Blog Entry

From Hard Hitting to Pansy Football

Posted on: October 16, 2008 6:24 am
Edited on: October 16, 2008 6:26 am
 
While the NFL front office is planning one spectacular Christmas party, partly due to two fines levied against Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward for god only knows what, criticism on the new direction under commissioner Roger Goodell is coming from an surprising source, Troy Polamalu.  The 5’10, 207 lb, hard hitting, soft spoken, Steelers strong safety believes that direction is becoming a “pansy game”.

"I think regarding the evolution of football, it's becoming more and more flag football, two-hand touch. We've really lost the essence of what real American football is about. I think it's probably all about money. They're not really concerned about safety."

Perhaps Polamalu is correct, especially when he compares the old school NFL and the likes of Jack Tatum and Ronnie Lott and how their style of play would have drawn fine after fine under the new guidelines.  Given the enormous contracts and the need to protect the franchise arm, more and more rules have been put in place to protect the quarterback.

"You have to figure out how to tackle people a new way," he said. "There's such a fine line. I guess, hitting quarterbacks late and whether they're going to slide or come forward -- it's too much.”

Indeed, the new rules have not only taken away a lot of the physicality of the game, but has led to a lot of inconsistencies in the calls by the officiating crews.  How often have we seen a Steeler defender this year get penalized with a late hit just as the quarterback releases the ball, yet, an obvious late hit doesn’t draw a flag?  This isn’t something that’s unique to Steelers games, but have been seen against other teams also. 

There’s been an obvious shift that we’ve been noticing in professional football where it seems to have gone from a game in the trenches to one of finesse, that could be equated to “grass basketball”.   No doubt that high scoring games seem to be the fave among fans and add to the increasing popularity of free and pay-to-play fantasy football, could it be that the rules are being adjusted to accommodate these trends?  After all, where’s the attraction in putting together a fantasy team if your quarterback isn’t going to have the chance to throw for 400 plus yds in a game? 

The argument that the rules are in place to protect the players, but at what point does it stop being about protecting the players and becomes about babying the players?  Rules are already in place to protect quarterbacks and other players from obvious season or career ending injuries.  Helmet-to-helmet hits, horse collar tackles, chop blocks, have all been deemed as against regulation and will draw penalties, if not fines.  However, the very nature of the game poses a risk of injury to all players, even when the hit is clean.  You can only do so much before you take away, as Polamalu puts it, the very essence of the game.

Comments

Since: Sep 11, 2008
Posted on: October 18, 2008 7:53 pm
 

From Hard Hitting to Pansy Football

When Troy speaks, the world (or at least the buffons in the league's front office) need to listen.  The fines against and have been nothing short of appalling and as a fan as well as an ex-player, I can honestly say that I'm almost outraged by it.  As I said in the Three Rivers Five Rings group, the NFL is increasingly reminding me of what it was like when the second team defense took the field in practice against our first team offense.  Defensive players who would have ordinarily recorded a sack were required to pull up short, drop to one knee, and yell "Sack!" rather than actually hitting our starting quarterback.  It's all about the money and the quarterback is the hemmorhage of cash for every organization.  Gone are the days when most people appreciate a smashmouth, bone crunching, blood drawing 10-6 contest.  People, and the media, want to see 41-37 shootouts in every game - otherwise, to the pansy couch potatoes, it is a boring game.  Goodell knows this and is both usurping and raping the spirit of the NFL by levying these kinds of fines against defensive players and enforcing stricter rules about contact on the field. 

Jack Lambert would be in as much trouble as Pacman Jones if he were still around, and there is not a sadder testament to the current state of the NFL than that right there.  If I were James Harrison, knowing his demeanor, I would make it a point to destroy at least one referee per game for the rest of the season on a "routine" play.  As Nybites said: get a ref in between Harrison and the QB and make a nice zebra sandwich.

And no, that is not ketchup. 

Goodell needs to leave the NFL and manage soccer or women's badminton or some other wussy sport.  Leave professional football to the players who make it what it is. 




Since: Oct 18, 2008
Posted on: October 18, 2008 5:54 pm
 

From Hard Hitting to Pansy Football

What up MLF

I agree with you that the game does seem like its getting more babyish or over protective, and I also agree that it's not all about the player safety either. Like you said before football is a contact sport and people are going to get hurt, (Even on clean hits) and there isn't much you can really do about that because it's part of the game. But what is with these cheap calls for roughing the quarterback when they barely tap him or accidentaly roll into him while trying to get a sack or forced fumble. It seems like every week some defensive player barely touches the quarterback and gets a penalty off of a bad call. Didn't quarterbacks used to take big hits back in the day, not only that but didn't they used to wear those "protective" leather helmets that barely covered there head and offered little protection in actuality. I know as far as fantasy football goes we want our quarterbacks to throw for alot of yards but not at the expensive of babying quarterbacks. Lastly I'll close with this, aren't players getting payed riddiculously high salaries to play this game, the same game thats been played for years. So shouldn't they be earning all that money instead of complaining all the time. Shout out to all the real players still in the NFL who just go out every Sunday and do their job.




Since: Sep 7, 2006
Posted on: October 18, 2008 5:27 pm
 

From Hard Hitting to Pansy Football

I also make posters making fun of you when you lose to everybody but me in the fantasy league I created!!

For somebody who never has time to research his facts, you certainly spend alot of time on those posters! lol.

We are talking about a cheap shot fine on Troy Polylonghairua (I can't spell his last name) and hines ward weren't we?

Troy wasn't fined, he just voiced his opinion of the fines on Hines.  Although it wouldn't surprise me if he is fined for his opinion.

Why should a player's self control effect a fine levyed by the league?

