Inside Slant: Profanity of provocation
September, 15, 2013
By Kevin Seifert | ESPN.com
Sometimes we get whistle-happy NFL officials when the NFL hands down a new point of emphasis. I hope that's not the case with the information ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported Sunday morning: that the league wants officials to penalize players for "profanity directed at each other."
Anyone who can read lips or has stood within 100 feet of a football field, at any level, during a game knows there is no way to curb profanities. But the NFL appears focused on language that provokes opponents, either intentionally or otherwise, during a week that included two significant scuffles among players.
Incidents in games between the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers, along with the New York Jets and New England Patriots, featured much more than poor language. But a well-directed word can spark a confrontation, no different than a well-timed shove. At least, that's what the NFL appears to be saying here. Let's see how many times officials can separate profanity of frustration, profanity of celebration and profanity of provocation.
0:19 2nd Qtr Dallas 10 New York 21 Final Cleveland 26 Atlanta 24 Final Tennessee 24 Philadelphia 43 Final Detroit 9 New England 34 Final Green Bay 24 Minnesota 21 Final Jacksonville 3 Indianapolis 23 Final Cincinnati 22 Houston 13 Postponed New York Buffalo Final Tampa Bay 13 Chicago 21 Final Arizona 3 Seattle 19 Final St. Louis 24 San Diego 27 Final Miami 36 Denver 39 Final Washington 13 San Francisco 17
7:00 PM ET New York Buffalo 8:30 PM ET Baltimore New Orleans