Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler was fined $20,000 for arguing with an official last weekend during the Bears game against the Arizona Cardinals. Not a big deal really, except his teammate DT Tommie Harris was fined $7,500 for cold-cocking Cardinals OT Deuce Lutui…65 seconds into the first quarter! It was the third play of the game! Lutui was blocking Harris and somehow Lutui ended up on his stomach. As Harris was getting to his knees, he wound up and punched him right in the facemask. Now, there is a good chance that Harris ended up getting hurt worse than Lutui since facemasks don’t tend to give much, but the NFL is sending a bad message with the discrepency in fines.
Why does arguing with an official warrant a fine that is almost three times the amount levied when you punch another player. I know that football is an inherently violent game, but that’s all out rage. The players have to have some control. Harris could have really hurt Lutui had the latter not been wearing a helmet at the time. What real damage could Cutler have done? Hurt an official’s ego? They aren’t supposed to have egos. In fact, I think that’s part of the referee’s training. Check your self-worth at the door. I just think that the fines should have been reversed. Harris’s punch could’ve been much more damaging than Cutler’s temper-tantrum.