I know that I am a few days late to the party - due to returning from a well-needed vacation - and I also know that the topic of "Stomp Gate" has been discussed ad nauseam, but I felt the need to weigh in because of the nature of my opinion. Although I knowingly open myself to harsh criticism and I suppose I am also openly pot-stirring, I will still try to tread forward lightly and with some trepidation as I am no doubt in the minority here and want to be careful not to offend. I have watched the "stomp heard ‘round the world" quite a few times, probably even enough to get a tad callous about it. Maybe that helps form my opinion... who knows. Either way, my opinion is this... I don't think Suh should be suspended by the league or by the team.
Let me add right away that I do NOT agree with his actions here. I think they were childish and completely self-serving, but egregious to the point of warranting suspension? I personally don't see it. My take is that this is a product of an overly haughty media and fanbase ready to vilify a guy that plays hard and is overly aggressive in what USED TO BE an overly aggressive sport. I read the fanpost by Timothy Hockemeyer (very good piece, I might add) and agree with many of his points - most of them being ones that shape my opinion. I won't re-hash those points in full, but the fact remains that football used to be played by men that were glorified for Suh's style of play. Many of the greats like Jack Lambert or Dick Butkus have highlight reels full of plays far more flagrant than Suh's stomp. I know, I know... different era. It's still pure aggression nonetheless and regardless of what Roger Goodell and ill-intentioned media-lites want to do to the game of football, aggression does have a place here.
As I watch the video, I personally, understand Suh's frustration. He gets bent over backwards with Dietrich-Smith's arm hooked around the back of his head. He's trying to get up and can't at first and he gets pissed. You know the two of them are "talking" at each other while on the ground and things are getting heated. Both guys are likely riled up. Suh retaliates. To me... I say "big deal". Should he have kicked the guy? Absolutely not, but I can't say that at age 24 I would have been any less prone to acting out in a similar situation built of pure aggression. There is absolutely NO denying that Suh has to manage that angst so that it doesn't hurt his team, but I am simply saying that I completely understand his frustration and subsequent outburst. Guess that makes me a bad person too, huh? I'd like to think not, but I'm sure everyone would have an opinion about that if I was famous and tweeted these sentiments. My view is that while I don't have the answer and neither does anyone one other than Suh, the question of intent is completely pivotal in the case of whether or not a suspension is warranted. Did Ndamukong Suh INTEND to hurt Evan Dietrich-Smith with his foot? In my mind, the answer is a resounding "no". When I watch the tape, I see a frustrated, immature young man stomping his foot at the situation and player causing him that frustration and nothing more. I don't see intent to maim or injure. I don't see this as any more egregious as someone swatting/swinging at the facemask or helmet of another player after the whistle. A 15 yd penalty? Yes. Ejection... nope. Suspension... nope.
Ndamukong Suh is not a bad person. He is not a villain. He is not a dirty player. He is aggressive and still a bit immature on the field. He is still one of my all-time favorite Lion players. He plays the game like a man... like it used to be played. He has to keep that aggression from being a detriment to his team and he will. And he will also, like most good players, grow up and learn to compose himself in a better way. Once again, I am not absolving Suh of his actions, I just see a lot of glass house living stone throwers trying to make him out to be an evil person when they all know that is not the case. Once again, I know that I am in the minority here and that's fine. Everyone has an opinion on the subject... which can be part of the problem. I feel like Goodell's currently weak public perception forces him to HAVE to suspend Suh because the talk of suspension started immediately after he was ejected. After the game, the media jumped on this story like there was no tomorrow and set the stage for the suspension. Now, there is no turning back. If he hadn't been ejected, the talk would be of fines and only fines. That is, however, not reality and Suh will be suspended and Detroit will be without their most dominant defender in the next game or two. Yes, it is Suh's fault for acting out. No, I am not absolving him of the blame. And yes, I am highly irritated at what football has become to the league and in the eyes of the people who built the game into an empire on the wings of aggression and now seek to vilify those who still play that way. Again, it comes down to intent and I don't believe Suh intended to hurt that player. Let the second rounding of rock throwing begin.....
Just a warning that my glass house is pretty damn thick.... Lol.