This just in: The Hines has made a play which will actually not result in a fine. That wicked hit in the fourth quarter that busted Bengals LB Keith Rivers jaw has been reviewed and cleared by the NFL. No really. They’re not fining him.
I know, I was kind of shocked too. After the penalty-plus-fine and fine-minus-penalty circus that surrounded The Hines this month, I figured his physical declaration that he doesn’t plan to change his style of play to please the league would result in another heaping helping of NFL-style justice, in the form of a fine in the amount of my annual salary. The league hasn’t discriminated – they’ve levied tackle tariffs for seemingly everyone who’s knocked someone down this season, as well as Soviet-style freedom-of-expression fines for folks like James Harrison who sound off about lousy officiating. I can’t help but be disappointed that guys who make their living in the business of sports have such a poor grasp of sportsmanship. Expressing disagreement with a call isn’t unsportsmanlike, it’s just having your head in the game. Having the cojones to flatten guys who outweigh you by 40 pounds isn’t unsportsmanlike – quite the contrary. The Hines plays hard, plays fair, and does it all with a smile on his face. On the other hand, being an ugly Raven thug who taunts and makes threats?