NFL: Goodell Fines Titans Owner For Obscene Gesture
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"Flipping the Bird" is Costly
How much would you pay to be able to flip off everyone? Ok, how about if it was televised on national TV? Priceless if you were 86 years old and a multi-millionaire.
NFL Roger Goodell has been sending a message that he wants to clean up the image of the NFL. He will hold you responsible for any conduct that the league deems negative, unacceptable and detrimental to the league. This not only applies to players and coaches, it also applies to ownership and management.
On Monday commissioner Goodell showed that he means business when he notified Titans' owner Bud Adams that he would be fined $250,000 for his actions. During the Titans' 41-17 win over the Bills on Sunday, the owner was caught on camera flashing obscene "hand" gestures at Bills' fans, from his luxury booth and again on the field after the game. The fine/punishment was swift, being handed down less than 24-hours after the incident. Adams admitted that he got caught up in the moment after the victory over the Bills. Adams issued an apology and said that he expected the league to discipline him. He also said that he would accept any punishment that the league would hand down.
The Titans refused an opportunity to comment after the league handed down the fine. But league spokesman Greg Aiello said, "....the fine is for conduct detrimental to the NFL."
Bills safety George Wilson said, "The league holds us as players to a higher standard, so to have an owner flip the bird not once but twice the league has to hold him to the same standard if not more." "He's at the top of the hierarchy. If you don't hold him accountable, then you're questioning the integrity of the system."
"I do realize that those types of things shouldn't happen," Adams said in a statement. "I need to specifically apologize to the Bills, their fans, our fans and the NFL. I obviously have a great deal of respect for (Bills owner) Ralph Wilson and the history we have shared."
The NFL is no longer tolerating "foolish" behavior. Ask Ocho Cinco (Chad Johnson) the Bengals star receiver. He was fined $20,000 for a "comedic" attempt to bribe a ref (with a one dollar bill). It was during a challenge call. A Chicago bears player was fined for punching another player in the face while the player was laying on the ground. ($7,500 for a punch in the face, $20,000 for a $1 bribe, hmmm) After a recent game between the Falcons and Redskins, players and coaches were fined after an altercation broke out on the Falcons sideline.
San Francisco kicker Joe Nedney was fined $7,500 in 2007 for "flipping the bird". In 2006, Michael Vick was fined $10,000 and donated $10,000 for the same "crime". In 1999, Eddie Bartolo former owner of the 49ers was hit with the big one. He was fined $ 1 million dollars after he pleaded guilty to a felony. They also suspended him for the 1999 season.
The NFL donates money it collects from fines to charities and to ex-players in need.
Goodell was at the game Sunday. He even had breakfast with the Titans' owner. I am pretty sure that they talked about the history, intergrity and the preserving of the NFL. Then Adams decided he would "flip the fans". It is safe to say knowing Adams history in the league played a factor in the fine. (Adams is an original owner from the American Football League)
These two teams have a link that will never be forgotten in the NFL. The comeback in 1993 by the Bills (against the then Oilers), that erased a 30 point lead and left everyone questioning the "prevent" defense. The Titans pulled off a miracle of their own in 2000, by returning a kickoff for a touchdown with 3 seconds left on the clock.
Adams and Bills' owner Ralph Wilson are also original owners from the old AFL. Wilson was recently inducted into the hall of fame.
With the history of these two teams, it is fair to say that there is rivalry between them. The competitveness not only takes place on the field, it goes all the way to the top of the organization.
It is a priviledge to play football in the NFL. It is also a priviledge to be an NFL owner. The owners in the NFL is like a secret society group. They really police each other. In order to become an owner in the NFL, you have to be voted in by the other owners. Now players, coaches and owners are being held responsible for their conduct. On the field, off the field, in the club, in the owner's luxury box, during press conferences, you name it, big brother is watching.
With today's technology, more "bad" behavior is being caught, whether it's a camera, camcorder, camera phone etc....etc.....some one will catch it. And you can bet it will be posted all over the internet.
It's a new era where everything is being caught on camera. From maintenance man to the owner, if you are doing it, you will be caught and you will have to suffer the consequences. Even if you are 86 years old.
*On a funny note: Did you see the video of Adams flipping the bird. He had one for everybody. "Here's one for you and you and you and you over there too, and you, oh yeah, and you and you......." (lol) he was throwing them things everywhere. I wonder if Commissioner Goodell considered giving him a Senior discount for flipping the bird? .....Honestly, I hope I can still move like that if I reach 86 years of age.....
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