Shutdown Corner - NFL

Player ejected for shoving official! It sounds so sordid, so dirty. Did he throw him to the ground in a fit of rage? Push him from behind after a bad call? Pull an Earl Weaver and go nose-to-nose while arguing?

Sadly, no. In fact, it was a tame, routine incident that got San Francisco 49ers defender Justin Smith(notes) tossed from Thursday night's game against the San Diego Chargers:

That was a little too flag-happy, if you ask me. The official puts his hands on Smith first to clear him away and then Smith gives a little "get off of me" shove. It wasn't malicious, it was frustration. There was no malice in the shove. Watch any NFL game this Sunday and I guarantee you see the same thing. Smith didn't push the umpire, he moved his arms to get away. There are far worse things that go unpunished on a football field. 

[Related: Coach pays price for tripping player]

After the game, Smith said he didn't realize he was pushing an official. "It was me and the tight end," he said to reporters, "and next thing you know it was an arm and it was just a reaction. But a rule's a rule."

[Related: Player penalized for accidental ref punch]

Smith may not have minded watching the game from the locker room. The San Diego offense rolled over the 49ers en route to an easy 34-7 victory. 

Other popular stories on the Yahoo! network:
The most startling photos of 2010
UFC winner fired from day job after bout
Wacky tax deductions: From chicken to cruises

Related Articles

Shutdown Corner

Add to My Yahoo RSS

Related Photo Gallery

Y! Sports Blog