I shuddered when I saw this hit by Seattle’s Golden Tate on Dallas’ Sean Lee happen live yesterday. And it damn near made me want to turn the TV off.
I realize a major part of football’s popularity is for the big hits and for guys getting “jacked up,” but frankly it’s my least favorite part of the game.
For at least this split-second moment, I have to think it was Sean Lee’s too.
The image itself is difficult to look at, let alone the entire play in real time.
The more I watch football, the more I hate moments like these. I realize it’s “part of football” and all of that, but it’s my least favorite part of football.
Golden Tate is going to get fined. That goes without question. And he should. He led with his head and hit a defenseless player. It’s textbook.
But do you want to know the irony? A flag was thrown on the play…but not on Tate! And when you see what was flagged, you’ll probably just throw your hands up and say WTF?
Watch the play below. You’ll see the Tate hit on Lee in real time. Remember: no flag was thrown for it. The flag comes later, for a “late hit” on Seattle QB Russell Wilson, just for a gentle shove out of bounds from the Dallas defender. If they weren’t playing football, you might thing they were flirting. And that gets flagged.
This is easily the most ironic example of officiating I can remember.
The best news is that Lee is okay. He returned to the game and harbored no ill-will towards Tate after the game. It’s football. Lee understands that as well as anybody.
But count me among those who is all for whatever legislation is necessary to get hits like this out of the game and make an inherently dangerous game at least a little safer.
(Also, on a related note, I think it’s time to get the regular refs back…don’t you?)