Michael Garcia - September 21, 2012
Seattle wide receiver Golden Tate knocked the snot out of Dallas linebacker Sean Lee during a run by quarterback Russell Wilson on Sunday. No flag was thrown on the play, but the NFL fined Tate $21,000 and he plans to appeal, according to head coachPete Carroll.
The block looks clean, and also unncessary. Tate didn't leave his feet to launch, but yet he was exploding upwards which is how players used to be taught to hit. It looks like it was unnecessary because there wasn't much chance of Lee catching Wilson on the play, but 'play until you hear the whistle' is ingrained in football players from a young age.
The NFL is looking out for player safety more and more (scab referees aside), and one of the things they have outlawed is the crack back block, which this play technically was. Still, even Lee called it a football play. The small issue Lee had was Tate celebrating, and really, he shouldn't be pointing to his name on his jersey for making a block that really had no bearing on the play or the outcome of the game.
This play is really a fine line, but the NFL has to send a message that they want these kinds of plays to go away, and one thing that might make that happen is to make some of the players' money go away for hits like this. I think the fine will get reduced, but I bet Tate won't do it again.
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