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C'mon NFL, control these guys (good read)

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Well this guy pretty much sums up my feelings.... By Pat McInally Special to NFL.com (Dec. 15, 2003) -- The saying goes, "There is no 'I' in team." But, unfortunately, there is an "m" and an "e." That's about all ...

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Old 12-16-2003, 11:22 AM   #1
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C'mon NFL, control these guys (good read)

Well this guy pretty much sums up my feelings....
By Pat McInally
Special to NFL.com

(Dec. 15, 2003) -- The saying goes, "There is no 'I' in team."
But, unfortunately, there is an "m" and an "e."
That's about all we're seeing in the NFL nowadays. Whether it's an idiotic episode provided by Terrell Owens (too many to mention), last night's cell-phone incident provided by Joe Horn, or Chad Johnson holding up a message to the cameras, players see the field as an individual stage, not the ensemble or team-dominated production it was created to be.

Many people are tired of guys dancing around after a sack (often when they've been unblocked), running away from their teammates to get some separation for the cameras. I'm sick of the end-zone dances after some guy scores a touchdown (often untouched because of superior blocking, a perfect pass or a great play call). I'm disgusted with the taunting as players slow down to celebrate on their way to scoring or the fools who spin the ball after making an easy catch (doing what they're paid to do), most often at a level I see Pop Warner players capable of replicating.

Give me the Colts' Marvin Harrison all day long. He makes more spectacular plays and more basic catches and runs than anyone else. And, when he's done, he just tosses the ball to the ref and returns to the huddle or sideline. Jerry Rice was much the same. I guess guys like Horn, Owens, Keyshawn Johnson, Chad Johnson and the rest of the players who invent ways to get a little attention must believe they need to do it because their play just isn't exciting enough.

Why has the NFL taken such a docile approach to this ever-escalation degradation of the sport many of us love? What happened to the hard-line approach used to stop Mark Gastineau's "sack dance" in the '80s? Why are these undisciplined, self-centered, overrated, overpaid individuals being allowed to use the game this way?

I agreed with Joe Theismann last night when he said after the Horn incident that the league should fine him $100,000 -- that maybe it would force some of these classless guys to learn a lesson that might teach them to at least think about finding some class.

The problem is, fines don't really have an impact on players anymore, what with multi-million dollar salaries. In fact, after the game, Horn said he expected the league to fine him $10,000 to 15,000, but that it was worth it.

Where I disagree with Theismann is that this is just re-enforcing the individual element of the problem. Fining the player only punishes that individual.

No, here's what I think should happen: The player should be kicked out of the game, suspended for another week, fined a large amount and the team assessed a 15-yard penalty when players celebrate excessively after making a play. Players will get in line only if the league makes it clear this conduct will not be tolerated and backs it with severe penalties. And, coaches and teammates will sit on offenders if it starts costing them games.

This is a team game, and, ironically, the game has always been marketed and viewed as such. Sadly (but successfully), the NBA has managed to market individuals -- not teams -- to fill their seats and boost meager television ratings (it wasn't the Bulls, it was Michael and Scottie; it isn't the Lakers, it's Shaq, Kobe, the Mailman and the Glove). Major League Baseball always has relied heavily on statistics and individual records (300-game winners, 500-home-run hitters, batting titles, home-run record chases) to excite fans.

Football, alone -- and most successfully of all -- has always pushed its teams, its rivalries and its champions above all else. It always has been the game; the understanding that for an individual to make a great play, his teammates have enabled him to do it.

I remember talking to the late, great Green Bay Packers linebacker Ray Nitschke. He was so angry at the antics displayed by some guy after making a sack. Ray said, "Look at that jerk -- he came in unblocked and is jumping around, pounding his chest as if he's actually done something. When I made an interception, I knew it was because the defensive line had put pressure on the quarterback and the defensive backs had smothered the receivers. I just got the ball because we all did our jobs."

Come on, NFL, bring back the game and flush this individual-celebration, egocentric, undisciplined, embarrassing and destructive behavior down the toilet. Sure, entertainment is great, but the beauty of teamwork, sacrifice and humility are much more appealing -- and important.

Explaining to kids that football is the greatest team sport is a tough sell when they see individuals consistently placing themselves above the team. The best fans -- the real fans -- want to watch and support great teams, with talented players making spectacular plays within the game, but, ultimately, doing their jobs to help their team win games and championships.

Getting on SportsCenter should never have seeped into the equation.
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Old 12-16-2003, 02:43 PM   #2
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C'mon NFL, control these guys (good read)

I would have like to seen Haslett step up and deal with this rather than leave it up to the league. He talked to Horn about this after the machine gun celebration, looks like it did a lot of good.
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Old 12-16-2003, 03:36 PM   #3
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This is the last remark I\'m going to make about the subject, but I am sick of this thing getting blown out of proportion. Some people are so up in arms simply because of perception. Why do we hold these guys in such high regards? If we were to condemn our politicians with the same iron fist that we do NFL athletes, you\'d need to hire an accounting firm just to keep up with all the fines. Alot of these guys do not come from healthy homes, and yet you expect them to act like they\'ve been brought up with all the tact and etiquette of the prince of england. It\'s so hypocritical, it\'s pathetic. NFL frowns upon this type of behavior, but when it helps sell \"NFL: Best of 2003\" VCR/DVD\'s, well, that\'s different. We fine players for hitting players in certain situations, but it\'s not so bad that it makes Tom Jackson\'s, \"Jacked Up\" series during NFL Countdown on Monday nights? And you honestly expect a small market player to compete with some of the well known celebrities of the bigger markets as far as endorsements are concerned? When was the last time you saw a Saint on a national commercial? I expect to see a few next year with Deuce, but that hasn\'t happened yet. I just don\'t get it.

