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Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

The NFL has suspended New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski for one game following his late hit to a prone, defenseless Tre'Davious White during Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills. Gronkowski will miss next Monday night's game against the Miami Dolphins. He has appealed the suspension. Video of the hit is available here.

In my opinion -- and just one person's opinion, not speaking on behalf of Football Outsiders -- this punishment is way too light. White suffered a concussion due to the hit, and is in the league's concussion protocol. By definition, he suffered brain damage. As Chris Nowinski of the Concussion Legacy Foundation noted, if a defender had gone after Tom Brady's knee after the whistle, the suspension would have been far more severe than a one-game suspension.


240 comments, Last at 12 Dec 2017, 4:04pm

1 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

I'm fully on-board with a 1-game suspension (and he should have been ejected from the game). I'm not on-board with more until the NFL gets their act together on consistency (like Kiki Alonso getting no suspension at all for his head shot on Flacco).

4 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

I agree that it is hopelessly non-uniform at this time. What a surprise. To me there are two elements to evaluate, how dangerous the offense is, and whether the offense was in the context of making a play. So a punch, at a helmeted head, after a play gets a game, because it isn't part of a play, while not being especially dangerous. Similarly, a spear to the head out of sloppy technique is very dangerous, but it happens in the context of playing the game, so it also gets one game. Gronk's action combines a lot of physical danger, with being completely outside of an attempt to play the game, so it should have resulted in a multigame suspension. But I agree that it is all a mess at this point.

20 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

With you on this. Already said my piece on this when Crabtree and Talib were appealing a week ago. That the NFLPA might encourage appeals on something like this is ridiculous as well.

I kind of like the idea that he should be suspended for one game more than his victim is in the concussion protocol. Given the absolutely flagrant nature of the hit, it can't be described as unfortunate timing, or 'he ducked into me' it was just foul play, looks like a deliberate attempt to injure (it succeeded as if it were), and disappointing to see from any player.

39 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

I would prefer it if he didn't appeal the suspension. The appeal will take more time than it's worth. The suspension is not going to be removed. Gronk could use the time off, and the Pats can and should handle the Dolphins without him. Also, the issue would leave the media firestorm more quickly if no appeal were ongoing.

3 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

"... if a defender had gone after Tom Brady's knee after the whistle"


To be clear, not endorsing nothin', but curious to see how they respond. The victim is 2/3rds his size, a prized 1st round rookie, ans was as vulnerable as a player can get. He was, literally, face down on the ground, prostrate before an historically-dominant Patriot. It was, in that way, not just a personally cheap shot, but an attack on the whole franchise. Once shit becomes metaphorical, it has a tendency to get real.

6 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

If what was done by Gronk was only worthy of a game, why on earth shouldn't the Bills use a goon to inflict similar injury on Gronk, by similar means, the next time they meet? Why shouldn't some opponent not do the same to Brady? Because they want to practice altruistic good sportsmanship?

Not, for the 1st time, I don't understand what they think about on Park Ave.

8 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

The Packers gooned Jim Mcmahon and basically ended the mid-eighties Bears. Jim Burt gooned Joe Montana in a play off game. So it certainly used to happen in the 80s. Why it doesn't happen more is an interesting question, but obviously most NFL players won't intentionally hurt other players no matter how much their asked to.

36 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

Because Gronk didn't start the game headhunting White? Because, while the hit was late, it wasn't intended to cause a concussion?

Why is manslaughter treated differently by the law than first-degree murder? Because it's different.

Oh, and Bernard Pollard did end Brady's season in 2008, without getting punished at all, even though he was violating the Carson Palmer rule. Rather than address the rule violation, the NFL pretended it didn't happen, and even went to the lengths of writing a new rule to play along with the narrative that the hit wasn't illegal.

This is the kind of shit Pats' fans have had to put up with for years.

Oh, also, people encouraging deliberate injury to our star players with the most sophomoric of justifications.


43 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

Regardless of whether or not Gronk intended to cause a concussion, specifically, he clearly was intending to injure White. There is no other explanation for launching himself into a player lying prone on the sideline.

If you want to bring a criminal analogy into it, if you inadvertently kill someone as part of an armed robbery, you get charged with first degree murder. So if you inadvertently concuss someone while launching yourself into them while they are lying on the sideline, you should get punished as such.

134 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

I'm no lawyer, but I think that situation would be 2nd degree, due to lack of the murder itself being premeditated. I also think that most states allowing capital punishment potentially extend it to murder 2.

If the NFL wanted an example to firm up their discipline for such hits, the Gronk hit would be an ideal test case. However, given their dithering, I see the rather light punishment as no surprise.

53 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

This is the kind of shit Pats' fans have had to put up with for years.

Did you really just write that? 'Eyeroll', indeed.

Yes, the Pats and all their fans are just like the poor, put-upon Irish Catholics, freshly migrated to these shores. Sweet Jesus, man, get some perspective.

I neither cheer for nor against the Pats - they're not one of my teams' rivalries, and frankly, Belichick almost always coaches them into a demonstration of really good football. Even the coach has apologized to the Bills for Gronk's 'performance'. It was dirty, dirty, dirty - that you're trying to defend it speaks volumes about your character as a human being.

140 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

So let's run with your premise, that Brink didn't realize that pile driving a player's head into the ground had a chance of injuring him. In that case, Gronk should be suspended not as punishment for his actions, but because he is a danger to other players and too stupid to know how to play the game without injuring them.

5 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

I think perceptions of events like this change massively based simply on who the victim is. For example, some people even seemed to think that the play that injured Aaron Rodgers was dirty. I don't think anyone would have even considered that if it had been DeShone Kizer or some other QB nobody cares about getting injured. In this case, Gronk is a much bigger star than the guy he went after, so he gets off lightly, and most fans are going to be okay with that. Can you imagine if Gronk had done this to a star QB, though? There would be calls for a year-long suspension I bet.

34 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

There are countless examples of players injuring star QBs without any clamoring for lengthy suspensions by the media or public.

It was less than two months ago that Anthony Barr broke Aaron Rodgers' collar bone. Even though some observers at the time called the hit a cheap shot, there was no clamoring for Barr to receive a lengthy suspension.

(Aside: I'm trying to imagine what circumstances would lead to Gronk making a hit on a QB. Probably would need to replace Gronk with a defensive player to make this hypothetical work.)

35 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

But as others said below - those plays were all made during a football game where everyone is moving at blinding speed. I didn't think the Barr hit was dirty btw. Even Brady tearing his acl was made in the heat of a play.

Gronk's was way after the play was over, a guy lying out of bounds face down and he did what he did. How can you even equate the two?

7 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

The play reminded me of Ron Artest elbowing James Harden in the head. I would argue I'd rather take a vicious elbow to the head from Ron Artest than get piled drived with an elbow from Gronk while lying face down on the floor.

I honestly think it should have been a multiple game suspension, though I agree, the NFL's suspension and discipline policy is wholly arbitrary and its pretty upsetting.

Also to echo Will - I have to think the lenient suspension will only encourage further gooning.

11 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

Not to excuse Gronk or apologize for him (1 game is too light) but the referee that ignored the holding/PI that happened to Gronk right in front of him should be disciplined as well. In a physical sport if the refs are seen as not enforcing the rules, a non-insignificant portion of players will take the law into their own hands and bad behavior will ensue.

12 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

Refs get graded on calls after the game and get promoted to do high profile games or not. This happened to Ed Hochuli when he blew the Jay Cutler fumble call in 2006.

That said, I don't believe that missed calls leads to this kind of bad behavior. Gronk's actions were sickening and I lost a ton of respect for him as a player. Btw, I lost what little respect I had for Suh and Haynesworth when they did their crap with the cleats.

14 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

I really do not understand how what you've said is not an excuse. An excuse does not need to completely exonerate; it need only mitigate. And the implication that others' actions contributed is<\strong> mitigation as it suggests that, in the absence of those actions, the guilty party would be more at fault.

Also, Gronk pushed off at the top of his first cut.

