Staffer calls foul on recent preseason NFL fine decisions

Alec Wisthoff

Unsportsmanlike conduct, helmet to helmet tackles, obscene gestures and excessive show boating. All of these are penalties in football that can get players fined, but how much is too much?

On Monday August 18 the Cleveland Browns played the Washington Redskins in a preseason match up. Johnny “Football” Manziel threw up the middle finger towards the Redskins bench.

Manziel was fined $12,000. In that very same week New Orleans Saints tight end, Jimmy Graham, was fined $30,000 for slamming the football over the goal post after scoring a touchdown.

Why is an excessive celebration that almost every football player use to do have a higher fine than that of making an obscene gesture towards an opposing team?

This preseason alone the referees in the National Football League (NFL) have  given out almost the same amount of calls as in the entire 2013-2014 season. Referees are cracking down on illegal plays and enforcing the rules much more than they have in previous years, but why do the fines have to be so erratic?

Just last week Coach Pete Carroll was fined $100k and the Seahawks organization was fined $200k for “illegal” contact during offseason practice. How is this amount of money even reasonable?

Every football team, whether it is high school, middle school, or even college probably has some contact during their practices. Football is a game of tackles, sacks and big hits(legal ones of course). If a team, like the Seahawks is caught illegally using contact during a practice they should be given a severe warning by the NFL. If they choose to disregard the warning, then there should be a fine. The fact that the fine was $300k is absurd. No team should be fined this amount of money for a little extra contact.

The NFL itself needs to set rules that punish players for more obscene gestures or violent hits not a celebration or a small amount of contact during a practice. The players themselves should be able to express their emotions in a positive way, whether that be a celebration like a slam dunk or a dance.

I understand that it might be considered taunting the other team, but if you score you deserve to celebrate. Football is a game of emotions and if  the players can release it in a positive way then incidents like Johnny Manziel will occur more often and be much more severe.

Alec Wisthoff