If you were watching this afternoons game between the Packers and the Lions...or saw any sports highlights today, you couldn't miss seeing Ndamukong Suh stomp on the arm of Evan Deitrich-Smith in the third quarter. That act ended his game, and might actually end his season.
Here's the video, in case you haven't seen it:
First and foremost. Suh deserved his ejection; there is no excuse for stomping on another players arm. Much like Ben Cotton's personal foul penalty in last year's Texas A&M game, the stomp was a reaction to a dirty play by the opponent. Watch the replay again... Deitrich-Smith takes down Suh well after the play is over; 4 seconds after Aaron Rodgers releases the ball.
But that's where the similarity ends. Suh's response was far worse than the original foul; he let the Packers take him out of the game. It was a dumb penalty, and with a nationwide audience watching it, it cemented his reputation that Suh is the game's dirtiest player. Hard to argue that after what happened today.
In his postgame comments, Suh seemed to be in denial about what he did... and that's probably making it even worse, if that's possible. Almost assuredly, Ndamukong Suh is going to be fined and suspended. Former NFL head of officiating Mike Pereira says he'll be suspended for multiple games, suggesting that it's comparable to the five-game suspension given to Albert Haynesworth in 2006.
There are only five weeks left in the NFL season. If Suh gets the same penalty, his season is over.
No doubt in my mind that Suh wasn't the instigator here...but in every situation, the retaliator is the one who gets caught. And in this case, the retaliator upped the ante and the retaliation escalated the situation. That's something Suh is going to need to think about in the coming weeks. He's too talented to let this happen to him; he needs to play smarter and not pull stunts like this on the field. And when a situation like this comes up, he needs to admit his fault rather than deny that he stomped on the guys arm.
That message will be coming loud and strong at him in upcoming days. He'll be the talk of sports radio, and his endorsees will let him know about it as well.