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Old 12-16-2003, 04:15 PM   #4
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C'mon NFL, control these guys (good read)

You’re right B&B; some of these guys didn’t grow up in the best situations. And a lot of them don’t have the class or the etiquette of the Prince of England (not that I give him much anyways). However these guys have now risen to the level where not only are they superstars, they are also role models for our young. Horn stated that he knew he was going to be fined $10 000 - $15 000, but he felt it was worth it. Is this saying that you are allowed (or justified) to break laws, as long as you feel it’s worth it?
Now I realize that there is a difference between the NFL rules and laws of society, but the message that he gives still states that it’s ok to break rules and he knowingly broke one… damn the repercussions. A lot of these guys didn’t come from healthy homes, as do a lot of their fans and admirers. I always feel that if you are in the public eye and are held in a role model position, you should act like it. I have always liked Horn, but I do not like what he did, as I saw someone else post earlier (I think lummOx) if I wanted to see crap like that I would watch the WWE. It cheapens the sport.
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Old 12-16-2003, 05:35 PM   #5
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C'mon NFL, control these guys (good read)

Yeah, there is a difference between NFL rules and the laws of society. The funny thing is that the main reason these guys are idolized in today\'s society partly due to the money they make. We only have ourselves to blame for that one. If we were to pay people based on their role-model status, don\'t you think that military as well as police and firemen, who risk their lives on a daily basis should be the millionares? But we follow suit, we buy into the jerseys and the season tickets, which in return makes these athletes millionares. We created the monster because we participate, and now you want to reprimand him?

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Old 12-16-2003, 08:08 PM   #6
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C'mon NFL, control these guys (good read)

In defense of my own post, it\'s just my opinion. I don\'t think it belongs in the sport. I will still cheer for Jow Horn to play well and for his and Saints success, but I will not buy any of his memorabilia, because it\'s not the player I would wish to glorify, but the person. I would proudly wear a Barry Sanders or Walter Payton jersey because of the man each is and was. I respect them as individuals for the manner in which they conduct themselves. Joe Horn, I respect as a player.
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Old 12-16-2003, 08:18 PM   #7
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If Has fines him that doesn\'t mean the league will not... He could be fined twice. Horn is a team player ok he messed, something he sort of regrets but its over and done with except for the league fine... Aside from voicing our opinions here there is nothing we can debate on this that will change what happened.
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Old 12-16-2003, 09:34 PM   #8
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C'mon NFL, control these guys (good read)

I understand that fans don\'t want all the excessive celebrations to go on, like the cell phone thing. I feel it does take the focus off the game. Plus, if allowed to continue, things will just escalate.

What I don\'t understand is why this is being so overblown, to the point where Joe Horn is being called \"classless.\" I have never seen ANYONE call a player \"classless\" when they punch another player in the face, curse them out, or draw a flag for dancing too much. If pulling a cell phone out is considered classless, then how about punching someone in the face. This is accectable by most \"old school\" fans becasue it has been allowed to go on since the inception of football. This also draws a 15-yard penalty, just like Joe\'s stunt did. I think the problem is that the \"old school\" folks just don\'t like it. They want things left the way they are.

I know Joe\'s stunt was premeditated and when a player punches someone it probably was in the heat of the moment, but that\'s \"classless\" in my opinion. Try punching someone on the street and telling the judge that you did it in the heat of the moment and then go tell the guy\'s kids that you didn\'t mean to hit his daddy.

Now, I don\'t have a problem with the fights that break out on the field and I\'m only trying to make a point that those of you who are calling Joe \"classless\" might just be \"old school\" and using some double standards here?

P.S. -- I am not trying to offend anyone here.

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Old 12-16-2003, 09:45 PM   #9
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C'mon NFL, control these guys (good read)

Billy, while I think I agree that \"classless\" is an overstatement (especially since the TO thingy didn\'t draw the same ire), who got punched in the face? I was just wondering.

I think this simple rule should be this: 1. if you do something dumb, that doesn\'t hurt anyone and annoys the people who the product is marketed to, you should get a fine. Set the fine higher if you don\'t want so much stupidity. I think I may even be of the opinion that the 15 yard penalty is too much. It is a silly action that is not the team\'s fault. 2. If you do something dumb that might injure another player, then there should be serious sanctions - fines, yardage, and suspensions.

Of course, I prefer when everybody plays the game in good sportsmanship, but really how big a deal is it that some guys are glory hogs? It may offend some people, but it is not like chop-blocking a player who is already engaged in a block - that\'s cheap and disgusting. Pulling out a cell phone is just dumb.

"... I was beating them with my eyes the whole game..." - Aaron Brooks :cool:
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Old 12-16-2003, 09:51 PM   #10
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C'mon NFL, control these guys (good read)

I\'ve seen player get punched in the face. I can\'t specifically remember any right off hand, but it\'s happened. I\'ve seen players kicked, hit late, all on purpose. That is \"classless\" That also interupts the game far longer than Joe Horn did. I\'ve seen whole teams start fighting because one fitght started.

Peoples problem isn\'t with the penalty it draws. They grew up watching players fight, so that is accectable. They didn\'t grow up watching cell phones on the field. So, they don\'t like it.
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