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Surfing Through the Fallout from the “Burfict Ending” Gameplay


This morning was a first. Not sure if I’ve ever been on the air doing a post game show until 3am, then waking up while asking myself the question: “Did we get to everything last night?”

Sadly, the answer was probably no. A few hours on the air wasn’t enough to wrap up a few hours of chaos in Cincinnati on Saturday night. That will probably continue all week. And it better.

Because fines, suspensions, and potential firings could &/or should be the fallout from that display between the Steelers and Bengals in the first round AFC Playoff game. The Steelers won 18-16. But how the Bengals lost is getting most of the debate nationally now.

Rightly so, the Bengals morphing into the Bungles once more is the top story. But the Steelers were also accessories to this crime against sportsmanship.

Should Vontaze Burfict be suspended for his hit on Antonio Brown?: No. Not for the hit on Brown per se. He should get fined for that, sure. And he should have been flagged. Hey, James Harrison and Ryan Clark were flagged a bunch for less than that over the years. But Burfict should be suspended for his body of work throughout the game. Kneeing Ben Roethlisberger in his injured shoulder after he sacked him. Running up the tunnel after his pick. Running onto the field to get involved in a scrum.

And that’s not to mention what he did to Maxx Williams of Baltimore the week before. Or knocking over that camera man. Or leg diving on Roethlisberger during the regular season.

Face it. Burfict is a good player. But he’s a pariah. He’s Zac Rinaldo in cleats. An out of control crap storm looking to define the game through his own disturbance to it. And that would be ok if what guys like those two tend to do was legal. But too often times, it is not.

The league needs to cool off Burfict’s jets for a game to start next year and let him dwell on a looming suspension all spring/summer.

Should Adam Jones be fined or suspended for shoving Joey Porter?: Fined? Maybe. Suspended? No.

Getting a flag for that was justified because he simply couldn’t let the situation die. He kept it going and tried to throw gasoline on it. Typical PacMan.

And then that Instagram rant towards Joey Porter afterwards?! Wow. Now that he should be SUED for. By the real “JERRY” Porter. Jerry should sue Jones for slander after misidentifying him! Poor Jerry. What did he do Pac? You guys were both Mountaineers after all. Why the hate?

Should JOEY Porter be fined for being on the field in the first place?: Yes. Absolutely. He’s a linebacker position coach. There’s no reason for him to be on the field for an injured wide receiver. And if he is on the field out of a sense of concern for Antonio Brown, then he’s got no business mixing it up with players.

Mike Tomlin can’t keep Porter on the sideline. He can’t be contained. He’s too close to still being a player. He was already part of a group celebration penalty earlier in the season. Now this. Assistant coaches are supposed to help control the sideline during times of heated emotion in a game. Not exacerbate the problem.

If Tomlin wants to keep Porter on his staff, put him in the press box. But I’m not sure what purpose Porter serves up there. He’s on this staff to be an emotional engine for his players. Not to provide tactical acumen. He was a loose cannon as a player. He is one too as a coach. I’m worried he’s going to fight a running back’s coach from Denver pre-game next week.

What should happen to Mike Munchak and Reggie Nelson: Nothing. Really. I know the video of that exchange on the sideline is a good watch on a Vine. But compared to all the other crap in this game, that was nothing.

If Munchak gets a fine, you won’t hear me gripe. He got flagged as a coach for interfering in a game. So I’d get it. But, come on. You saw Reggie Nelson’s hair. If your dreads flow almost down to the middle of your back, yeah, they might get tangled up with someone on the sideline.

If Nelson’s hair is in his helmet, that never happens. That’s why the NFL has the rule on the books that you can be tackled by your hair if it comes out of your helmet. Hey, it applied to DeAngelo Williams a few weeks ago on the field. Maybe it should’ve applied to Nelson on the sideline too.

What should happen to Dean Blandino for allowing John Parry to work the game as the lead referee?: Blandino should fine himself. What a dumb decision. His regular crew had no control of the regular season matchup between the teams in Week 14. His All Star crew couldn’t control the playoff rematch either.

Burfict should have been tossed for running on the field long before his Antonio Brown head shot. Especially since Domata Peko had been flagged for doing something similar earlier in the game. Porter should’ve been escorted to the sideline long before he provoked Jones into shoving him. Celebration penalties and pass interference penalties were inconsistent all night. As were some of the post whistle decisions to either throw flags or eat them.

I imagine at some point around Thursday the fans, media, and the league will actually start turning their attention to the game in Denver. Hopefully the Steelers do it a lot earlier than that. After all, as Porter will be quick to remind us, “They shot me in Denver!” So he’ll be especially fired up.

Uh oh. That could mean trouble.

About The Author

Tim Benz

TIOPS Columnist

Tim Benz can be heard on the Pittsburgh Steelers Radio Network post game show and M-F 10-1 on TribLive Radio

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