Smashmouth Football Returns


Finally, some good ol’ fashioned smashmouth football.

The sport of football seems to have been getting softer and softer, year after year. However, in this topsy-turvy NFL season, especially in the last two weeks, we have seen some fights that are hockyesque.

First, Richard Seymour decks Ben Roethlisberger. Seymour, who hit Big Ben with an open hand in the second quarter of the Raiders’ 35-3 loss last week, was ejected immediately and fined $25,000 by the league for his actions. Seymour’s penalty was pretty light considering some of the fines we have seen this year for helmet-to-helmet hits were nearly double that amount.

On Sunday, enter Tennessee cornerback Courtland Finnegan, and arguably the best receiver in the league, Andre Johnson. These two have never liked each other to begin with. Finnegan was voted by his peers as the dirtiest player in the league, and he plays for a team which was voted overall dirtiest in the league.

So it comes with little surprise that Finnegan started the brawl when he hit Johnson in the mouth. Enraged, Johnson showed that even though he is one of the best receivers in the league, he too may think about a UFC audition when his receiving days are over, as he just threw Finnegan to the ground and started beating him. Herschel Walker would be proud.

Though I don’t want football to become like hockey where fights occur on a daily basis, often for no reason, I wouldn’t mind seeing a return to the way football was played in the 70s and 80s. It’s not as much about fighting, as it is abut toughness. What I am not looking for though are dirty plays or dirty players. It’s a fine line, I suppose.

However, Jeff Fisher, head coach of the so-called dirtiest team in the league as well as co-chairman of the NFL’s competition committee, didn’t seem to agree with myself or Finnegan.

“It’s not good for the game, no,” said Fisher, according to ESPN. “You don’t want to see that stuff.”

The game was delayed for more than five minutes as officials sorted out the chaos. Johnson received a standing ovation as security guards escorted him off the field. Finnegan taunted booing fans as he exited out the opposite tunnel.

This is not Johnson and Finnegan’s first skirmish, as last season, Johnson was fined $7,500 for taking Finnegan to the ground by the facemask during a scuffle after a play in a 34-31 Texans win. Johnson’s penalty could be a little more severe this time

Oh yeah, and the Texans smoked the listless Titans 20-0.

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