ODB Suspension Shows What’s Missing in Pro Sports Discipline

Yes, under the current rules and options of discipline in the NFL, Odell Beckham Jr. should be suspended.  ODB accumulated too many strikes against him to not get punished, and I’ve been surprised that I didn’t see more people arguing against the suspension.  That being said, it was still not a slam dunk that he’d have to watch the game from his couch.

For the life of me, I can’t understand why professional sports don’t allow for a suspension of part of a game and not the whole thing.  Especially in football, the difference between a heavy fine/no suspension and 1 game suspension is HUGE in a sport in which at least 1 division and 1 wild card spot is decided by tiebreakers every season.  Sometimes the suspension should be right in the middle.  In the NFL, you could call it football’s version of the penalty box if a guy has to sit out a quarter or a half, especially if he commits the cheap shot during the game.

The ability to take a player out of the same game would account for a cheap shot that injures a player.  In the 2013 Divisional Round, I remember watching the Saints-Seahawks game in which a Saints DB almost took Percy Harvin’s head off.  You have to recall that there was a huge allure around Harvin that game, because he had missed the whole season but was coming back for the playoffs, and he was supposed to make the Seahawks offense 10 times more dynamic.  When that play happened, I remember my friend turned to me and said, “Those 15 yards on the penalty are absolutely worth it for the Saints if Harvin is out.”  He was dead right.  The play didn’t look bad enough to warrant an ejection, but if that DB was suspended for a quarter or a half, that would negate the benefit that would come from a dirty play.

In hockey, all I have to bring up in order to get you to agree with me is the Scott Stevens – Paul Kariya hit in the 2003 Stanley Cup Finals.  Stevens instantly turned Kariya to mashed potatoes, and if that happened today, hockey Twitter would explode like Tom Coughlin’s red face when watching ODB act like an idiot all day.  It happened in Game 6, and so the question today would be, “Can you really suspend Scott Stevens for Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals???”  I’d argue that such a hit today should earn a Game 7 suspension, but wouldn’t it be nice if the NHL at least had the option to suspend Stevens for either 1 or 2 periods?  And how awesome of a storyline would that be heading into the season’s ultimate game?

The idea of the part-game suspension would benefit the NBA with those annoying “Never Leave the Bench” rules.  Amar’e Stoudamire and Boris Diaw missed a game vs. the Spurs in the 2007 playoffs because they left the bench after Robert Horry decked Steve Nash for no reason whatsoever.  Yes, players shouldn’t be allowed to leave the bench because it’s a terrible look for a league to have behemoth human beings brawling like the fight scene in The Anchorman with thousands of cameras around them.  But it sucks for the league to lose some of its best selling points of its product, and it’d be a much better compromise to have those guys sit out a half.

For baseball… no.  You either get suspended for a game or you don’t (or 5 games for starting pitchers).  There’s 162 of them that are divided into 9 innings, let’s not get ridiculous and say that a guy should sit out 3 innings or something.

Wouldn’t it be so cool if ODB was entering the game in the 3rd quarter against the Vikings with the Giants down 10 on Sunday Night Football?  Yeah, I thought so.

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