Frank Martin makes another visit to The Football Educator with a hard hitting post on a hard hitting issue.
There is an article up on CBS’ website, that lists the most egregious errors by replacement officials. For the purpose of this article, let’s focus on #’s 5 and 4.
Then this past Sunday, Pittsburgh Steelers defender Ryan Mundy rocked Oakland Raiders WR Darrius Heyward-Bey’s world with a hit so brutal it put Heyward-Bey in the hospital. In both instances… no penalty was called, and no players were ejected.I don’t even think fines or suspensions were levied. * TFE Note (Mundy later fined $21,000)
What message does that send?
The league tells me, “You don’t use your head as a weapon. You don’t use your helmets as a weapon. They’re there to protect you.” But when faced with a perfect moment to illustrate what should happen (penalty-wise) when helmets are used as weapons, the league fails to do so.
No penalty is called and what’s even more confounding… no ejection.
If safety is as big a concern as the league is telling me… Why isn’t there a task force put in place to make sure hits like the ones we saw are punished immediately?
The league tells us players have a definite authority, that they must exercise proper judgment when it comes to safety. Clearly the players can’t handle the responsibility. And even though the league knows this, they fail to do anything about it.
It’s like telling your child not to play in traffic, then handing him a helmet and opening the front door. We can take the popular route and blame the “replacement officials,” but in reality it’s not their place to fix what “the league” has already broken.
The truth is the NFL can’t do anything about it. Football is a brutal game. Big hits are going to happen. We all know this. I am just asking for the league to stop berating me with the obvious. I don’t want to hear it any more.
In fact, it’s not just the NFL I have a problem with. The NCAA is just as much at fault. Just this past Saturday (September 22, 2012), there was a violent hit by USC’s Junior Pome’e in the Trojans’ game against Cal. (2:55 left in the second quarter if you were wondering).
Player hurt, No penalty, no ejection.
Yet, the NCAA has given their officials the authority to remove offending players. Even spelling out what an ejection able offense is: “contact above the shoulders on defenseless players.”
Former NFL official Mike Pereira easily saw the infraction. “To me, this hit deserves some form of discipline coming from the Pac-12, whether it’s a warning or a suspension.”
As of Tuesday September, 25th… nothing.
I guess what I am trying to say is, unless we change the game… Stop…
Stop telling me safety is a concern.
I keep hearing uproar from former players and fans. ‘I will never let my child play football, It’s too violent!’ Or, ‘The game is vicious and causes irreparable damage to the brain and body.’ They even try to link brain injuries to former player suicides. Yet to date, only a handful of players have quit the game that so often puts them in harm’s way.
Players say the game is causing them harm. Yet, they are the ones who continue to “lead with their head.”
Fans say the game is too brutal. Yet, none of us are turning the TV off.
The NFL says player safety is their utmost concern.
Yet, the league continues to sit back and do nothing about it. No one cares… So, Why should I?
*TFE Note – the NFL did suspend Denver Broncos LB Joe Mays for one game for his violent hit on Houston Texan QB Matt Schaub in Week 3 of the 2012 NFL Regular Season.