18 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

Gronk is responsible for his behavior and the ref is responsible for his behavior. I did not see Gronk push off (I did not see the whole game, just red-zone highlights). If you run a cash register and leave it open and step away from it and it is robbed you did something wrong, but that does not mean the thief is any less culpable.

24 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

If you run a cash register and leave it open and step away from it and it is robbed you did something wrong, but that does not mean the thief is any less culpable.

If the cash register being open is completely irrelevant to the thief's culpability then mentioning it's state in discussions about the thief's culpability is unnecessary at best and intentionally deceiving at worst. As this particular discussion centers on Gronk's culpability mentioning anyone else's is similarly irrelevant or disingenuous.

122 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

Don't apologize; I understand the necessary megalomania of many Pat's fans. Particularly the delusion that an artifact of birth makes you somehow special. But I think pointing out your excuse-making is an important part of the story.

And if you're going to call out rule breaking please point out Gronk's OPI on the play; he clearly and obviously pushed off at the top of his route. But you've already noted that you don't particular care about that rule breaking.

32 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

Gronk made as much contact with the defender on the play he was flagged as receivers do all day long, in all games being played in the NFL. Gronk is the only player who gets flagged for this act regularly. It's absurd. For the last three seasons, the Patriots lead the NFL in OPI calls exactly when Gronk is on the field. This is not how the foul was called in previous seasons.
In 2013, no team was flagged for OPI more than 5 times. In 2014, the Rams were flagged 8 times. In 2015, the Pats were flagged 11 times. Last year, with Gronk out, the Pats were flagged only twice. This year they've already been flagged 8 times.

The NFL has changed how OPI is called specifically to diminish Gronk's effectiveness. It's similar to how they changed how DPI was called specifically because Bill Polian got tired of seeing Ty Law intercept Peyton Manning in playoff games.

It's bizarre to see the other owners get the league to change how rules are enforced, just so they have a better chance to beat the Patriots. Though at least that's a defensible stance, as opposed to simply fraudulently misrepresenting scientific evidence in order to rob the franchise of draft picks.

85 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

Good job rebutting the argument you tried to put in my mouth.

My argument was that the NFL changed how it enforced the rules in response to how the Pats were playing. That change has disproportionately hit the Pats because of how Gronk plays.

Try to parse that without inserting language about the officials throwing flags at the Patriots willy-nilly for no reason. Which wasn't part of my point.

15 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

You know what, in most NFL games referees miss an awful lot of callable penalties - particularly holding and PI on both offense and defense. Most players seem to be able to control their emotions well enough to not resort to outright assault. Those that do not (Suh, Gronk, etc.) should be subjected to extremely severe punishments so that maybe they'll engage their brains at a point before their emotions take over.

23 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

Gronk was being held all game long. Not just on that play. And while the refs let the holding go on by defenders, Gronk himself was called for OPI on a play with minimal contact. Also, when Malcolm Butler tried the kind of defense the Bills were getting away with, he was flagged for it.

The officiating was atrocious.

There's no evidence that more severe punishments accomplish anything other than foster resentment at the arbitrary nature of the system. Figure out what the right punishment is and enforce it. Don't try to make guesses about what motivates players. If Gronk has more episodes like this, the repeat offender rules will kick in for him just like they do for Suh.

115 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

So what? Crabtree was being provoked by Talib - doesn't mean he shouldn't get suspended when he starts a fight. How about we just let Patriots fans officiate games instead of the refs?

Maybe each player could decide whether or not they have had enough calls in their favour or against them during the game and decide to meet out summary physical punishment to whichever defenseless players they feel like? That sounds like a great idea. How about we do without refs entirely and just have a big brawl? Sounds like a great sporting spectacle.

231 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

Rick D, do you have any evidence that Gronk was being held "all game long"? More so than in other games?

I'm curious, what is the rate at which Gronk is held for every play? Was the percentage vs. this Bills game higher?

These are some of the questions I'd ask before making your argument. Is there evidence to support it? Or am I just a stupid homer spouting off nonsense?

132 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game


When ref's are the law and they aren't upholding the law then the players tend to police themselves. Look at the Ramsey-Green, Evans-Lattimore, Crabtree-Talib fights all this season.

You may contest it but if you were being assaulted in front of a cop and the cop didn't step in I'm pretty sure you'd do whatever you felt you could do in your power to make sure that the assaulting stopped, and probably more to make sure that you emphasized that you didn't want it to happen again.

Play outside the rules needs consequences, and without consequences any sense of fairness is lost. Dirty play shouldn't be a part of the game but it tends to be a seen as a necessity by players when they don't think the rules are being upheld fairly.

163 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

You may contest it but if you were being assaulted in front of a cop and the cop didn't step in I'm pretty sure you'd do whatever you felt you could do in your power to make sure that the assaulting stopped, and probably more to make sure that you emphasized that you didn't want it to happen again.

Just because you would do it, that doesn't mean other people would. Nor does it make it morally or legally right.

Also, if you shot someone lying prone on the ground, you should still be arrested for attempted murder, whether he previously assaulted you or not.

188 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

Seriously? Why don't you tell me what you'd do in that situation then? You'd just let yourself get beat up? I'm pretty anti-violence in my own life but I really don't have the gall to say one way or the other what I'd do because it's been over a decade since I've been in a fight and I don't know what I'd do. I certainly don't have the moral pride to say people shouldn't defend themselves as you seem to suggest.

And it's a fallacy to say that all self-defense, or all sending a message, needs to be to the scale of murdering someone, an individual can pull short of murdering someone and still be violent/threatening and send a message. It would be like me above saying that your argument above is that you're making the argument that when being raped (sexually assaulted) people shouldn't fight back. I don't think you really understood the logical ramifications of your argument being applied absolutely. And yet that's what the implication of your statement is. Self-defense is fair game. And as I write below, when you impinge on someone's livelihood, someone whose job is to dominate you, and that person is bigger than you, you have to be aware of that at all times during the game.

Football has the stuff going on outside the lines as I've previously said, like when Vince Williams tweeted to Burflict that "I catch Vontez on south beach im painting that boi on sight." Williams later deleted the tweet (pulled from the ESPN article listed below), but he was very real with his disdain and sending a message to Burflict. Not murder but making Burflict think twice about how he plays.

16 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

The fact that he is appealing, and his comments, prove that he shows no remorse.
This is something the league needs to get control of quickly. Suspending him one game is just asking for major problems. As it is now, there is zero reason for a Bill defender not to break Gronkowski's kneecap in their next meeting.
The potential punishment, a one game suspension for a team out of playoff contention, is not a deterrence.
The professionalism, and basic respect players have for each other, doesn't extend to to a player like Gronk who has already broken that code as about as viciously as it can be broken.
Players taking justice into their own hands is exactly what the NFL doesn't need right now.

21 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

His comments included an apology that was sincere.

Appealing a suspension has nothing to do with whether he feels remorse or not. He's appealing the suspension because he wants to play football. I would prefer it if he took the suspension. His appeal is a waste of time and I would prefer it to be done with before the Steelers game.

19 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

It is pretty standard for a helmet to helmet hit to get as 1-game suspension.

The melodrama here is way over the top.

" As Chris Nowinski of the Concussion Legacy Foundation noted, if a defender had gone after Tom Brady's knee after the whistle, the suspension would have been far more severe than a one-game suspension."

Bernard Pollard wasn't suspended even a single game for his illegal hit of Tom Brady that ended his 2008 season.

This is the rule that the NFL enacted after the Carson Palmer hit:

"A rushing defensive player won't be allowed to forcibly hit a quarterback below the knees. He has to make every effort to avoid such a low hit. "

Bernard Pollard hit Brady below the knees. Not only did he make no effort to avoid a lower hit, the way he hit Brady made it impossible for him to hit Brady anyway but below the knees.

In December of 2013, TJ Ward targeted Gronk's knee, a hit which tore his ACL and ended his season and made a serious dent in the Pats' playoff hopes. TJ Ward talked about how it was "necessary" to hit Gronk low, citing the rules against helmet-to-helmet hits.
Given that Gronk is eight inches taller than Ward, this explanation doesn't wash.

