Forgive me for not sparing you of the stupid puns.
Okay, so a lot of you are already aware that Lions defenseman Ndamukong Suh is serving a two-game suspension for unsportsmanlike conduct during the Thanksgiving game against Green Bay. To people who only watch highlights of the previous matters that he's been involved in, people might think that it was the right decision to suspend Suh. To the "old school" people who have been around in the business for several years (or decades, rather) and have watched the game just as long probably thought that this was an inappropriate resolution.
Oh wait, it gets better--the NFL also wants Suh to take anger management classes. Oh. My. Oreos. I can list about five or six girls that I played ball against that need these classes a heck of a lot more than him. It's quite ridiculous if you ask me.
I'm pretty sure anger management classes can only do so much, and they can only deal with certain issues. There really isn't any way to calm certain kinds of sports-related aggression. Sports like football need that kind of aggression to have the player play at their best and to get the job done as efficiently as possible. However, that kind of aggression can get in the way when it comes to possibly injuring someone to the point where it was completely unnecessary. Those people you can't really cure of anything because they just have a mental problem somewhere down the line.
Yaaaay, aggression in sports. Aggression can be: "an occurence of a result of a complex process mediated by one's thoughts, feelings, and emotions and resulting from the interaction of numerous personal and situational factors" (Weinberg, Gould 2010).
Isn't football all about this kind of aggression to begin with?
My father (bless his soul) would have spat on this suspension and then would have brought up all of the tough guys that pretty much tackled quarterbacks and all of the other little guys to the eighth circle of Hell. Did you ever think of that? Have you ever thought that guys have taken way more rougher beatings back in the day than they do now? Believe me, money helps this cause. Guys would be missing teeth and play with sprains and just about anything else that would be physically possible to play with. Several of these guys are still alive too. Some of them might be a little messed up in the head now, but that doesn't mean that they needed to be suspended for those hits. That's what football was all about back then. Back then, the guys really didn't play for the money; the athletes played for pride and for the love of the sport. Today, you can't be so sure. In all honesty, the money helps their cause to play at their best and avoid injury as best as possible. Sometimes, I can almost count on my mom going, "what's with this 'fair catch' crap??"
There's one case that goes in my way for this argument. One of the bigger cases who had a huge impact on the game and caused a lot of controversy is former NFL linebacker Lawrence Taylor. I know, one of the first things you think of is when he broke Joe Theismann's leg and ended his career (here's the break...it's nasty) but he was also famous for changing the way the game was played on defense. His style was said to be shades of the old days when guys would aim straight to exposed ribs and stuff like that. On the other hand, he was infamous for many issues he had off the field; he was known to have had a cocaine addcition and had numerous bouts of drinking. However, these missteps didn't keep him from being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Let's admit this now, some of the biggest scary guys can actually become incredibly successful in life--how about that? Sure, his registration of being a low level 1 sex offender now hurts this example a little bit, but he's publicly admitted that he lived a reckless life at times.
I just don't understand why people have to be suspended or fined everytime there's a rough hit or some form of unsportsmanlike conduct. I know that kids are watching and you want to set a good example, but there are also times when you have to be competitive and show a little aggression in your play. I don't care if Ndamukong Suh had a bit of a track record when it came to incidents like the one on Thanksgiving Day--there wasn't a serious injury that came from this problem. I only think that drastic measures should have been taken if Suh had continued that conduct throughout the rest of the game, but no, he was kicked out of the game during the third quarter because of the incident.
I could only imagine what would have truly become of The Fridge if they were giving him this kind of trouble...