Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Ndamukong Suh. Time to go

No, I don't mean it's time for Suh to get going and perform better on the field. I mean it's time for the Lions to get rid of the clown act he has become. As in cut him, release him, turn him loose, and don't even bother with a bus ticket. Suh can afford his own.

Suh was the #2 overall pick in the 2010 NFL draft by the Lions. He wound up signing a 5-year deal worth roughly $65 million dollars. So he's making about $13 million a year, with $8 million a year of that guaranteed over the life of the contract. On a lot of other NFL teams, that's starting quarterback type money. To justify a defensive tackle making the same amount of do-re-mi as a starting QB, he'd better turn out to be a dominant force, to say the least. To his credit, Suh has indeed accomplished that feat. The bad news is -- it's for all the wrong reasons.

Let's get real. Nobody knows the NFL players better than the other players. The last two years, Suh has been elected in a landslide -- by a jury of his peers -- as the NFL's dirtiest player. Further, amongst many knowledgable football people, Suh also ranks right up there as the NFL's most overpaid and overrated player. In the humble opinion of yours truly, being thought of as overpaid, overrated, and having won re-election as the dirtiest player in all of football is not a particularly admirable combination to hang one's helmet on.

It's not just his infamous "stomp" of a downed Green Bay Packer on Thanksgiving day last year that caught so much attention. Everyone seems to have forgotten about that car crash out in Portland, Oregon, where Suh was allegedly driving at high speeds, crashed into a utility pole, and turned out to have had a couple mysterious female passengers in the car, at least one of whom was injured, but magically disappeared before the cops showed up. Suh wasn't breathylized or otherwise tested (imagine that), but one of the "ladies" eventually showed up, claiming Suh had bribed her to get out of the car and never talk to the police. Likely smelling money, she eventually did turn up and a lawsuit was filed, but how quickly that seemed to disappear from the radar. PR damage control folks and lawyers can work miracles sometimes on those with short attention spans -- which are most. But it happened.

Now he's embroiled in a civil case over not returning a $100,000 security deposit on a house he rented to others that have since vacated the premises, on a home that some say wasn't worth that much to begin with. If all true, yours truly can't decide who's dumber. Suh quibbling over chump change in his world, or the people that were stupid enough to put up that amount of money in the first place. Especially with a guy like Ndamukong Suh. Maybe the judge should take them into chambers to stomp and kick all the above in the groin in the interest of equal justice, then dismiss the cases. Works for me.

In the world of professional sports, there's a harsh question that often comes into play. What have you done for me lately?

Lately, the only thing Suh seems to have done that's noteworthy is kick the Houston Texans' QB in the groin. Strangely enough, on Thanksgiving day again. Not only is Ndamukong not getting any quarterback sacks, he's not getting anywhere close to them. What's worse, Suh is racking up games without making a single tackle on a running back. No sacks, no tackles, no nothing. He's been a non-factor.

Sure, the Lions' apologists will say poor old Ndammy is always double teamed, so his contributions don't always show up on the stat sheet. Yeah? Well, so is Calvin Johnson, but he still makes plays, because the truly great ones find a way. And CJ doesn't stomp, or kick, or crash cars, or try to wring an opposing player's neck like a chicken in a slaughterhouse, or get fined and suspended, and he sure as hell will never top the "dirty" list amongst his peers, let alone two years in a row. There's a whole lot of big differences going on here.

Yet that raises the question -- what would happen if the Lions just severed ties with Suh and kicked him to the curb? Remember, the Lions would still be on the hook for $8 million a year for the guaranteed money through the 2014 season if Suh decided to kick back and do nothing. I dare say even one year with $8M coming in would be more than sufficient to keep most people quite happy and comfortable for the rest of their lives. But we all know it doesn't work that way with pro athletes.

Right now, given his reputation, the bad pub and baggage he'd bring with him, and the money he'd likely command, what other teams would even want Suh? When the late Al Davis was the majority owner of the Oakland Raiders, he thrived on bringing in the "outlaws". Just win, baby, he used to say. Suh would have been a perfect fit there, but Al's passed on to a different kind of Raider nation now. Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots has been known to take in a controversial player now and again, but only on the condition they straighten up in a hurry. If they don't, they're gone -- in a hurry. Not sure Ndummy, oops Ndammy, would last long there. Owner Jerry Jones of the Cowboys loves nothing more than publicity, good or bad. Well, maybe money, but that sort of goes hand in hand with his schtick. He's already got a few otherwise very talented athletes on his team with the IQs of a brick. Might that work?

Of course, there will always be NFL owners with more money than brains, especially football common sense, so surely NS would find a roster spot somewhere. He might even get a raise. Even though they be billionaires, never underestimate the stupidity of desperate NFL owners.

Let's get even more real. The Detroit Lions have been known as losers for a very long time. Despite their little upward hiccup last year, until they got blown out in a playoff game -- not that much has changed. Their head coach is quickly starting to appear clueless again, and the player roster still has more holes than substance. The "front office" execs that couldn't wait to give interviews when the team won a few games last year have once again gone into deep hibernation and, per the last half century, owner William Clay Ford might as well be in the witness protection program, because nobody seems to know where he is or what he's doing. Losers, losers, and more losers.

The last thing Lions fans need is yet another loser laying an additional layer of scorn upon their team.

It's high time for "Suh--eey" to go slop with hogs somewhere else.

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