Every Friday the National Football League announces which acts of violence/celebration from the previous week will result in a fine. Some of them border on the ridiculous, some of them are ridiculous, and some of them are so stupid that the players on the receiving end have absolutely no idea why they are getting fined.
Today is a perfect example. First, we received word that Giants defensive end Justin Tuck was fined $7,500 for his hit on Brooks Bollinger. Pay no attention to the fact Bollinger makes the play appear 1,000 times worse by thinking he was Brett Favre and attempting to jump into the air as he released the ball, just as Tuck was trying to do his job and sack him. The call the ref makes on the field: "Tackling the quarterback with his full body weight." Perhaps this Sunday when Tuck goes for a sack, instead of using his full body weight, he should gently cuddle the quarterback to the ground, while placing a series of pillows on the grass to soften the tackle.
UPDATE: Tuck's fine has been rescinded after Goodell saw the play for the first time Friday and said the $7,500 fine was too harsh.
If that wasn't bad enough, Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley was given a $10,000 fine for, literally, sacking Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell. That's his job! That's why the Steelers pay him. Defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau spends long hours thinking up new and creative ways to put him into a position to put the quarterback on the ground.
Naturally, all of these fines and penalties handed out to guys for simply playing football have started to annoy quite a few defenders. Troy Polamalu, if you'll recall, thinks Roger Goodell and his crew of punishment are turning the game into a pansy game.
Mike Pereira, the league's director of officiating, has had enough. According to Alex Marvez of Fox Sports (via MDS at PFT), Pereira has told officials that, "when in doubt, throw the flag." Obviously, this leads to guys like Tuck getting flagged for ... I'm still not sure what, which in turn leads to guys like Woodley getting fined $10,000 for sacking the quarterback.
Pereira also isn't a fan of players who feel the need to point out that the NFL is slowly turning itself into a non-contact game.
"It's not acceptable," Pereira tells Marvez. "We have 120 of the most professional people in the world working their tails off. To openly criticize this group - which I think has the toughest job of anybody on the field - I don't like it."People wouldn't criticize if the 120 professionals, along with commissioner Goodell and Pereira, weren't taking the tackling aspect out of tackle football.
Seriously, this guy -- or any player from his era -- wouldn't have been allowed to play in the Goodell/Pereira NFL:
Still, Mark Schlereth was absolutely spot on when he called the NFL on its blatant hypocrisy as the league continues to make a buck off of videos like this, and then fines guys like Woodley for creating the hits that show up on said videos.