Emerson gone wrong? Ndamukong Suh

ESPN loves talking about issues in the NFL, and besides debating over Tebow, the most discussed topic on the countless talk shows seems to be this guy:

Suh is not happy

The Network loves to get everyone who has ever played or watched football to talk about if they thing Suh is a dirty player or not. The 2010 Defensive Rookie of the Year has certainly put up huge numbers that have grabbed everyone’s attention. 97 tackles and 13 sacks in two years are definitely going to get attention from Offensive Linemen everywhere. Sadly though, especially as a Lions fan, Suh’s great numbers aren’t the reason that he gets talked about on ESPN. The way Suh plays has played has always been over the top. At Nebraska, he was a fan favorite for his ability to destroy the offenses the Cornhuskers faced, including 4.5 sacks against Texas in the Big XII Championship Game ni 2008.

Suh entered into the NFL with a bang, not even waiting until the Regular season began to get attention with his physical play:

It quickly became clear that while Suh is on the field he doesn’t care about the conventional way that people think the game should be played. He has picked up nine personal fouls, the most in the NFL in the last two years, and been fined for $42,500. Stopping at the whistle and respecting the quarterback are clearly aren’t what Suh does. Earlier this year, Suh visited NFL Commissioner Rodger Goodell to make to see if there was a way he could conform his play to a more proper stile that would not get him in so much trouble. However, the meeting with the Commissioner did not do much for Suh’s feelings on how he plays the game. If you haven’t watched sports or the Local News since Thanksgiving, Suh has been suspended for two games for stomping on the arm of a Packer’s Offensive Linemen. Suh was frustrated after being double-teamed and shut down for the majority of the game and after a play which lead to Suh on the ground with Packer Evan Dietrick-Smith, Suh hit the Packer’s head into the ground three times and then got up and stomped on Smith’s right arm. You can watch the play here.

The fight is now on how do you classify Ndomukong Suh? Some on ESPN say they like his reckless play. He has inspired the Lions, who have seemed to changed their loosing ways. They reflect back to the way the the Pistons of the Late 80s known as the “Bad Boys” who were know to be over physical as well and won two NBA championships. However there are others who think his play is too much. Some say that those two games were not enough and Suh needs to be more thoroughly punished if he is going to change his ways.

Suh isn’t a bad person. He is very charitable, donating money quickly after he signed back to Nebraska and this year saved a Detroit High School’s season. He just plays the game of football differently than most do. He sets his own rules of conduct.

Personally as a Lion’s fan, I love watching him play. Hitting a quarterback “too hard” is not bad. However, I think he needs to reform the way he plays. Ignoring the rules to play tough is one thing, but there needs to be a limit. Being the craziest player on a team including Kyle Vanden Bosch is probably not the best thing.

Look at his awesome red eyes

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2 Responses to Emerson gone wrong? Ndamukong Suh

  1. jason5brown says:

    I think the connection between Emerson and Suh is interesting, especially relating to the incident that took place during the game on Thanksgiving. Emerson tells us to be individualistic and trust ourselves and our own judgements, rather than that of society and others. This however became problematic for Suh. He attempted to defend his actions as accidental, claiming that he “tried to remove [himself] from the situation” and that “the man upstairs knows what [he] did.” Suh ignores reality in order to rationalize his poor actions as legitimate, perhaps believing too much in Emersonian philosophy: “What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think . . . the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.” In this case Suh did in fact exhibit “Emerson gone wrong,” ignoring public opinion to defend his actions. His actions were inappropriate and wrong, however his choice to deny blame for his actions rather than apologize made him appear even worse. I believe that Emerson would tell Suh not to conform to the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell’s vision of how the game should be played (Goodell has received criticism for imposing heavy fines and suspensions, as well as changing rules to limit defenders’ ability to tackle offensive players, especially quarterbacks). He should play in the tough and physically imposing style that makes him an effective player. I agree that in some ways being Emersonian was detrimental to Suh and his response to the incident that took place on Thanksgiving.

  2. I was going to mention the Suh’s pathetic excuse myself until I noticed that Jason (above) had already done so in his reply. I think Suh’s ridiculous comments after the game about his actions contributed to his two game suspension. Instead of showing humility and remorse for what he did, he instead tried to convince people that what they saw didn’t actually happened. The excuse was an insult to everyone’s intelligence, including NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Suh may have followed Emerson’s philosophy, but it costed him and his team dearly. The Lions lost their first game without Suh last night in a blowout lost against the New Orleans Saints, costing them a chance to gain a game on the Chicago Bears. As a Bears fan, I couldn’t be happier with Suh’s decision to follow Emerson’s anti-conformity theory.

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