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NFL reminds teams of importance of sportsmanship in postseason

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The playoffs begin in three days. Millions will be watching each of the 11 games. The NFL, keenly aware of that fact, has made the teams keenly aware of the expectations regarding behavior.

“As you well know, there is no better time to be playing football than during our playoffs,” NFL executive V.P. of football operations Troy Vincent said in a memo issued to all coaches and General Managers. “As we work together, we will continue striving to represent the NFL’s key values — respect, resiliency, integrity and responsibility to team.

“Your team is competing as one of the best in the world at what you do. With the nation and fans around the world watching, we are reminded of the responsibility we share to demonstrate the highest standards of sportsmanship and respect for the game, each other, the officials and the fans. Emotions will run high, but no emotion should give way to demeaning or offensive words or actions. Our rules prohibiting fighting, illegal hits, and abusive language will be strictly enforced.”

It’s an important reminder, especially with the Steelers and Bengals due to tangle for a third time this season on Saturday night. A week before the Panthers-Giants debacle in Week 15, the NFL was upset with the manner in which Steelers and Bengals players conducted themselves during a game at Cincinnati.

The real question is whether game officials, already reluctant to potentially affect competitive balance by ejecting players, will be willing to strictly enforce these expectations. Here’s hoping that they will; everything becomes magnified in the NFL’s postseason, including the embarrassments.

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75 Responses to “NFL reminds teams of importance of sportsmanship in postseason”
  1. heybackatyou says: Jan 6, 2016 5:34 PM

    Why no mention of cheating?

  2. harrisonhits2 says: Jan 6, 2016 5:36 PM

    Good luck with that.

  3. tommykramer9 says: Jan 6, 2016 5:36 PM

    Oh wow, really? The NFL has really lost its grip on reality. Don’t cuss fellas……What, Really?? I’m sure the letterhead on this memo had Odell on it……

  4. joker65 says: Jan 6, 2016 5:37 PM

    heybackatyou says:
    Jan 6, 2016 5:34 PM

    Why no mention of cheating?
    ___

    Because there wasn’t any. Duh.

  5. TeeHeeLOLatPatsHaters says: Jan 6, 2016 5:37 PM

    I think teams should also send a video reminding Troy and Roger of integrity and sportsmanship.
    🙂

  6. jag1959 says: Jan 6, 2016 5:38 PM

    “As we work together, we will continue striving to represent the NFL’s key values — respect, resiliency, integrity and responsibility to team.”

    It’s sad that every time I see something come out of 345 Park Ave that contains the word integrity it elicits a rueful snicker and a slow head shake

  7. packer4life4ever says: Jan 6, 2016 5:39 PM

    You hear that Clay Matthews? No hitting other players!

  8. seriously423 says: Jan 6, 2016 5:39 PM

    and the psi level reports are…………..

  9. patriotsticketssince1978 says: Jan 6, 2016 5:40 PM

    No fighting, dirty hits or abusive language. Execution for unproven equipment violations will be strictly enforced. HGH will be tolerated however.

    Yay integrity.

  10. sychosam28 says: Jan 6, 2016 5:43 PM

    Thanks to ESPN poor sportsmanship gets you attention. Act like a jerk and you get glamorized. Guy elbows another player in college last week gets a penalty and cost his team second and goal at one resulted in no points. ESPN shows the highlights going to a commercial to music and uses that unsportsmanlike conduct penalty to promote game. All week in college someone will make a basic play or tackle and get up and stare down and get in face of opposing player like they did something special. All this does is carry over to pro’s because acting like a jerk is glamorizes and promoted by the media and NFL. Just go look and see who NFL Network has hired over the years. Lot of people who had or have problems. Other Networks are just as guilty. Poor sportsmanship is rewarded by the NFL in the long term.

  11. factman66 says: Jan 6, 2016 5:44 PM

    No crying, Brady. The refs need to flag him if he pulls that crap again. His behavior against the Giants were embarrassing.

