We’re two days removed from Crabtree-Talib II and the aftermath is almost as wild as the fight itself. And the fight, as you’ll recall, was pretty spectacular. Take it away, Kevin Harlan…
So what’s the punishment for something like that? Earlier yesterday, Jack Del Rio said that a suspension would be “for the league to decide…I would hope not. Based on what I saw, I wouldn’t think there would be that type of reaction.”
And so he was no doubt surprised when the league announced that both players would be suspended for not one, but two games. LOOK OUT!
And when that news broke, Del Rio retweeted it with the thinking emoji and Hard to understand the reasoning for this judgement based on most recent ruling w/ altercation see WR Cin and DB Jax = 0 games suspended
First off, how great is it that Jack Del Rio is on Twitter and dropping emoji’s? That might be the best thing in the league right now. More coaches should be doing that. I want Bill Belichick tweeting the crying laughing face or the heart-eyes emoji after a big win.
Secondly, Del Rio makes a compelling argument that AJ Green didn’t get suspended at all for his takedown and then pummeling of Jalen Ramsey, but Crabtree and Talib got two games each. Especially since according to Kevin Seifert, if it’s not reduced on appeal, it would rank among the most severe punishments for on-field behavior in league history.
But it seems pretty clear that the league is looking to send a message. Message being that this can’t happen. We can’t have guys fighting every time they face each other. It was payback. It was a repeat fight, one that everyone knew was going to come. How do we know that? Well, for starters, Crabtree’s teammate, Cordarelle Patterson said as much: “We all knew it was going to happen. It was just a matter of time, when. Everybody was ready, prepared for it.”
And speaking of being ready and prepared for that fight, there’s this detail from Adam Schefter: Raiders’ WR Michael Crabtree taped his chain to himself before Sunday’s game, knowing he was facing the chain-snatching Broncos CB Aqib Talib. And Talib still got it.
That is an all-timer. I love that Crabtree had the foresight to tape his chain to himself before facing Talib. And I love that it didn’t matter to Talib. Not only did it not matter, knowing that Crabtree taped it down probably makes it even sweeter for Talib. The dude’s like Thomas Crown, busting into a museum and stealing a painting from right under the security guard’s noses. Now Crabtree’s going to have to get a lock and chain to hold down the first chain, but you know Talib will figure out a way to get that too.
When it came to the punishment itself, NFL Vice President of Football Operations Jon Runyan’s letter to Crabtree reminded him that he punched Chris Harris on the previous play and then triggered the melee that resulted in an injury to one of the referees. Runyan told Talib that he deliberately ripped Crabtree’s chain again, endangered others by throwing a helmet, and also threw a punch.
In other words, they did a bunch of crazy Ish. And they’re repeat offenders. A.J. Green skated because he’s A.J. Green and it was so out of character for him that the league figured the ejection was enough of a punishment. I’m guessing that the league figured that Talib and Crabtree are, well, Talib and Crabtree. They’re not only repeat offenders, but repeat offenders with each other, so the league had to send a message. Because as much as fans might have liked that fight and seeing guys chase each other around the field, the league office wasn’t going to be celebrating that and had to do something.
The question is – will those two games hold up on appeal or will it drop down to one? And will this serve as any sort of a deterrent the next time Talib and Crabtree meet on the field? Maybe. Probably. Who knows. I just know that Crabtree better figure out a special security system for that chain because you know Talib’s looking for a hat trick. Because I don’t know what’s funnier: that Crab won’t take the chain off. Or that Talib keeps ripping it off. But you know this isn’t the end of this: these two will go again; it’s not a question of it but a matter of when.