November 24, 2011
Ndamukong Suh(notes) was ejected from the Detroit Lions loss to the Packers for stomping on Evan Dietrich-Smith(notes). (See the play here.) Afterwards, Suh said that he will only apologize to his teammates, coaches and "true fans," because he did not intend to kick Dietrich-Smith or push his head into the turf multiple times.
Unsurprisingly, the Packers don't buy Suh's story. Charles Woodson(notes) called it a "dirty play." T.J. Lang saw Suh push Dietrich-Smith's head into the ground.
"That's bull----," Lang said after the Packers' 27-15 win. "I saw when I was walking over there to see what's going on, he clearly had Evan by the facemask pinned to the ground. His explanation is crap. There's no room for that. It's a dumb penalty. He hurt his own team today."
Suh's explanations would be much easier to buy if his team hadn't cultivated a reputation of playing to the "echo of the whistle." When you play that close to the line, the referees are going to pay a bit more attention and not give the benefit of the doubt. They won't listen when you try to tell them you were being held when you won't listen to them and clean up your play.
At the end of the press conference, Suh made mention of the man upstairs. While he is likely referring to God, he will likely have to worry about the wrath of Roger Goodell sooner. Suh has already paid out $42,500 in fines in his year and a half as an NFL player. Expect this next one to top that total.
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