2 games isn't that bad, Ndamukong Suh. If you did that in public, it would be Assault and Battery.
I’ve had this discussion with friends and family members before, and I was always rebuffed with comments like, “He plays smash mouth football, its great somebody these days does.” Or “He’s a pass rusher dude, he’s supposed to play that way.” This is me standing on my soap box with a smug smile filled with satisfaction declaring emphatically, “I told you so.” Unless you are the least American person in the country and were not watching Packers vs Lions on Thanksgiving 2011, you bore witness to Mr. Suh, greatly offended when an offensive lineman touched his helmet, decided that an appropriate response to the situation was to spear his assailant (who was lying on the ground) in the bicep with his spikes.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I think Roger Goodell, in his Napoleonic-like crusade to maintain player safety in an intrinsically violent sport, has massively pussified serious aspects of the sport. Pass rushers, like Suh, have to hit quarterbacks within .000125 seconds of them releasing the ball or get hit with a 15 yard “Roughing the Passer” bullshit call (As much as I love you, Tom Brady, this is partially your fault due to your irate gesticulations and furious berating of officials over the years every time anyone hit you in the pocket.) Members of any secondary cannot so much as fart near an opposing receiver without drawing some type of penalty (This one is 100 % Saint Dungy’s fault for his endless bitching that his receivers were “man-handled” AKA his team got their ass whooped in the 2004 AFC Title game.)
But as Albert Haynesworth 2.0…uh, I mean Ndamukong Suh proved on a national scale, his complete disregard for other player’s well-being and visceral reactions to contentious moments on the field have entrenched him in the “dirty” category of football players. His emphatic claims that his job is to “hurt people” are evidence of his misguided notion of what the job description of a defensive player in the NFL is supposed to entail. The objective, in my mind, of a defensive player is to prevent the offensive player/team from scoring. This can be done in any number of ways, including tackling the ball carrier, intercepting a pass, or forcing and recovering a fumble. At no point in any of those objectives is the deliberate sabotage of another player’s physical faculty included. Do injuries happen in the course of game? Yes, absolutely. I am not so deluded as to think that players should never get hurt during the course of an NFL game. These guys are the best athletes in the world and are hurling themselves at each other at top speed with unfathomable strength. The chances that something twists the wrong way are fairly high. And if this happens during the course of what a player is supposed to be doing, well, shit happens.
But a deliberate stomp with the sharpened metal end of your footwear onto a man’s unexposed arm? What if that had been his wrist and he went out for the rest of the regular season? An NFL player’s livelihood and ability to do his job is almost entirely dependent on his physical health, and absolutely no player has the right, Suh included, to purposefully and spitefully take that from another player regardless of the nature of the sport. I actually like Suh when he plays the game the right way. He has the strength of a bull elephant, and he plays with a tenacity matched by few others in the league these days. But at the same time, he has the unrestrained emotionality and petulant reasoning that plagues many immature players, and his most recent offense coupled with his past instances of placing an oversized toe over the line have firmly entrenched him, at least for me, within the realm of a “dirty player.” Whether Suh attempts to reform this image or embrace it and deal with the sanctions that this type of style typically brings from the league office is up to him. For now though, I’ll enjoy calling him “Stompin’ Suh” until I can come up with a funnier name for him (or someone else does, then I can shamelessly steal it and pretend it’s my own material.)
P.S This might be an Alt Tab first, but I made it through an entire rant without using the word "fuck." Well, until right there. In any case, props to me for being civil for at least one entry.