Sunday, November 4, 2012
The NFL, and Roger Goodell, has been really cracking down recently on excessive force and the intent of contact by defensive players. This has been a very debatable topic as to what defines excessive force and are hits purposely violent or just a regular football play.
The penalty, I felt, was questionable as he was leaning in to hit the receiver and as the receiver made a move he grazed his helmet and then fully hit his shoulder pads. The referee felt it warranted a personal foul and resulted in Carolina gaining an automatic first down.
The Bears were able to overcome this issue and ultimately win the game with more classic "Monster of the Midway" defense.
The game ended. Monday came and went. Then an email from the league office came to Chris Conte.
You are fined $21,000 for the hit he landed against the Carolina Panthers. He originally thought it was a joke and it really is a joke. To think this is fineable.
To most people in society who think that is nothing for a professional football player to have a fine of this magnitude then think of it this way.
This fine was 78% of Chris Conte's salary for the week.
Now I know what you are thinking. Oh, well he will just make it up next week. Right? It shouldn't matter. This is the man's lively hood. I know we would all like to bring in that kind of money in a weeks time but again is shouldn't matter.
Now think that if you were working and your company felt you made a mistake and that they would take 78% of your salary for the week. You wouldn't want anyone, let alone your company, take money out of your pocket and take food off your table.
The NFL powers that be are working like an organized crime syndicate.
The NFL doesn't care if you are a bit player and make the league minimum or if you are the star of the show. They have the same fines and system for everyone. You still gotta come up with the dough no matter what.
This is what if feels like for the little guy and what the NFL offices are basically telling them.
Don't play much? F--- you, pay me.
Don't make much? F--- you, pay me.
Might go bankrupt, huh? F--- you, pay me.
It may sound far fetched but it isn't far off. I understand wanting the game to be safe and never want to see anyone get hurt, but they are really taking the football out of football.
It is a violent game and people tune in each and every week to see their team play a barbaric sport.
I especially feel this way for the Chicago Bears as their defense is their best offense right now. The game today, against the Titans, was a microcosm of their season to date. They use their ability to dominate games physically and opportunistically with creating turnovers and scoring touchdowns.
Chris Conte is a lower man on the Totem Pole as far as the Bears defense is concerned. They rely heavily on the play of veterans Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs, and Peanut Tillman. These three are playing their best football and are doing it with bone crunching success.
There is a slippery slope when you start to fine players for helmet to helmet contact then what if they start fining for horse collar tackles. Or in Peanut's case, for punching at players while trying to stripe the ball from them.
The NFL has their agenda and will ultimately have the final say in what goes within their league. The players must adapt to the changes being made and do their best when in the heat of the moment.
I guess players will have to use the "magic bullet" theory and when they are in mid air and flying toward another player they will need to change directions and alter their movement against the laws of physics.
This is a ridiculous notion and why I feel these fines are getting out of control. The league office needs to pump their brakes when doling out fines and really hand them out if these are done deliberately.
They also need to adjust their fining processes with the scale for which the players are committing them. If a player makes the league minimum and is found to have violated league policy or procedure when making a hit then fine them according to their own salary.
Have a set scale that is made out in increments according to a percentage of their salary.
78% of someones salary is way too excessive and seems almost more extreme than some of the hits the players are being fined for.
An equal playing field in this process will be much better for a league that thrives on parody.
I realize this isn't going away this season but if it isn't addressed in the off season it will be a travesty.
Because if they don't do something then the little guy who makes a teams roster full may have to take another job during the season.
They just may be forced to actually go get their shinebox!
Posted by WGCY Newsroom at 10:57 PM