Skip to content

Polamalu wins appeal of $10,000 fine for calling his wife

Troy Polamalu, Nate Washington AP

In October, Steelers safety Troy Polamalu left a game with “concussion-like symptoms” and picked up a cell phone on the sideline to call his wife and tell her he was OK.

As a result, the NFL fined him $10,000, because cell phone use during games is not allowed.

But now there’s some good news for Polamalu, and for fans who think a five-figure fine is slightly excessive for an offense as trivial as checking in with a loved one after an injury: Jason La Canfora of NFL Network reports that Polamalu was notified on Thursday that he has won his appeal of the fine.

NFL players aren’t allowed to use cell phones, iPads, laptops or other electronics during games, so Polamalu technically did violate the rules. But the appeal shows that sometimes, common sense can win out over the letter of the law.

Permalink 51 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Pittsburgh Steelers, Rumor Mill, Top Stories
51 Responses to “Polamalu wins appeal of $10,000 fine for calling his wife”
  1. sojumaster says: Jan 13, 2012 8:14 AM

    roger goodell and common sense ???? I think hell is about to freeze over ….

  2. dh321 says: Jan 13, 2012 8:17 AM

    Goodell is an idiot.

  3. svcfilmguy says: Jan 13, 2012 8:17 AM

    Good. When did we become such slaves to “zero tolerance” laws that don’t take circumstances into account? Finally, a sensible ruling from the NFL.

  4. tinkletinkleonyourstar says: Jan 13, 2012 8:19 AM

    polamalu who? oh yeah, the guy that used to be a difference maker for the steelers.

  5. cakemixa says: Jan 13, 2012 8:19 AM

    Jason La Canfora reported something? I don’t believe that. The guy makes a living rewording Adam Schefter news 1-2 minutes after Adam reports it.

  6. test2402 says: Jan 13, 2012 8:22 AM

    Good ruling. These fines are nuts. You know who hasn’t been fined because he follows the rules? Tim Tebow.

  7. indywilson40 says: Jan 13, 2012 8:23 AM

    I think the fine should have been upheld. What if Polamalu’s wife relayed information to him about the opposing teams offense? That creates an unfair advantage. We don’t know what was said between Troy and his wife.

  8. melikefootball says: Jan 13, 2012 8:24 AM

    God-del and his henchman are the death of the NFL.

  9. pftcensorssuck says: Jan 13, 2012 8:24 AM

    But the appeal shows that sometimes, common sense can win out over the letter of the law
    ———————————————————
    Don’t worry, Goodell will snuff that right out.

    Seriously, why even fine the guy in the first place?????

  10. rpiotr01 says: Jan 13, 2012 8:24 AM

    I agree with the result of the appeal, using a cell phone in that manner doesn’t warrant a $10,000 fine.

    At the same time, why is it OK for Troy P. to use a cell phone to call people to say he’s OK? Can the guys at the bottom of the roster do that too? Don’t they have landline phones on the sideline anyway?

  11. johnelwayismydad says: Jan 13, 2012 8:27 AM

    Schefter is a f@*king idiot himself.

  12. adlent says: Jan 13, 2012 8:31 AM

    I think this is the first time I’ve ever heard of an appeal being won…

  13. outburst78 says: Jan 13, 2012 8:31 AM

    Nice, Troy. You just took $10,000 away from charity.

  14. jackybadass says: Jan 13, 2012 8:33 AM

    Good for him. Troy needs the money. he is looking old and slow out there.

  15. thoff1525 says: Jan 13, 2012 8:34 AM

    This wasn’t the NFL making a “common sense” ruling. This was the NFL making a smart PR move.

  16. vegaskid21 says: Jan 13, 2012 8:35 AM

    Common Sense : If only more people had it.

  17. sojumaster says: Jan 13, 2012 8:40 AM

    adlent says:Jan 13, 2012 8:31 AM

    I think this is the first time I’ve ever heard of an appeal being won…

    ———————–

    James Harrison’s fine of $75,000 was reduced to $50,000, and all the fines for helmet-to-helmet that weekend was actually reduced also. (I believe that they were all reduced by $20K-$25K)

    There is a good number of fines that get reduced or reversed through appeals, but this one has more visibility because this was not a malicious attempt to break the rules, but a case where the trainer pulled out his own phone and gave it to Troy so he tell his Wife he is alright.

  18. sojumaster says: Jan 13, 2012 8:44 AM

    rpiotr01 says:Jan 13, 2012 8:24 AM

    Don’t they have landline phones on the sideline anyway?

    ————————

    Those “landlines” are hardwired to the coaches’ boxes. They are like the phones you see in the bullpens and dugouts in baseball.

  19. peytonwantsaflag says: Jan 13, 2012 8:50 AM

    How is this common sense? There’s a legitimate reason for the rule and it needs to be upheld. So I guess now anybody that feels the need can call their “wife” – it’s a mighty slippery slope.

