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Tennessee defensive coordinator Chuck Cecil’s gesture has resulted in a $40,000 lightening of his pocketbook. That’s actually pretty minor when you consider that NFL precedent would not have rendered a six figure penalty out of the question. But $40,000? For the international sign of defiance? That’s awfully steep.
Had the incident not been captured by the CBS cameras, would anyone have even known?
Okay, okay - before the objections come pouring in - an absence of video evidence would not acquit the defendant of wrong doing. The “crime” exists independent of the watching eyes of the media. And the severity of the fine - certainly a police action aimed at deterrence.
We are all charged with the task of civility and responsibility. But the NFL is working a clear double standard when it comes to sideline displays. Cecil’s finger is priced at 40-grand, yet an obscenity laced tirade from “fill in the blank” coach costs nothing, provided we hear nothing on the old HDTV.
Let the cameras roll on the F’s and the S’s and the GD’s and the BS’s…and let us all joke from the broadcast booth, “I hope no one out there is reading lips (chuckle, chuckle, chuckle).” But the finger? No, no, no. We can’t have that. That’s just too obscene for the NFL.