Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Seymour fine illustrates NFL's inconsistencies

By Jeff

Seymour isn't confused by how much he was fined.
He's still wondering how he wound up in Oakland.
Oakland Raiders defensive lineman Richard Seymour was recently fined $25,000 for hitting Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in the face well after a play was over Sunday. The fine simply shows that the NFL has no real system in place for punishing players. It's almost like they have a wheel with different consequences on it, and they spin it whenever there is a questionable action.

If you just put it in to perspective with some other plays that resulted in fines this season, it doesn't make sense. Players have been fined upward to $75,000 for actions that were not penalized and happened during a play. Seymour was flagged and his slap (I won't call it a punch.) occurred after the whistle.

It's just mind boggling how the league comes up with these monetary values. The Tennessee Titans assistant coach Chuck Cecil was fined $40,000 for giving the finger to officials this season. And the Titans owner was fined $250,000 last year for flipping off Buffalo Bills fans (Doesn't there team do that every season?). While there is no excuse for either of these incidents, they weren't physically hitting anyone. There was no potential or intent to injure. Their fines should not be greater than Seymour's.

I'm not just posting this because it happened against the Steelers, and I'm not saying Seymour should have been suspended or fined upwards to $100,000 as many local media personalities said yesterday. The guy threw a slap at another player in a game where guys tackle each other on every play. Seymour let his emotions get the best of him, was justly penalized and ejected. But I do find it ridiculous that he is getting off easier, even as a repeat offender, than guys who made gestures or players who weren't even penalized on the plays in question.

The league isn't out to get the Steelers, or any team in particular. Refs may be watching James Harrison and players like him too closely, resulting in them throwing flags when they shouldn't, but there is no conspiracy against any one team. The league's inconsistent punishments are making it easier for fans to believe their team is being targeted, though.

That is a problem that can't be solved until the public gets a better explanation of the inner workings of the league's disciplining policy and process.

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