Last week, we posted about the Tennesee Titans being a dirty, dirty team (we’d also like to point you to the sensible, logical comments left by a Titans “fan” in the comments section). Well, now the NFL agrees with us. Offensive linemen David Stewart and Kevin Mawae were fined $12,500 and $5,000 respectively for late hits on Chargers’ linebacker Shawne Merriman.
We just complained about the dirty play and the NFL caught it and fined the players accordingly, it’s not like we caused anything to happen. It’s just nice to see that the league really is trying to crack down on that stuff.
There’s still no word on whether Jeff Fisher ordered the hits on Merriman, and there probably never will be. It’s not like that stuff can really be proven without some one on the staff selling him out. And that’s not going to happen. Fisher even said that they just called a regular play that called for a blocker to block down on Merriman, and that they had practiced it all week. Somehow, it doesn’t seem like that call was an accident. The play may have been legal, but it just so happened that they were letting their guys run a play that they knew would lead to Merriman getting hit hard, at the very least. Not an accident, and in truth, I really don’t have a problem with that. It’s football. But the players went the extra mile and played dirty. Nevermind that they could have ended Merriman’s career, or that a late hit by another player down the road could end theirs.
Note to Titans fan: Merriman was not fined for his hit on Vince Young because it wasn’t dirty, it was accidental. There’s a difference between an accidental late hit in which the players ran into each other and the type of stuff the Titans pulled on Merriman after that. But now the Chargers have to play without Merriman this week. At least the Titans still stink and offensive genius Norm Chow might be on his way out of Tennessee. In the end, the universe balances itself out.