January 02, 2011
One of the more interesting byproducts of the NFL's new fine system is that there seems to be very little outrage in the league office over plays for which players are fined, but no flags are thrown at the time of the alleged infraction. Perhaps the league believes that thing will even out with increased fines to players, but the downside this season has been an obvious increase in missed calls.
And really, they don't get any more egregious than the non-flag for Baltimore Ravens defensive end Terrell Suggs(notes), who got away with a shot to the face of Cincinnati Bengals receiver Jerome Simpson(notes) late in the fourth quarter of Baltimore's 13-7 win:
Now, if you're wondering what made Suggs so unhappy, check out the block he gets from Bengals left tackle Andrew Whitworth(notes) as the play goes off. It doesn't look illegal, but Whitworth lays him out like a mile of bad road, taking off his helmet in the process. As Suggs gets up from the ground after the play, he takes after the first guy in his range, who just happens to be Simpson -- an obviously threatening 6-foot-2, 195-pound monster. Simpson doesn't retaliate, which is smart; he just gives the "Who, Me?" shrug and waits for the flag.
Which never comes.
No doubt that Suggs will be fined by the league for this hit, and when a league representative goes on the NFL Network's "Official Review" segment on Wednesday, he'll give lip service to the idea that this should have been called on the field. The point still stands, however, with the increase in fines, is the NFL using after-the-fact discipline to make up for lazy officiating? How many officials need to be asleep to miss a shot like that?
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