The Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens have always had a deep history of rivalries. No matter the circumstances of the game, viewers are always sure to be treated to a smash-mouth game of football, often coming down to the last play. This past American Thanksgiving night, there was nothing short of that expectation. Although the Steelers fell to the Ravens 22-20 on a failed 2 point conversion to tie (as a Steelers fan, I’m bitter…), the conversation seems to be more about Mike Tomlin and a play where he certainly stirred up controversy, as well as stirring up a potential hefty hit to his and the Steelers’ wallets.
The play was during a kickoff return with Baltimore’s Jacoby Jones running the ball back very near the sideline. The play under investigation was not from a player, however, it was from Mike Tomlin, the head coach. Tomlin was standing on the sideline with a foot actually in the field of play while the play was coming near him (he was watching the jumbotron and jumped out of the way at the last second). Regardless of the circumstances, this is a big no-no, and the NFL was swift to jump in and investigate the play.
I am a faithful Steelers fan – have been for years. Needless to say, it’s been a tough season. While I am one to back up my team when people laugh in my face and say they’re a fan of another team, I don’t think I can back Tomlin up on this one. This looks very suspicious to me.
The NFL has handed down strong fines in the past, including a $100,000 fine to a “strength and conditioning coach” who tripped a Miami Dolphins player. The speculation is that it could only be a larger amount for a head coach, someone who represents the team on an integral level. Along with that, the hints of losing a draft pick for the team is in the works. In my opinion? The draft pick might be a little much – the team shouldn’t have to suffer that much in the future because of a bonehead play the coach did which didn’t really affect the outcome of the game. But a large fine? That is acceptable. Maybe the Steelers can get some help on their defence, and if they lose a draft pick, it’s not that bad – they can just hire within the organization.