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article imageOp-Ed: Nebraska's Detroit Lions Ndamukong Suh targeted for playing dirty

By Nancy Houser     Nov 26, 2011 in Sports
When Ndamukong Suh was with the Nebraska Huskers, coach Bo Pelini said that even though Suh played violently, he would never characterize him as a dirty football player."When you're as big and strong and physical as him, things are going to happen."
"It's a tough game," Pelini continued in Husker Extra. And besides, would it be Suh if he didn't play rough?
Coach Belini was not the only one who thought so. According to Nebraska writer, Steve Sipple in "Life in the Red," in some ways, Suh is simply too big and fast and physical for his own good.
With Suh considered the Detroit Lion's best player on the defense, the best in the entire NFL, and the reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year, it needs to be understood that most football players are supporters of aggressive, physical and rough playing games. Otherwise, the would be playing a game or two of croquet. A lot of players feel that there are too many rules overly-protecting the game. Being a dirty player and someone who plays rough are two entirely different situations. Just ask Bo.
Since Ndamukong Suh started playing for the Detroit Lions after leaving the Nebraska Huskers, in 2010 he began leading the NFL with nine accumulated personal fouls, gaining a reputation as a dirty player with multiple illegal hits. But it was not until lately that every main street media and blogger got on the bandwagon, trying to outdo each other in making Suh's incidents more vicious every time.
Suh's last episode was on Thursday between the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions. By the next morning he was facing multiple NF suspensions and a hefty fine, ejected from Thursday's game because of stomping the Packer guard Evan Dietrich-Smith.
Compare this to a man who calmly and confidently donated $2.6 million to the University of Nebraska, $2 million to Nebraska Athletics and $600,000 to the UNL College of Engineering for an endowment scholarship. In fact, it makes little sense at all. But for those who know Suh well and have followed him over the years, he plays rough and he plays violent. But he doesn't play dirty. However, it would benefit many to have him labeled so and out of the picture.
"I've always told our players it's not what Nebraska can do for you - it's what you can do for the University of Nebraska," Nebraska Head Coach Bo Pelini said. "Obviously, Ndamukong takes that to heart. He's a special human being ... a tremendous young man whose life is about to change." Whoever reads or hears about Suh's extraordinary benevolence can't help but see how his selfless support can leave seismic waves for others to follow.(Huskers.com)
In an interview with Sun Times, Suh denied that the Detroit Lion team fought dirty, “Maybe because we’re a little too physical, we don’t take anything from anybody. And we’re going to continue to play hard and not be pushed around. Maybe that’s why we’re considered dirty.”
But more and more often, the Detroit Lions are being accused of earning a dirty reputation. Or has the NFL turned them into one? Fan remarks are beginning to question the NFL tactics, "Again, this helped the NFL capitalize on noting the Lions a dirty team, whereas last week they actually implied it was a (Detroit) thing that was normal with the city... "
Human nature has a lot to do with it also. A team supporter will loyally follow a player until tsomething triggers them, than they drop them like a hot potato and bad mouth them, forgetting every bit of good they have done. This may very well be what is happening to Suh now. Obviously, Ndamukong Suh does not recognize a dirty player, at least what the NFL considers dirty. But then...neither did his Nebraska coach or Suh's Nebraska supporters. But definitely, if the Lions are without Suh for an extended time for the suspensions, the playoff will be in jeopardy.
With a suspension of two games coming around the corner, Suh is being made an example for what happened---regardless what it was. Former NFL safety Rodney Harrison, who now works for NBC and NFL Network, developed a reputation as a dirty player during his career, has said,
“It’s up to the Commissioner to step in and make an example out of this young man,” Harrison said Friday on NFL Total Access. ”He’s got a $50 million contract, multiple commercial sponsorships, what’s $40,000, $50,000? Heck, I didn’t even make that type of money when I played and 10- or $15,000 didn’t bother me (Pro Football Talk)
Ndamukong Suh's sponsors---Chrysler, Nike, Omaha Steaks, Detroit Medical Center, Detroit City Sports, Battle Sports Science, Training Day and D1 Sports Training Therapy---are not saying anything about pulling because of the accusations against him.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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