In both these cases player deliberately made dirty hits on Patriots that effectively ended their seasons and any Super Bowl hopes. Neither player was suspended.

So, please, spare me the histrionics about how Gronk deserves a larger suspension. Gronk's hit was late but it was not a helmet-to-helmet hit and wasn't directly intended to cause a concussion.
It was a reckless hit and he should be punished for it, but the media-fed outrage of the past 24 hours is not something we ever see when a Patriot is injured, even when the hit is dirty or intentional.

When Danny Trevathan knocked out Davante Adams with a helmet-to-helmet hit earlier this season he got a 2-game suspension that was reduced to one game. Seems comparable to me.

22 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

Oh, and by the way. In 1978, in a preseason game, Jack Tatum hit Darryl Stingley while the latter was in a defenseless position over the middle of the field. This hit paralyzed Stingley for the rest of his life. Tatum was not punished at all. Stingly died relatively young as a result of medical complications related to his paralysis.

So don't talk to me about how Gronk needs to be punished severely because Pats' fans would want to see a player severely punished when he ends a Patriot player's season, or career even. We've seen many examples where Patriots are injured and no punishment ensues.

44 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

Fortunately we live in slightly changed times. Hopefully if something like that happened these days something would be done.

I've just gone and watched the clip of the play. It wasn't pleasant to watch. However Stingley was laying out for the ball and Tatum was coming the other way - yes, today it would likely be a suspension, and rightly so in my opinion. It was an excessive by modern standards hit on a player who was diving to catch a ball and so, in today's game, considered defenceless, but I believe back in the 70s still considered fair game. It was certainly fair less egregious _for its time_ than what Gronk did yesterday, despite the tragic consequence.

127 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

Tatum and Stingley are why spearing is illegal at all levels of football. People who couldn't name who they played for have heard of their names and this context.

As far as punishment, 1978 was so long ago in terms of NFL rules that it might as well be pre-history. Bednarick wasn't flagged for knocking Gifford out, either.

\But if Tatum is the name you want to associate with Gronkowski's historical legacy, I'm all for it.
\\It's synonymous with dirty.

202 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

I'm relatively young and only started watching football in the early 90's. I had never heard about this incident.

Bill Tatum may be synonymous with dirty but in reading about him it was obvious to see the juxtaposition of conflicting accounts of the nature of the man.

People talked about how they loved coming to work for the Pittsburgh newspaper and looking forward to Raiders-Steelers week, or the honors for him, or the other safeties that looked up to him, or the awards like All-Pro's etc. And yet Grogan couldn't say anything nice about him upon his death. And there seemed to be a rift between Stingley and Tatum the rest of their lives.

Dirty to you may mean All-Pro to another. Not necessarily one or the other, but both conjoined.

Will Allen has said that suspensions would be just business. To me the policing by players when the refs don't control the game is just the game being itself, extreme athletes looking to play the game the way that earns the accolades and honors.

25 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

Bernand Pollard was being blocked while trying to tackle Brady. I didn't like the play, but that one is ambiguous enough that we can't be sure if his intent was to tear Brady's ACL.

Also, its hard to tackle Gronk high. Low ensures the tackle. We can debate if its a cheap shot(I think it is), but its not illegal as defined by the rules.

I leave it up to the rest of the commenters to decide if Gronk's actions are way overblown. I saw a guy dive with an elbow at a player's head while he was lying face down on the ground.

If you think there are other examples of Patriot players being unfairly targeted, please bring them up. I also would point out that in 2012, Tom Brady looked like he was intentionally trying to kick Ed Reed in the groin but never got penalized for that.

29 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

I'm sorry, but hitting a moving target who is actively playing is very different from hitting a prone target. This was deliberate foul play. Even if no concussion had occurred diving on a prone target who is already out of the play (and the field of play) and leading with an elbow would be considered to be going too far, regardless of where the elbow connected.

Even if there was no leading elbow, it would still be a totally unnecessary impact (in terms of making a play) on a totally defenceless player (in any terms I can think of). If that is not the very definition of 'unnecessary roughness' then I don't know what it.

86 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

My point was that both players broke the rules and injured a player.

That really should be simple.

I didn't say committing a late his is the same thing as hitting a QB low. But both are rules violations.

Can people address the points I actually make instead of inserting false equivalences to make your lives easier?

If your point is that Pollard didn't break the rules, I'm not going to debate that right now.

My main point is that it's ludicrous to argue that Patriots fans should cheer on punishment of Patriots' players in order to protect Patriots from possible illegal hits that might injure Patriots. We've seen illegal hits injure Patriots with no punishments handed down.

30 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

If you aren't going to discern between a dangerous act which occurs in the context of making a football play, and one which occurs that has no relationship to playing the game of football, then I don't understand your thinking. What Gronk did was little different than somebody drilling a player during pregame warmups.

169 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

So this is made no effort? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7aVe_Ge09U

He was trying to get up after being blocked to the ground and he was pushed as he sprung off the ground to attempt to make a tackle on a player who was stepping into him. Even reading the rule I'm not sure it applies.

"A rushing defensive player won't be allowed to forcibly hit a quarterback below the knees. He has to make every effort to avoid such a low hit. "

That rule sounds like it's intended to stop an upright player from diving at the knees/shins/ankles of a QB. Pollards options were to do what he did or simply lie on the ground and not even attempt to make a play. He didn't have time to get fully upright. If he wasn't being actively pushed by the blocker he very well may have hit just above the knee instead of below as well. He made sufficient effort to avoid such a low hit. Is that every effort in the context of playing football. I can be swayed it was not.

If he had been suspended a game based on that rule I would have questioned it, but accepted it because he was in a very grey area. Do I agree that how NFL rules and suspensions are enforced is problematic? Yes, because that is a huge issue. So taking a standard jury standard for normal laws, I'm not positive that Pollard is "convicted" based on that rule. Gronk has no case.

Also there is a difference between in the act of a play and not in the act of a play. There are rules that deal with those differences too. Some calls are "after the play" even. It's a different standard. Even given that there are issues with enforcement and application, Gronk's punishment should be viewed in that regard. Pollard's should be viewed in the light of on the field in the act of making a play.

They are not equivalent. Even if I grant the Pollard call was bad and the enforcement was bad, they are not equivalent.

Gronk's hit was so late that the video shows a teammate of his having time to pull up and reach out a hand to just insure that White was tapped down before Gronk re-adjusts to launch himself onto a prone player and drive his forearm into the back of his helmet. That should be treated with a different standard than someone being actively blocked into someone's knee. That should be treated different than someone diving helmet to helmet at a guy who while wrapped up, wasn't down yet (Trevathan on Adams). I think the Trevathan on Adams should have been a 4 game and would have been OK with that being reduced to 2. Gronk should start at 4 at least as well.

41 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

For me it was gruesomely redolent of the Todd Bertuzzi sucker-punch attack on Steve Moore that left him paralyzed. I think it was the application of a massive force on the back of the neck that is so frightening.

102 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

Yep, I was thinking the same.

For context, the results of that action were:

*17 month suspension (including stopping him from playing abroad during the lockout and from representing his country)

*Criminal charges for assault (one year probation given after plea deal)

*Multimillion dollar civil suit (settled out of court, terms confidential)

Bertuzzi's was very clearly premeditated, though, following Moore around the ice seeking out a fight, while Gronk conceivably acted (horribly and unjustifiably) in the heat of the moment. So maybe we could cut the penalty in half for Gronk--just suspend him until next September, give him six months probation, and have him pay the victim $1 million in damages...

42 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

Gronk's hit wasn't simply "Late." He dropped an elbow on a player lying out of bounds, multiple seconds after the play was over. Heck, Gronk was still on the ground when the play was over. He stood up, took multiple steps to set up, and then attacked. There has been no "play" like it for years. It was simple assault.

166 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

I said "years" because I can't remember a similar play in my 25+ years of football watching. All the examples you've come up with are either (1) not similar or (2) multiple decades in the past.

You have an issue with "multiple seconds"? It looks to me like 2.5 seconds. Plenty of time to not do it. Especially since the play was over while Gronk was STILL ON THE FUCKING GROUND.

