To quote the great rock ‘n roll band Led Zeppelin, “been dazed and confused for so long it’s not true.”
Oh, but it is true in this instance. The NFL has fined both Cortland Finnegan and Andre Johnson $25,000 each for their altercation on Sunday in Houston, with no suspensions.
Am I on an island by myself thinking there must be more?
A cornerback and wide receiver rip off each other’s helmets, which would have made Kyle Turley proud, and sling them across the playing surface. Then Johnson proceeds to look like he’s trying out for the UFC’s “Ultimate Fighter” show on Finnegan’s head with three punches, and no one gets suspended?
What exactly am I missing here? Am I starting to sound old and crotchety or just someone who likes to see a fight like the next person but realizes there are consequences afterwards?
I’m not even saying Finnegan shouldn’t take a seat for a game for playing the role of instigator.
But for Pete’s sake, how in the world can Andre Johnson deliver haymakers in the middle of an NFL contest and not sit down for at least one game?
Commissioner Roger Goodell made it clear earlier this season that he was going to crack down on some of the violent hits that take place in this game by hitting them where it hurts.
Finnegan and Johnson have a history of jawing at each other twice a year for years now, and Finnegan is no stranger to fines being levied his direction. In fact, Commissioner Goodell told him the next time could cost him a game check.
How can linebacker Will Witherspoon get nailed last week for $40,000 with his hit on Donovan McNabb, and this fight that led to a brawl in the middle of the field, be $15,000 less than that?
If this was hockey, it would be off to the penalty box for both of them, and five minutes for fighting would be understood. But, even as Finnegan said, “this isn’t the NHL.”
Week after week, we see fines between $40,0000 and $75,000 doled out, like opening up your front door on Halloween, by the league. These are for hits with all your equipment on during the course of the game, and in some cases with not even a flag being thrown on the play.
But Finnegan and Johnson look like the much anticipated fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao (you figure out who would be who) and $25,000 each with no suspensions is the NFL’s version of the ‘hammer’.
This league hasn’t had a problem giving suspensions to players for just being named in an incident off the field, and they weren’t even charged or convicted on the matter in question. But on this day, they tell the Titans and Texans, the rest of the league and the fan base; What took place at Reliant Stadium really wasn’t that big of a deal.
I guess with Spygate II out there, and a possible tumultuous off-season lurking, they have bigger fish to fry.
These two teams will hookup again in Nashville on December 19. At the very least, I would have sat Andre Johnson down for that game, and wouldn’t have been opposed to both players missing the rematch.
You can’t blame the referees on this one; The NFL botched this call. If I was a coach, a definate fine would be just around the corner.