Sucker punch not serious blow to NFL

Josh Dean

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

“Jaw Disorder,” “Luck of the Jaw” and “Gang Green” are just some of the headlines that splashed across New York papers, as news broke that Geno Smith, quarterback of the New York Jets, would be out for six to 10 weeks for a broken jaw he received from a locker room fight.

News outlets across the nation broke into a frenzy discussing how this was yet another example of the lawlessness and violence, which has descended upon the NFL.

From an outside perspective, it may seem incomprehensible that such an event could take place, especially amid the heightened scrutiny the NFL has been under recently for cases of domestic violence and child abuse. Those cases should be unequivocally and universally condemned. This is not to downplay them or equate them with locker room violence.

Brawls and fights on the football field though are part of the nature of the game and have been a part of the NFL since its inception.

The game revolves around grown men violently clashing on the gridiron in a test of strength, will and stamina. The desire to be the best and to host the Lombardi trophy at the end of the year drives these athletes to seek perfection and tempers can quickly flare.

In the day and age in which we live, short and quick clips to grab attention and drive coverage often rule the day. Fights on the practice field and in the locker room happen all the time but until recently went generally unnoticed.

Once in the public eye, everyone assumes that their voices must be heard as they are the new experts on the subject.

I am not condoning what happened between Geno Smith and former Jets linebacker IK Enemkpali, now a Bill. The rookie linebacker showed a lack of foresight and intelligence when he sucker punched the starting QB of his team over an unpaid $600 expense.

The cry that this incident is yet another black eye to the NFL is misguided and wrongheaded thinking.

The NFL has had serious problems with its players and their actions recently, but the passion and intensity which leads to practice field and locker room scrums should not be considered one of them.