It has become known as the “Mike Tomlin Side Step.” Everyone in the NFL knows about it. Everyone following the NFL is tried of hearing about it.
- The issue that has consumed everyone is whether Mike Tomlin did it on purpose or not.
The fascination with Mike Tomlin intent lack thereof is entirely understandable. The youngest Super Bowl coach in NFL history has had a reputation for integrity, and his actions understandably call that into question.
But that’s not the real issue at stake. The real issue was brought into focus by Ryan Clark….
The Tomlin Side Step on Its Own Merits
Steel Curtian Rising has been quiet about the Tomlin Side Step. That’s simply a product of limited time to write and an opinion that shifted as new information came to light.
As mentioned in the post-Ravens game summary, initially there did not appear to be much of a story. Tomlin was where he was not supposed to be, as are many coaches, he almost got involved in the play, but dodged the bullet. A rules violation certainly, but an unintentional one.
- Then the KDKA video surfaced.
Time did not allow for comment on that, but while the video did not amount to a “Smoking Gun” it certainly did little to support Tomlin’s insistence on innocence.
- The “NFL 22 Video” however seemed to back up Tomlin’s explanation.
The bottom line is, no one can prove intent. It was a rules violation, one that should be punished, but at the end of the day, Tomlin’s actions did not impact that game. (Cortez Allen was going to stop him anyway.) Tomlin surly deserved punishment.
“When has Roger Goodell Ever Been Fair?” – Ryan Clark
The NFL handed down its punishment of Mike Tomlin during the week, and it was a $100,000 dollar fine. Now $100k is a lot of money, but Tomlin makes an estimated 5.45 million per year. Someone pointed out that proportionally speaking, this works out to a $645 fine for someone making an average salary.
- So it’s a fine that hurts, but not catastrophically so
But the NFL wasn’t done. Or was it? We still don’t know. The Steelers, we were told, could be docked a pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Which pick? We don’t know. When would we know? Well that wasn’t made clear either.
- The NFL apparently would wait to see how the season turns out, and determine whether a docking a pick is warranted.
But of course no one knows exactly what that means. Word is that if total points scored comes into play in Wild Card playoff tie breakers, and Baltimore is on the short end of the stick then maybe it will cost the Steelers a pick.
- Or maybe not. Again, no one knows.
But what we do know is this is yet another example of Roger Goodell’s Kangaroo Court style of justice
Welcome to Mr. Goodell’s Kangaroo Court
There is no other way to explain this. Roger Goodell is charged with enforcing discipline in the NFL. His main criteria for levying a fine or a suspension boils down to one thing – whether he feels like it or not.
Ben Roethlisberger was suspended for questionable behavior in Midgeville, Georgia. While Steel Curtain Rising made and makes no defense of Ben Roethlisberger’s alleged actions, Goodell took action despite the fact the Roethlisberger was neither charged nor arrested and the witness refused to cooperate.
- Aside for that, the hard evidence was damming. (Never mind that a hard charging D.A. didn’t even convene a Grand Jury).
However, former Oakland Raiders head coach Tom Cable broke an assistant’s jaw. Two woman said he had abused them. Goodell never lifted a finger to discipline him.
New York Jets assistant coach Sal Alosi was fined $100 k for a similar infraction. Similar accept that he actually did trip a return man, and he clearly intended to do it. But the Jets lost no draft picks.
The NFL’s crusade to make James Harrison a scapegoat for head trauma is well documented and will not be repeated here. Yet consider:
Harrison himself was a victim of a helmet to helmet hit in the Steelers ’11 loss to Houston. Needless to say, the offending Houston Texan was neither flagged nor fined (funny, YouTube footage of that hit disappeared, but hits of Harrison’s hit on Colt McCoy is allow to remain on line). The McCoy incident was also telling. Harrison got suspended. The Browns, who knowingly put a concussed player back into the game, got off scot free.
- Justice in the NFL under Roger Goodell is a mockery of the concept.
Either stepping on to the field and momentarily obstructing a players’ path to the end zone is punishable by loss of a draft pick or it is not. In the case of the New York Jets Sal Alosi, actually tripping someone was not. So you say a head coach is held to a higher standard.
- If a coach is head to higher standard, then the rules violation either justifies a draft pick forfeiture or it does not.
But not in Roger Goodell’s Kangaroo Court where rules enforcement and punishment retain a “flavor of the day” quality to it.