That you can't reply to my points does not mean my points are not serious. Nice job ignoring the main point of my argument. That Gronk got up, saw a prone player lying out of bounds, and then decided to hit him.

240 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

It wasn't multiple seconds, though. Here's the video I'm going by: https://youtu.be/CgjAN_wgmiI The play is over when Dorsett touches the defender at ~3 seconds. Gronkowski hits the defender at 4 seconds. Gronkowski was already winding up before the play ended. Completely unnecessary, completely deserving of a suspension, but it is not as if he was standing around for multiple seconds after the play then decided to hit the guy.

48 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

1 game is very lenient given the circumstances. A deliberate attempt to injure a defenseless opposing player outside the flow of the game should be punished harshly. The best parallel I have is eye-gouging in rugby, which usually carries a suspension running into months.

That said, the NFL have only themselves to blame- until they show any consistency around player discipline it's difficult to make a compelling case for punishing Gronk any differently to how other players have been treated.

Phil Simms is a Cretin.

92 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

I would dispute the claim that the hit was a "deliberate attempt to injure a defenseless opposing player outside the flow of the game".

My main dispute is with "deliberate attempt to injure".

Gronk deliberately hit the guy hard. While many here claim that he landed on White's neck or head, the replay doesn't bear that out. He landed on the back. It was a dangerous hit but it wasn't a "deliberate attempt to injure" anybody.

In contrast, we have defenders making helmet-to-helmet hits on a weekly basis. You excuse these plays because "they are made in the course of play"? You think this hit is worse than TJ Ward targeting knees? I cannot take lines of argument like that seriously.

I am failing to see why this act should be penalized more than a helmet-to-helmet hit of a defenseless receiver or QB. Both involve players who are defenseless. Both are clearly against the rules. Both are reckless.

If anybody thinks the language I am using somehow counts as an "excuse" of Gronk, I don't know what to say. I'm arguing against people saying that this offense is somehow unique and deserves "months" of suspension. That's inane.

The league office actually looks at the video and doesn't rely on talk shows or pundits to tell them what happened in the play. If you watched the game live it wasn't actually clear what Gronk did. The hit looks much worse from a down-the-sideline perspective, which is what this article uses. But the problem with video is that it does not accurately change 3-d pictures into 2-d.

People already decided yesterday what happened and are not going to let facts change their first impressions. I got really tired of dealing with this phenomenon during the fake punishment of Tom Brady.

94 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

Rick, I think you need to watch the video again and specifically the one from behind Gronk, on the stands/bench side. Specifically the left forearm.

I think I lean basically as far to "understanding" why Gronk would do this on this site but I still think it was an intent to injure.

I mean, he can't even say he was trying to tag him down as i) he was out of bounds, and ii) Dorsett just tagged White down.

The play was definitely deserving of suspension

167 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

I am failing to see why this act should be penalized more than a helmet-to-helmet hit of a defenseless receiver or QB. Both involve players who are defenseless. Both are clearly against the rules. Both are reckless.

Maybe the problem is that you keep ignoring all the evidence in both the video and people's arguments that lean against your point? This "play" had nothing to do with football. A miss of a few inches in the heat of play is understandable. It's illegal, and gets punished, but it's not the same as this straight up assault.

But the problem with video is that it does not accurately change 3-d pictures into 2-d.

Seriously? What it accurately depicts is a player getting up, seeing a player lying out of bounds, and slamming into his head. You don't need 3-D to see any of that.

49 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

My initial thought was he should be suspended for however long Tre'davious White is out for, at least.

But such a policy would not make sense where a scrub could take out a star player and their relative impacts be vastly different.

Trying to adjust for salary gets into ridiculous territory... maybe just have it as a minimum.

100 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

Even a rule like that could be abused, as your example shows.

When Bernard Pollard took out reigning MVP Tom Brady, there was no way those scales could be equalized.

I would say, though, that in the current case it would be more fitting for Gronk to miss the game against Buffalo in two weeks than to miss the Dolphins game. Surely at this point in the season, Buffalo's interests are not served by having Gronk miss a game that the Bills would likely want to see New England win. They cannot really catch the Pats, but are in close contention with the Dolphins for a possible wild card.

54 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

The NFL should have rough & ready categories- 1 game for x, 3 games for y.

An example schedule might be: Helmet-to-helmet automatic 1 game, contact with an official 1 games,fighting, 2 games, what Gronk did 4 games, throwing a puch at an official 8 games. You mileage may vary as to what actions carry what length of ban, and whether a player with "previous" is treated more harshly.

You'd then need an agreed and consistent appeal process, which is what every other professional sports league has. In an NFL context, that probably means it all has to be collectively bargained, so it's almost certainly not going to happen.

Phil Simms is a Cretin.

51 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

What is it about Patriot fans that they will excuse/ignore/deny even the most clearly despicable behavior by their team?
Honest question. One would think that winning so much would give them a less virulently reactionary response to every perceived slight. One would understand Cleveland fans clinging desperately to delusional interpretations to protect what little there is to enjoy in their football fandom. But Patriot fans?

201 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

Pretty much.

Not that I advocate for this kind of thing in normal life. And not that I'm advocating for it in sports either. (I definitely mis-typed when I said he deserved it, it was meant to be phrased as a question)

I'm more so describing a phenomenon than defending it.

55 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

This seems pretty simple to me.

Gronk has neither the reputation as a dirty player, nor a long history of being fined/suspended for cheap shots. Thus, one game for a first offense, regardless of what the offense was. Right or wrong, that's how the NFL has been handling it in the past, and likely will continue to handle it in the future.

57 White Deserved This Business Decision?

So I very rarely post but I felt like chiming in on this one.

I'm a pats fan, so much that I run the Pats fan group in Winnipeg (Because Belichick, not Brady).

I feel like RickD has some basis for his statements because Hack-a-Shaq is definitely what happens to Gronk. He gets held and clutched more than any other player in the league. So the OPI thing is definitely real and the reffing yesterday was somewhat biased (not too bad though). He can't separate in a normal route running way because he is so often held - like full on lineman holds but more than 5 yards down the field. Does he sometime draw some of it - yeah, I'd say regularly he does bump, but stemming a route is different than shoving, and for the most part I don't think he shoves the way that's he's nearly always held.

But at the same time, I think Rick D is overblown with his defense of this particular situation. Gameplay and outside of play are different and this was clearly outside of play.

The reffing, while not great, wasn't an excuse for the act of savagery. And that's what it was. Although I do buy it as an excuse.

I'm not sure how many of you have played at a college or state level but at that level you almost aren't thinking while playing - you're reacting to training and reacting from an instinctual place. So I do buy it as an explanation - although the self control necessary in that situation was completely lacking. And self-control is definitely necessary in football.

I echo the sentiments that the NFL doesn't have consistency on the issue, as well as all the problematic ways to try to enforce targeting.

To me the more interesting conundrum is what a player like Gronk, or Shaq, or Gretzky does in these situations. In the NHL the rise of Gretzky also then coincided with the rise of the enforcer (although fights has normally been a part of the pro game - but not the international game). The NBA changed the rules eventually to protect Shaq from unfair treatment. And in the NFL, it seems like QB's get more protection but the protection of players is the very paradox of the game.

I'm going to say something very absurd. I think White deserved it. You mess with someone you best be ready for the consequences - no matter the context. If it's high school sports and the refs aren't calling your fouls, watch out outside the lines, be that in the parking lot or whatever. Play to the rule and if you beat someone then they can be upset they were beat fair and square. Play outside the rules then expect to be treated in a way outside the rules. (As a former lawyer I found that accused individuals didn't harbor resentment against prosecutors - they're just doing their job and are a part of the system. But I also know family lawyers that have had mail-bombs take off their hands because they messed with dissolving family situations). This is the real world, White should've known that he was frustrating Gronk and he was in an extremely precarious spot. Yes, the rules dictate that Gronk should've seen that he was out of bounds. Sorry, deal with it - he got what was coming.

