December 30, 2014

"Why, Suh, why? The answer may actually be quite simple: Suh simply can’t help it."

"There’s something almost pathological about his play," writes Terrence McCoy at WaPo.
“Emotions drive athlete behavior much more than rational thought,” Adam Naylor of Boston University told New York Magazine in June. “Intense emotions can lead to incredible performances, but they can also lead to total boneheadedness. Frustration is known to lead to aggression.”

Behavior on the field that by every estimation is stupid – like biting or stomping – is almost always extemporaneous, explained Thomas Fawcett of the University of Salford when he expounded on Suarez’s biting demons in 2013. “It’s not pre-planned – it’s a very spontaneous, emotional response,” he told the BBC. “He’s doing it on impulse.”
This is an insulting diagnosis. If Suh actually can't help it, he shouldn't be allowed to play.

ADDED: I just clicked on my Terrence McCoy tag. He's the "This graph proves it" guy. ("I'm surprised to see he's a Washington Post Foreign Affairs Reporter.")

75 comments:

OLDFART said...

There is no room for this kind of behavior in the NFL. I hope that Rodgers wasn't injured too badly. However as a Dallas Cowboy fan I am glad that Suh is suspended. I could see him rabbit punching Romo's back.

OLDFART said...

There is no room for this kind of behavior in the NFL. I hope that Rodgers wasn't injured too badly. However as a Dallas Cowboy fan I am glad that Suh is suspended. I could see him rabbit punching Romo's back.

Anonymous said...

"There is no room for this kind of behavior in the NFL. I hope that Rodgers wasn't injured too badly. However as a Dallas Cowboy fan I am glad that Suh is suspended. I could see him rabbit punching Romo's back."

Oh, puh-leeze ... I'd submit that you're happier that the Lions' best defensive player won't be playing. NFL comes through for Dallas again.

Ann Althouse said...

"I am glad that Suh is suspended"

One game.

He should be kicked out entirely.

Birches said...

I watched the footage again and again. It is inconclusive. To me, Suh is being being punished for his past behavior. Which is fine, but be honest about it. For the NFL to specifically say past behavior was not a factor is complete BS. Do you think if Peyton Manning did the same thing to JJ Watt, they'd be doling out a one game suspension? Maybe in bizarro world.

richard mcenroe said...

"Foreign Affairs Reporter" is a title WaPo gives to the drones they send out to sift through Sarah Palin's e-mails and cover NASCAR. It is, after a all, a foreign country to them.

fivewheels said...

Actually the answer is even simpler: Once the media have given you a reputation -- earned or not -- they will interpret events based on that rep and not on the facts.

If you've seen the full video of the Suh play, and not the well-edited vines and gifs that start with Rodgers already on the ground, you see that Rodgers fell behind Suh, into his path, while Suh was looking the other way. There's about an 85 percent chance Suh had no idea Rodgers was behind him.

Suh was being waved off/pushed by a Packers player, and took a step back. Then he stepped forward. In video that's not slowed down to 1/20th speed, you see he didn't linger or "stomp".

Almost all the evidence supports the idea that the step was an accident. The only evidence that says it was intentional is the evidence you make up in your own head: "Well, he's a dirty player. He's the kind of guy who would." Maybe so, but we don't know. All we have is rep to go on.

And we all trust the reputations driven by the media here, right? They'd never latch onto a narrative and just keep running with it, would they?

Bob R said...

"For the NFL to specifically say past behavior was not a factor is complete BS."

Behavior in the executive suit that by every estimation is stupid – like lying about every disciplinary procedure – is almost always extemporaneous, explained Thomas Fawcett of the University of Salford when he expounded on the NFL's demons in 2014.

Birches said...

Yep, five wheels, saying it was a "stomp" is a very inaccurate description of what happened.

I've got no dog in this hunt either. My team is being sacrificed at the altar of Ryan Lindley and Drew Stanton on Saturday (what a beautiful season gone to waste).

MadisonMan said...

There's about an 85 percent chance Suh had no idea Rodgers was behind him.

I don't believe that for a second. Any good player will know where every other player is within 5 yards of them. And Suh is a good player. He just has issues.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...


Suh just doesn't give a fuck.

So, fuck him.

mccullough said...

Players take cheap shots all the time. Most aren't stupid about getting caught. Suh is stupid. That's his problem and his teammates' problem.

Gahrie said...

Look..prior to say the 1990's, nobody would have turned a hair at what Suh did.

You think Lyle Alzado wouldn't have stepped on Roger's leg?

How about Dick Butkis?

Gahrie said...

He should be kicked out entirely.

Oh good christ.

This is why women should not be allowed to watch football.

