Polamalu Puts His Mouth Where His Money Is

Pittsburgh Steelers’ safety Troy Polamalu has publicly stood up for his teammates and fellow NFL colleagues about the ridiculous amount of fines that have been handed out to players since the Goodell Era began.  Since power junkie Roger Goodell took over the NFL before the 2006 season, he has cast a shadow over the game by developing fine and suspension penalties that are so strict that even a maximum security prison would be embarrassed to enforce them.

Goodell has taken America’s favorite sport and tried to squeeze the action and violence that people crave out of the game.  Goodell needs to understand that people tune into football every week to see the hits, catches, and trash-talking.  If they wanted to watch a game where you can’t celebrate after a touchdown or destroy a running back who’s trying to take the corner, they would have turned on golf. Polamalu finally called out the NFL and accused them of caring more about making money than they do about anything else. While it is true that the NFL is a business, and yes, businesses are chiefly concerned with making money, the NFL existed for many years before Goodell and succeeded greatly during eras when names like Lawrence Taylor and Dick Butkus used to intentionally try to murder their opponents on a weekly basis.  According to ESPN, Polamula told reporters, “Now, they couldn’t survive in this type of game. They wouldn’t have enough money. They’d be paying fines all the time and they’d be suspended for a year after they do it two games in a row. It’s kind of ridiculous.”

Nowadays, if you spike the ball the wrong way or throw an extra elbow to spring a touchdown run, you will have to dig deep into your pockets to help inflate Goodell’s wallet and his ego.

What exactly is he trying to prove?  Sure, suspend and fine the players who take cheap shots to the head or from behind.  But why fine Hines Ward $15,000 for unnecessary roughness when no flags were thrown on the field?  Ward stepped over Baltimore corner back Corey Ivy and was hit with a $5,000 deduction from his bank account. That is ridiculous!

Polamalu’s teammates were fined a total of $45,000 for their last game for various bogus infractions, enough to pay many a man’s entire yearly salary.  But where is this money going?  To charities?  No.  A kickback to the NFL’s hourly workers?  No.  It’s going right back into the NFL executive pockets, so they can sit in their fancy press boxes and nitpick and criticize every players’ every action.

Goodell’s mafia has reduced the NFL down to a game where each player must constantly fear the repercussions of each play.  This feeling must hold certain players back from playing the game the way its meant to be played.  While the league preaches that these fines are done to promote safety on the field, then why is Chad Johnson fined $5000 for his hilarious ‘Ocho Cinco’ touchdown celebration? Or Nate Washington

fined $7,500 for taunting?  Why are these actions worthy of a fine? Were either of them putting anyone else’s safety in jeopardy?

Goodell needs to lighten up and remember that its the fans who careabout the sport that are the ones who are filling his pockets with money.

(Image: NYTimes.com)
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