on a game-by-game basis, but he’s looking more and more like a guy who is somehow trying to save the league when, in fact, the league’s doing just fine.
But this issue of player BEHAVIOR needs to be addressed, not only in the NFL but in the NBA, MLB and NHL, where taunting has become the name-of-the-game.
I’ll give the NCAA full credit on this one. Five years ago, they decided there’d be no more taunting in college sports, and they created stiff penalties for it. Ever try to get a college kid to do something he/she didn’t want to do? Not easy. But the NCAA did it. And they did it by just saying, “we’re eliminating it”.
The NBA, on the heels of the Kevin Garnett “cancer reference”, has the perfect opportunity to bring their league’s trash-talking issues to the forefront. Some years back, David Stern and the owners decided the “throat slashing” gesture was no longer needed so they eliminated it and penalized anyone who did it. Guess what? Problem solved.
The NFL has a great chance, now, to use SpitGate as a mechanism for their study into player behavior. It needs to start with all of this dancing around and flexing and kicking after a play is made. Kevin Bacon made less of a fool of himself in “Footloose”. And it’s only serving one purpose, really. It’s done to say “look at what I did at the expense of the other team.”
Some call it “celebrating”. No, that’s not what is is. Celebrating is what you do at a birthday party for your 10 year old child.
Taunting runs the NFL now. It’s become a sad game of who can say what on Twitter…or who can hold court with their local media during the week and light a match to the “war of words” fire…or, in the game, who can win a play and then stand over the man they’ve just conquered and say, “F**k you, you lousy piece of s**t”.
Or you can just spit on the guy and get your message across.
Football is a physical, violent game.
But that doesn’t in any way, shape or form condone what Le’Ron McClain did on Sunday.
Channing Crowder ran his mouth last week down in Miami and probably deserved a come-uppance of some sort, but spitting on him was not the solution. And no matter how many message board idiots say, “F**k Crowder, he had that coming to him…” I know this much: you wouldn’t be saying that if it was your son who got spit on.
It’s the way of the league now. Take your dislike for the other guy or your obvious need for personal attention and run it up the flagpole-of-limits until you’ve pushed the envelope as far as you can.
McClain pushed it to the max on Sunday.
But I’m not surprised, because players are “pushing it” every Sunday.
They’ve left common decency in the locker room and exchanged it for these barbaric tendencies that ultimately make them look like they’re mentally unstable at the worst and just a bad guy at the least.
Oddly enough, the players on the Eagles and Colts got human again real quick on Sunday afternoon when Austin Collie was sprawled out on the field, motionless.
For a second they all realized the same thing: “But by the grace of God go I.”
It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt.
Then it’s not so funny anymore.
Especially if it’s you. Or your family member.
And if Roger Goodell wants to REALLY tackle (no pun intended) an issue that is harming his league, he’ll take a close look at the behavior of his athletes and tell those who are embarrassing the league to grow up a little – or a lot – and stop acting like dicks during the games.
It might be like spitting into the wind (yes, pun intended), but Goodell needs to let the players know that it’s time for them to grow up.