  12. 46namredyps11 says: Jan 6, 2016 5:44 PM

    So teams aren’t allowed to pretend they were wronged by illicit shenanigans just because they lost. If only they held the Ravens and Colts to that standard last year.

  13. hlmatty1 says: Jan 6, 2016 5:45 PM

    There is one team that has more than one game with chippy play and it ain’t the one with no. 55. And the day they penalize them will be the day hell freezes over.

  14. chesswhileyouplaycheckers says: Jan 6, 2016 5:45 PM

    “The real question is whether game officials, already reluctant to potentially affect competitive balance by ejecting players, will be willing to strictly enforce these expectations. Here’s hoping that they will; everything becomes magnified in the NFL’s postseason, including the embarrassments.”

    Won’t Baghdad Blindino be arranging…er,calling…er, assisting…er, manipulating…I mean available as a resource in those instances?

  15. quinzze says: Jan 6, 2016 5:46 PM

    And the Patriots fumble rate is tied for lowest in the league and is lower than last years… Go figure.

  16. Chris says: Jan 6, 2016 5:48 PM

    It will be fine… Odell isn’t in the playoffs.

  17. rootpain says: Jan 6, 2016 5:49 PM

    I thought that the Integrity of the Shield was first and foremost. At least it was last year.
    But of this year’s key values, the only one the NFL appears to be striving to maintain is resiliency as it continues its losing bid against Brady and the Patriots in court.
    Because of Goodell, there has been a pall over the NFL for close to a year now. Because of the lack of effort on the NFL’s part to be committed to its values regarding deflate gate, the entire league has suffered many other losses.
    Fire Goodell. And let the rebuild begin. It’s not too late, even now.

  18. theofficialshotcaller says: Jan 6, 2016 5:51 PM

    The NFL orders the refs to steer games in favor of the outcomes they feel will be most profitable.
    Teams they want to win get no holding or interference calls and extra opportunities when they fail.
    Teams they don’t want to win get the holding and interference calls and flags thrown to set them back or make them replay downs when they succeed.

  19. djg209 says: Jan 6, 2016 5:53 PM

    He forgot the NFL’s main value. Profit above all else.

  20. factman66 says: Jan 6, 2016 5:53 PM

    How about Belicheat having to answer media questions?
    The way he acts towards the media is anything but professional and good sportsmanship.

  21. msarcher1 says: Jan 6, 2016 5:54 PM

    And remember, you’re not in Cleveland!

  22. ricko1112 says: Jan 6, 2016 5:55 PM

    Ha! What a flippin’ pile of steaming Colts’ manure and Raven droppings!

    Integrity? Troy Vincent has the nerve to utter that word after what he, Goodell, Kensil, Grigson, and those lapdogs over at BSPN pulled last year!

    Don’t forget, these are the same yahoos that tried telling the country that air pressure doesn’t diminish in the cold weather! Anyone who lives above the Mason-Dixon Line knows what fools they made of themselves when they dismissed physics as “all that sciencey nonsense.”

    Integrity? Boo! Hiss!

  23. monkeesfan says: Jan 6, 2016 5:56 PM

    factman66 – Belichick answers the media the way the media is supposed to be answered – he treats the media the way they warrant.

    If the Steelers and Bengals get nasty the refs need to leave it alone and let the players settle it themselves – the league is OVER, not under, officiated and it has to be cut back.

  24. vancouversportsbro says: Jan 6, 2016 5:57 PM

    That’s right Bill, no walking off the field and avoiding the media when you lose a fair football game.

  25. mmack66 says: Jan 6, 2016 5:59 PM

    “Our rules prohibiting fighting, illegal hits, and abusive language will be strictly enforced.”

    I guess they had the rules turned off during the Giants/Panthers game.

  26. weepingjebus says: Jan 6, 2016 6:01 PM

    The memo also has a cc line with the Jets, Bills, and Dolphins listed as FYIs.

