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Tennessee Titans Morning Link: On Playing Dirty Edition

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Hey buddy, can you pick up my purdy purple dress at the dry cleaners?
Hey buddy, can you pick up my purdy purple dress at the dry cleaners?

One little link, and one big diatribe today. The subject: 'playing dirty'. The Broncos' house mom coach seconded his quarterback's post-game whining about the Titans 'playing dirty'. There's been an allegation that Finnegan punched a guard who didn't have a helmet on, but I am going to have to see some video/picture evidence of that before I hammer Cort. Whether that happened is not my issue today.

My issue is the fact that about half of the NFL has gotten so soft, so pretty and so weak that they don't even understand what playing dirty is anymore. Playing dirty is one thing and one thing only: trying to intentionally hurt someone so that you knock them out of the game. Playing dirty is not shoving after the whistle. It's not tackling a quarterback who's holding the ball right in front of a lineman. It's not hitting anything and everything right up until the play is dead. It's not agitating the opposition until they get upset and make a mistake. It's not popping a guy cleanly in a borderline situation. It's not a million things the NFL fines guys for on a weekly basis. These are parts of the game of football.

For a century plus football has been a brutal game played by men willing to slash years off of their life in the pursuit of domination. You want to not touch anyone and have your opponent tip his cap at you? Go play golf. The football field has been an emotional cauldron for longer than anyone still in the game has been alive. Hitting and getting hit are supposed to be something players crave, not just tolerate. Getting injured is obviously a possibility, but anything you can do that isn't designed for the sole purpose of injuring a player is part of the gig.

Yet, the NFL continues to create arbitrary rules that protect the passing game. They aren't designed to protect players, they're designed to protect profits and 70-point over/unders. This has created a culture where people are offended by the idea of getting hit hard and often. Players and coaches get laughably upset over things that are annoying, not painful. For some of the top passing teams in the league it's turned offense into ballroom dancing, not football. When those guys see a defense who can and will hit the crap out of them, they flip out.

One thing that baseball has right over the NFL: players police themselves. There are shelves of books written about the code among players, and everyone in the game knows what they are. Violate that code, and the players will take care of it without refs having to step in. You showboat after a home run or try to spy where a catcher is set-up, you're going to get drilled with a fastball to the back. They don't try to put a guy on the DL, but they make their point. In the NFL it seems like player have forgotten how to police themselves and their teammates.

NFL players, fans and coaches need to quit whining about rough play and grow a pair. You play to win the game, not humanitarian awards. The game is played to determine who wins, not makes the most people smile.

So, do the Titans play dirty? By today's standards, damn skippy they do. But, the problem is with today's standards, not the way this team is playing.

Oh, and Josh McDaniels: if you don't like your QB getting killed out there, don't have him throw 50 times a game because you still can't design a running game that gets more than 2.5 yards a carry.

If you made it this far, jump for a few quick links.

Tennessee_titans_30x21 Neural zone infractions and off-sides calls are killing the momentum on defense.

Tennessee_titans_30x21 Wade Phillips has been around long enough to know cheap play when he sees it, and he hasn't seen it on the tape of the Titans.

Tennessee_titans_30x21 The loss of Derrick Morgan is not a good thing for this line, but right now all we can do is fell feel bad for the guy and hope that he busts his hump throughout the rehab process to come back better than ever.

Tennessee_titans_30x21 Boclair says that the line has done a great job covering for injuries so far.


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