In an NFL league where players are getting fined left and right to the tune of $50K for illegal hits to the head, Andre Johnson got his money’s worth as he served up an MMA style combo platter to Cortland Finnigan.
The NFL has made it very clear that they are trying to take illegal play out of the game, more specifically illegal hits to the head. So the question that has to be asked is, “Does a punch to the head of a helmetless player count as an illegal hit to the head? Does two or three?”
That question was answered by Roger Goodell who issued $25K fines to both Andre Johnson and Cortland Finnigan for their Sunday donnybrook. Interestingly enough, neither player received a suspension for their actions. Let me be clear, I loved watching those players settle their differences on the playing field like they do in the NHL. It’s better than the “he said she said” twitter trash talk in the NBA. But there’s one glaring issue, this isn’t hockey, you’re not allowed to fight on the field. Imagine if a brew-ha-ha broke out and both sidelines cleared? You’d have close to 100 thoroughbred athletes throwing bombs at each other, it would look like a scene from the movie 300. Who’s breaking that up? Imagine the carnage. Even when that happens in baseball, players get suspended.
That’s why there’s no fist fighting in the NFL. I’m not advocating suspensions, but a $25K fine for a full out fight without helmets is a slap on the wrist and it sends the wrong message, especially when players are getting fined twice that amount for making big plays on the field. And you can bet that if it was Finnigan dropping bombs on a helmetless receiver he would have been suspended.
If you missed this scrap, here’s some footage of Andre Johnson introducing Cortland Finnigan to a little place known as toon-town. Population, one Cortland Finnigan.