  27. ricko1112 says: Jan 6, 2016 6:01 PM

    factman66 says:
    Jan 6, 2016 5:53 PM
    How about Belicheat having to answer media questions?
    The way he acts towards the media is anything but professional and good sportsmanship.
    ______________________________

    You need to give up! The next time you’re right about anything will be the first time.

    You obviously don’t follow football, so go back to watching whatever sport you normally watch under your rock!

    Just leave these discussions to those who actually watch and pay attention!

  28. zigthepatsfan says: Jan 6, 2016 6:02 PM

    Oh no, the dreaded sternly worded memo

  29. brintfatre says: Jan 6, 2016 6:03 PM

    Remind the officials too! Now that Manning will be in the playoffs they will surely be flagging roughing a Manning (defensive player getting within 10 feet of him), interferance of a Manning (when his wobbly under thrown passes fail to connect), and incrochment of a manning (when the snap happens after the play clock winds down.)

  30. monkeesfan says: Jan 6, 2016 6:03 PM

    mmack66 – actually they handled it properly – they let the players settle it themselves.

  31. steelbreeze676 says: Jan 6, 2016 6:06 PM

    NFL fails in Europe so they take a crack at reality TV.

    The NFL Witch Trials, coming to HBO.

  32. cymbaline6 says: Jan 6, 2016 6:11 PM

    This is what happens when your commissioner hands down inane penalties based on minimal evidence and loses a series of high-profile appeals: the league office becomes afraid to hand out discipline and players get away with things they shouldn’t.

    Though I will add that this ain’t exactly something completely new in the post-seasons. Cary Williams looked a ref in the eyes as he shoved him away forcefully in the Ravens-49ers Super Bowl and didn’t get so much as a penalty for what should have been an easy ejection.

  33. casualmalexlfan says: Jan 6, 2016 6:13 PM

    “As we work together, we will continue striving to represent the NFL’s key values — money, money, and more money.”

  34. aljack88 says: Jan 6, 2016 6:14 PM

    factman66 says:
    Jan 6, 2016 5:44 PM
    No crying, Brady. The refs need to flag him if he pulls that crap again. His behavior against the Giants were embarrassing.
    factman66 says:
    Jan 6, 2016 5:53 PM
    How about Belicheat having to answer media questions?
    The way he acts towards the media is anything but professional and good sportsmanship.
    ================================

    -so, no QBs will be seen this week badgering the refs over calls or non calls? Riiigghht. Give me a $100 for each time they are shown doing just that. Better yet, make that a donation to your favorite charity. You will be able to deduct your +$1000.00 donation on your income tax filing (next year for 2016).

    -what is the “good sportsmanship” of how anyone acts towards the media? You are probably way, way, too young to remember some of Bill Parcel’s dealings with the media; and yesteryears’ media had a lot more integrity than that of today’s.. i.e; Mortenson type garbage journalism.

  35. Rdog says: Jan 6, 2016 6:15 PM

    Cam Newton isn’t listening to any of that crap

  36. chesswhileyouplaycheckers says: Jan 6, 2016 6:17 PM

    vancouversportsbro says:
    Jan 6, 2016 5:57 PM
    That’s right Bill, no walking off the field and avoiding the media when you lose a fair football game.
    _______________

    vancouversportsbra, still a little weak on how it all works. Coaches have a post game media requirement at a podium, not on the field, after a game. And to paraphrase one of your favorites, they’re ‘only there so they won’t get fined’. Belichick is there every time

  37. harrisonhits2 says: Jan 6, 2016 6:20 PM

    “and the psi level reports are…………..”

    Are being buried encased in cement as we comment here, never to see the light of day again since they prove that science actually exists.

  38. scottbrowning2 says: Jan 6, 2016 6:24 PM

    “Integrity” used to mean something. Now, after repeatedly crossing the lips of guys like Vincent and Goodell, the word has become meaningless.

  39. bonniebengal says: Jan 6, 2016 6:29 PM

    Illegal hits!! Hear that, Mike Mitchell?

