a little venting

So, the Steelers/Raiders game has been talked to death in Western Pennsylvania. And for good reason — the officiating was arguably some of the worst I’ve ever seen in any NFL game. It wasn’t like they blew 1 call … it was a constant barrage of bad calls. It was one of the most frustrating games I’ve ever seen.

And with that has come crazy talk — conspiracy theories about a bias against the Steelers. I don’t believe that — truth be told, I don’t believe in any conspiracy theories — but man, it’s hard to NOT think that someone has a hard on to screw the Steelers. From Ryan Clark’s “helmet to helmet” penalty (when anyone could clearly see his helmet hit the guy mid-back) to James Harrison’s “landing on the quarterback” penalty, things certainly seem to have hit a new point of ridiculousness in the NFL.

For example, James Harrison’s hit on Jason Campbell:

The hit results in a penalty.

However, the Giants hit Tony Romo with a similar tackle, which results in a broken bone …

Nothing. No flag, no fine, no nothing. Clean hit.

Come on, now. Seriously. It’s essentially the same hit. Why is one a flag and why is one not? I don’t get it. And no, I don’t expect the refs to get every single call right … but I’ve seen this exact same tackle a million times … the ones that are penalized are ones that are obviously late, or are low or hit the QB’s helmet. That wasn’t the case here. It was “landing on the QB while tackling,” according to the refs. Oooooookay.

Then there’s the punch … Richard Seymour just turning and belting Ben Roethlisberger. Hey, I don’t care if you like Big Ben or not, or if you believe that Ben somehow “instigated” Seymour or not, or if you thought that was karma for Ben’s actions in Georgia: that was a flat out sucker punch, and illegal in the game (as well as in life).

Now, in the pre-Roger Goodell days, I would have accepted Seymour’s ejection as penalty enough. Players get frustrated and do dumb things. Got it. Fine with it. Let’s move on.

But we’re in the midst of the Goodell regime, where penalties fly with reckless abandon and suspensions lurk around every corner. So, obviously, Goodell was going to make an example of Seymour, right? That’s what the Steeler Nation was thinking, especially with James Harrison being fined for everything under the sun.

Nope. Word came down that it was a $25,000 fine. That was it.

I heard that the $25K fine is the maximum fine for “fighting.” Well, I guess I have a different definition of fighting that the NFL does. However, if Harrison would have done the same thing to  Tom Brady (or Jason Campbell or any QB, for that matter), I’m 100% certain that the punishment would have been something more than just a maximum fine. Why? Because Harrison has been labeled as a “repeat offender” and is getting some … uh … extra attention this year. (Except that Seymour has apparently punched other players in the past … but I guess the NFL can just look past that.)

As a fan, I’m getting frustrated. The hypocrisy of what will be called and what won’t be called is maddening. And on top of that, it sure as hell feels right saying “What will and what won’t be called on the Steelers” — because apparently, they’re getting some special attention this year, too.

Really, it’s come to the point where I’m considering not watching the rest of the season. I just don’t need the epic stupidity and the extra frustration of watching my favorite sport slide down the tubes.

And that’s just my reaction as a fan: I can only imagine how frustrating all these rule changes — in mid-season, no less — are for the players. Seriously Goodell, why couldn’t you have made these changes in the off-season, so players and fans could adjust in pre-season to this unicorn-friendly version of professional football?

Oh NFL, I hope you get your shit straightened out soon. Consistency is the key here, and right now, it seems like there’s none. I really don’t want to give up Sunday football, but if this is the way things are going to be in Goodell’s NFL, I may be better off without it.


2 Responses to “a little venting”

  1. November 23, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    Shhh..don’t tell anyone, but I’ve barely been watching this season. Every time I focus on a game and really watch, I end up pissed off, so I’ve stopped. I did get a lot of my Christmas tree decorated on Sunday, though.

    • November 23, 2010 at 4:00 pm

      It’s too early for Christmas tree decorating … but between the options of watching poorly officiated games or decorating the tree, I think I’m with you on decorating the tree.

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