So is 1 game about right? I think so. I thought he'd get 2 and appeal down to 1. So yeah, suspend him, go through the soap opera of will it be vacated (it won't be). But if the NFL doesn't want this kind of thing they got to get refs that know how to keep things under control.

To me players that are dirty develop that reputation and all players adjust accordingly. The either work out more or they travel in packs on the field, or they highlight to the ref (I can't stand the way Brady whines)(I also can't stand how fans in general expect refs to be fair - they're human - this is the game outside the game), they do what they do to protect themselves. Yeah, the Bills will complain about dirty play.

To me this is the converse of Deion Sanders "business decisions". Sometimes you don't tackle in a certain way to protect yourself and long term health. Was this a business decison from Gronk? I don't think so, I'm not sure if he was calculating that he was sending a warning to other teams and knew he could sit the Dolphins game. I would be really intrigued if it was a business decision from him? "Hey, let me do my job and you do your job but do it properly, no clutching".

So I echo pretty much everything most people have already said - but it's not so interesting to me how things play out, but rather what's interesting is the intersection between the ideas of the savagery, rules allowing it, and the limits of it.

This is the NFL, it's savage and based on power and strength and speed and it's not for long, and that's why I played and watch football. If you don't want to occasionally see someone winded from taking a shoulder to chest, or broken arms, or busted knees, or concussions; go watch basketball. (I've had those happen to me, except the blown knee)

To me this is a wake up call for White, welcome to the league, there's the rules that are written and the unwritten ones (And yes, I think Buffalo will go low on Gronk next game and maybe a bit next year too, just like Denver did for a few years).

I was also really interested with what Micah Hyde had to say. His comments were that it was dirty - because look at the score. It'l almost like he was insinuating that if it had been a closer game then it would've been more justifiable.

(This whole thought of mine came about thinking about the hockey comment from above and the nature of fallible refs)

(Also, Steve Moore should've taken the fight on like a man, Bertuzzi gave him plenty of chances to step up - if you're going to forecheck someone from behind and the next game he wants to drop the gloves, you drop the gloves, you don't dance around. This is sports. Either play the game that exists alongside the game or suffer the fact that vengeance is something that people regularly look for)(Not saying I advocate for Bertuzzi, but that often times you can't predict other peoples desire for retribution and what they're willing to do for it)

(Also, I typically play a very clean game, I don't need any injuries affecting me in my day job)

58 Re: White Deserved This Business Decision?

You're right, that was absurd, and even crazier than the tripe RickD keeps posting. White, in committing penalties against Gronk, is at most playing slightly outside of the rules. He wasn't playing dirty, and did not attempt to physically harm Gronk. An appropriate response from Gronk would be to bend the rules himself, not to violently assault White in an extremely dangerous way.

59 Re: White Deserved This Business Decision?

Well, to me it's not so absurd because it makes complete sense in the sense that people actually behave this way in normal life.

People don't just stop feeling wronged or frustrated when they're consistently hacked or accused or whatever. $89 mill from the league and the players want more commitment to the actual injustices of racial disparity (*as a Canadian I only have a vague idea of what it's like in the south). Now $89 mill is a chunk of coin but it doesn't fix the matter.

That's why the hold needed to be called, because without it there's no sense of reparation. The pick isn't taken away. Neither are all the holds. And without catches or TD's it affects Gronk's pay.

White playing outside the rules, just barely as you put it, still needed to be called, and it wasn't. People when faced with perceived injustices tend to take those matters into their hands eventually (note, I said "perceived", this is a game that people make money playing, and they would do well to remember that - injustices in reffing are not nearly the same as true injustices).

I do want to stress though that I'm not a vindictive person myself. This is more of an explanation rather than a justification. In no way do I think Gronk's actions were condoned, and I also believe the suspension should've probably been 4 games and not reduced on appeal. It's a tough issue, how long to suspend someone that injures another player.

There's all sorts of laws about consent to injury in games - and being fouled is a normal part of the game. And then so are the suspensions etc. Gronk cannot be considered to have assaulted White because these "outside the game" things do happen from time to time and by putting on the helmet you consent to them.

As someone that plays clean myself I don't see a different between bending and breaking a rule. Although I think it would've been more suitable for Gronk to pile drive White on the next running play or something if he were to be bending/breaking a rule, much like he threw Sergio Brown out of the club against the Colts.

(I also don't believe Gronk to be clean or dirty, he plays to the opponent, if they're playing tough but clean he plays clean, but if they're clutching he's going to chop or shove more - hence the necessity of refs that keep control of a game well)

77 Re: White Deserved This Business Decision?

If the Bills had been targeting Gronk with late hits, or other acts which may have endangered his safety, and the refs had failed to intervene, then a cheap shot retaliation would have been understandable and somewhat justifiable from a moral standpoint. At worst, the Bills were subtly interfering with Gronk trying to run routes and catch the ball. The retaliation was completely uncalled for, and against any ethical code. Had such an act occurred at an amateur event, he could have indeed expected a posse of opponents to be waiting for him in the parking lot after the game.

83 Re: White Deserved This Business Decision?

I think you're making my point for me.

You're saying that things inside the game have a level of ethics to them that's understandable. Gronk's action wasn't wrong so much because it was retaliation as it was about the severity of his retaliation, and to me that makes for flimsy distinctions. And this makes me point back to the refs. Small fouls adding up to a big foul. Or Small fouls leading to more small fouls (Amendola in the game both congratulated Hyde for his jarring on time hit across the middle early in the game but late in the game on the pick/Gronk-slam Amendola ripped the helmet off of another Buffalo player).

To me I think the major distinction happens between amateur events and pro events in that pro athletes are financially implicated by their performances. It's their health AND their earning ability. Although it's probable that health is the more important of the two.

When a player is playing outside the bounds of the rules, and it's not being called, and that's then making it harder to hit contract incentives, then it becomes ethically problematic for the refs to control the game and understandable that retaliation would happen (in some sort, a justified retaliation looking like appealing to the referees, or an unjustified retaliation looking like the cheap shot that took place).

I'm not sure how you can say at an amateur event their is a tie between on field/near game events and everything else that happens outside of the game, and that same relationship doesn't exist where people are earning livelihoods.

To me football, which does consist of what would normally count as assaults, is predicated upon encouraging the strongest and biggest and fastest the ability to impose their will via force to accomplish a goal. That goal is supposed to be scoring more. And it's supposed to be moderated by referees, but when the referees aren't moderating it, than I don't think it can be surprising that these things happen from time to time.

And just to add on the disclaimer: this isn't how I act personally, but I definitely see that the world operates this way, just like you put forward in your comment.

121 Re: White Deserved This Business Decision?

I really didn't want to get into a long debate on the ethics of behaviour on a football field, which are obviously undefined and subjective, so I regret making my comment.

If a player is engaging in subtle attempts to impede an opponent, I believe there is a clear distinction between choosing to respond in kind (or by some other non-violent means), and choosing to respond by cheap shotting them outside the field when they are utterly defenceless. You do not, so we'll leave it at that.

130 Re: White Deserved This Business Decision?

Subtle attempts to impede an opponent are part of the rules generally. Hence the 5 yard jam zone. Hence the legality of rub routes. But also hence the rules about holding, DPI (OPI as well), and downfield contact. None of those rules were actually upheld the way they were supposed to on the play in question.

To me the issue wasn't so much Gronk's stem and subtle push or White's subtle hold just after. That subtle hold by White was "cheating the right way" as another poster defines it, as was Gronk's stem. What was egregious is that the ball was in the air after the next break to move vertically down the field and White basically pushes Gronk further downfield so that he can stop his momentum to make the adjustment to make the pick. This both puts Gronk out of the play and awards an undeserved interception. White knew that he was going to get posterized again like he did a quarter earlier if he just played straight up and so he instead made a decision to foul to make the play and challenge the refs to make the call. And Gronk was dumbfounded that his right to make plays on the ball wasn't being protected - as was the norm in this game. Emphasis on DUMB, because the act was dumb.

I also regret writing what I wrote because it wasn't accurate to my thoughts. I meant to write "maybe White deserved it?" in my post but it came out as "White deserved it!".

