Slaps On The Wrist
A pair of NFL teams receive punishment for in game shenanigans
To most fans the penalties handed out by the NFL this week amounted to nothing more than a stern finger wagging from the commissioners office. While one of the “crimes” committed could have affected the game on the field, the other is really pretty petty.
The Atlanta Falcons were hit with a fine of $350,000 in addition to being stripped of their 2016 5th round draft selection for piping in crowd noise over the PA system at the Georgia Dome during the 2013 season (where they were one possession away from the Super Bowl) and part of the 2014 season (which was an unmitigated disaster).
“The League conducted a thorough investigation of this matter, and we cooperated fully,” stated Falcons owner Arthur Blank “We understand the penalties imposed and their impact on our team, and we will not appeal the league’s decisions. Further, we have addressed the matter internally and taken actions to ensure that something like this does not happen again.
“The Falcons and all of our other businesses are built upon a foundation of values that drive our decision making. This issue was a clear failure in that regard. I apologize for any embarrassment this situation has caused the NFL, our fans, and our Falcons players and associates.”
Most revealing part of the investigation was the fact that the Falcons employed two people by the name of Roddy White. The one who doesn’t play, and is now the former Director of Marketing Roddy White has been pegged as the scapegoat of the violations.
The forfeiture of a draft pick is just the 5th such occurrence in the last decade, and the first time the league has handed out this punishment since the New Orleans Saints were docked a pair of 2nd round picks in the 2012 and 2013 Drafts for the Bountygate scandal.
In Cleveland, things couldn’t be more embarrassing then they have been over the last 36 months. Three head coaches, the ever growing list of starting quarterbacks since their last playoff appearance in 2002, and the next in a long line of “shake your head” moments on the banks of Lake Erie.
Brown General Manager Ray Farmer was suspended by the NFL this week for texting his coaching staff during games. Four games without pay plus a $250,000 fine for text message. Talk about an overage charge. Farmer reportedly sent the message to the Browns quarterback’s coach complaining about play calling, personnel decisions, and the lack of playing time for rookie Johnny Manziel.
“We accept the league’s ruling,” said Browns owner Jimmy Haslam in a statement. “Ray made a mistake and takes full responsibility for his role in violating the policy. It is critical that we make better decisions. Ray has tremendous integrity and I know has great remorse for what occurred. We are all committed to learning from this and making the Browns a stronger and better organization.”
Knowing the run of luck and the overall incompetence of the Browns organization, Farmer fell on the sword to save the club further embarrassment or punishment for whatever else is going on behind closed doors.