Pittsburgh Steelers’ Troy Polamalu says the NFL is too soft — “a panzy game” where fines are tolled out for the sake of money and not the safety of players.
These comments came after Pittsburgh received over $45,000 dollars in fines. Wide Receiver Hines Ward was the latest culprit, receiving a $10, 000 fine in the Steelers 26-21 win against Jacksonville, and $5, 000 the subsequent week for stepping over Baltimore Cornerback Corey Ivy on Sept. 29.
Polamalu went on to say that greats of yesteryear wouldn’t be able to play nor make a decent living in today’s NFL; not because the talent has elevated to such a high standard, but because they would face too many fines for hits that were legal in their prime.
“When you see guys like Dick Butkus, the Ronnie Lotts, the Jack Tatums, these guys really went after people,” Polamalu told reporters. “Now, they couldn’t survive in this type of game. They wouldn’t have enough money. They’d be paying fines all the time and they’d be suspended for a year after they do it two games in a row. It’s kind of ridiculous.”
Polamalu is no slouch when it comes to hitting himself, but he isn’t exactly a guy known for taking the league to task, let alone, claiming that money is at the root of decisions made on the playing field. Many roughing-the-passer calls add some stake to his claims. Everyone knows that the quarterback is the face of the franchise, and many people don’t typically recognize lineman or defensive back off the field; Partly because a helmet is obstructing any clear view of their face, but mostly because the league would rather fans identify with teams.
But even the casual fans know Romo, both Manning’s and they certainly know Farve, which is proven by the fact that everyone reading this recognize these one-name wonders.
Maybe the league is too soft on some calls, but the very nature of the game is to pummel the opposition. Nevertheless, their are plenty of examples for these rules to be in place. Examples can be seen with Tight End Kevin Everette or the Jets Eric Smith’s hit on Cardinals Wide Receiver Anquan Boldin that led to a scary set of circumstances, ending with him being hauled off on a stretcher.
Smith was suspended and fined for the hit, but is appealing the suspension.
Palomalu raises some valid points, but their are certainly moments suggesting that rational reasoning was behind the NFL’s latest rash of fine’s and quick whistles.