The Denver Post's Mike Klis makes an interesting point: when it comes to the NFL Gestapo meting out punishments, players who receive bad publicity for their actions receive stiffer penalties than those who don't, no matter how egregious the offense. I have no idea if the data support Klis's claim, but anecdotally, it certainly seems plausible.
The league's decision to only fine -- and not suspend -- Patriots nose tackle Vince Wilfork for unsuccessfully decapitating Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler is the latest example, according to Klis, and some Denver players are in agreement.
"When he gets beaten on a play and then retaliates with a cheap shot, it's uncalled for," [center Casey] Wiegmann said. "But a lot of guys on their defense are doing that type of stuff. If you go back and watch the play-by-play, stuff happens late all the time."
"The play right before Rodney Harrison got hurt?" Wiegmann said of the season-ending knee injury the Pats' safety suffered later in the game. "He cheap-shotted me right around the pile after the play. Stuff like that, they get away with."
And no, the irony of a Broncos offensive line accusing somebody -- anybody -- of cheap shots isn't lost on me. That said, it shouldn't give opponents, particularly those with a history of dirty hits, carte blanche to do as they please. No worries, though, I get the feeling that the league is very serious about cleaning up its image (commence theme music).
Shockingly, Broncos Player Thinks Vince Wilfork, Patriots, Play Dirty originally appeared on NFL FanHouse on Sat, 01 Nov 2008 18:40:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.