It’s time for our weekly segment of Buy or Sell brought to you by Glen Burnie Motorsports. Each week, we pick three topics and let you know if we’re agreeing (buying) or disagreeing (selling) with the statement. Then, you vote and tell us what you think.
Mike Tomlin Interfered on Purpose
After the Ravens’ heart-stopping win over Pittsburgh on Thanksgiving, a lot of the talk – in Baltimore and nationally – is on Mike Tomlin’s Bush League move to step on the field in front of Jacoby Jones on his 73-yard kickoff return in the third quarter. Pittsburgh had just scored their first points of the night to close the score to 13-7, and Jones looked poised to answer in a big way, with a huge kickoff return for a touchdown. Instead, Jones was caught from behind by Cortez Allen after seemingly altering his stride to avoid Tomlin, who jumped onto the field in front of him.
After the game, Tomlin made excuses about why he was so close to the field:
“I always watch the returns on the JumboTron; it provides a better perspective for me,” Tomlin said. “I lost my placement as he broke free and saw at the last second how close I was to the field of play.
“… I do it quite often, like everybody else in the National Football League. I was wrong, I accept responsibility.”
So, do we believe Tomlin? Or was he there on purpose?
BUY BUY BUY: Give us a break, Mike. You played fast and loose with the rules, and got caught. Fortunately for you, somehow you only got caught by the M&T Bank Stadium scoreboard operator, who showed the play time and time again during the commercial break, and not by the officials (more on that below).
I honestly don’t see how any rational thinking person can watch that play and say it wasn’t on purpose.
Tomlin Should be Suspended
This morning on ESPN, Adam Schefter said that the league is likely to fine Tomlin. Of course, Schefter also took the stand that Tomlin “probably” didn’t do it on purpose (really?!).
Tim Hasselbeck said that Tomlin absolutely should be disciplined, as the NFL has to discourage that type of interaction.
“Look how wide the white stripe is!” Hasselbeck said. (The white stripe he is referring to is the one that coaches and players are supposed to stay behind while play is live.)
The above point also brings up the fact that the officials somehow didn’t throw a flag on the play. Here’s what former head of NFL officiating, MIke Pereira, tweeted during the game:
I do think Tomlin should have been flagged. Official didn’t run into him but he is watching the game on the jumbotron and is in the way.
— Mike Pereira (@MikePereira) November 29, 2013
If they would have called the foul on Tomlin, they would have assessed 15 yards from the end of the run. Would not have awarded TD.
— Mike Pereira (@MikePereira) November 29, 2013
Seriously – the official was running RIGHT AT TOMLIN, and actually had to move himself to avoid the guy. HOW DO YOU NOT THROW A FLAG?!
The officials should be reprimanded as well.
So should Tomlin be suspended?
BUY: The NFL absolutely has to take action, but I don’t think a fine does enough to discourage this sort of thing in the future. Tomlin SHOULD be suspended from his coaching duties for a game or two, or at the very least, be forced to coach from the booth, rather than from down on the sideline. The NFL should make an example of him. This wasn’t some regional game that was only seen by the fans of the two teams – it was the only game on TV at the time, a nationally televised event on a holiday that is synonymous with football, and with the NFL. This can’t stand.
However, I don’t think that’s going to happen. Maybe if this was the coach of the Raiders or Jaguars, but not of the league-darling Steelers. Tomlin will be fined, and that’s it.
If John Harbaugh did it, we’d be OK with it
Mike Tomlin got in Jacoby Jones’ way on purpose, and pretty much prevented a Ravens touchdown. He thought it was hilarious that he got caught.
He absolutely affected a major sporting event game in a way that no coach ever should, and he should be disciplined heavily for his actions.
All that said, how would we feel if John Harbaugh did the same thing?
BUY: I’ll probably catch a lot of righteous indignation from many of you for what I’m about to say, but I’m just going to be honest: if Harbaugh did this same thing, my reaction would have been much the same as Tomlin’s was above.
“Damn, we got caught, and now we have to deal with the repercussions. Heck of a try though, coach.”
The reality is that these guys are doing everything they can to gain an advantage on every play. Tomlin just took it one step too far.
Just like stealing signs in baseball, as they say, “it’s only cheating if you get caught.” Don’t get me wrong – I’m not condoning cheating of any kind. I’m just saying that, if I’m 100% honest with myself, I’d probably be smirking if it was the coach of MY team who did it. Because I want them to win.
GIFs c/o Gordon Dixon
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