Remember comments like this when the quarterbacks start wearing red jerseys and the wide receivers start wearing flags.

The Godfather said...

Let's put this in perspective. Harry Reid lies constantly about the Koch brothers, because he can't help it. We don't throw him out of the Senate. Barack Obama lies constantly about Obamacare, because he can't help it. We don't throw him out of the White House. Hillary! lies constantly about -- well just about everything, because she can't help it. We don't throw her out of -- well I guess there's nothing to throw her out of. Yet.

Curious George said...

"MadisonMan said...
There's about an 85 percent chance Suh had no idea Rodgers was behind him.

I don't believe that for a second. Any good player will know where every other player is within 5 yards of them. And Suh is a good player. He just has issues."

This is just stupid. Seriously stupid.

Curious George said...

Charles Martin was suspended for just two games. So really, fuck off Packer fans.

Humperdink said...

Cris Carter, former NFL player, Hall of Famer and current ESPN analyst, said every player knows the difference between stepping on grass and stepping on a leg. Suh knew what he doing.

I'll give Suh the benefit of the doubt on the first step, not the second. One game suspension is about right.

Not to worry, with his track record, he will be appear before the tribunal again. And soon.

Bill said...

Permanent expulsion from the league would change the culture of the game - but it'$ not in the league's intere$t.

Virgil Hilts said...

I am a huge Cowboys fan and glad this happened, but agree with Birches that this was probably an accident. But the narrative with Suh won't allow such an interpretation. Its interesting that while at Nebraska, Suh had no similar issues (I think) and was an all around good guy. I blame Detroit.

Anonymous said...

Football is a violent activity. It is no surprise that the players are violent, both on and off the field, and no wonder so many liberals love the "sport".

The entire "game" should be banned. But of course, Dear Leader knows what is best for the country and thus people will continue to be maimed and harmed in order to satisfy Obama's thirst for blood and destruction.

Anonymous said...

Remember comments like this when the quarterbacks start wearing red jerseys and the wide receivers start wearing flags.

Sounds like a firstworldproblem

Humperdink said...

"I blame Detroit"

Why not. They had an offensive lineman suspended for doing the same, but more egregious, during an earlier game against the hapless Chicago Bears.

BTW, the aforementioned Cris Carter labelled it "getting cleated".

Virgil Hilts said...

I went back and viewed the famous "kick in the groin incident."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-h3S5w64Tlg
This too could have been an accident, and had it been Payton Manning who rolled and kicked like this, people would have assumed it was an accident. No one will give Suh the benefit of the doubt because of the narrative.

fivewheels said...

Detroit promotes Stomp Culture. Everyone who matters knows this.

BarrySanders20 said...

Lions fan here, starting pre-Barry Sanders era.

Anyone who has played competitive sports and is passionate about the game, hates to lose, etc. has lost control of emotions and done things that are objectively wrong and against the rules and spirit of the game. I've done it and had others do it to me. It happens in the heat of battle. If you're a normal human you feel regret afterward and apologize to your teammates for getting thrown out of the game and to the opposing player you hacked or stomped. If you're ever stepped on someone with cleats, or had it happen to you, you know what is intentional and what isn't. That was intentional.

Suh may be wired such that he cannot control himself and cannot apologize. Suspension is appropriate. He's playing in a league that reserves the right to monitor and regulate who gets to play based in part on a code of conduct unique to the league.

So he sits this Sunday (maybe-- pending appeal) and learns the consequences of breaking the rules.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Toxic masculinity strikes again.

Or wait, is white cis-gender male Terrence McCoy building a narrative that scary dangerous minority athletes like Suh can't control their impulses for violence? Seems a big ugly, no?

BarrySanders20 said...

"Charles Martin was suspended for just two games. So really, fuck off Packer fans."

That was a different era. If Martin did that today, he would never play another down in the NFL.

FullMoon said...

I blame the parents. MY son would NEVER do anything like that.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Alzado is your model?
From Wikipedia: Alzado was one of the first major US sports figures to admit to using anabolic steroids. In the last years of his life, as he battled against the brain tumor that eventually caused his death, Alzado asserted that his steroid abuse directly led to his fatal illness.

I don't get fans who want to see players hurt.


garage mahal said...

Apparently they teach how to cleat opposing players in Detroit. It just doesn't make any sense to continually take cheap shots year after year. Nobody respects it, or is intimidated by it.

I Callahan said...

He should be kicked out entirely.

Spoken like a true cheesehead. Spare me.

Larry J said...

Birches said...
I watched the footage again and again. It is inconclusive.


I don't think so. That first step backwards could have been purely an accident. Who among us hasn't accidentally stepped on someone when backing up? However, if you step on someone, you pull up immediately. You don't step on them again and push off with that foot, while wearing cleats, no less.

