Now that the verdict is in on Vontaze Burfict, the Bengals can get back to business as usual. The regular season needs to be addressed.
Well, what did you expect? There was no way the NFL was going to let the most hated man in football walk away with a clean slate. But, on the other hand, Bengals fans have to be grateful for the crumbs that get sprinkled on the ‘Nati. Vontaze Burfict was looking at a five-game suspension for what looked like a clean hit on the Chiefs’ Anthony Sherman. With the blessings of the league, Tez will only be MIA for three games, per NFL.com.
When it comes to getting bit by the NFL and Mr. Goodell, Bengals fans seem to have hit the lottery. Whether it’s over-the-top penalties or a witch hunt involving Burfict, the insanity never dies.
Even if the sentence (Sing Sing calling) is reduced to three games, there’s still the stagnant aroma of bias. For what it’s worth, the feeling of Burfict being made an example will never stop nagging fans of the Bengals.
The NFL states that Burfict crushed a defenseless player and the contact (Rule 12, Section 2, Article 7) was deemed unnecessary roughness.
Okay. Wait. We are actually talkin’ about Vontaze Burfict. This is the same linebacker who’s a throwback to the times of Jack Lambert, Dick Butkus, Lawrence Taylor, et al. How in the world does unnecessary roughness even fit the mold? That’s Burfict’s M.O. Um, he hits hard.
Alas…Maybe the NFL isn’t interested in real football anymore. No. that’s not it. There are tons of plays that go unnoticed by the league each week. But, as soon as the cameras are rolling around Burfict, he’s a target. It’s not so much the way he plays as his reputation.
"“This is not your first offense with respect to illegal hits to defenseless players; to the contrary, this incident is consistent with your pattern of egregious safety-related violations including your hit on a defenseless player during the 2015 Wild Card game and your hit against a Baltimore tight end away from the play on January 3, 2016 … When players violate the rules intended to protect player safety on a repeated basis, and particularly when the violations carry with them a significant risk of injury to an opposing player … you must be held accountable for this continuing unacceptable conduct.”"
Wild Card game? Excuse me, but isn’t that the same one in which Ryan Shazier knocked Giovani Bernard into orbit? I don’t seem to remember Shazier getting suspended. Meh. Maybe in my old age, I’m forgetting things that matter. You know, like Steelers being disciplined for dirty hits.
Oh, well. Burfict will be back in time for Steelers Week. That should be fun this year. But, if the NFL’s man-crush on Burfict continues…things could get dicey.