Earlier this week, our NBC colleague Rodney Harrison, who was routinely named the league’s dirtiest player in the annual Sports Illustrated player poll, said during an appearance on The Dan Patrick show that Titans center Kevin Mawae, who made this year’s list, is “a dirty dude.”
Mawae, a long-time veteran and the NFLPA president, has responded.
“Maybe it is a way for him to deflect attention away from himself
because I think everybody knows who’s been in this league for a long
time that he may be the dirtiest guy that’s ever played this game,”
Mawae said, according to Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean. “I think somebody forgot to tell him that that long, wide,
3-foot white line on the sideline, we play inside those, and he spent a
lot of his time playing outside of those. . . . I don’t have a lot of respect for that guy.”
Harrison also said that the Titans are the dirtiest team in the league.
“If Rodney Harrison wants to accuse somebody of being dirty, tell him
to look at his 16 years of highlights,” Mawae told Wyatt. “I guarantee he got fined more in
one year than I have my entire career.”
But, frankly, players routinely are fined for helmet-first hits in the open field. The powers-that-be have a harder time sifting through more subtle maneuvers in the scrum that breaks out when the offensive line and the defensive line meet. Or when a dog pile forms and people start grabbing, twisting, and/or poking anything they can grab, twist, and/or poke.