Tibore said...

"But that doesn’t mean he can change it. Stomping to Suh may be what biting is to Suarez: an uncontrollable gesture that comes from the heart."

Why the rationalization? If this was indeed not accidental, it could also just as easily be conscious action.

There's a lot of assertion in that article and precious little proof that these acts are spontaneous and uncontrollable. Yes, a lot of players in any sport often lash out without thinking, or otherwise do brain-dead acts. But the notion that it's fundamentally uncontrollable, that they "can't help it" is not proven by any of the given statements.

Other players aren't caught dead doing such acts. Even if they're the minority, they're not the exception as much as they should stand as the behavioral bar to aspire to. It's irrational to succumb to the notion that such acts are not controllable, especially given that so much of what constitutes being a professional athlete involves being able to control yourself physically and mentally in very extreme (for sports) circumstances.

Saying that players cannot help themselves is apologia. Athletes themselves should be insulted by assertions like that.

I Callahan said...

Permanent expulsion from the league would change the culture of the game - but it'$ not in the league's intere$t.

And why would it be? Based on your comment, they'd be out there wearing skirts and pulling flags instead of tackling.

David said...

Lifetime ban is a very big punishment for the crime, given the violent nature of the game. My guess is that the vast majority of the players would not want the league to have that much power over them. Litigation ensues, and labor strife, which the NFL does not like.

I think they made a mistake in not linking past behavior. They should put him formally on notice and then make the punishment much larger next time.

This of course would greatly reduce the value of his contract in fee agency (which is now.) He has probably already cost himself some money. There are teams that would not want him

Humperdink said...

"He should be kicked out entirely."

Good thing Green Bay doesn't have an NHL team.

Tank said...

Here at Althouse, where cynicism is the drink of the day every day, people are arguing this might be an accident???

LOL.

Suh has been on notice for years.

Humperdink said...

"Foot Stompin' Music" Grand Funk Railroad. Origin: Flint, Michigan.

mccullough said...

Tretter's leg whip last month was far worse than anything Suh has done. He should have been fined a $100,000.



MadisonMan said...

I didn't realize Charles Martin had died!

I Callahan said...

MadMan,

I looked that up and found that out just now as well.

furious_a said...

The 70s and 80s Raiders would have had to forfeit entire seasons.

Gahrie said...

Sounds like a firstworldproblem

Oh well played!

You are quite clever!

Here's a gold star to take home to Mommy.

Now run off and ruin some other blog thread.

madAsHell said...

I know I've seen video of Fred "The Hammer" Williamson spearing a player already on the ground.

Curious George said...

Ken Stills hit on Matt Suey, no suspension.

"I tell everyone if I had a dollar for every time it was mentioned to me, I'd be a millionaire," Stills said last week from his Florida home.

"It's mentioned to me at least once a week, wherever I go. That's what fans remember me for. Ninety-five percent of what I hear is positive. Some fans still wear my jersey (29) because of that hit."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRYydp14x-I

So poor little Aaron got stwepped on by the big bad Suh? Waaaa.

Fuck off.

James Pfefferle said...

This was a repeat offense by Suh, he should have received an escalated penalty. Maybe 2 or 3 games.

The repeated stomping/stepping-on of opponents by Lions players should be looked at by the NFL in the same context as the New Orleans bounty program. The fact that Suh deliberately tried to injure Rodgers at the very time his teammate was suspended for doing the same thing demonstrates insufficient emphasis on correcting these actions by the Lions organization. I don't recall any recent stomping by players on other NFL teams.

I Callahan said...

Bwahahaha!!!

Original Mike said...

"Almost all the evidence supports the idea that the step was an accident."

I'm going with Troy Aikman (not to mention common sense) on this one. When it happened, Aikman said (not an exact quote) "when you step on someone, you know it". The first step may have been an accident, but at that point he knew Rodgers was beneath his foot. The second step, with full weight transfer, was deliberate.

With all his history, I don't think Suh can " help it". In a rational world, he should be kicked out. But I don't think that's going to happen. Too much money involved ( e.g. imagine the lawsuit).

fivewheels said...

There's only one step. People are talking like he tap-danced on the leg with a big jump-stomp at the end because that's what you'd get from media coverage. There was one step.

Original Mike said...

"There's only one step."

I've got the game recorded and I'm looking at it right now. You're wrong.

Original Mike said...

Right foot, then left foot.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

So Suh him.

garage mahal said...

So poor little Aaron got stwepped on by the big bad Suh? Waaaa.

And is headed into the playoffs. Who do the Bears play?

Anonymous said...

Now run off and ruin some other blog thread.

