Friday, October 22, 2010

Who really blew the call

So if anyone follows grid iron football, week 6 was interesting from the perspective that $175K in fines were handed out to (3) players for what has been termed "violent hits." I am not here to question the wisdom of the fines, although some did state that James Harrison makes $20 Million a year, and the $75K he was fined was a pittance to him. One funny point is that the NFL fined Harrison about 3 times what FIFA fined both Spain and the Netherlands (all players on both teams!!) for their poor behavior in the 2010 World Cup final.

What caught my eye were some of the comments from Ray Anderson, VP of operation for the NFL, who told that the referees missed it by not penalizing Harrison for unsporting like conduct after the hit to the Cleveland Browns Mohamed Massaquoi.

From the article:
The hit should have been flagged for Harrison whacking a defenseless receiver in the helmet, the kind of hit that was a point of emphasis this offseason for the league's 17 officiating crews. But it got no flag.
He's no dummy, and started to right the ship on the next comment, at least partially using the royal "we":
"We missed a call,'' Anderson said. "That call should have been made.''
So let me get this straight, the NFL has suddenly decided after (6) weeks they prefer their players conscious and that helmet to helmet hits are a bad thing, and in response, in relevant part, the VP of operations is blaming the referee.

Your kidding right?

The players and referees will go as far as the league will let them. That is the nature of the professional game, football or soccer. For a very long time NFL has enjoyed the fame associated with "big hits" and similar hype that went along with it. The NFL is a marketing machine, and this play was a part of that.

For the NFL to implicate anyone but themselves for failings to patrol such behavior, sees a bit self serving to me. For my money the NFL blew the call a long time ago, not the guys calling the game on Sunday.

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