  40. dodgerlakerfan1969 says: Jan 6, 2016 6:30 PM

    In other words, don’t get upset or angry when we give Peyton his story book ending. Don’t be surprised to see the calls suspiciously go the Broncos way throughout the playoffs. Bet on it.

  41. selfpromotingqb says: Jan 6, 2016 6:34 PM

    Someone read the memo to Clay Mathews

  42. Irsay's Bong says: Jan 6, 2016 6:35 PM

    What a joke the NFL front office is, I really don’t think they understand the meaning of Integrity.

  43. Great Caesar's Ghost says: Jan 6, 2016 6:39 PM

    There was a memo, sooo, if you could just go ahead and do that, that’d be great.

  44. vancouversportsbro says: Jan 6, 2016 6:45 PM

    Belichick is there every time

    —–

    2013 against the ravens

  45. plum54 says: Jan 6, 2016 6:47 PM

    Speaking of integrity how’s the investigation going on Manning having a PED shipped to his house? Or the Colts not reporting Lucks broken ribs? The silence is deafening?!

  46. PFT-made-me-change-my-handle says: Jan 6, 2016 6:49 PM

    So, were extra copies sent to the Seahawks?

  47. tim8450 says: Jan 6, 2016 6:55 PM

    You mean, like when the Seahawks became completely unraveled last year and ended the superbowl in a flurry of cheap shots, thrown punches and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties?

  48. imodan says: Jan 6, 2016 6:55 PM

    Troy Vincent? TROY Vincent? TROY FREAKIN VINCENT??!!! Who the heck let him out of witness protection? This doesn’t bode well for the Patriots at all.

  49. zeke2517 says: Jan 6, 2016 6:58 PM

    I’d like to see the letter to the referees:

    “Guys. How about we try not to show our startling level of incompetence this time, eh?”

  50. Pftsliberalagenda says: Jan 6, 2016 7:02 PM

    Troy Vincent is roger goodells mr. bojangles and it upsets me

  51. chesswhileyouplaycheckers says: Jan 6, 2016 7:21 PM

    vancouversportsbro says:
    Jan 6, 2016 6:45 PM
    Belichick is there every time

    —–

    2013 against the ravens
    __________________

    Read the post. Declined on the field, answered questions at the podium as required.

    Coaches aren’t required to comment on the field, he declined an individual interview and that instance is only memorable because of noted Pats hater Shannon horse face Sharpe having a hissy fit in the studio over it.

  52. FinFan68 says: Jan 6, 2016 7:24 PM

    Key values? Most reputable companies call them core values because they are supposed to be constant.

  53. securb2013 says: Jan 6, 2016 7:26 PM

    quinzze says:
    Jan 6, 2016 5:46 PM
    And the Patriots fumble rate is tied for lowest in the league and is lower than last years… Go figure.

    ______________________

    When you put up 20 total yards in the 4th quarter to the Dolphins there are not too many opportunities to fumble.

  54. professorpigskin46 says: Jan 6, 2016 7:27 PM

    Stop with the unsportsmanlike stuff, guys! And pay no attention to the man behind the curtain…

  55. Pointy Williams says: Jan 6, 2016 8:13 PM

    Saturday Night Fights

  56. bencoates57 says: Jan 6, 2016 8:32 PM

    I can think of no entity that behaved more childishly and unconscionably in sports than the NFL executive office personnel. Get your own house in order, hypocrites

  57. bleck5 says: Jan 6, 2016 8:37 PM

    In other words “we want a fairy tale ending for Pedton Manning”

    Thankfully the Broncos are consistently tragic in big games. You dont recieve the two biggest blowouts in Superbowl history by accident or win your only two superbowls by cheating the cap (and recieving the two biggest fines for a team in NFL history) that and its Peyton Manning who has gone one and done how many times already?

    Then again I can still the yellow flags flying and bogus unfair calls being made causing certain teams losses. If only Goodell learned what integrity meant in grade school.

