Birk or Cottrell will handle appeal of Goldson suspension


It’ll be a busier week than usual for either Matt Birk or Ted Cottrell.

One of them will be handling the inevitable appeal of the one-game suspension imposed by the NFL on Buccaneers safety Dashon Goldson.  The appeal will happen quickly, so that the Buccaneers will know whether Goldson will be available for Sunday’s game at New England.

Birk, who replaces Art Shell this year as one of the two hearing officers jointly appointed by the NFL and the NFLPA, will be getting a baptism by fire if he gets the honors.  If it’s Birk, he’ll be bringing to the process the perspective of a player who has been on the field during the recent transformation of the game away from hits to the head.

While the hit by Goldson on Saints running back Darren Sproles triggers the discipline, Goldson’s history of related infractions will be taken into account.  By rule, similar conduct from 2011 and 2012 falls within the analysis.

Regardless of the outcome to the appeal, the NFL’s decision to suspend Goldson comes less than a week after the NFL decided not to suspend Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh for an illegal low block.  Given that Suh has a history of extracurricular activities, the simplest explanation for the distinction could be that the NFL cares more about heads than knees.

14 responses to “Birk or Cottrell will handle appeal of Goldson suspension

  1. The last line is perfect. I hope when we see a spike in knees being destroyed those players band together and sue the living hell out of the NFL. I mean going for the knees has always been considered the cheapest shot, but with the new rules can you blame guys if it means avoiding suspensions and fines?

  2. Five unnecessary roughness penalties since 2011 and all he gets is a one game suspension?

    Repeated shots to the head of a defenseless player and all he gets is a one game suspension?

    No wonder everyone thinks Goodell’s “safety policy is a joke

  3. Birk and Cottrell are both former Vikings. Cottrell was the defensive coordinator for a while. (Just one of those random facts that clutter my mind.)

  4. Seems this is happening as frequently as ever. Brandon Merriweather of the ‘skins had two in the game in GB yesterday. First one was blatant on Eddie Lacey and the second on James Starks (he knocked himself out on the second) and didn’t even get called for a penalty on either. I just don’t get the glaring inconsistencies from one officiating crew to another…

  5. The NFL cares more about heads than knees…..OR you can actually go with the facts. Goldson has more personal fouls and more fines than Suh does…..

  6. Goldson deserves to be suspended but not before Suh. I really believe some type of investigation needs to take place. Don’t know how the hell anyone can be suspended if Suh isn’t.

  7. How about we actually see the play in motion where you can see Goldson making a proper tackle and Sproles ducking down at the last moment, he’s the one that caused the headshot. Is Goldson supposed to have super-Matrix like powers to stop in motion and readjust for the adjustments that Sproles made? Also I’m not saying Sproles did anything wrong — this was a football play, a clean football play. The NFL should go to wearing pink year around at this point.

  8. Instead of suing the league going forward, players should sue each other for the effects of these hits. Just inhuman disregard for the welfare of others, well beyond “football”.

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