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Very nice. This sums up my feelings about this subject completely.
2 years ago on Same Sex Marriage Debate Reaches Supreme Court
@Mark1984 I agree that the SEC messed up here, but I don't agree with the view that he led with his head. The angle he took on the play makes it appear that he led with his shoulder. His head got there first, and that's why (along with the sheer needless violence there, legal or not) they have to suspend him, but "led with his head" implies intent that I don't think was there. He led with his shoulder and took a poor angle that due to his size vs. Murray's, allowed his head to arrive first. He also didn't "leave his feet" per se - it looks like his feet and Murray's were tangled. I honestly think if they don't get tangled, Dial doesn't fall. Could be wrong about that one more than the shoulder thing though.
I think that you don't legislate intent here - you legislate technique. If you don't want helmet-to-helmet shots, you suspend when they occur. If you want to reduce injuries, you suspend/flag when violent hits occur unnecessarily. That's what I'm saying.
Still, Dial should've been suspended. You can't concern yourself with what game is next. So, on that - we agree completely. :-)
2 years, 3 months ago on No Suspension For Bama's Dial Over SEC Title Game Hit On UGA's Murray
It's as I thought - they didn't see Murray as being defenseless, so they didn't suspend. Fair enough on the defenseless ruling - I too do not see Murray as defenseless, just as not paying enough attention - but I'm still not sure that this is the right call.
While I believe that the SEC is being mostly consistent here, I think that they've missed the boat on a couple of hits this season (this being the most high profile, to be sure) that should have set a precedent for protecting players. I think that Dial should've gotten a suspension, but they may need to tighten their criteria for issuing suspensions in the offseason if they wish to broaden the brush. They've tightened the window a bit too much for me with the "defenseless player" label (though clearly defenseless players should be protected, simply not being defenseless shouldn't allow for hits to be overdone).
Murray was moving toward the play and could have been a factor. Dial blocking Murray was fine. Dial blocking Murray the way he did was too much, and should have resulted in a suspension.
Here's my take (and I'm an Alabama fan, just for context):
1) Murray was not defenseless and should have either not been jogging toward the play or should have been paying attention. (If he's not "trying" to make the play, this is as open and shut of a case as there is.)
2) Dial was not using his head as a weapon and did not target Murray's head.
3) Dial did make contact with Murray's head. (I believe incidentally, but that's irrelevant).
4) The official didn't throw a flag, but a flag should have been thrown.
5) If defenseless vs. not defenseless is the main choice that decides a suspension, Dial should not be suspended. If the determination on whether the contact was initiated above the shoulders, it's a bit trickier, but I believe that Dial should be suspended. Intent is irrelevant. If the rule says you can't do it, you can't do it - even if you didn't mean to (and again, I don't believe he was trying to take a head shot. The way the hit plays out just doesn't add up for it to be an intentional helmet-to-helmet. He still hit him in the head, and that came first, but don't assume intent just because of result.)
For me, I think that if you look at everything, it's a violent play that just about everyone does. If the QB throws a pick and gets in the neighborhood of the return, you light him up. This is something that has always been. I don't believe that you have to protect the QB in this case more than anyone else, so I'm throwing that out. I'm also taking out the violence of the hit. If that hit goes off the way I believe that Dial intended for it to, it's legal, and no suspension would be legitimately on the table. However, since Dial hit him in the head first, you have to follow the rule. The officials can't miss that call, but they did, so whatever. Dial needs a suspension for no other reason than if you want to protect players (not QBs here, as I'd feel the same way if it were a lineman that he lit up) from head shots, you have to send the message. You can't be concerned with intent, you can't be concerned with the opponent in the next game, and you can't be concerned with how many more games he might have left in his career. If that's the rule, enforce it or throw it out.
2 years, 3 months ago on Bama’s Dial “Getting A lot Of Heat” Over Hit On UGA’s Murray, But Will He Get A Suspension?