Saturday, December 29, 2007

By popular demand

Massref has asked my opinion on the Jim Quirk punishment.

I'm fine with it. In isolation, the game-check fine felt a little bit high. It didn't look like Quirk intended to wrap Nick Barnett around the looked to me like he was just jumping into the pile and grabbing whatever he could to stop an escalating fight.

But this didn't occur in isolation...he apparently horse-collared the Falcons' Jason Snelling the previous week. Two neck grabs in two weeks demands attention, I think, and while I might have gone less, I can live with the game-check fine.

Of course, this leads me to wonder if officials will be gun-shy about jumping into fights in the future. I know I always pre-game what we'll do in fights. I'll jump between players before there's physical contact, but once they're going at it, I'll beckon the coaches onto the court. I've seen people say this is the right move...if I make contact and hurt a player, Quirk-style, or accidentally touch a player somewhere I shouldn't, I'm ripe for a lawsuit. I've also heard people say it's the wrong move...if a player gets hurt before their coaches can get into the pile, I'd be liable for not trying to stop it myself. Plus, what do we have if we let people fight and just watch? Minor league hockey, that's what.

If it were a one-time incident, I'd think the fine was excessive, but twice is a trend. I'm OK with the NFL's actions.


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