And so the saga of Ndamukong Suh continues with a hearing this afternoon with Art Shell to review the 2-game suspension handed down by the league for his Thanksgiving Day melt down. It’s a story that continues to dominate the sports world and, I feel, worthy of a bit more comment.
I actually was compelled this week, along with scores of others, to call in to 97-1 The Ticket during the “Valenti & Foster” afternoon radio show. Though apparently, according to ESPN, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suggested to Suh that he appeal the bench time, I relayed my disappointment in Suh’s seeming continued refusal to take full responsibility for his actions and accept consequences. What did Sammy Davis Jr. sing in the 70s TV show “Baretta” theme song: Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time…?
Moreover, I have continued to be disappointed by Coach Jim Schwartz and the Detroit Lion’s reaction to the matter. Early on, Schwartz indicated that any discipline would come from the league. I would suggest that is not enough. Why not also send a message to fans and players young and old with an additional fine from the team? After all, wasn’t Gosder Cherilus benched for a less egregious yet similarly unsportsmanlike action earlier in the year? The tone for any organization is set at the top.
It seems the conversation and debate continues to be centered around aggressiveness and competitiveness versus intent and misunderstanding. I would continue to argue that it should be about sportsmanship and responsibility. Given those two dyamics, there is nothing to appeal. Instead, Suh should take that time for reflection. If he can truly learn an admittedly painful lesson, we will all benefit in the end.