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A tale of two suspensions

Posted at 10:07 AM on December 3, 2008 by Chris Dall (3 Comments)

20081203williams.jpgPoor Chili. He's coming off his biggest win as head coach of the Vikings, he's in first place, the fans aren't calling for his head, and it finally looks his kick-#@$#%$ offense is starting to kick some #$@$%. Now he's about to lose the foundation of his defense, the unit that has kept his team in it all along. And if the Vikings end up missing out on the playoffs, it could be the end of the line for Major Dad.

Is it the end of the season for the Vikings? Certainly not. Even without the Williams Wall, and despite the fact that Daunte will be motivated to stick it to the man who banished him from MInnesota, the Vikings should beat Detroit. And the Cardinals, despite having a high-powered offense, are still the Cardinals, until proven otherwise. But Atlanta and the Giants, two teams with potent running attacks, will be tough teams to beat, even at home. Vikings fans have to hope that the Giants will have already wrapped up the #1 seed and will be resting their starters. So the Vikings could go 2-2 over these next four weeks, and fortunately for them, 9-7 could win the division and get them in the playoffs.

Meanwhile, the Giants are also dealing with a player suspension, albeit a self-imposed one. The team announced yesterday that it had suspended wide receiver/self-inflicted gunshot wound victim Plaxico Burress for the last four games of the season. But they took it even one step further by putting him on the non-football injury list, meaning he won't be available for the playoffs. So while Vikings officials shake their fists at Roger Goodell and decry the banishment of two key players, the Giants have gone with addition by subtraction. Take that, Mr. culture of accountability!

I'm not suggesting the offenses are equal. Burress should receive further punishment from the league, both for his stupidity, and for endangering himself and others. The Williamses should just be suspended for stupidity. They know the rules. Should they know every ingredient in every supplement they take? No. Maybe they should just stay away from supplements. And according to the NFL, players were told not to take StarCaps, the weight-loss supplement in question. The NFL also has a hotline to answer questions about supplements. And players have agents who should be making sure their clients are being careful about what they put in their bodies. This really didn't have to happen.

I'm sure a lot of Vikings fans are angry at the NFL, but they should be just as angry at the players themselves.

(Photo by David Sherman/Getty Images)

Comments (3)

Chris --
I couldn't disagree more. There is no way taking a weight loss drug with an illegal ingredient that isn't even listed warrants a 4 game suspension and a massive salary loss. Pat Williams will forfeit over $900,000 for's insane. The punishment doesn't fit the crime. Roger Goodell is a tyrant who is drunk on power.

Posted by daveZ | December 3, 2008 2:25 PM

Well, yes, the punishment is harsh. And the players union should revisit this issue during negotiations for the next collective bargaining agreement. But how exactly is the league supposed to determine when players take a substance by accident and when they do it on purpose? And if they start trying to do that, then the policy loses all it's teeth. And Roger Goodell didn't create the policy. It's been around since 1989.

Posted by Chris | December 3, 2008 3:00 PM

The Giant's have class and the Vickings don't! We all know how damaging sucsess can be on players and the Giant's do what is need for their players. The Vickings would show class if thay suspended the Wall for there own benifit as well as the teams but I dought if the vickings will show any class and do what's best. "Just win Baby" is a saying that Al Davis coined and we all know he has no classs.

Posted by Bob | December 10, 2008 12:38 PM

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