Although I do tend to think that players need to understand that if they're getting away with things that tends to catch up to them around the game. While not a defined part of the game in the same way as hockey, stuff happens outside the play semi-regularly. "Respond in kind" - so suplex White during a live play? To me yes, there's very little difference between before the whistle and after the whistle when the game polices itself and you're foulding or when bad blood is developed. Look at Talib-Crabtree, or Evans-Lattimore, or Green-Ramsey. That the incidents here involve rookie or first contract players is noticable (Ramsey, Lattimore, White), this is their introduction to the game. Even if you can get away with things you probably shouldn't as the game will tend to police itself eventually.

You can either live like an invincible young man with the consequences of the game generally policing itself at a point (as well as the risks associated with making naive decisions like context doesn't have to be considered - as has come up in another particular thread of my original post) or you can not be naive and police yourself first and not get into these situations, or you can cope by others methods such as travelling packs etc (hence the fact that players fighting usually leads to other players stepping in). Or the ref's could actually call an even game.

To me it regularly stuns me that on this site there's little grasp of the intimidation factors that defenders use and that offense not only is about route running and execution but showing the defenders that you're not going to be intimidated, and that you will make your rights known and push back when they're being infringed upon. It also stuns me that people are projecting my explanation as my personal position when I'm constantly reiterating that I do NOT believe that games SHOULD be this way but I am certain that they ARE this way.

And FYI, part of the reason I rarely post and yet am posting this time is because to me most bad reffing is bad in a mistake filled way or didn't see it sort of way, to me the reffing in this game seemed to entail willful blindness on the part of the refs to how Gronk was being held on a somewhat regular basis. When ref's are coached to examine certain players closer than others it begss for this kind of thing. And very often refs are told to watch Gronk more, by the league. Heck, I think letting them play a bit more can be done but it needs to be done very evenly and have a very clear point of moving into foul territory - and this game in particular stood out to me as having very little evenness to it. To me it comes across very much that these transcendent talents; Evans, Talib, Green, Gronk, are sick of the league letting others have a different set of rules when playing against them. Well, maybe not Talib, he's just wanting to piss Crabtree off and intimidate him, and generally he's pushing the bounds of being an intimidator after the whistle pretty regularly - I don't blame Crabtree for fighting back - although the punches later on after the scuffle were pretty uncontrolled.

And to me, this isn't ideal, but this isn't about ideal. Everyone's posting in reply to me is projecting what the ideal should be. I think before we get to understanding what the ideal is and how to get there we have to understand what the reality is, and the reality is that players, not just Gronk - but certainly Gronk in this case - are often starting to go beyond the refs and that the refs are losing control of the games.

I think we're always going to have players pushing the boundaries to deal with talents they can't or don't want to deal with straight up, but that's why refs are needed and that's why they need to do their jobs effectively and enforce the small things to the letter of the rule. Most people aren't like me and play a very clean game - they're looking to play at the very limits (I also fully admit that while a decent talent I often ending up playing below my peak performance because of this tendency - and this led to less competitive results on my end - but I wouldn't play dirty myself and so was eventually cut). This is what happens when little stuff is let go - little compromises with the rules lead to big oversteps. The league really needs to develop proper rules around the handfighting in the game - be that Receiver/Secondary play or line play. The current rules just aren't actually descriptive enough about the subtleties of actual game anymore.

67 Re: White Deserved This Business Decision?

Also, three things,

I said I thought 1 was about right, but I also said 4 would be good. That discrepancy is real in the sense that I don't really know how wrong I think the act was.

Also, I just reread a error with my typing:
"The reffing, while not great, wasn't an excuse for the act of savagery. And that's what it was. Although I do buy it as an excuse." Should be I do buy it as an explanation.

If you think what I'm saying is tripe than you weren't here back in 2006 when Rich Conley was posting. He was unhinged.

98 "tripe"?

If you want to dispute a point I make, feel free. If you decide not to, but instead indulge in name-calling, I figure it's because you feel ad hominem is the only way to score points.

60 Re: White Deserved This Business Decision?

I'm also a Patriots fan, and you're conflating White having caused Gronk's frustration boiling over (which is clearly true), and White having deserved being dived on (which is clearly false). If Gronk had given White a late shove that sent him flying, then you could argue the shove was justified, on "What did you expect?" grounds, but he didn't. Gronk decided to dive on a guy, who was out of bounds and had no reason to be expecting an impact.

Don't be reverse-morganja and try to pretend that it was justified.

64 Re: White Deserved This Business Decision?

I'm Canadian, as I've already mentioned, and as Sbond in the open weekly thread states, there's clearly the game outside/alongside the game.

I think it was a comment in the other thread that said explanation =/= excuse. That's where I'm at.

I think it was heinous act that deserves suspension. I also think there was a thought process that explained it and that thought process can be understood, and then changes can be made.

As Sbond said, the chief sin of a ref is losing control of the game, and this game got out of control. And as someone else said, more than one person can be at fault.

The refs screwing up doesn't absolve Gronk's culpability for his own actions.

Also, as I've said before, I play clean, and to me there's no difference between breaking a rule and bending one. It's all infractions. To me, if you know you're going to commit a foul, it makes sense to both a) try to get away with it (as another poster said, it's about knowing how to cheat - which is absurd to me), or b) to alter the game by taking a player out.

To me I don't think Gronk was considering and appreciating all of that and he was just reacting, which I think does go more with his love-able frat boy meat head persona more. It's certainly not like he was Burflict, or Suh, or off the field like Marvin Harrison, Ray Lewis, or Aaron Hernandez.

*** Edit: As Gronk's contract is tied to future performance when he is fouled it creates off the field ramifications for him. I think a chain can be drawn from fouls in the game damaging him financially outside the game - hence I talk about the game alongside the game. And really this is true for all people. Hence, you say that I can't draw a line between White's fouling of Gronk and real damage, but I can. And thus, when a player who is smaller, or disadvantaged in whatever way, wants to play and clutch and hold, I think a larger player either needs to have the refs in his corner or the the smaller player should know he's asking for it. I don't think asking for it is the same as deserving it, but when people's livelihoods are at stake you kind of have to consider it. White could've made a business decision to play less physical - take less money on his next contract - and not risk this. I know people who would pay to have Connor MacGregor punch them out, or wish they could get in the ring and make a part of the money, but they're not in the same ballpark. Hence normal people don't play football against pro's - they work normal jobs. To me the game isn't just between the lines, not when there's contracts and incentives on the line. Hence the refs need to police this.

63 Re: White Deserved This Business Decision?

Wuill Allen- are you refeffing to Rich A writing this, "I'm going to say something very absurd. I think White deserved it."

I did not read his giant block of text yet (wjll later) but saw that sentence (stuck out as was start of a paragraph and noticed it whil e scrolling}. Found it extyremely odd. Like how could anyone defend Gronkowski? Gronkowski didn't even defend himself after gam e. Realized he was giant tool bag goon on play.

78 Re: White Deserved This Business Decision?

"I'm going to say something very absurd. I think White deserved it."

I was stopped dead in my tracks when I read this line. I read the rest of his post very calmly, but still flabbergasted.

I don't mean to start a straw man argument, but when I read that, I remembered all the crazy provisos I've read about victims of abuse and drive by shootings. "Well, if they'd been more careful with their words or not been out at 2am..." Not to get into my own personal backstory, but I heard these same provisos from a family member no less. It didn't work then.

So its White's responsibility to not provoke Gronk, lest he do something stupid since hes a big dude with a big temper? This is still football right?

I'm frankly really amazed at all the after the fact explanations. " HE was frustrated with the refs, the players grab him, hes a big angry dude, he didn't really mean to hit him in the head...lots of violence in football etc etc."

The point is - White ended up with a concussion, Rob did it well after the whistle, and it was so egregious that neither he nor his coach offered bs rationalizations after it was done.

I think its telling that both he and BB recognized right away how gruesome and unnecessary it was.

81 Re: White Deserved This Business Decision?

I think a lot of people are reading my comment as a validation when it's not. Hence my use of the subject line and the question mark.

