I have been a pro football fan since the famous Baltimore Colt and New York Giant Championship game of 1956. Pro football has grown since those days and it has become part of the American culture. But sorry, yesterday’s game between the Bengals and the Steelers was a disgrace.
For most of the night we witnessed players on both teams play their hearts out, with typical sportsmanship. We saw the Bengals come from behind to come close to winning their first playoff game in years. But while watching a game, brutality broke out to where violence instead of sportsmanship was on display.
The ugliness of what V. Burfict, Shazier and Adam Pacman Jones displayed during the game has no place in sports. Burfict’s head hunting cost the Bengals the game. His clearly intentional use of his helmet on Antonio Brown’s head and helmet could have had deadly results. There is no telling what the long term result of the concussion given to Brown will be.
Burfict has a reputation for losing his cool, and being a dirty player. His reputation at Arizona State followed him into pro football and could have had an impact on why he was not drafted but rather chosen as a free agent. Yes, Mr. Burfict has talent, but his behavior and actions on the field have no place in sports. His play will probably bring with it a fine and a suspension.
The question is whether or not the teams loss will have an impact on how he plays the game in the future. A players helmet can be used as a weapon and it is clear that he uses his helmet as a weapon. I have watched enough football to have seen players be paralyzed on the field of play and even die. The league is attempting to make the game safer for the players and too insure that the game we love continues in the future for all of us to enjoy.
Mr. Burfict is out of control. His coach, tried to calm him down, but to no avail. Perhaps, a fine and suspension is not enough in this case. Commentators and coaches tried to make light of what happened as if it was just an emotional game with tough and rough play, but sorry, they must not have been watching the same game.
What happened last night reminded me of watching a bad bullfight, when you wish they would ban the art of bullfighting. It also reminded me of pro wrestling, but that is fake. There was nothing fake or normal about what happened during the playoff game last night. The actions of a few players were so disgraceful that their wrongful acts took away from what otherwise was an exciting game. We won’t remember how exciting the game was but rather how the game ended. The game ended shamefully, with the pain and disappointment etched on the faces of the Bengal fans. They were robbed of their teams victory by the bad acts of a few players whose more than questionable actions make one wonder if these players have any place in the game of football.
A game’s suspension is not enough, the Commissioner should consider a much longer suspension. They give long punishments for drug and other personal behavior problems, why not consider a ban of a season to give a lesson to those players who intend to maim and injure other players rather than give them just a slap on the wrist. No player should be allowed to play the game of football when and if his play is intended to hurt and maim another player. What kind of example does that give a young man watching at home? Well, Mr. Commissioner it is your turn. The punishment given must meet the severity of the incident. We see enough violence and death on the evening news. We don’t need to watch a GAME that we love and instead see such violence that occasionally a good play occurs.