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A roundup of news on sporting events, people and places in Southeast Michigan by columnist Jim Evans.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

My name is Suh; how do you do?

Ndamukong Suh of the Detroit Lions has been accused of being a dirty player.

Football isn’t played with upraised pinkies.
That is not the kind of game it is.
If you don’t like to get hit, try darts. Maybe Chinese Checkers with a side order of Amy Vanderbilt.
That’s why all this talk about Ndamukong Suh being a dirty player is just plain hilarious.
What do folks figure happens once the ball is snapped in the National Football League? That everybody comes off the ball, exchanges pleasantries and recipes for pecan pie, and goes back to the huddle?
It is mayhem of the first order. It is a flash mob minus Oprah and The Black Eyed Peas. It is chaos and it is anarchy and if you don’t think it is violent, then go back to your game of Candyland and glass of sweet tea.
So what is a dirty player anyway? Someone who survives? Someone who gets in the last shot? Someone who hits a quarterback too hard, at least in the myopic perspective of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell? Someone who raises welts and ire?
Dirty players somehow seem to be synonymous with great players. I used to hate Dick Butkus when I was a kid because he regularly wreaked havoc with the Lions. The last time I looked, he was in the Hall of Fame. I don’t know of anyone outside of Green Bay who felt that Ray Nitschke was a loveable character, but he’s in the Hall of Fame, too. How about Jack Lambert? Warm and fuzzy will never be used to describe him. He, too, is a Hall of Famer. What about Mike Singletary? If those maniacal eyes did not stop opposing running backs, his thunderous tackles did. Another Hall of Famer. Mean Joe Greene didn’t get his nickname from adhering to Roberts Rules of Order.
How come when the Lions stunk, nobody ever accused anyone on the team of playing dirty? Now that they are 6-2, the wailing can be heard from purple mountain majesties across the fruited plains.
Just keep smacking people, Mr. Suh. It's time for a group hug.


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