Baldinger on suspension: “The punishment doesn’t fit the crime”

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Some would say NFL Network gave analyst Brian Baldinger too much of a penalty by suspending him for six months without pay. Some would include Baldinger.

The punishment doesn’t fit the crime,” Baldinger told

Baldinger is right; the six-month banishment feels like a termination. There’s a good chance that’s what it will become. When Baldinger returns in six months, NFL Network may decide to simply pay him to stay home over the balance of his contract, whatever it may be.

Moreover, it’s hard not to wonder whether the league-owned TV operation would have imposed the same degree of discipline if one of its primary on-air contributors, while paraphrasing what Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz should be telling his players, suggested that the team should try to knock Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott out of the game. While the comments crossed the line when Baldinger used the “B” word, would Michael Irvin or Marshall Faulk or Deion Sanders or Steve Mariucci have been suspended six months for saying the same thing Baldinger said, especially if it happened not on NFL Network’s air but on a local radio station?

During Warren Sapp’s time with NFL Network, he accused tight end Jeremy Shockey of being the “snitch” in the Saints bounty scandal during an NFL Network appearance. Sapp, in response, was suspended 30 days and reminded Sapp that he’s not a reporter. The league later picked up the option on his contract. (Sapp remained employed by NFL Network until he was arrested for assaulting a pair of prostitutes in Arizona.)

And so the notion that excuses are made for the stars and examples are made of the scrubs applies not only to sports teams but also to sports broadcasters — and to pretty much every other business in America and beyond.

This doesn’t change the fact that Baldinger made stupid comments. But a six-month suspension is a lifetime in this business, and it won’t be a surprise if, as to Baldinger, that’s what it eventually becomes.

35 responses to “Baldinger on suspension: “The punishment doesn’t fit the crime”

  1. Baldy is right — this is whacked. It’s frustrating to see the NFL (NFLN here) try to lay down the heavy hand on a good guy who is a very respected commentator.

    So much hypocrisy pulling the strings.

    Not cool.

  2. Baldinger’s comments are like Josh Huff’s arrest: They’ll only put up with it if you are a star and are doing something no one else can do. Not really true in either case here.

  3. If the various sports broadcast networks suspended every commentator who said something stupid, there would be a lot of dead air. And Simms, Nance, McDonough, Buck, Dungy, Harrison et al would all be constantly out of work.

  4. Since when has the NFL cared about the punishment fitting the crime? Consider your self lucky you never played for the Patriots, or your punishment would have been getting fired. Be happy its a suspension

  5. And so the notion that excuses are made for the stars and examples are made of the scrubs applies not only to sports teams but also to sports broadcasters — and to pretty much every other business in America and beyond.

    I call this “life”. Peoples talent give them extra built up equity and wiggle room in life in these circumstances. It’s not “unfair” or “hypocritical” like you make it sound.

    Florio would likely give his “top writer” a longer leash and more leeway than he would compared to the guy he pays to bring him coffee in the morning. Not because it’s “unfair”, “hypocritical” or “inconsistant”… but because thats how it has to be and thats how it has to he.

    No one is perfect… everyone has flaws and thats not a reason to fire someone. But if your flawed and also don’t provide much value…. then thats a bad combo and it’s fair game to let that person go. To maintain employment somewhere, your “pros” have to outweigh your “cons”. Each person and circumstance is unique, but that general concept proves to be true in all aspects of life. Men will put up with a girls with some “emotional baggage” because she’s good looking. Ie: pros outweigh the cons. It’s just life and common sense. No need to bring it up everytime something like this happens. Most people understand how the real world works.

  6. Can we just pretend that Deion Sanders and LaDainian Tomlinson said the same thing? This way we can rid ourselves of that god-awful Gameday Prime show Sunday nights. Why can’t we just have highlights instead of the NFL version of The View?

  7. They suspended a coach for an entire season over an alleged bounty scheme, so why would 6 months for some nobody that advocates for a bounty on a player be too much?

    They should have just fired him. It’s not like there is a shortage of washed up players out there that could do his job.

  8. Tough talk does not equal tough actions.

    You can’t physically do any harm with just words. Actions cause physical harm. if someones feelings got hurt then that is their own fault for having thin skin.

    yes what he said was stupid but they were just words.
    This is so silly instead of suspending him the network should have said they put him in “Time Out.” and he has to sit on the couch for 1 hour before he can got back out and play.

  9. Whether or not it fits the crime. You can’t say it.
    Bounties are a classless way to go about your business as a football team, but moreover, the NFL wants nothing to do with the notion that teams are still doing it. Baldy knows this and said it anyways.

  10. God could we please have a thread without some whiny deflatriots fans chiming in? Brady is guilty. The whole educated world knows it. Get over it.

  11. You can do better than this. Comparing Baldinger’s comments to those of Sapp are lazy, in that they’re apples and oranges. CLEARLY, the NFL is establishing a zero-tolerance policy towards talk of bounties and intentions to injure, than that is the NFL’s fair prerogative. On top of that, you simply have to question the value of continuing to employ someone who would be dumb enough to actually use the term “bounty” and openly say there should be one. That betrays a level of stupidity that suggests that Baldinger would become a liability sooner or later. The punishment absolutely fits the crime, and the last person who should claim to be a judge of that is the person who committed the crime in the first place.

  12. Baldinger is the classic football meathead. How dumb do you have to be to say that when you are employed by The NFL??

    Probably just as dumb enough to say the Bears should not fire Dick Jauron in one his final games because ‘the crowd is cheering so loud’

  13. I think the suspension shows that the NFL is still a bit sensitive about the whole getting their butts kicked over the Saints and Bountygate. In hindsight Sean Payton should have fought his own suspension harder, he’d probably have won just like all the players did.

  14. Going over the top would be to fire him. He’s lucky to still have a job as there are many other ex-players who would gladly take his position and no one would bat an eye.

  15. And now there are two idiots crying about a guy having his career negatively affected by advocating having someone else’s career negatively affected.

  16. “Brady is guilty. The whole educated world knows it. Get over it.”

    Actually the “educated world” understands the ideal gas law and can read and comprehend the Wells Report and know that the entire thing was a fraud manufactured by Goodell and his cronies.

    You show only that you failed 5th grade science and either didn’t read or don’t understand the wells report.

  17. The other 99.5% of Americans don’t have contracts, screw up or get downsized and you get 2 weeks severance. I don’t feel bad for him. No incentive to do a good job.

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