THAT one comment ruined this thread for you?!

Bwahahahahaha!! You talk pretty tough for such a delicate little flower.

fivewheels said...

Players almost never win appeals of suspensions. Suh just won his. He's playing. That decision probably speaks for itself.

"There are plenty of neutral observers who don’t think Suh was actually attempting to step on Rodgers. Rules experts including former head of officiating Mike Pereira and former NFL official Jim Daopoulos have said they don’t believe Suh was intentionally stepping on Rodgers and don’t believe a suspension is warranted."

Larry J said...

furious_a said...
The 70s and 80s Raiders would have had to forfeit entire seasons.


And that would be a bad thing, how? The Raiders are the fourth point on the Axis of Evil. Defeating them is a moral imperative.

Original Mike said...

And people wonder why Suh won't stop.

Curious George said...

"garage mahal said...
So poor little Aaron got stwepped on by the big bad Suh? Waaaa.

And is headed into the playoffs. Who do the Bears play?"

I don't know. I've been focusing on my Buckeyes. They're playing in the NC playoffs after shit stomping Wisconsin 59-0.

Mark said...

Suspension got tossed, now its a $70k fine and he plays Sunday.

Worst outcome of all as the two faced NFL plays games with the punishment.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...


NFL now afraid to come down too hard on Blacks?

damikesc said...

The entire "game" should be banned.

What other acts between consenting adults that have no negative impact on anybody else should be banned?

jacksonjay said...

Suspension lifted! Good! Now we can kick they ass WITH that big fat dirty boy named Suh playing on the field! No crying excuses about, "Well the No Fun League suspended our enforcer and ......" Suh is no match for our OLine!

Again the NFL looks ridiculous! They do every thing they can to protect QBs, now they cave because they don't want to influence the outcome of a playoff game. Chickenshit!

That being said, you can't watch that film and believe it was accidental. He gave no indication that he accidentally stepped on Rogers. Suh is a dirt bag. It is only a matter of time!

jacksonjay said...

All these denier probably believe that the A&M "coach" accidentally smacked that WV player on the sideline last night. "Moutaineer just backed into my stiff arm, what was I supposed to do?"

Gahrie said...

Bwahahahahaha!! You talk pretty tough for such a delicate little flower.

I don't want to talk to you no more, you empty-headed animal food trough wiper! I fart in your general direction! Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!

No, now go away or I shall taunt you a second time!

mrs.e said...

Someday Suh is going to end someone's career. The blood will be on the hands of the NFL...and they will not care.

RecChief said...

“Emotions drive athlete behavior much more than rational thought,” Adam Naylor of Boston University told New York Magazine in June. “Intense emotions can lead to incredible performances, but they can also lead to total boneheadedness. Frustration is known to lead to aggression.”

No shit. What kind of grant money is this Professor Obvious pulling down?

richard mcenroe said...

damikesc said...

"The entire "game" should be banned.

What other acts between consenting adults that have no negative impact on anybody else should be banned?"

Just you try and stop offensive linemen from getting married, Mister! Ann will make you bake them a cake!

richard mcenroe said...

Somebody check Suh for loosies.

Original Mike said...

This article is required reading for anyone who claims this exonerates Suh. And this quote from the article is priceless:

"He was getting pushed back, you know," Lions center Dominic Raiola said. "... There's no way at that point in the game that he did something like that on purpose."

exhelodrvr1 said...

hate crime

iowan2 said...

Unless there are some NFL players lurking about here commenting, no body really has any basis to form an opinion.

They are adults, they make their choice, they can, do, have, take(n) care of themselves without all of us opining about something the vast majority no nothing about. For all I know Suh could be retaliating for an ugly dangerous series of plays orchestrated by Rodgers. These things dont happen in a vacuum and are rarely single isolated acts.

I dont watch MMA, and I have no opinion about how it is to be run. Why should I impose my desires on something I know nothing about and involves adults making adult choices.

Read some historu of the NFL from 50 years ago. If thats not brutal enough go back in time another decade or three and read about pro Baseball.

The world is a real place, and rarely is as sanitized as most think.

Original Mike said...

Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, during an appeal of his one-game suspension for twice stepping on Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, said his feet were numb from the cold ... A source said Suh told appeals officer Ted Cottrell on Tuesday that he couldn't tell the difference between Rodgers' feet and the ground.

Uh huh.

Anthony said...

Did anyone else read that title and hear it in the voice of the darkie from some 1940s movie?

Rae said...

Full disclosure: Michigan born and bred, I support the home team.

That said, football isn't patty cake. If Rodgers was injured enough that stepping on his leg deserved a penalty, he shouldn't have been brought back into the game after his previous injury.