So most if not all should know by now that the main headline this past week in the world of the NFL was Rob Gronkowski’s inexplicable hit on Bills rookie corner back Tre White. Once the game was over you could not change the channel without seeing a clip of the cheap shot that still has everyone talking. Much to the chagrin of Bills head coach Sean McDermott, he is ready to put the situation in the rearview mirror and focus on this week’s upcoming opponent the 3-9 Indianapolis Colts. Throughout the week I have heard and every sports radio hosts take on the situation and I gave my own on my podcast on Sunday night. During my take I didn’t really call out Rob Gronkowski necessarily because that would be far too obvious but I called out the commissioner of the NFL Roger Goodell. We know his history. This is the same guy that suspended Ray Rice for only two games while suspending Adrian Peterson for an entire season. So as the hit continued to be replayed across the country it was anybody’s guess as to what exactly would be Gronk’s punishment? Would he even be punished at all? Soon after the football world heard the news that Rob would be suspended for one game. Did the punishment fit the crime? Probably not. Did Rob Gronkowski have the intent to injure or harm his opponent in th 2017 ever so soft National Football League? Yes. I asked my viewers this the other night, we complained the Gronk needed to be punished, we questioned whether he would be and here we are questioning should it have been longer. Of course it should have been longer but we all need to recognize who we have running the show from the top. The newly extended Roger Goodell.
Throughout this entire situation, I began to think what if this was an MMA fight? What if Rob Gronkowski and Tre White fought in a heavyweight bout and Gronkowski used his hammer-fists on the back of his opponent’s head. Is it much of a difference? In both cases Gronk would be trying to hurt his opponent, PERMANENTLY, by driving his body weight launching his head into his opponent’s neck or by throwing down excessive blows to the back of White’s head the intent is one in the same. After watching the Tre White locker room interview I began to think this might go down in history as one of the dirtiest plays that we have seen in this generation of football. It made me hearken back to the old days of the UFC when the sport was labeled “human cockfighting” by Senator John McCain. We as MMA fans saw plenty of moments which we wish could be unseen. One fighter that comes to mind in terms of the scumbag tactics that Gronkowski used is Rousimar Palhares. He was a Brazilian jujitsu master known for his leg locks and his heel hooks. The majority of his opponents knew how they could lose and they tried to avoid it at all costs and while some could most couldn’t. As Palhares was piling up wins via submission he began to get a big head and often held his submissions while his opponents cried, uncle.
So what happened to the dirtiest fighter of his era? Palhares first faced punishment back at UFC 111 in a bout versus Tomasz Drwaval he had held onto a submission long after Drwl tapped. He was then suspended for 90 days. Two years later Palhares was cut from the UFC after injuring his opponent Mike Pierce, willingly. After being cut by the UFC he was suspended while holding the rank of the Middleweight Champion during the WSOF days. The suspension was a two-year banishment from the sport of MMA.
Obviously one sport is a blood sport one sport is a combat sport. See what I did there? Although Mixed Martial Arts have many differences they are one in the same. They are both contact sports. Where at any moment the life of a player can change forever for better (Tom Brady) or for worse (Ryan Shazier). This isn’t a game this is a dangerous game. Wrap your mind around this thought and allow me to leave you with this thought. What if I told you MMA was safer than pro football. After this weekend it just might be.