Monday, October 25, 2010

Chiefs' Shaun Smith isn't the only one grabbing the goods

Could the NFL and the media have jumped the gun on Chiefs' defensive lineman Shaun Smithor the "Genital Giant" as he was so appropriately tagged – and his proneness to grab the junk of an opponent when engaged during a play?

It's quite possible, at least according to the website, Deadspin (the same blog that broke the story on the Brett Favre debacle).

In a recent story on the site, Deadspin gave us a teaser for Anthony Gargano's newly published NFL Unplugged: The Brutal, Brilliant World of Professional Football. The book apparently includes its share of crazy and juicy details from current and former players about the goings-on around the league and on the field, some of which are just downright disgusting.

The story includes more than enough to intrigue the average NFL fan to buy the book, but there was one part in particular Chiefs fans would be interested in most. It involves linebacker Mike Vrabel and his going for a loose-ball, Smith-like etiquette under a pile during a game against the Eagles while a member of the Patriots.

I'll let Deadspin, quoting an excerpt from the book, tell the rest:
Ike Reese told of a harrowing experience trying to recover a Brian Westbrook fumble during a punt return against the Patriots.

"Mike Vrabel grabbed my sac," Reese said. "We're all scrambling for the ball and Mike Vrabel had my nuts so hard I was screaming. I didn't even have the ball. He had my shit in his hands and he's squeezing. We don't wear cups. So I'm dying. Everything is fair game. The pile clears and I see him — now Mike, he's an Ohio guy, and I played against him at Ohio State when I was at Michigan State — and he's smiling and shit at me. I turned to him and said, ‘You fuckin' asshole.'"
It's pretty obvious the media's treatment of Smith a few weeks ago for his alleged actions against the Browns and 49ers was unfair. Extended excerpts Deadspin gave from the book would lead one to believe this kind of stuff is commonplace on the field and under the pile. Smith was more or less a victim of his own boldness to do it out in the open in an effort to help his team win.

The league has since rescinded the $10,000 fine it levied on him after the 49ers game due to inconclusive video evidence. Still, it's fairly obvious the original fine was completely hypocritical. Along with Ike Reese, Gargano's Unplugged includes numerous quotes and stories from the likes of Jeff Garcia, Orlando Brown, Anthony Becht, and former player and current ESPN analyst Mark Schlereth. It's hard to debate the legitimacy there. Deadspin's excerpt includes players claiming the referees know all about the under-the-pile nastiness, but never call it.

It's absurd for the league to hand out fines to players caught on tape doing things that are common practice every Sunday. I'd like to hear what Vrabel has to say about the accusations.

Smith had to deal with the embarrassment (his kids saw the video) and the name bashing. It's likely Vrabel won't be questioned at all about Reese's story.

In any event, I'll definitely be picking up the book. If Deadspin's excerpts are any indication, it's a must-read.


  1. Sorry Eli, but I gotta disagree with you on this one. Just because officials don't see what's going on at the bottom of the pile doesn't mean that junk-grabbing should be allowed. It should also be fined heavily if it's caught on tape. I realize that the vast majority of the time, cameras won't be able to catch all of the dirty behavior that occurs at the bottom of the pile, but if the NFL were to not dispense fines for the documented instances of dirty behavior such as this, they are basically condoning its continuation.

    Besides, the "Genital Giant" has to be one of the best nicknames of all time.

  2. I do love the nickname, but it's ridiculous to think he's some lone culprit.

    According to Deadspin, officials see it and don't care.