It shouldn't, but I don't think we are on the same page here.  Are you telling me that you are in favor of this type of fine?  Do you really believe that the game benefits from a player being fined for an act that was neither violent nor penalized?  I think that football is a violent game, played by violent men, and the expectation that these fines creates is unrealistic.



Since: May 29, 2007
Posted on: October 18, 2008 12:26 am
 

From Hard Hitting to Pansy Football

No, of course not, but how can the league fine a player for an act that is not overtly violent or penalized. 

Like I said.  Why should a player's self control effect a fine levyed by the league?  A complete jackoff can offend me on this forum.  I can take the high road and ignore him, i can strike back.  The striking back invokes a response and both me and the jackoff are realized as being wrong.  If I ignore him, then we are both fine.  Howver, his actions were the same regardless of my response.

When we aren't talking about the Browns or the Steelers we seem to get along pretty well...hmmmm...interesting.


We normally get along fine regardless.  We are talking about a cheap shot fine on Troy Polylonghairua (I can't spell his last name) and hines ward weren't we? 

I also make posters making fun of you when you lose to everybody but me in the fantasy league I created!!

 




Since: Sep 7, 2006
Posted on: October 17, 2008 11:55 pm
 

From Hard Hitting to Pansy Football

The defenders self control should have no bearing on the leagues descion to fine a player (Hines) for his actions.

No, of course not, but how can the league fine a player for an act that is not overtly violent or penalized.  Like I said, I can understand fining for a late hit that wasn't penalized.  I can understand fining a player for pushing or hitting another player after the whistle even if it drew no penalty.  How, though, can they fine a player for taunting when they can't hear what is said or understand the context of the supposed infraction.  Remember, most of these guys are friends off the field.  When I'm on the field going against a buddy and I make a play, I'm probably going to give him a few friendly jabs.  If the defender doesn't find it offensive, and the officials don't penalize it, how can the league justify fining the player for it?  Taking the enjoyment out of the game for the players is just another way to take the enjoyment out of the game for the fans.  I agree there needs to be boundaries, I just think the league has stepped over one here.

Good you are learning.

When we aren't talking about the Browns or the Steelers we seem to get along pretty well...hmmmm...interesting.



Since: May 29, 2007
Posted on: October 17, 2008 10:51 pm
 

From Hard Hitting to Pansy Football

Alright, I can see your point

Good you are learning. 

The flag depends on the defenders reaction.  We teach defenders to not react becase it is always the second player that gets flagged. 

The defenders self control should have no bearing on the leagues descion to fine a player (Hines) for his actions.




Since: Sep 7, 2006
Posted on: October 17, 2008 8:38 pm
 

From Hard Hitting to Pansy Football

Stepping over players, spiking the ball at them, throwing the ball at them just rubbing thier nose in it is a cause of cheap shots.

Alright, I can see your point.  I think that is where it needs to be judged on the field, though.  If a player does something that instigates a retaliation, then fine, the refs should throw the flag and the offending player can be subject to a fine.
If a player hops up after a good play and playfully taps the defender on the helmet and no flag is thrown...the league should just leave it alone!  If you aren't familiar with the example, apparently one of Ward's fines was over a play where he tapped Rashean Mathis of the Jags on the helmet after the play was over.  No flag was thrown, no altercation was started, but the league fined him anyway.  I don't agree with that. 



Since: May 29, 2007
Posted on: October 17, 2008 6:06 pm
 

From Hard Hitting to Pansy Football

Mano

I agree that the dancing and uniform penalties and fines are crap.  The Browns losing the Chiefs game years ago because Dwayne Rudd takes off his helmet after he thought the play was over far from the action was horrible. 

Taunting I kind of agree with.  Stepping over players, spiking the ball at them, throwing the ball at them just rubbing thier nose in it is a cause of cheap shots.




Since: Sep 7, 2006
Posted on: October 17, 2008 5:37 pm
 

From Hard Hitting to Pansy Football

Geno, I don't have a problem with any call made by an official in game.  I won't always agree with them, like the Rogers hit, or the Harrison penalty in the Jags game, but I wouldn't complain about them.  Like I said earlier, human error is a part of the game.
I have a problem with fines being levied from on high for non contact activity.  If the league wants to fine somebody for a late hit that a ref didn't see, so be it.  There is a certain level of safe play involved in that fine.  Fining somebody for "taunting" when there was no foul called during the game is BS.  Whether the player is from the Steelers or not is irrelevent, I would feel the same way about it if it had happened to a Browns player, or a Chargers player, or a Lions player...maybe not a Pats player, but nobody likes them anyways! lol.



Since: May 29, 2007
Posted on: October 17, 2008 4:57 pm
 

From Hard Hitting to Pansy Football

This really isn't a new issue, just someone new speaking up about it.  I remember the SI cover with Chuck Cecil and the caption "Is Chuck Cecil too vicious for the NFL?"  That was 1993.  He was a hard hitting safety.  Now we call him a dirty player because he lead with his helmet.  10 years earlier, he was a clean hard hitting safety.

It flies both ways.  I have heard Steelers fans call for penalties for hits on Roelisberger, several as a matter of fact referecing Shaun Rogers hit in the Cleveland game.  I thought it was clean, but I am a Cleveland fan.  I didn't like the hit on DA in preseason by Osi U. that gave him a concussion and put him out until the start of the season and possibly had lingering effects into the season.  I don't think it deserved a penalty or a fine, but I might be happier if it didn't happen.

Whether or not it drew a flag is irrelevant.  The league hands out fines not officials.  There are 22 players on the field, the refs can't possibly see every single one of them all the time.  Especially not in super slow motion with high def.  Calls will always be missed, it is part of the game.  The tapes show what happened, and the officials and the players get graded by this weekly.  The tapes are a better place to determine if an action deserves a fine in my opinion.



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