NFL: Where’s The “Integrity Of The Game” Speech From Roger Goodell

After watching the first round of the 2015 Season Play-Offs, one thing resonates loud and clear…bitter rivals  will do anything they can get away with to win!

So, why are we hearing absolutely nothing from the Commissioner of the NFL, Roger Goodell? After the blatant issues that occurred in Cincinnati Saturday you would expect some sort of investigation announcement first thing Monday morning…but the silence is deafening.

Let me just get a piece of your hair
Pittsburgh Coach Mike Munchack: “Let me just get a piece of your hair”

The only thing the NFL has announced is Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict has been suspended without pay for the first three games of the 2016 regular season. Meanwhile, there has been no mention of a coach pulling a players hair and another going on the field for no reason other than to incite players.

Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and The Officials Guilty

This was a case where everyone at the game left with a smell that wasn’t very pleasant…including the fans.

  • Both Head Coaches Should Be Fined/Suspended

In the world of professional sports the buck stops at the top. In an NFL game that is the Head Coach, who is responsible for the actions of his underlings  AND the NFL Commissioner, who is responsible for being certain the officials enforce the rules equitably in all games. In Saturday’s game they all fell down on the job.

  1. Cincinnati continues to ignore the fact that they put players on
     Vontaze Burfit is out of control and Head Coach Marvin Lewis can't control him (Photo: Cincinnati.com}
    Vontaze Burfict is out of control and Head Coach Marvin Lewis can’t handle him (Photo: Cincinnati.com}

    their roster who will not control their emotions and have no realization of how their actions affect the game. On top of that, the Bengals Head Coach, Marvin Lewis won’t take control of the situation.

According to NFL Media Columnist Michael Silver several players inside the Bengals‘ locker room — none of whom wanted his name used, for obvious reasons — felt that Lewis deserved the criticism, citing a season-long lack of discipline among some defensive players in games, practices and meetings.

“Eventually,” one player said, “this (expletive) catches up to you.”

Lewis’ reaction: “once they go across that line, there’s not much I can do from there, unless I go out on the field, which I’m not allowed to.”

2. Pittsburgh Head Coach Mike Tomlin set the example for his coaches in 2013 when he stepped on the field right in the way of Jacoby Jones of the Baltimore Ravens as he ran up the sidelines on a kick-off return. For the infraction Tomlin was fined $100,000 Mike Tomlin Tripping Jacoby Jones of the Ravens
So, why would a member of his coaching staff refrain from going on the field of a highly volatile game and inflame things to a higher degree? Joey Porter did just that…and got away with it. He may ultimately be fined, but his actions resulted in a 15 yard penalty against Adam Jones (deserved) and nothing against the Steelers. The result, a chip-shot field goal giving the Steelers an improbably win.
What was Joey Porter doing on the field in the middle of Cincinnati's players?(Photo: tagthebird.com)
What was Joey Porter doing on the field in the middle of Cincinnati’s players?(Photo: tagthebird.com)
If the officials had enforced the rule properly there would have been a 15 yard penalty against Porter and a 15 yarder against Jones, offsetting each other and resulting in a 50 yard Field Goal attempt.
In case  you are questioning whether Porter did anything wrong, here’s the rule:
  • Article I, section 8: Non-player personnel of a club (e.g., management personnel, coaches, trainers, equipment men) are prohibited from making unnecessary physical contact with or directing abusive, threatening, or insulting language or gestures at opponents, game officials, or representatives of the League. The penalty: 15 yards.

No One Was Surprised

The game came as advertised, with the bitter rivalry continuing to effect the emotions on both sides.  The officials tried to keep the game under control, but it was an impossible task. You have to wonder if Commissioner Goodell had talked to both owners prior to the game with a warning of strong consequences for misbehavior, whether things could have kept under control.

Catch Of The Day

 

 I Got It Coach - Pittsburghs Martavis Bryant traps the ball against his rear end for a TD
“I Got It Coach” – Pittsburgh’s Martavis Bryant traps the ball against his rear end for a TD
 Follow me on Twitter @SnowdonBob
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