If what Bengals’ linebacker Vontaze Burfict says is true about NFL refs, there’s a lot to be discussed during the upcoming offseason.
Is this really such a hard concept to grasp? It’s not like trying to learn a new language overnight. And it’s not like getting last-minute buzz about a pop quiz. The Bengals have a linebacker who instills fear and loathing into their opponents. Hate him or love him, Vontaze Burfict is a throwback. Now, he’s speaking out against the NFL refs showing bias towards him.
How did this nasty little tidbit come to the forefront? Burfict was tossed from the Cincinnati Bengals’ Week 10 game against the Tennessee Titans. The drama occurred when down judge Jeff Bergman tossed a flag after the Bengals’ linebacker “made contact” with him after a play.
Burfict has come forth with some damaging words against the league, since the incident. Per ESPN, the linebacker shared his thoughts on Sunday’s ejection and the actions of the refs in general.
"“The refs, they come up to me, talking to me disrespectfully, wanting me to curse back at them, but me cursing back at them isn’t going to help me,” Burfict said. “I’m not going to get a flag in my favor next time around, but that’s the way they handle business, I guess. I told Coach I’m just going to try to stay out of the refs’ way.”"
Yes, it was a weak move
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I would be lying, if I said I don’t admire the way Burfict plays. The Bengals have a linebacker with the passion of an old-school defensive monster. When Jack Lambert, Dick Butkus and Mike Singletary were tearing heads off, there was a certain feel to playing the position. Now, the league has softened their approach on how the defense can hit and cover.
Please don’t think I’m down for anything Burfict does. There’s a limit to what players should be allowed to do. If he crosses the line, toss him out. But, there are football enthusiasts who claim to love the game but hate Burfict. That’s questionable. If you’ve ever been awed by Lawrence Taylor or mesmerized by the talents and fire of Ray Lewis, having a problem with Vontaze is a mystery. Is it because he’s a Bengals player? Hmmm.
Even the game announcers for the Bengals and Titans matchup weren’t truly taken with the calls that were made against Burfict. But, that’s how the league has progressed. If the situation with Bergman is truly a microcosm of what has truly been happening, something has to be done. When does the NFL become accountable for the WWE type nonsense that keeps happening?
Tossing him from the game was one of the weakest responses ever. Frankly, there have been way worse infractions that were ignored.
Will anything get done?
Marvin Lewis is a member of the NFL Competition Committee. But, don’t expect him to do much in the way of standing up for his linebacker. Lewis is too busy throwing his players under the bus for things that don’t need to be mentioned.
Going forward, what’s going to happen? If the refs are truly doing their jobs, there shouldn’t be such a disparity in what’s being called.
"“If they are watching out for me, they should always see what the person does first,” Burfict added. “Like in the Tennessee game, one of the O-linemen had me in between their legs like squeezing me. If they are obviously watching me like they say they are, they should see what the O-lineman or somebody else does to me to get me to react.”"
If it’s happening to him, what’s to keep it from going down against another player? Guess it doesn’t really matter until it’s one of the darlings of the league.