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  1. #1
    Prophet Guest

    Wrong Socks Trump Spitting at Opponent in NFL

    Wrong Socks Trump Spitting at Opponent in NFL
    Scott Soshnick

    Jan. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Which is the more egregious on-field sin: Wearing the wrong socks or spitting in the face of an opponent?

    If you picked spitting, then you're hopelessly out of touch with the moral sensibilities of the National Football League.

    The NFL fined Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor a measly $17,000 for spitting at Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Michael Pittman during their Jan. 7 playoff game, which Washington won.

    The dollar amount is equal to one game's pay for the first round of the playoffs. That's pocket change for Taylor, the first defensive player chosen in the 2004 draft, who has a seven-year, $40 million contract.

    This is the same league that previously fined Taylor's teammate, running back Clinton Portis, $20,000 for wearing the wrong socks. Clearly, the NFL deems sloppy attire a more serious infraction than one of its players committing a vile act like spitting at an opponent.

    Don't even consider the heat-of-the-moment defense. Taylor was no choir boy having a bad day.

    Taylor, 22, also is awaiting trial on a charge of aggravated assault with a gun near his home in Miami last June. As if that weren't enough, he previously was investigated by the league for spitting at Cincinnati Bengals receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh. No punishment was imposed because, according to the NFL, there was a lack of evidence -- video or otherwise.

    Taylor's Record

    Even before all of that unpleasantness, Taylor was fined for missing the NFL's mandatory rookie symposium two years ago. That's the post-draft gathering where former players and league officials tell NFL neophytes that it's probably not the best idea to carry a weapon or spit on opponents.

    The NFL should have suspended Taylor for Washington's playoff game tomorrow against the Seattle Seahawks, who are a nine-point favorite. The betting line would move even more in Seattle's favor without Taylor, Washington's third-leading tackler this season.

    ``He's very valuable to us,' Redskins coach Joe Gibbs said. ``We can't afford to lose somebody like that.'

    Actually, the NFL -- and professional sports in general -- can't afford not to lose somebody like that.

    According to Gibbs, he and Taylor had a long chat about how a professional football player, especially one whose talents are vital to his team's success, should behave.

    Get Tough

    Gibbs, whose legacy is secure by having led the Redskins to three Super Bowl championships, should have done what the NFL didn't and imposed a suspension. The rest of his players would have respected him for it. Let the NFL Players Association file a grievance.

    Granting chance after chance just cultivates Taylor impersonators.

    Take, for instance, Marcus Vick, whose brother, Michael, is the highlight-making quarterback for the NFL's Atlanta Falcons.

    Like Taylor, Marcus Vick, until recently a quarterback at Virginia Tech University, doesn't think that rules or laws apply to superstar athletes.

    According to police in Suffolk, Virginia, Vick last week was charged with brandishing a gun in a McDonald's parking lot. That violation occurred one week after he stomped his cleats into the leg of an opposing player in the Gator Bowl, which came about two weeks after Vick was charged with misdemeanor offenses for speeding and driving with a suspended license. That, by the way, followed Vick's decision to show his middle finger to fans during an Oct. 1 game at West Virginia.

    Role Model

    There's more. About a year earlier, Vick was suspended following his arrest twice in three months for providing alcohol to underage girls, reckless driving and possession of marijuana.

    Vick was, at long last, kicked off the football team after the leg-stomping incident. He was dismissed for what the school said was the ``cumulative effect of legal infractions and unsportsmanlike conduct.'

    When it comes to college athletics, legal infractions should never be allowed to accumulate. One and you're done.

    What was Vick's reaction to being jettisoned?

    ``It's not a big deal,' he said. ``I'll just move to the next level, baby.'

    That next level is the NFL, where such behavior draws punishments about as painful as a parking ticket.

    No matter what NFL executives might say now, at least one of them will take a chance on Marcus Vick. They always do. They can't help themselves.

    Perhaps if he's lucky, Vick will one day get the opportunity to discuss the world of professional football with an ambassador of the game like Taylor. That way, it won't come as a surprise when someone spits in his face.

    To contact the writer of this column: Scott Soshnick in New York
    at [email protected]
    Last Updated: January 13, 2006 09:17 EST

  2. #2
    DCPologirl is offline Team Alumni
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    Re: Wrong Socks Trump Spitting at Opponent in NFL

    I hadn't thought about it before but it is quite ridiculous

    DCPologirl:Maybe Randy will make Aaron Brooks look better......roflmao Del Rio: I guarantee he will

  3. #3
    snowinapril's Avatar
    snowinapril is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Wrong Socks Trump Spitting at Opponent in NFL

    I think it is not abot the severity of the penalty, it is about the get attention factor.

    The NFL would be giving out 20 times more fines a week if the fine for socks was for $5,000. If it was chump change for uniform infractions, then the guys would be like I don't care for $5,000 I am wearing what I want.

    The on the field spitting also carries alot more with it than just a fine. It is a penalty situation. It is also something that can hurt the team, therefore putting you in bad standing with the coach or the palyers.

    Socks will get you sympathy and even empathy from the players, spitting and penalties have backlash from your peers.

    Just a thought.

  4. #4
    Prophet Guest

    Re: Wrong Socks Trump Spitting at Opponent in NFL

    $17,000 vs $20,000 for an NFL player is like $1.50 vs $1.61 to most.

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