Yes Ndamukong, really!!!11
The easy bet for the player to generate the first fine this season was James Harrison, the Steelers linebacker who’s routinely punished by that hand puppet who runs the NFL. But it looks like anyone who owns eight farms and bet them all on Lions defensive end Ndamukong Suh made an easy buck today. Suh lost a few bucks, 20,000 of them to be exact.
The moment Andy Dalton’s helmet popped off during last Friday’s preseason game between the Lions and Bengals, a fine seemed inevitable. Although no official statement has been released by the league, the above tweet sure seems to indicate that Suh lost a substantial sum of money today.
Dalton’s head remained fastened to his shoulders despite Suh’s best effort to claim it for his trophy mantle. A 15-yard penalty for roughing the passer was called on the play.
The NFL is the juggernaut of North American professional sports, but any successful business will become unsuccessful quickly if it stays stagnant. That’s why the search for the casual fan is constant, and that’s why the league protects its most recognizable and marketable players. Most of those players happen to be quarterbacks, and it’s Suh’s task to plant them firmly in the turf on every play.
This is why life in the NFL has become increasingly difficult for highly aggressive players like Suh who flirt with the line between controlled violence and unbridled hostility. The process of harnessing that aggression is what’s driven Harrison to absurdly contemplate retirement, and it’s now prompted Suh to include far too many exclamation points in a tweet.
Aggression is clearly a central element to any football play, but players like Suh and Harrison can be borderline animalistic. There’s nothing wrong with this style of play. It wins games, and in Harrison’s case, it wins championships. But uber-aggressive players also need to elevate their awareness of the NFL’s increased emphasis on player safety, a concept that’s especially escaped Suh’s grasp in his young career.
If he is fined $20,000 by the league it’ll already be the third monetary punishment issued to Suh, who’s entering his second season. The first came almost exactly one year ago when he used his head re-adjustment skills on Jake Delhomme.
That hit cost Suh $7,500. The second fine came as a result of Suh’s stiff forearm shiver to the back of Jay Cutler’s head, and this time the penalty was raised to $15,000. Kristin Cavallari approves.
He’ll complain, and so will Lions fans. But the reality is that in today’s NFL, Suh has committed the #BIGFAIL.