August 16, 2015 Louisville, KY (Analyzed Sports) By: Charron Elliott
Taking Away From The Game
Last year the National Football League’s off-season was headlined in a negative way after video surfaced of former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, striking his wife Janay Palmer Rice in a hotel elevator. Ray Rice was suspended indefinitely by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and since then he has yet to be officially re-signed by any NFL team. Rice wasn’t the only NFL player who got in trouble from the league due to problems with domestic violence, Greg Hardy of the Dallas Cowboys will also be sidelined for four games this season due to his domestic violence issues off the field as well.
Now fast forward to this NFL off-season besides Deflate Gate, which personally I am over, the NFL needs to do something about these team fights. Now I know a lot of former NFL players and football players in general will disagree with my opinion, but think about this for a second. While I have never played football at any level I do have a job just like these NFL players. If I were to get into a near fist fight with any of my co-workers I am pretty sure the company I work for wouldn’t post a video of the fight on their social media page.
On the contrary the Dallas Cowboys managed to do just that posting a video of the fight between starting wide receiver Dez Bryant and Tyler Patmon, calling it a MUST WATCH. Now I understand football is a game of aggression, but the Dallas Cowboys are business and this video shows the hostility within that business. My question is why would the Cowboys post something like this on their website?
Tyler Patmon after the fight went on to say “It was nothing wide receivers and corner backs fight all the time.” Now if you look at the video I have posted of the fight you will notice that none of the punches did any damage to neither of the players, however Geno Smith of the New York Jets wasn’t so lucky. Smith got into an altercation with now, former Jets linebacker IK Enemkpali, earlier this week in the Jets locker room. Smith ended up suffering a broken jaw bone and is going to have to sit out for 6-10 weeks. Enemkpali was released by the Jets because of the altercation and the Jets are now wondering who will replace their starting quarterback in Geno Smith. So basically the Jets owner Woody Johnson has now lost maybe a quarter of a million dollars over a conflict that happened over 600 dollars that Smith owed Enemkpali. The ironic thing is that Enemkpali was picked up by Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan, who was fired by the Jets this off-season. So How is the situation relevant to the Dez Bryant situation?
Okay so after watching the video we should be able to agree that neither play landed any significant punches, however what if they did? If Dez Bryant gets hurt 6-10 weeks after some fight with a teammate, remember that he makes over $500,000 per game. So the fact that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones actually was rumored to have embraced the fight, when his star receiver he’s dropping nearly $70 million on was involved in it, actually lost me a little. Maybe I am going overboard with my thinking, but the idea of almost losing money isn’t a good thing!
Then there’s the joint practices between the Redskins and Houston Texans where several brawls or scuffles broke out. To me it seemed to be pointless to even have the practices go on because almost every play guys were fighting. If these fights happened during a real game these players would have been tossed out. Now again I have never played football at any level so I don’t know what the athlete is thinking out there but at the same time these players are professionals! They play football for a living and within the game of football there are rules they have to follow. I realize football is a game of aggression but all these scuffles/fights do is take away from the game.
In conclusion the NFL has come a long way to clean up the game from determining what a legal hit is, to the concussion protocol, and off the field the NFL has become more open to issues such as domestic violence. While I do realize the game will never be completely clean due to its aggressive nature, the fighting/brawling at practices isn’t something that I think the league should tolerate. If you wouldn’t tolerate it in an actual game why tolerate it during practices or scrimmages. Now the Geno Smith/ Dez Bryant situations may be just personal but they could also be a bigger problem as well. So what do you think about team scuffles/fights in the NFL?