As Steelers fans were flooding us with complaints regarding the failure of the officials to flag Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata for snapping the schnoz of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger or Ravens linebacker Jameel McClain for delivering a wicked helmet-to-helmet hit to tight end Heath Miller, the failure of the refs to call a penalty in either case had no relevance to the question of whether the players would be fined.
According to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter, Ngata has been fined $15,000, and McClain has received a $40,000 fine.
Some have suggested that McClain possibly would be suspended, but no one has been suspended for a first offense.
And that’s the point that needs to be remembered when assessing these fines. Repeat offenders get bigger penalties, whether the context is on-field violence or Ochocinco-style superficialities like touchdown celebrations and in-game Twitter messages.
So before anyone argues that the fines would have been bigger if Steelers linebacker James Harrison had been the culprit, that is correct. Because Harrison has a history that Ngata and McClain don’t.