Ed Reed has once again been fined by the NFL “suits” who cozy up in the league offices. And, once again, it’s an absolute crock.
When Reed files his taxes for 2012, he’ll see plenty of additional write-offs to his taxable income for “charitable contributions,” because according to Jay Glazer of Fox Sports, Reed has been fined $55,000 for his “helmet-to-helmet” hit on Giants’ wide receiver Victor Cruz.
In case you weren’t aware, all NFL fine money goes to various charities, thus allowing players to deduct it from their taxable income. While charitable contributions are great, I’m sure Reed and other NFL players would rather make them voluntarily versus being forced to essentially from doing their job and PLAYING FOOTBALL.
Whether it’s NFL commissioner Roger Goodell or someone else who decided to fine Reed, apparently they forgot that their frequent offender of “helmet-to-helmet” hits is the same guy who has a serious neck problem that almost ended his career.
Common sense would tell you that someone who is closer to paralysis from a routine hit than most players in the league will probably not be leading with his helmet on purpose.
Maybe the commish forgot that.
Sure, Reed’s helmet accidentally grazed the side of Cruz’s. However, it was clearly evident that Reed led with his shoulder and placed it square into the receiver’s chest – which is 100% legal. During a football game, heads will bump which is now good enough to draw a 15-yard penalty.
How much longer until referees penalize lineman for bumping heads as they come out of their three-point stance? Ridiculous? Yes. Realistic? Absolutely, within a few seasons.
This is essentially what Reed was guilty of last Sunday.
When Reed won his appeal three weeks ago after originally being suspended for a game and docked a pay check ($423,000), the league decided that the punishment was too harsh for a “frequent offender” within the three-year predetermined window. It also made the league look like idiots because they basically admitted their guidelines were flawed.
Instead of an unpaid suspension, Reed was given a warning and fined $50,000. Now, after Sunday’s game, Reed has been charged with the same crime (on much weaker hit) but the NFL once again has decided not to suspend him.
If the people with offices at 345 Park Avenue want to stop looking like clowns, they must set clear rules, establish a precedence, and stick to it.
It’s no secret that all of the leagues safety initiatives come from their pending lawsuits from former players with concussions. The league clearly has made a statement that they will try to protect current players from helmet-to-helmet collisions but with the way they’ve treated Reed, they’ve shown that they’re coming closer to banning high impact hits as well.
Not suspending Reed for this week after receiving a warning a few weeks prior absolutely shows that the league is inconsistent in their rulings and clearly has lost control of the line they drew in the sand when it came to player safety.
Goodell is despised in NFL locker rooms by an overwhelming majority of the players – can you blame them? If you need further proof, wait until a poll is revealed in a few weeks with 500 NFL players and their approval rating of the commissioner. I spoke with the person conducting the poll – and it’s not pretty.
The lack of consistency, rhyme or reason for Goodell’s actions have turned the league into exactly what Reed said it was a few weeks ago – “powder puff.”
Simply put, Reed has been made the poster child in evolution of the new era of football where all major hits – not just helmet-to-helmet – will now be penalized. If a consistent system was in place, shouldn’t Reed have been suspended for violating the same rule that he was just let off the hook for (not that it’s justifiable – I’m just grasping at straws for ANY semblance of consistency)?
The NFL is changing. Goodell will give London a franchise, he’ll expand the season to 18 games and dilute the product and even eliminate kickoffs and roles of important players like Jacoby Jones.
It’s all about
“player saftey” and money
When players are fined for playing the game of football the way they were taught, there is no turning back. It’s the world we live in today and it’s the what today’s children will grow up to watch. Often we tend to make fun of those that say, “back when I watched football…” but that’s becoming the case now for even the youngest generation of fans.
Unfortunately, unless stadiums are empty and people don’t tune in via television, nothing will change. Last time I checked, most of us still plan on tuning in to watch the next Ravens game.