  58. chuckshontaspads says: Jan 6, 2016 9:36 PM

    The “Sternly worded memo”, sort of like the filming memo in 2007 that set off spygate…no rule a memo..lets see how Misters Integrity Goodell and Vincent handle things when the Patriots are not involved. BTW what about the PSI readings, what vault are they in? Also anyone see the Pats fumble rate was the lowest in the league in years! Those are the FACTS man.

  59. quinzze says: Jan 6, 2016 9:46 PM

    The Dolphins game in the 4th quarter is the best you could come up with? 16 games tied for fewest this year and less than last year … Look it up.

  60. holeinone09 says: Jan 6, 2016 10:28 PM

    I doubt Burfict was listening.

  61. paulrevereshorse1775 says: Jan 6, 2016 10:37 PM

    This is a ‘do as I say, not as I do’ statement from the league

  62. fourthand20 says: Jan 6, 2016 10:47 PM

    Demeaning, offensive words or actions, fighting, illegal hits, and abusive language are still in all the shows advertised at the commercial breaks. My kids can’t watch.

  63. briangraydon says: Jan 7, 2016 3:12 AM

    For you Patriot whiners the psi levels were buried in cement along with the Spygate videos. The NFL only came down hard because you cheated twice. Everybody knows that.

  64. Don Humphrey says: Jan 7, 2016 7:49 AM

    Sorry – but there is such a disconnect with the NFL Offices. They are the last ones who should be talking about integrity.

  65. Treat manning like Brady says: Jan 7, 2016 9:23 AM

    The only important questions,

    When did the NFl adapt it’s policy to a more l’aissez faire version of their POV on cheating and integrity?

    Why no leaks? Why no investigation? Why no tweets from Mort? Why no outrage from ex players on TV? Why no crying from Brunelle?

    Every second the league drags it’s feet it adds to the mountain of proof that they were the cheaters, not Brady.

    Watching the NFL lose in court again is not enough. We need disclosure. Who was Morts “source” Who made the call from MD to IA. whatever happened to the ball stealing official?

    If they wanted to find out what happened during the AFCCG last year they are certainly asking all the wrong questions to all the wrong people.

  66. gisellichek says: Jan 7, 2016 9:28 AM

    I still enjoy reading the defamation post about the Patriots cheating. America… The Patriots are still in your heads … and as far as I can see for no good reason at all…

    January is the most wonderful time of the year…
    Good luck to all on your teams that made the dance!!!

  67. Treat manning like Brady says: Jan 7, 2016 9:33 AM

    securb2013 says:
    Jan 6, 2016 7:26 PM
    quinzze says:
    Jan 6, 2016 5:46 PM
    And the Patriots fumble rate is tied for lowest in the league and is lower than last years… Go figure.

    ______________________

    When you put up 20 total yards in the 4th quarter to the Dolphins there are not too many opportunities to fumble.

    When you run 2x as often as any other game there are plenty opportunities to fumble.

  68. Treat manning like Brady says: Jan 7, 2016 10:12 AM

    Brady threw more touchdown passes than anyone else in the NFL. Despite throwing zero touchdowns in Week 17 for the first time all year, Brady’s 36 TDs were one more than Cam Newton, Carson Palmer, Eli Manning and Blake Bortles. It was tied for the third-highest single-season total of Brady’s career.

    –He led the NFL in touchdown-to-interception ratio. He threw just seven interceptions despite throwing 624 passes. His 1.1 percent interception percentage was also No. 1 in the NFL. The seven picks made for the second-lowest single-season total of his entire career, and that’s despite throwing the third-most passes of any season in his career.

    –He ranked third in passing yards. He finished 100 yards behind Drew Brees and 22 yards behind Philip Rivers.

    –He ranked fourth in passer rating.
    He did this despite losing his best wide receiver for nearly half of a season and losing his dynamic backfield receiving threat in early November. He also lost his starting left tackle in mid-October and was without his right tackle-turned left tackle for the final two weeks. His interior line rotated three rookies and two second-year players.

    Oh, and for anyone who subscribed to the conspiracy that deflated footballs led to the Patriots never fumbling the football, thereby nefariously cheating the league? Idiots, too.

