On Sunday, a week’s worth of words from Packers linebacker Clay Matthews became action, when Matthews hit 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick well out of bounds after a play.
The move drew a flag and launched a fracas, which included 49ers tackle Joe Staley coming to Kaepernick’s defense and drawing a penalty that the league later admitted was a mistake.
After the incident, Staley and Kaepernick had a discussion. The audio will be played tonight, on the season debut of NBCSN’s NFL Turning Point.
Staley tells Kaepernick, “We’re setting a precedent.”
“I know what you’re saying,” Kaepernick says.
“No one is [expletive] hitting you late.”
Kaepernick again replies, “I know what you’re saying.”
It’s a hockey-style mentality that at times is necessary in hockey, and also necessary in football. In hockey, when a cement-headed goon takes a shot at a star player, another cement-headed goon settles the score. In football, a certain amount of that needs to be tolerated.
Or, at a minimum, to be properly officiated.
No matter how robotic the league wants players to be, normal human emotions get involved. When it’s time to throw flags based on the display of normal human emotions, those flags need to be handed out evenly and fairly.
At this point, normal human emotions should make you interested in watching NFL Turning Point. Hosted by Dan Patrick, it debuts Wednesday night at 10:00 p.m. ET on NBCSN.