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Are Lions Dirty or Agressive?

There seems to be some confusion about the Lions reputation and what it means. The problem lies in two parts. The difference between Dirty and Aggressive, and which one the Detroit Lions fall into.

It seems the national media is intent on pushing the "Dirty" reputation on the Lions and some of their players. But are they really dirty?

The first thing to do is to come to some kind of conclusion as to just what is actually "Dirty" and what is simply "Aggressive".

If a player reaches out to grab a ball carrier, and his fingers happen to grab a hold of the face mask? That is not dirty. If the ball carrier is already down and a player grabs the face mask and yanks it around? That would be Dirty!

If the whistle is blown and a second later a player hits another player (even the quarterback), that is not truly dirty. In the heat of the moment it may take a second for the whistle to register or he may still have momentum carrying him. But if the whistle blows and a couple of seconds passes and most of the players have stopped playing, then one player lambastes the quarterback? That would be considered dirty!

In the Lions vs Bears game in Chicago, there was a play where Nick Fairley drove the Bears quarterback into the turf. The TV announcers showed the replay and called it a dirty play. I disagree! There was no hit to the head. There was no shot at the knees. It was not even a late hit as Cutler released the ball as Fairley wrapped him up. Ask yourself, if you charged a quarterback who still had the ball and hit him dead straight on, planted your face mask and shoulder against his chest and wrapped your arms around him going full speed. How is it possible to NOT drive him to the turf? Yes there is a rule against it, but that does not make it a "Dirty" tackle! In fact, in 2010, when the Bears Julius Peppers wrapped Stafford up and drove him to the turf and dislocated his shoulder, how was that any different? The only difference was that Cutler was facing Fairley and Stafford was facing away. Yet one is clean and the other is dirty?

As I stated, there is a rule against it. So there is no problem with Fairley being flagged for the hit. But for the annalists to come right out and call it a dirty hit? No! That is an aggressive play and a solid tackle that is flagged. It is far from dirty!

When Stafford was being blocked by D.J.Moore after an interception, Stafford was frustrated. After all, he had his worst game as a pro. He went overboard in grabbing Moore's helmet and pulling him down with him as he fell backwards. It was a play worthy of a flag. It was not a "dirty" play! Stafford's intent was not to cause harm. He was not twisting the helmet or pulling it in any direction that would make one fearful of breaking Moore's neck. Stafford did not even continue to hold the helmet as he went down. He let go of the helmet and let Moore go over him. It was wrong, but it was far from a dirty play. When Stafford was on his knees still, and Moore charged him and tried to lambaste Stafford while he was on his knees? That was not done out of aggression. It was not something he did wrong during a play. It was a move meant to do one thing and one thing only. Knock out the guy he was hitting! THAT was dirty!

What I have seen in the Detroit Lions this year, is tough, rough, and aggressive play. Playing this aggressive will sometimes end in a flag being thrown. But I have seen very little that would be construed as truly dirty! The media should be hyping the Detroit Lions as an up and coming aggressive team. Not as the new "Dirty" team of the NFL. That is a crock!

Then there is a problem with some fans who don't understand the difference between aggressive and dirty. Listening to 97.1 the Ticket on FM radio, there are a couple of guys who love the image the Lions are getting. They refer to the likes of Mean Joe Green with the Steelers in their heydays! They are making the mistake of mixing aggressive with dirty.

If the league saw the Lions as an aggressive team, it would be a great thing. Aggressive, hard hitting teams will make opponents worry about them. "Dirty" teams will make officials worry about them. That is a completely different thing! Suh getting flagged and fined for shoving Cutler down when chasing him down from behind. That comes from being labelled "Dirty". Suh being flagged for a horse collar when replay showed he did nothing more than tackle Barber by his dreadlocks. (which is legal) That comes from the dirty label. When the officials see you as "dirty", they tend to throw flags quicker. They shouldn't, but they do.

Right now, the Detroit Lions are a very aggressive team that is being wrongfully accused as dirty. The media is spreading these untrue accusations and even some players have lied to build upon them.

Recently, Falcons players accused Ndamukong Suh and other Lions players of talking trash to Matt Ryan while he laid on the turf injured after what looked like a broken ankle. Before the game, the two teams got into a scuffle in the corner of an end zone because they both wanted to hold their team meeting in the same place. So imagine that happening. Simply because both teams wanted the same corner, both teams were ready to fight and players got into a scuffle that needed to be separated. With that in mind, does it really make any sense that Ryan (The Falcons franchise QB) would be laying there hurt, the Lions players would be talking trash to him and not one single player on the Falcons would do anything? Yet if you look at video footage, players from both teams stood side by side watching and there were no hostilities. None!

I absolutely love the Lions attitude this year. They do not take any crap from anyone. They are not afraid of any team. They play extremely aggressive from snap to whistle, every play! They are very aggressive! But they are not truly "Dirty"!

1 comment:

  1. The lions play throw back football, I can't wait for the thanksgiving day game with Green Bay. The Lions youth has been showing up in games lately.