    Despite the eye-catching headline that insinuated illegally low PSI numbers led to fewer fumbles (seriously, has nobody ever watched or held a football before?), the Patriots barely fumbled at all this year. Again, with the league monitoring PSI levels very closely, the Patriots:

    –Had the fewest fumbles among rushers in the NFL with two (2). LeGarrette Blount fumbled once, and Tom Brady fumbled once. That was it. For the entire season.

    –-Were tied for the fifth-fewest fumbles in the NFL on receptions with three (3). Dion Lewis fumbled twice, and Julian Edelman fumbled once. That was it.

    So, c’mon back all you folks who predicted increased fumbles and picks. Time for your medicine.

  69. swineflooo says: Jan 7, 2016 10:37 AM

    Hgh

  70. braczey29 says: Jan 7, 2016 10:52 AM

    Wow….calculated, preemptive moves by meatheads……next the blind will see

  71. orrnumberfour says: Jan 7, 2016 11:21 AM

    Brady threw more touchdown passes than anyone else in the NFL. Despite throwing zero touchdowns in Week 17 for the first time all year, Brady’s 36 TDs were one more than Cam Newton, Carson Palmer, Eli Manning and Blake Bortles. It was tied for the third-highest single-season total of Brady’s career.

    –He led the NFL in touchdown-to-interception ratio. He threw just seven interceptions despite throwing 624 passes. His 1.1 percent interception percentage was also No. 1 in the NFL. The seven picks made for the second-lowest single-season total of his entire career, and that’s despite throwing the third-most passes of any season in his career.

    –He ranked third in passing yards. He finished 100 yards behind Drew Brees and 22 yards behind Philip Rivers.

    –He ranked fourth in passer rating.
    He did this despite losing his best wide receiver for nearly half of a season and losing his dynamic backfield receiving threat in early November. He also lost his starting left tackle in mid-October and was without his right tackle-turned left tackle for the final two weeks. His interior line rotated three rookies and two second-year players.

    Oh, and for anyone who subscribed to the conspiracy that deflated footballs led to the Patriots never fumbling the football, thereby nefariously cheating the league? Idiots, too.

    Despite the eye-catching headline that insinuated illegally low PSI numbers led to fewer fumbles (seriously, has nobody ever watched or held a football before?), the Patriots barely fumbled at all this year. Again, with the league monitoring PSI levels very closely, the Patriots:

    –Had the fewest fumbles among rushers in the NFL with two (2). LeGarrette Blount fumbled once, and Tom Brady fumbled once. That was it. For the entire season.

    –-Were tied for the fifth-fewest fumbles in the NFL on receptions with three (3). Dion Lewis fumbled twice, and Julian Edelman fumbled once. That was it.

    So, c’mon back all you folks who predicted increased fumbles and picks. Time for your medicine.

    __________

    Awesome post. Well done.

  72. djaehne says: Jan 7, 2016 3:53 PM

    Guys, this memo is all about Seattle d-backs.

  73. bullcharger says: Jan 8, 2016 6:46 AM

    Come on giant, ultra competitive extremely tough NFL players… play nice… there are only millions of dollars on the line.

    Give me a break.

  74. Treat manning like Brady says: Jan 8, 2016 2:04 PM

    briangraydon says:
    Jan 7, 2016 3:12 AM
    For you Patriot whiners the psi levels were buried in cement along with the Spygate videos. The NFL only came down hard because you cheated twice. Everybody knows that.

    late to the party

    tapes were played for all to see. Troll if you like but how about some new material? That old meme was buried long ago. Only out of date Hateroids still use it.

  75. aj66shanghai says: Jan 8, 2016 4:57 PM

    For all the defense of Brady, you only make him look vulnerable and yourselves look insecure and doubtful. And the manic obssession with the league and certain individuals just makes you look like the nuts still barking about Benghazi theories. You have only succeded to cause people, whom otherwise didn’t care, to now hate your team, QB and fans. You are the whiniest babies in a wussified America, great job.

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