposite, and then continuously proving its own hypocrisy every Sunday.
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