Steelers/Sanders Fined $50K for Phantom Cramp
Total BS. Sanders is still a hero for taking one for the team.
By Gerry Dulac / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The National Football League has fined the Steelers and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders a total of $50,000 for faking an injury in at Oct. 21 game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Steelers were fined $35,000 and Sanders $15,000 by the league for the incident, which occurred in the final minutes of a 24-17 victory against the Bengals.
Sanders met with NFL vice president Ray Anderson last week and gave his version of what happened.
Sanders said his leg cramped when he fell to the ground after the play with 5:42 remaining in the fourth quarter and the Steelers leading, 24-17.
The league did not believe him.
In a letter to Sanders and general manager Kevin Colbert, Anderson said:
"Despite the account given by Sanders during our November 2nd meeting, neither the video sequence of the pertinent plays nor the observations of the on-field official support Sanders's contention that he was in severe pain, either before, while falling to the ground, lying on the ground, or when he was being assisted in leaving the field.
"Moreover, after missing the one play that is mandatory pursuant to the playing rules, and receiving no apparent treatment, Sanders returned to the game for a fourth-down punt, on which he out-sprinted all of his teammates 26 yards down the field, arriving at the ball ahead of all other Pittsburgh players, and then downing the ball. The video of the play shows Sanders running swiftly and effortlessly toward the punted ball, and then leaving the field with no sign of discomfort.
"Sanders also played the rest of the game without difficulty. Finally, there is no indication that Sanders has had prior cramping issues while in the NFL, and no Steelers' medical records or information of any kind were presented that would support a finding that he incurred a cramp that was both as serious and as transient as Sanders suggests."
Anderson also referenced a memo sent to all clubs in September that said the issue of faking injuries has been frequently discussed by the Competition Committee.
Anderson said the Steelers were fined $35,000 because it was consistent with Commissioner Roger Goodell's principle that clubs must be held accountable for the conduct of their employees
Steelers fined $35,000, Sanders fined $15,000 for allegedly faking injury
Steelers fined $35,000, Emmanuel Sanders fined $15,000 for allegedly faking injury
By Neal Coolong on Nov 9
The NFL has never needed evidence to do what it feels it must to protect the integrity of a game that allows dances in the end zone as a means of marketing.
So we're clear, it costs $15,750 for a defensive player to hit a receiver in the head (whether flags are thrown for that, or whether the defensive player even hits the receiver in the head is a different story).
It costs a receiver $15,000 and his team $35,000 if that player gets a leg cramp during a fourth quarter drive.
Those are the amounts Steelers WR Emmanuel Sanders and the Steelers were fined, respectively, for Sanders' alleged "fake" leg cramp during the Steelers' 24-17 win over Cincinnati in Week 7.
Sanders sat out one play while drinking water or Gatorade while trainers massaged his calf.
Troy Polamalu suffered an injury to his calf in the Steelers' win over Philadelphia, and hobbled off the field in a similar fashion. The league bought the notion he was actually hurt when he missed the team's next four games. Apparently, though, he would not have been allowed to return without being subjected to a fine.
Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz physically displayed all the symptoms of being hit in the head by Steelers safety Ryan Clark in the Steelers' 24-20 win in Week 9. Replay clearly shows he wasn't hit anywhere near his head.
Cruz laid all but motionless on the ground, convincing the back judge Clark must have hit him in the head. Cruz miraculously got up from his chalk-outlined body after the official threw a flag, penalizing the Steelers 15 yards for a "blow to the head."
No statement from the league has been released on whether Cruz will be subjected to the same punishment, begging the question, why should a receiver fake a leg cramp when he'd get 15 yards and a free timeout if he acted like he got hit in the head?
We all know these questions will never be answered, nor will ones pertaining to the randomly below acceptable level of officiating from that Week 9 game.
Chalk it up to "Us Against The World," which, for the Steelers, has made an unexpected yet dramatic comeback in 2012.