Three notable fines came out of the NFL’s offices today, and if you had to guess who was fined the most between Bears quarterback Jay Cutler [berating an official], Bears lineman Tommie Harris [punching an opponent in the face] or Bengals wideout Chad Ochocinco [waving a one-dollar bill in front of an official], which way would you go?
Harris got the lightest punishment [a $7500 fine]; apparently punching non-quarterbacks in the face isn’t as bad as saying mean things about an official. Cutler’s next game check will be $20,000 lighter this week, as will Ochocinco’s. Who would have expected the NFL to be upset about a player claiming he was trying to bribe an official?
The question that everyone asks about this bit of “fun” seems to be, “Did anyone think he was serious?” If you saw the game live, you saw a tight shot of Ocho’s hand, and then a quick cutaway–nobody knew that he wasn’t serious. And with all the scuttlebutt about games being decided by officials, the message needed to be sent–influencing our officials is not a laughing matter. The cameras eventually caught handing the dollar back to a member of the field crew. Maybe he should have hung onto it. More.