By John W. PeelerSeptember 11, 2013
FORT BENNING, Ga., (Sept. 11, 2013) -- Whether it's just the nature of the business, adrenaline or just plain cheap shots, it didn't take long for the "bad boys" of the National Football League to rear their ugly heads.
Some want to brush it off by saying "it just happens in the game," while others, like Green Bay's pretty boy, Clay Matthews, took ownership by saying it was a "poor decision."
Matthews has worked hard over the years to make his image as one of a tough player, but when you grab a player out of bounds around the neck to bring him down, in this case San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick, it screams stupid player, rather than a tough player.
Following the game, Kaepernick said about Matthews, "If intimidation is your game plan, I hope you have a better one."
I agree totally.
In the Minnesota and Detroit match up, Detroit defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh started off the 2013 season with his yearly dirty play when he was whistled for an illegal low block against Vikings center John Sullivan well behind the play.
Now, Suh is infamous for his dirty play, so it shouldn't come as a surprise. As an interdivisional rival of the Vikings, Suh surely keeps up with the players he faces twice a year. Sullivan is coming off of an offseason knee surgery, so Suh's low hit 15 yards away from the play is particularly disturbing when it comes to possibly ending the career of another player.
Suh said he wasn't going for the knees of Sullivan, but that's exactly where he hit him.
Both Matthews and Suh said they had conversations with the offended player either going into halftime or following the game. Both also said they even joked with the players.
So, is that supposed to make it OK?
Both Matthews and Suh will probably be fined by the NFL, but as one of my co-workers reminded me when Randy Moss was fined a few years ago for his antics -- who later said it's only $10,000, I'll pay in cash. His antics continued for most of his career.
Until dirty players are hit where it really hurts -- playing time -- the fines won't matter. The fines are dirt cheap considering what they make.
Take playing time away, or for players like Suh who have a history of dirty play, get rid of them.
That type of play has no place in the game.