PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) – There will be vigilante justice.
It will take one big fight, a flashpoint — an ugly incident where the National Football League will be truly embarrassed.
Oh, it’s coming. Cover your damn eyes; it’s coming.
Mark my words, it’s headed that way with this whole Vontaze-Burfict-is-going-out-of-his-way-to-try-to-injure-players stuff that has become sickening.
Last week was just the latest incident with the horridly behaved Cincinnati Bengals linebacker, as he pulled an out of line attack two-leg parlay on the New England Patriots.
Burfict went low on Martellus Bennett and also stomped on LeGarrette Blount.
Both plays were sickening and earned Burfict, who was suspended the first three games this season for abhorrent behavior, a $75,000 fine. He was previously fined four times — in 2015 alone — for safety related violations.
The guy is a nuisance.
And players around the league know it.
To wit, here’s what Steelers offensive lineman Ramon Foster told “The Fan Morning Show”: “There’s no place for that, man. To continuously do it – one or two times, okay I get it. But every single time? A stake has to be driven into the ground on this guy … something has to be done.”
Because the fines and suspensions to this point have proven to not be a deterrent, I’ll tell you what has to be done about Burfict — the NFL Players Association has to make a decision.
The union has to take a hard look at its membership and say to itself, is the protection of one guy (Burfict) more important than protecting every offensive player on every other team in the NFL?
Because, essentially, that’s what it has come to. The union continues to protect this knucklehead when, if it really wanted to make a difference, it could do something simple.
Some people from the NFLPA could — on the sly — call the powers-that-be with the league and say something such as, “hey, look, this guy is a nuisance to all our players, go ahead and suspend him as long as you want and we won’t fight it. Throw the book at him because that’s what’s best for the greater good of our constituency.”
What would be wrong with that, NFLPA?
What would be wrong with looking out for all the other guys in the NFL as it has become clear it is just a matter of time until Burfict injures someone badly?
If that doesn’t happen (or the league itself doesn’t take initiative to suspend Burfict for a long time) this is all headed to a place where vigilante justice will come in.
Mark my words. Write them down.
There will be an incident at some point where both benches empty, large men start throwing down and it will get really, really ugly.
It will all be uncontrollable when it breaks out after an awful play by Burfict.
It will be a melee of the highest order. Fans in the stands — accustomed to some brutality — will be shocked by the violence happening just feet away while viewers at home will also seemingly be appalled.
I’m expecting it.
It’s bound to happen.
If the NFL and NFLPA don’t come together soon to take care of Vontaze Burfict, some player will take matters into their own hands.
Then it will truly get ugly.
Colin Dunlap is a featured columnist at CBSPittsburgh.com. He can also be heard weekdays from 5:40 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Sports Radio 93-7 “The Fan.” You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out his bio here.