BY Art Thiel 07:11PM 11/10/2016

Thiel: Another fine mess — NFL duns Sherman

If you haven’t had your fill of upside-down this week, here’s another bit of dizziness courtesy of the NFL: The league fined Seahawks CB Richard Sherman $9,115 for his collision with Bills kicker Dan Carpenter Monday for a play that …

If you haven’t had your fill of upside-down this week, here’s another bit of dizziness courtesy of the NFL: The league fined Seahawks CB Richard Sherman $9,115 for his collision with Bills kicker Dan Carpenter Monday for a play that was a clean block after Sherman was flagged — but not whistled — for offsides.

The good news is the that the NFL was silent on the desire of Carpenter’s wife, Kaela, to have Sherman castrated. But the week is not over.

Sherman confirmed to reporters Thursday that he received a letter from the league informing him of the fine, saying the hit on Carpenter constituted unnecessary roughness, even though there was no evidence of a whistle stopping play. Once a rusher tips or blocks the ball, rules offer no prohibition on hitting the kicker.

“They made sure that they made it unappealable because they said they can’t hear the whistle on the film, and they said I hit him after the whistle, which was not true,” Sherman said. “But you can’t really appeal something that’s he said/she said.”

Sherman came unimpeded from the right side and hit the ball while in the holder’s hand before flying into Carpenter as his right leg approached the ball. It was a free play, meaning the offense continued and would would have earned three points if Carpenter made the field goal.

The Seahawks notably benefited from an offsides free play in the 2014 NFL Championship against San Francisco. Using a hard snap count, QB Russell Wilson drew DE Aldon Smith into an offsides penalty before Wilson sent a fourth-and-seven pass to WR Jermaine Kearse in the end zone for what proved to be the game-winning touchdown. Wilson was not hit, but it would have made no difference.

In an interview with 710 ESPN Seattle, former vice president of officiating Mike Pereira disagreed with his successor, Dean Blandino, who claimed the contact was too rough.

“What did Richard Sherman do wrong other than being offsides?” Pereira said. “There’s no whistle until after he made the contact.”

What made the play more unusual was Sherman arrived before the ball was airborne.

“Usually we don’t run into the kicker because the ball is already kicked,” Sherman said. “When the ball is still on the ground, there’s no other way to get there but to go at that angle. People are like, ‘What is that angle that you were going at? You were trying to hurt the kicker.’ No, there’s no other angle.”

Sherman believed the NFL was caving to public pressure regarding consistency on player safety.

“The league responds to public pressure on a number of issues, and they’ve shown the ability to fold under public pressure,” he said. “This is just another one of those opportunities. The public sees things in slow-motion, super-slow-motion, so the league feels a reason to try to justify things.”

He said he wouldn’t protest the fine. Probably just as well. After the litany of complaints Sherman has directed at the NFL recently, the league probably would appoint as hearing arbitrator Carpenter’s wife, Kaela Carpenter, and her unique brand of barnyard justice.


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YourThoughts

  • 1coolguy

    ” Once a rusher tips or blocks the ball, rules offer no prohibition on hitting the kicker.”
    True – and as Sherm did touch the ball, why the fine? Doesn’t the NFL have any PLAYERS on this staff who determines fines? It doesn’t appear so, which is truly ludicrous.

    • Pixdawg13

      I think what they have on that staff is flacks.

      • art thiel

        I actually believe the review officials are trying to be honest. They just erred on a point of emphasis.

    • art thiel

      Sherman beat the kicker to the ball, although he was offside. That so rarely happens the officials and the reviewers don’t know how to rule on it.

  • Eric K

    Notice the odd wording in the statement Blandino made earlier, he said “we were in the process of shutting the play down”. If he knew they blew the whistle wouldn’t he simply say they blew the whistle? The carefully chosen wiggle room there is telling.

    • art thiel

      “in the process of” is “sneaky-sneaky,” to use another Sherman term.

      • antirepug3

        Kind of a ‘weasel’ phrase…something a politician would use.

      • Bruce McDermott

        And by what means is Sherman supposed to have determined that this “process” had begun? Is he supposed to have read the ref’s mind? Because there was NO empirical sign of any such thing. What horsepuckey. I’m very disappointed Sherman is not appealing. A third party arbitrator, were such a person involved, would laugh the NFL out of his office for this nonsense.

        • Bruce McDermott

          IN that regard, I am confused by Sherman’s reference to a “he said, she said sort of thing.” The question whether whistle had been blown –the only way a play can be shut down–before the act under review is a question of fact. That question could be resolved in less than 10 seconds by a review of the game tape. It had not.

        • art thiel

          As with most athletes who live in the here and now, Sherman doesn’t want the hassle.

          Regarding your comment below, I think Sherman is referring to whether the whistle could be heard on the audio of the game tape.

  • Warchild_70

    I don’t accept the leagues answer which is gibberish. Now a fine of 9k is peanuts to him however, the bottom line is never stop until the whistle blows maybe an amplified whistle provided to the umps that may settle the “didn’t hear the whistle” issue. It still is the same oh same oh with the O line no rushing yds to speak of RW survived though and put a exclamation mark on a bootleg telling the world he is back to near 100%. All this means that when in New England we had better look improved on both sides of the ball ’cause Brady can carve y’all like a Christmas ham! GO HAWKS!!!

    • art thiel

      The whistle is loud enough, it just wasn’t timely enough to call off the play.

  • Talkjoc

    “The league responds to public pressure on a number of issues, and they’ve shown the ability to fold under public pressure,” Sherman is SO right on. Once again, the NFL is in full CYA mode. Same with Ray Rice after the video came out etc.

    • art thiel

      This time, they have video evidence that Sherman’s play was WITHIN the rules, and still ignored it.

  • Diamond Mask

    I didn’t hear a whistle and I was waiting for one. The kicker didn’t hear a whistle or he wouldn’t have tried to kick the ball. NOBODY heard a whistle . This is great big piles of smelly poo IMHO. Sherman is handling it better than I would that’s for sure.

    • art thiel

      No whistle. Nor logic, once Sherman hit the ball before the kicker.

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