Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Dunta Robinson's Dirty Hit and the Suspension That Never Came

Take a look at Dunta Robinson's latest offense and tell me what you think. In my opinion, this is a player who has clearly gone over the line. I've been thinking about the subject a lot this week, and I've got my reasons for feeling this way, so here goes: (Robinson was fined 40k for the hit, his second such offense in two years, but in my opinion it's not enough.)

Whatever happened to good old tackling? Hey, the object of the game is to wrap the player up and take him to the ground as quickly as possible. That's football. What Robinson does on this play is just plain vicious (not to mention that it's not very fundamentally sound, but that's another story for another day). Yeah, Robinson't launching pad tackling technique accomplishes the task -- Eagles receiver Jeremy Maclin does go down -- but if you cue up the video to the 1:14 mark, you can see that Robinson is clearly head hunting. He leads with his helmet right into the chin of the receiver, and that is exactly the type of B.S. that the NFL wants out of its games.

Or do they? I'd like to know: if the NFL is so serious about cracking down on hits to the head and preventing head injuries in every way possible, then why didn't they suspend Robinson? I'll answer the question for you: because Maclin was okay. If Maclin stayed down and went off on a stretcher, the NFL would have had their hands tied, and they would have tied Robinson's hands as a result.

A lot of purists think that players should be able to do whatever the hell they want to a receiver, but that's an easy thing to say from your couch when you're hiding behind a bucket of chicken wings and a six pack of Sierra Nevadas. But before you get too fat, drunk and happy to debate this, try seeing things from the vantage point of an NFL slot receiver -- a guy who is running routes and catching balls blindly while sandwiched between hungry receivers and linebackers on pretty much every set of fresh downs.

The fact of the matter is that the game has changed in a lot of ways in the last 20 years. First of all, teams throw a lot more. Second of all, athletes are bigger, faster and stronger and the equipment they wear is lighter, while today's helmets are easier to use as a weapon.

Hell, if this was the old days when men were men, would players really need those elaborate facemasks and tinted shields that they now wear? I think not.

It's bogus what some guys are trying to do to receivers these days, and I'm singling out Dunta Robinson as the worst offender that I've seen this year. His hit on Maclin was cruel and unnecessary, and if the NFL doesn't have the guts to suspend him then they should make him play slot receiver for a few games and see how he likes guys head hunting him for a while.

I'm not saying that Robinson is a bad player or a bad guy. He's obviously a stud, an intensely physical player, and an intimidating force for the Falcons secondary. I'm just saying that the NFL is letting him get away with too much. You shouldn't be allowed to try to decapitate a wide receiver, and, even if you are unsuccessful, you should be suspended, especially if you are a second-time offender like Robinson.