PITTSBURGH (93.7 THE FAN) — Rob Gronkowski should miss the much-anticipated, Mike-Tomlin-is-already-looking-ahead-to-it matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots on Dec. 17.
There really is no other way for the National Football League to look at this thing — a two-game suspension isn’t just in order, it seems as if, if the league wants to be taken remotely serious about head trauma caused by unnecessary acts of violence, this has to happen swiftly.
Two games, I say. Gronk needs to sit. If the NFL wants to have people think it is taking head trauma issues in earnest, star players shouldn’t be immune from getting that notification from the commish that they will get an unexpected vacation for a few weeks.
I know what will happen, though — Gronk will either get two games initially that will be reduced to one game on appeal, or he will get fined heavily for his actions without missing any playing time. You just watch. One of those two things will happen because, God forbid, he should have to pay a piper in the form of missing multiple games when one of those games involve what are — far and above — the class of the AFC in a regular-season game that seemingly everyone is looking forward to.
You see, no one will ever know what the extroverted tight end was thinking when he exerted his whole force onto the head of the Bills’ Tre’Davious White with a late, dirty hit on Sunday and left him with a concussion.
But, to me, I wonder if it really matters? Who cares about the intent here? Who cares what Gronkowski has to say about being frustrated or exasperated? Who cares about Gronkowski’s past as it isn’t at all riddled with such instances of bullying and maltreatment after the whistle or outside the rules? Who cares about any of this.
The NFL has an opportunity to send a huge message to one of the most highly-visible players in the league right now but I bet they cower. The league has the chance, after all those funds dedicated to research of CTE and after all that lip-service about making the game as safe as possible, to come down heavily on a preeminent guy and maybe have the next person who is thinking about doing something knuckleheaded stop before they do it.
The league won’t do enough though. They won’t sit Gronk for multiple games and there is no way in this cycle of terrible TV ratings that they will have a star like him potentially miss the Steelers game.
The violence in football doesn’t bother me in the least. Guys get what they sign up for — when it comes within the confines of normal play. What Gronkowski did to White on Sunday was egregious and ridiculous and should merit a multi-game suspension.
Will it, though? Doubt it.
And it will be another example of the NFL talking tough but not acting when it is time to protect players.