The NFL has all kinds of rules against hitting other players with your helmet. You can't spear other players with your helmet, you can't have helmet-to-helmet contact, you can't lead into a tackle with your helmet ... oh, and you're also not supposed to take your helmet off and swing it at a teammate in a practice fight.
But that's exactly what Bucs cornerback Aqib Talib(notes) did yesterday, and Torrie Cox(notes), who wasn't even the intended target, ended up paying for it. From Roy Cummings at TBO.com, here's how it went down:
An argument between cornerback Aqib Talib and left tackle Donald Penn(notes) escalated to the point Talib swung his helmet at Penn and missed, only to hit cornerback Torrie Cox with his follow through.
Cox was treated for a cut to his head, which Penn and Talib both termed as "no big deal.''
"It's all good,'' Talib said. "[Torrie's] good; it's all right.''
"It's all right," says the guy who didn't take a helmet to the face. If you've never held an actual NFL helmet in your hands, they are big, heavy, dangerous things. It's not the kind of thing you swing at someone unless you'd really like to cave in their face.
Penn was also nonchalant about the whole incident.
"It was just an argument that happened at practice,'' Penn said. "It really wasn't nothing at all. It wasn't like we were really fighting or anything. It's just something that happened.''
The guy swung a helmet at you, man! What more needs to happen for it to qualify as a "fight"? Did you watch Dan and The Captain go at it in Deadwood and say, "Hey, look at this two gents having a bit of a conversation!" Swinging a helmet at you is not like stepping on someone's foot.
I guess everyone involved deserves credit for downplaying the incident and not making a big deal of it. Practice fights happen; that part, I get. But helmet-swinging, to me, takes it to another level. If someone were to swing a helmet at me, I do believe I'd take it personally.