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Lewis Calls Fine “Embarrassing”

Several days ago Ray Lewis received a 5,000 from the league office over his hit on Austin Collie. Here are some of Lewis’ comments, and then my own.

“For people who really enjoy the game of football, and who play the game the way I play the game, I look at that as being kind of embarrassing,” Lewis said on ESPNews.

And Lewis then made clear that he doesn’t mean he’s embarrassed at having been fined — he thinks the league office should be embarrassed for handing out a fine for what he believes was a clean hit.

“If I just went at him directly with my helmet, I’d understand that,” Lewis said. “But you’re talking about a man who’s been playing this game for over 14 years, who respects the game to the utmost, and who never leads with his head first and foremost. I hit him with my shoulder pad, I knew I hit him with my shoulder pad. So for them to fine me, I’m a little disappointed.”

The more I thought about this play and the resulting fine it made me re-examine the direction that the NFL is headed.

Safety has become one of the league’s main concerns over the past few years, especially with the controversies surrounding concussions. So to a degree I can understand why officials may err on the side of caution when they witness spectacular hits.

But upon further review it seemed to me as if Collie crouched down to the catch the ball and since Lewis was already airbourne he hit him higher than he had intended. It was a hard hit and I think the speed of the play and the result of Collie crumpling to the turf made the call seem easy.

I don’t think I’d call the fine embarrassing but I also wouldn’t say that he deserved it either. It’s tough to police a sport that by it’s very nature is violent.

This past season I’ve seen plenty of penalties that have been called for a variety of reasons, some valid and some not. But it seems as if the league’s push towards more scoring and discouraging anything resembling tough defense continues to be in place.

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One Response to “Lewis Calls Fine “Embarrassing””

  1. Jergy says:

    Of course everyone’s favorite columnist Mike Preston suggested the fine was too low. And since he knows more than everyone else. He is correct.

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