  20. AlanSaysYo says: Jan 13, 2012 8:54 AM

    Should a player be fined $10k for calling his wife? No. But this sets a terrible precedent. Get caught using a cell phone on the sidelines? “I was calling my wife.” If you have to determine the reason for the call in order to decide whether to fine the player, how will you ever fine any of them now? The NFL may as well just get rid of the rule altogether.

  21. infectorman says: Jan 13, 2012 8:54 AM

    While I’m happy for Troy, his hair and his wife, winning a judgement for $10,000 is like us “common folk” getting a $10.00 parking ticket overturned at Town Hall…

    monopoly $, indeed

  22. Kave Krew says: Jan 13, 2012 8:58 AM

    2 things

    1 – if i ever get in trouble with the law or with rules, then i want to be a Steeler…….screw a lawyer, just put a Steeler helmet on and walk free….

    2- i agree with the ruling – the NFL should have something in place on the sideline to update the family on an injury

  23. mnavia2 says: Jan 13, 2012 8:58 AM

    Just a week too late for a “win” for that “team from Pennsylvania”

  24. shanejones1 says: Jan 13, 2012 8:59 AM

    Maybe he should call 911 for help on his blown coverages. What a joke,

  25. bleed4philly says: Jan 13, 2012 9:01 AM

    He probably just called to tell her his hair was not damaged in the collision.

  26. godofwine330 says: Jan 13, 2012 9:04 AM

    I think the fines are just ridiculous nowadays. I don’t remember this many fines back even 10 years ago. It seems we have more fines in a week than we had in a whole year 10 years ago.

    Why is it that a guy can be flagged for roughing the passer AND get fined $10K or more for the same act. Most of these hits aren’t blatant disregard for the rules or on purpose. And the fines are overwhelmingly on the defensive players. This is something that if I were the players I would have threatened holding up the season to get these removed via collective bargaining. Add to it, the fines are high and can cost a player more than a weeks salary! And to think of an undrafted rookie getting the same $25K fine as a Harrison or a Suh or Von Miller? Hell, getting fined for every mistake you do on the job is beyond ridiculous.

    Your thoughts?

  27. spellingcops says: Jan 13, 2012 9:07 AM

    tinkletinkleonyourstar says: Jan 13, 2012 8:19 AM

    polamalu who? oh yeah, the guy that used to be a difference maker for the steelers.
    —————————————————–
    Let me preface this comment by saying that I’m a Broncos fan. This statement is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen on here.
    2nd offensive play for Denver this last weekend: forced fumble by #43 recovered by Denver (and thus forgotten by everyone). After Ben’s INT, #43 tipped a sure TD catch by #12 Matt Willis, and almost came up with a pick of his own.
    Yes, he committed to the run on a couple plays that ended up hurting the Steelers, but just as everyone else has done of late, the Steelers’ game plan was to MAKE Tebow throw the ball. It simply ended up blowing up in their face. #43: A difference making safety, and an even better person. I’d welcome him in Orange & Blue ANY DAY!!!!

  28. steelersmichele says: Jan 13, 2012 9:08 AM

    While I agree with most people on here that sometimes common sense should be used with fines, I also agree with thoff1525 that this is a PR move. It’s easy to reverse a fine like this to show the appeals process “works” compared to reversing or lowering a helmet to helmet hit.

  29. eddddddd says: Jan 13, 2012 9:14 AM

    This was just because the NFL favors the Steelers. They even gave them the next two games off but will still be playing in the Superbowl.

  30. svcfilmguy says: Jan 13, 2012 9:17 AM

    “And to think of an undrafted rookie getting the same $25K fine as a Harrison or a Suh or Von Miller? Hell, getting fined for every mistake you do on the job is beyond ridiculous.”

    It should be based on salary. What does $10,000 mean to the superstars? Nothing. But for an undrafted guy? That could pay off his student loans, be put towards a down payment for a house, or be put into savings with the understanding that his career probably won’t last very long. It’s absurd.

    Maybe James Harrison would get his act together if he lost 3-5% of his salary every time he pulls one of his acts. I’m a Steelers fan, so I don’t want to be called a hater.

  31. havok82 says: Jan 13, 2012 9:20 AM

    I want to know where he keeps that cell phone on the sidelines. Does he stuff it in his jock during the game? It’s not like a football uniform has pockets. If you can’t talk on a phone on the sidelines, why have one? The fine was asinine, but why would you bring it when you know it’s against the rules?

  32. NoRespect says: Jan 13, 2012 9:32 AM

    This was the right call. He should have been fined initially, then reversed on appeal.

    To those of you who are worried about a “slippery slope” or “zero tolerance”, then this is the proper way to do it. You fine a player for any infraction, then make them appeal. If you then find that there are extenuating circumstances, or a “good” reason, then you can reduce or eliminate the fine.

    It is only “zero tolerance” if there is no opportunity for appeal or if all appeals were denied.

