Okay, let’s get it out there first of all. Suh was wrong when he kicked Evan Dietrich-Smith of the Packers after getting tangled up with him on the ground. No problem. And he didn’t help himself by trying to explain his actions away after the game as merely losing his balance. That was ridiculous. if you did it, own up to it and move on. But let’s not get carried away. He’s not wearing a hockey mask in a slasher movie.
Yeah, the guy got a little rough when he shoved Dietrich-Smith’s head three times while they were playing their own particular version of “ballistic twister” post-whistle on the turf. Big woo. Guys used to fish-hook (twist the helmet) of downed players after slamming them to the turf. Normally in retaliation for something the other guy did in an earlier encounter. It’s what we used to call “Frontier Justice.”
It was and is a violent game played by men with a disposition towards physical contact. Ask former Jets offensive tackle Chris Ward what it felt like to have his helmet ripped off his head by Lyle Alzado who then proceeded to wind up and whip it back at the bare-headed Ward.
Suh followed up by kicking at Dietrich-Smith, landing a foot on the arm of Dietrich-Smith. At least it wasn’t a groin shot. Ask Jack Lambert about how uncomfortable that was for him in a post-whistle encounter in Cleveland.
I come from a different era. I get that today’s NFL won’t tolerate yesterday’s NFL. But if you were watching Suh vs Dietrich-Smith on a black and white TV instead of color, you would say “What’s the problem? Flag’em and let’s get on with it.”
Simply put, that was a normal way of life in the trenches back then. Without throwing more people under the bus for actions of a yester-year, there were plenty of guys who applied the boots to another guy on the ground back in the day. And, might i add, a lot worse was done without the 147 different camera angles available in today’s game. But i have no problem with the fact that Suh will have to suffer a timeout for his actions, as today is a different day.
What really bothers me is that so many talking head’s are a little too sanctimonius in ripping Suh. Yes there is a 24-hour news cycle that needs to be fed, but the vociferous yapping at the action’s of Ndamukong Suh are a little too much for me. Tom Jackson of ESPN and a former Bronco was known to engage in a little vigilanteism. He tried to be the most balanced in his commentary, but Tom was a lone voice.
Some might be reading this and thinking that i’m a little too dimissive of Suh’s actions. As a 12-year vet of that time period, i believe you can’t be chucking stones having lived in that glass house that was your daddy’s NFL. We all did things we weren’t proud of years later. Stuff happens.
A two-game suspension fits the crime by today’s standards. Ndamukong will suffer, because aside from the big money (reportedly $164,000), letting down his brothers-in-arms who need him if they are to remain in the hunt for a playoff spot by sitting out will be angst enough. There’s nothing worse than having the boys out there without you.
What Suh has to get ready for is when he gets back, with his rep, believe you me that there are plenty of guys who will be willing to “test’ the young man and try to bait him into more outbursts. That’s where the rubber meets the road as far as his commitment to turn the corner in behaviour modification.
Enough of the villification though.