Since the suddenly vocal Brandon Marshall didn't bother to include anything in my suggestion box for this piece, I have taken the liberty of compiling a list of all the things Ndamukong Suh could have done in the moment instead of hitting Jay Cutler Monday night. Suh should have:
- Stopped for a few seconds, extended his hand, patted Cutler's back and allowed him to complete a pass.
- Immediately put his hands up when Cutler got out of the pocket, let him run away and never even touched him.
- Ran over to each sideline, asked Lovie Smith and Jim Schwartz permission to grab the quarterback and drive him into the turf.
- Stopped and consulted the referees, asked them if grabbing an arm and driving a quarterback down to the turf was legal. Then, hopped on a smart phone, emailed Roger Goodell on the issue and waited for a response in the Bears' backfield, refusing to play on until he got a response.
The point is, this constant charade with Suh is getting beyond ridiculous. Now, because of past events, everybody is lashing out at every one of his hits, micro-managing every detail while trying desperately to find some hint of dirty play or rogue attitude. Suh is becoming the only defender in the NFL profiled in such a strange and overbearing way.
Get over yourselves, folks. This is football, and football is a tough and sometimes brutal game. Monday night, Suh made a great play to grab the elusive Cutler by the arm, wrangle him in and then drive him to the turf. Did the play look bad because of how Cutler fell? Of course. Was the hit dirty? Not at all. "We're gonna get him down any way we can. It's just part of the game," said Schwartz at yesterday's presser, clearly agreeing.
Never once did Suh go for a face mask, hit high on the helmet, take a swing, stomp on Cutler or brandish a firearm. He simply continued the play until the end, like every defender is taught. Do you think Brian Urlacher would let up on a quarterback in his cross hairs? Never. He'd do whatever it took to bring him down and make the play. It's only because the tackle involved Suh and the Lions that this has become sensationalized world news.
The most laughable part is Marshall's Twitter commentary on the issue. Now, the once disgruntled wide receiver has become football's keystone cop. It looks as if historically, Marshall would seem to know more about run ins with actual law enforcement than Suh does, despite Suh's new manufactured bad boy image. I wasn't aware the Bears' new wide receiver purchased a glass house upon his move to Illinois. Hopefully, it's a nice big one.
If Suh's hit was actually dirty, there would have been a penalty on the field. Not only that, he could have expected a hefty fine or suspension from the league on Tuesday. None of that happened, making the backlash laughable. The league saw no fault with the play. It's a case of unjust profiling and nothing more. Now, because two or three other incidents have occurred, Suh can't touch anyone without being scrutinized. Obviously, nobody will stand up for him after he stomps on a player, but now, he can't even play the game of football in a clean way.
That's a disgrace, and the media should be ashamed of their constant sensationalistic approach with anything Suh related. Let him play his game. If officials and the league determine that something crossed the line, feel free to lambaste him. Until then, keep quiet. Don't manufacture a story where there is none.
As usual, Suh is going to continue to play football hard, snap to whistle as well he should. If you don't like that, then don't watch Lions' football, or football in general. Don't cheer any hits that could be perceived as dirty, and be sure to be critical of every player's actions.
Perhaps Suh's critics should watch dog shows on Sunday afternoons instead of football, and Marshall should become a male ice dancer. After all, there would be no contact of any kind to worry about there.
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