Thursday, April 19, 2007

For the Idiot File: The NFL

There are times in life where we all need to follow the rules of uniformity of clothing, whether it is in the professional world, on a sports team, or wherever as to not attract any undo attention or criticism.

Often times, uniformity is important to just simply fit in and be one of the “gals or guys”.

At times, however, uniformity can be taken to crazy level, perhaps to a ridiculous one.

The NFL this week crossed that line.

Well, superstar linebacker Brian Urlacher was fined $100,000 by the NFL for wearing a cap during Super Bowl media day that promoted a sponsor not authorized by the league. Urlacher was fined for drinking Vitamin Water and wearing a Vitamin Water hat during the media session in Miami during the Super Bowl media day; however, Gatorade is the NFL's official drink.

Apparently, NFL rules prohibit gear that advertises any product but a designated sponsor.

Now, to be quite honest, was what Urlacher did worth being fined $100,000?

Um, no.

According, to NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy, this first time such a fine has been levied. He added that $100,000 is the standard fine for such a violation at the Super Bowl. A violation during the regular season is $10,000. It is $50,000 at the Pro Bowl.


Like Gordon Gekko quipped in the movie, ‘Wall Street’, “Greed is Good”.

It’s not that Urlacher committed a violent act that could have maimed someone, he just simply wore a cap and drank someone else’s liquid.

Sadly, they are not sponsors of the NFL, nor do they fill their coffers.

The NFL is an image driven league, and I guess what Urlacher did in Miami spat in the face of the league.

I got this rundown of player fines and transgressions from MSNBC’s Steve Silverman.

  • Cowboys WR Terrell Owens was fined $35,000 for spitting on Falcon CB DeAngelo Hall during a Week 15 game last season.
  • Oakland’s Tyler Brayton and Seattle’s Jerramy Stevens scuffled in 2006 when the Raiders and Seahawks met in a Monday night game. Brayton was fined $25,000, Stevens $15,000.
  • Saints rookie Reggie Bush was fined $10,000 for wearing adidas cleats during a preseason game against the Titans.
  • When Joe Horn whipped out a cell phone and made a call following a touchdown on national television a few years ago, he was fined $30,000
  • After holding up a sign that said “Please don’t fine me NFL,” the league fined Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson $10,000.
  • When Johnson had his nameplate in the locker room changed from Chad Johnson to OCHO CINCO, the league fined him $5,000.
  • When linebacker Joey Porter used a gay slur to insult Cleveland tight end Kellen Winslow last season, the league fined him $10,000.

Now, it’s not that Urlacher hurt the image of the game; it’s just that he didn’t acknowledge the sponsors of the annual cash cow – aka, the Super Bowl.

I guess money trumps over everything.

Brian, you need to appeal this – now.

Hey, Vitamin Water is happy for the publicity.

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