Believe it or not there was a day and age in the NFL where playing your heart out and leaving it all on the field was praised. When the dirtiest players on the field were legends. “Mean” Joe Greene was actually considered a compliment by Steelers fans.
Quarterbacks used to get chewed out by receivers for hanging them out to dry because it was the “duty” of linebackers and defensive backs to knock the ball (and your teeth) loose.
Players haven’t gotten dirtier by any means, it was the league who realized that their “Golden Boy” Tom Brady’s numbers could jump from a mediocre 3,593 passing yards and 24 TDs a year, to a gaudy 4,558 passing yards and 35 TDs a year, in a league where he and his receivers were untouchable, who changed the rules and got soft.
Body slamming a helpless playcaller into the turf only cost you a two game suspension, even if you had a hit list sketched out on the towel hanging from your waist with his number at the very top of it, because finesse athletes back then were ice skaters and ballerinas, not quarterbacks.
Vontaze Burfict is a villain, just like the legends before him. The only difference is, he is hated instead of worshipped.
If you ignore the brainwashing of the media and objectively watch the video of his hit on Antonio Brown that has the league in such an uproar. You will see that Burtfict was in position to lay the perfect, legal hit on Brown. His knees were bent, shoulders square, helmet lifted. When he saw that Brown hadn’t caught the ball, he turned his hips to put a solid shoulder into the receiver’s midsection just like the league asks. That is where everything changed. Instead of twisting out of the way, or taking the hit like a man, AB lowered his helmet and initiated the head to head contact. Brown was in no way a helpless receiver on this play, he was the attacker, but once again the league awarded the Steelers “pure reputation” and punished the Bengals for their “bad reputation.”
It surprises me that a team who has a player on their roster who has served time for running a dog fighting ring, another who has been suspended by the league for “sexual assault,” and multiple players who have been suspended for drug violations, are somehow the “good guys” in this discussion.
I am well aware that this isn’t Burfict’s first offense, that he is infamous for unnecessary roughness, for twisting ankles and punching groins. He is a ruthless, out of control, SoB, and I love him for it, and believe that he brings hope to a dying game. I appreciate his passion and I bet the founding fathers of football feel the same exact way.