And yes, I do believe that people that put themselves into higher risk situations often encounter those risks. 50 years ago a person was told to look both ways before crossing the road, to not fall in with the wrong crowd, to not go certain places at night. And now we've got people complaining that they were hit when they walking out in the street, or blaming their friends, or believing they can go anywhere and not have any other associated risks.

To me a person can both be wrong (Gronk's act), and understood as having a justification (albeit a poor one). What else was Gronk doing but rationalizing it after the fact when he talked about his frustrations with the reffing and fouling during the game? I'm sure Buffalo was coached to clutch as much as they reasonable could get away with.

To me it's White's responsibility to play within the rules, and he wasn't doing that. Anything past that is extra-curricular and not condoned. At the same time things happen outside the game all the time. For an example see above - the comment above basically validated that things inside and around the game affects things outside the game. So a cheap shot associated with the game but after the whistle could instigate a parking lot brawl. Is it that absurd to think that repeated fouling within the game may have instigated a dumb cheap shot after the whistle?

Like Sbond, or another poster said in Audibles: I've never seen a fracas break out where the refs haven't been letting them play.

I can believe Gronk was wrong and simultaneous that the refs were wrong and simultaneously believe that White was wrong. Like I've said, I play clean. When you don't play clean this is the kind of crap this is more likely to happen all around.

Does this prompt the league to look at how ref's are calling fouls against Gronk and see if he's being treated unfairly? I think it's definitely a priority for the league to have some standards in place for this but I think it would also make sense to expand targeting to not just targeting for roughness but also clutching - bringing back the emphasis that the Colts asked for in 2004 after the 2003 playoffs.

65 Re: White Deserved This Business Decision?

Will, as a lawyer, do you really see what I put forward as that absurd?

The first day of law school I was told to separate legality and morality and decided to leave the practice of law because I couldn't separate them. I don't know if you actually separate them but to me this seems like a case study on it.

To me it seems like you use Gronk's apology as admission of culpability but then he clearly also gives his explanation. And you don't explore that at all. Am I not simply extending that framework to the fullness of those ideas?

Also, I'm not advocating for them so much as I'm just describing what the real world is like - or is the world not like this, with people never needing lawyers because they always just own up to their faults, they never need to enforce their own rights outside what the original contract included?

I guess I'm interested in hearing your thoughts on how this compares to the Bertuzzi-Moore incident. I believe that case ended up being settled after Moore did try to defeat the consent to risk laws. How do you think that incident shaped future rules around fighting, how players thought about fighting, and what players thought about what they consented to on the ice.

66 Re: White Deserved This Business Decision?

I don't give any thought whatsoever to his apology. I don't care about his remorse, if I have an economic interest in the NFL. What I care about is that no idiots harm my interests by engaging in behavior like that. I thus would figuratively hang those that did, with 8 to 16 game suspension, in an effort to clearly communicate that loss of temper does not in any way mitigate how I view harming my interests by actions like that. It isn't personal.

68 Re: White Deserved This Business Decision?

You don't see the very paradoxical nature that the NFL is popular because of it's legislated violence and that it'll somewhat spill over as something worth exploring?

Or you don't see that big violent players like Gronk that are extremely dominant, and occasional crossing lines as good for the bottom line? Without players like Gronk, or Burflict, or the injuries or violence the game would not be nearly as popular. The league if it wants to increase revenue should stop making the game safer and start making it more savage (again, if it only cares about its bottom line, to me it's got a good mix of safety and violence). I know many people want to see more violence and the hits across the middle leaving people paralyzed, which to me is way beyond the pale for what's entertainment.

I read most of the discussions on here and so I've often appreciated your insights but I guess I'm just a bit at a lost that you don't have more response regarding consent, or the space that these games take in acting alongside normal law and suspending it - or the bluring of that then (with the Bertuzzi case being a specific point for comparison), or even how Deion Sanders talked about business decisions regarding tackling, and how that seems to imply a level of self-awareness on the field regarding the blurring between self interests and team interests. Which leads me to also think about the nature of contract provisions and the difference between being locked up early like Gronk vs hired guns such as Revis.

I guess I was just expecting more from everyone on here. That's one of the things that often stuns me about this site, football's talked about like a math, not a competition, and sports statistics is about both.

69 Re: White Deserved This Business Decision?

Sure, I see the paradox, and that's why, from a business perspective, it becomes all the more important to not tolerate that which runs contrary to the business model. The biggest threat facing the business is declining participation rates among young people. Stuff like Gronk's behavior, which has exactly nothing to do with playing the game, is harmful, and helps the business not at all. Thus, it should be eradicated.

70 Re: White Deserved This Business Decision?

To me I think we have different understandings of why the league has any appeal.

Everyone that I know that enjoys the NFL wants more violence in the game and any dilution of that makes them want to turn it off. It drives them away. And the suspensions and extra grudges and stuff is just more pageantry. The rest of the people I know that don't watch the NFL never will watch the NFL, the violence of the game just isn't there thing. I think the only thing that would make me stop watching is terrible officiating if they can't get the rules sorted out.

To me an emphasis on safety, too many games spread throughout the week, and the rise of video games are causing the decline. I don't really think things like Gronk's bodyslam/shiv cause people to stop watching. The people that don't watch won't ever watch, and watering the product down will just drive more away.

Also, the growth of the league is totally unsustainable. I mean, I think it could branch out but it would need to develop an actual governing body and develop minor leagues, much like FIFA does. And that's not the way the NFL is going about things.

But that's a whole different conversation.

74 Re: White Deserved This Business Decision?

Well, businesses need a market? So I was talking about the market?

I'm sure more there to your point but I'm not sure what it is.

Although I do think we disagree about the business model. To me part of the product is the violence itself.

Are you implying that it's necessary to take any illegitimate uses of the consent to violence extremely seriously? I would agree with that, but for integrity of the game reasons, not because it actually impacts the business model.

I'm not trying to be disagreeable, I'm sincerely trying to understand what I missed.

82 Re: White Deserved This Business Decision?

Just read the words I wrote. The biggest long term threat to the business is declining rates of young people playing the game. Parents have a very large influence on a young person's decision to play the game, and having players concussed, via actions that have nothing to do with the competition, will cause nontrivial numbers of parents to discourage participation. Again, it's not complicated. The particular kind of violence Gronk displayed is bad for business, does nothing to help business, and thus should be eradicated. I don't know why it is so hard to grasp that some elements of football violence, like Gronk breaking a tackle, can be good for the business model, even if they carry with it some risk of injury which doesn't help, while other types of football violence are nearly entirely bad for business, and that humans with three digit I.Q.s can manage a business in a way that promotes an aspect of a phenomena which helps the business, while severely discouraging that aspect of a phenomena which harms the business.

84 Re: White Deserved This Business Decision?

Okay. I understand your point. I just disagree.

To me the league just has unrealistic projection growths. As long as there's fantasy there will be watchers. And if there are watchers then there will be revenue and players.

No one cares about where each person grew up, they only care if it helps them earn their fantasy pot.

As long as there's revenue there will be people wanting to play, and for a variety of reasons. I don't really think it'll hurt football that much if most suburban people stop playing as long as they continue to play fantasy.

To me fatigue of constant news and games is more likely to turn people off. Although yeah, long term, in 40 years or something if people stop playing real football then maybe fantasy will collapse. I think it's hard to say if it'll collapse in the next 10-15 years though.

73 Re: White Deserved This Business Decision?

I think I don't want to know your friends. I don't like the egregious violence of the game, I like the strategy and the athletes and the spectacle. The constant injuries detract significantly from the viewing experience both because I feel for the players who get injured and because of all the great players who get injured and therefore I can no longer watch them play.

76 Re: White Deserved This Business Decision?

So why not watch The Internationale instead or LoL or Overwatch or CSGO. Or even competitive chess. I don't have time for it all but I do try to catch the occasional DOTA match in the Internationale finals.

Or to stick with sports, why not watch basketball?

There's lots of avenues for appreciating complex team work within a multi-faceted game that doesn't include football.