    You eliminate the “slippery slope” by forcing them to appeal and say why they shouldn’t be fined.

    And unless all appeals are successful, there is no reason to eliminate the rule, unless it is a bad rule to begin with.

    The NFL and Godell got it right here.

  33. jgrange08 says: Jan 13, 2012 9:33 AM

    Jan 13, 2012 8:58 AM
    2 things

    1 – if i ever get in trouble with the law or with rules, then i want to be a Steeler…….screw a lawyer, just put a Steeler helmet on and walk free….

    2- i agree with the ruling – the NFL should have something in place on the sideline to update the family on an injury

    ——————————————-
    I wish I could thumbs down that more tha once

  34. bleedgreen says: Jan 13, 2012 9:38 AM

    Was he still a player in the game after “concussion-like symptoms”? If thats what he exhibited, he was removed from the game and no longer a player.

  35. jgrange08 says: Jan 13, 2012 9:39 AM

    Joe horn is really mad somewhere

  36. opbilly says: Jan 13, 2012 9:41 AM

    now how do they enforce any rule? problem is, another rule states that a player with a concussion has to go to the locker room immediately!!! he could have called her from there. but the steelers use this “concussion like symptoms” bull… to get around the rules! they have been getting around the rules for many years because they are the steelers and get away with it. but now folks are actually upholding some of the rules on the steelers and oh the whining and crying!

  37. thefnlimit says: Jan 13, 2012 9:41 AM

    He was fined because he broke the rule. Regardless of what he was doing, he broke the rule. I get it, I’m ok with the fine. I’m also ok with the appeal. If, through investigation, they find that it was an acceptable action such as this was then drop the fine.

  38. NoRespect says: Jan 13, 2012 9:46 AM

    havok82

    It was a trainer’s cell phone, not Troy’s

  39. eaglesnoles05 says: Jan 13, 2012 9:51 AM

    Why not have the team physician call the player’s wife and relay the message? Precident is now set… here comes the cell phone-ok-after-injury era.

  40. lgbarn says: Jan 13, 2012 10:03 AM

    Imagine you turn on the news and see your wife’s car in an accident that is all over the news. I’m sure you would want a call from your wife that she is ok…I know I would.

    The NFL got this right for sure.

  41. dickroy says: Jan 13, 2012 10:17 AM

    Thats the right call!

  42. tallkris says: Jan 13, 2012 10:22 AM

    indywilson40 says:
    Jan 13, 2012 8:23 AM
    I think the fine should have been upheld. What if Polamalu’s wife relayed information to him about the opposing teams offense? That creates an unfair advantage. We don’t know what was said between Troy and his wife.

    *****************************************

    FYI the Steelers are allowed to watch CBS during the game too and see the exact same stuff the Steelers see when watching CBS.

    I think the NFL made the right call on this one. First time in a while they’ve gotten it right when it comes to the Steelers

  43. njhitman says: Jan 13, 2012 11:06 AM

    I think to let your faimly know that your ok should be let in But when your batgirl and his man guy Robin calling saying I just got a pass at my way and dropped it should be a large fine

  44. njhitman says: Jan 13, 2012 11:10 AM

    outburst78 says:Jan 13, 2012 8:31 AM

    Nice, Troy. You just took $10,000 away from charity.
    —————————————————
    So why don’t you put it up for him since it is charity ? I think its fine to call your wife and family saying your ok

  45. njhitman says: Jan 13, 2012 11:13 AM

    You have to love the moron Ravens fans from what they say . I;m just waiting on the Texs to kick some ??? This weekend

  46. radrntn says: Jan 13, 2012 11:28 AM

    only if you are a steeler do you win this. The whole league and ref’s have the steelers back.

  47. byrds71 says: Jan 13, 2012 12:27 PM

    Common Sense : If only more people had it.
    —————————————————–
    A better known quote from Voltaire goes: “Common sense is not so common.”

  48. vesselsk says: Jan 13, 2012 12:38 PM

    It’s not like these guys are making conference calls after touchdowns!!! Instead of banning all cell phones on the sidelines, how about just banning all social media on the sidelines…..Stupid NFL

  49. Deb says: Jan 13, 2012 1:04 PM

    Goodell uses the fining system the way Henry VIII used the executioner’s axe: To let everyone know he’s the King and his word is law. So if the fine reinforces some message he’s trying to send, that fine won’t be overturned no matter what the film shows and no matter what the rules say. If it’s an incidental matter like this, he’ll allow the appellate committee to be magnanimous.

  50. earthtopft says: Jan 13, 2012 4:23 PM

    Troy won’t be fined, but his man card is revoked indefinitely.

  51. cowhawkfan says: Jan 13, 2012 7:33 PM

    I understand the desire to call his wife, but this is was not a car accident, this was a football injury. If he’s injured enoug to call his wife, then he’s too injured to return to the game and he can go to the locker room and make the call.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!