If they're social reasons then I would suggest to you that your friends maybe appreciate the violence more than you might grasp.

79 Re: White Deserved This Business Decision?

Well, if you must know:
-I'm the only one of my friends that really truly follows football out of pure enjoyment of the game. Others follow for fantasy football purposes or for gambling, but not out of rooting interest or because they enjoy watching.
-Football is the only one of the major sports with such a diverse cast of athletes, and that also has constant stops and starts where strategy can be adjusted. Basketball, hockey, and soccer are much more free flowing, limiting the true execution of coordinated action by all of the players on a consistent basis. Basketball has plays on offense but the defense can only have so many varieties of man to man or zone. I like those sports but not as much as football.

80 Re: White Deserved This Business Decision?

I'm sure you've already heard of it but I would highly recommend smart football by Chris Brown. As well as his recommended books.

Also, I just started reading Every Play Revealed Vol II - Patriots Seahawks Superbowl Analysis by Alex Kirby. Amazing reading so far.


104 Re: White Deserved This Business Decision?

i also watch football forenjoyment of action and strategy. watching running backs carry ball is oen of best things. also passes thrown more than 15 yards downfield. Interceptions.

Hitting and "kill shots" and roughing passers- much, much further down list. don't need any of that for enjoyment.

not as interested in basketball or golf or tnenis or hocket.

I big fan of baseball

105 Re: White Deserved This Business Decision?

I take the view that you can only appreciate the offensive plays by respecting the defensive plays and players

I don't think you'd enjoy an NFL team break off 50 yard TD runs or long bomb passes against a Pop Warner Team. It's not impressive. It's only impressive within the context of a team of equals or betters even who are doing everything to stop them.

Similarly, it's a whole lot more impressive to score lots on the Ravens or Jaguars this year than to score lots on the Browns or Clots.

Sure, maybe you prefer offense but I think a lot of people have a personal preference for defense.

155 Re: White Deserved This Business Decision?

Not suer I actually wrote I prefer offense. I like watching RBs operate. i also like watching defenses harness opposing RBs. I like passes being thrown down the field. also noted interceptiosn.

not an Arena football fan due to high scoring and n ot much defense.

i like proper form takcles. not interested in helmet ot helmet shots on unsuspecting opponents. not interested inm guys elbowing opponents to back of head after pl;ays are over

181 Re: White Deserved This Business Decision?

You didn't write that you preferred offense, more so that you didn't like defense intimidation and the extracurricular roughness.

I know you've been watching the game for a while, what did you think of Deacon Jones when he started doing the helmet slap? Not what you think now, but what did you think of it back when he started doing it? Was it cheap, was it progressive and great, did you right away think it should have been outlawed?

200 Re: White Deserved This Business Decision?

never had problem with headslap. opponent can see the other guy looking to take that action. can understand, though, why ti is not allowed anymore.

Not interested in having to explain my viewpoints, past or current on sll sorts of infracitons so will share in this way (and believe I already did()- not interested in garbage after a play is over (Gronkowski action on Sunday), or unnecessary helmt-to-helmet shots, hitting defenseless players (Warren Sapp vs Chad Clifton). etc

131 Re: White Deserved This Business Decision?

I skimmed the link you posted.

I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be seeing. I didn't see anything in there about a fight or anything. Although I did see that Fischer was contesting the format of the event and hence made claims that the FIDE games were not actually won since they weren't to his choice format. Is that what you were referring to?

93 Re: White Deserved This Business Decision?

"Gameplay and outside of play are different and this was clearly outside of play."

No shit. I never said anything different.

"I'm going to say something very absurd. I think White deserved it."

I note that this is not what I am arguing about. I am arguing about the anti-Patriot animus that makes any rule violation by a Patriot deserving of new levels of punishment. Given that recent history includes the Patriots being docked two draft picks and a million dollars for their refusal to locally revoke the Ideal Gas Law, I think I have some background for feeling the need to try to get people to approach these issues a bit more rationally.

Unfortunately, very few people are capable of arguing small points rigorously. If you've never trained in logic, math, or the law, you probably don't even notice when you're not doing it. I should perhaps know better and understand that people don't think things like
(a) what are the grounds for this punishment?
(b) what is the precedent for this kind of rules violation?

Instead I get arguments based on absurd metaphors like "This is like deliberately trying to injure somebody in a pre-game warmup". Well, except for the five different ways it's not like that, you have a point.

171 Re: White Deserved This Business Decision?

YOU are referencing logic and rationality here? You who think this hit was no different than any of the hits on receivers where players are aiming for the body and miss?

You are the one putting forth the belief that people calling for Gronk to be suspended longer are doing so out of animus towards the Patriots. You are the one that is ignoring arguments and the ways your supposedly similar examples are not similar.

Just because you think you're being rational, that doesn't make it so. You're in an echo chamber of your own head. You started assuming anti-Patriots bias. When people disagree with your interpretation of what happened, which is pretty much everyone here, you just chalk it up to more anti-Patriot bias, instead of realizing that maybe you're the one in la-la land.

72 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

I don't like the argument that punishments in the past have been inconsistent so therefore Gronk's punishment shouldn't be more than a game.

1. If your argument is that past punishments haven't been consistent with the act, therefore this one shouldn't be either, well then punishments will never be consistent with the act and the problem never gets solved. Step one is assigning appropriate punishment for the first time.

2. There hasn't been an act like this in a long time, so of course punishments won't follow recent precedent.

3. There is no doubting that recent punishments in the NFL have been arbitrary. But they can't have a rule for this situation either, at least not outside of the normal unsportsmanlike conduct rules. He should have been kicked out of the game by those also.

95 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

Sorry, but punishments have to follow a consistent pattern. Otherwise punishments are doled out based on the name on the uniform. And sorry, but Pats fans are sick and fucking tired of that attitude.

It's simply untrue that there haven't been other hits like this in recent years. Sorry! They haven't been as high profile, because the NFL media decided to make this high profile.

The point here is that punishments for similar violations has not been "arbitrary". That's why this suspension is in line with similar hits in the past. Fans who have been told for the past 24 hours that this is some kind of unique hit have been misled.

103 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

As I've stated several times, the league has made a hash out of disciplining on field behavior infractions, just like off field infractions. What I also stated is that the players have an interest in sitting down with management, and developing very large, consistent, disincentives for engaging in behavior which can reasonably be expected to result in significant injury, while being completely tangential to the competition.

119 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

Gronk should have been ejected from the game, yes - and had he been ejected, then based on past precedent, he wouldn't have been suspended.

Step one is not deciding to screw over the Patriots by invoking special heavy punishment just for their players because reasons. Step one is to lay out a clear standard of discipline during the off-season and sticking to it.

106 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

Somewhat related but also unrelated.

I was just reading the ESPN profile on Burflict that they posted before the game tonight. In it he talks about the fact that as a defender he talks with other defenders about making offensive players hate the contact - by actually doing damage.

That's what I'm talking about in my post. It's not so much the damage part but the domination, the hit that winds you so much that you don't want to get up. The twisting of sore ankles, etc. That it's not about excuses but about setting your will out to dominate the others through force.

To people that don't like this stuff I'm really confused about why you would watch football.

Look at Romanowski's statements, he basically is saying this is what football is.


Burflict basically says that its about doing what you can. So, to me, Gronk and his dive onto White. I do think it's like what I said earlier, refs gotta control the game and if they don't then the stuff outside/alongside the game starts to show itself.

It makes sense to look at the fact that this site is not at all representative of the majority of NFL fans. If anything we're the minority. I think most NFL fans delight in the violence (a quote taken directly from the article and certainly what I've seen from most casual watchers). To see evidence of this look at the comments on the best hits videos on youtube or general football videos on youtube. It's people praising the damage.

107 Re: Rob Gronkowski Suspended One Game

To Romanowski, football included ripping a teammate's helmet off at practice, after a play, and breaking a teammates' facial bones, ending the teammate's career. It is simply empirically false to claim that actions like that need to be tolerated, in order to exhibit extremely entertaining football competition.