Dante Wesley Ejected After
Vicious Illegal Hit on Clifton Smith
I couldn't quite see if Fair Catch was called but it doesn't matter. The point is, Smith didn't have the ball. Fact, he was nowhere near the ball. Wesley is an EIGHT YEAR VETERAN, a Special Teams master -- precisely the guy you want settling the rooks down, not jacking everyone up with this kind of unsporting treacherous truly evil fucking hit -- whom was trusted by his teammates, his coaches, the opposing players and their coaches, and by the officials, to play fucking football.
This wasn't football. This was an assassination, an attempt to take a helpless man standing fully exposed and hurt him for life and/or kill him. It was an evil, vicious, predatory intentional move made with full awareness. There is NO excuse for it. None.
After further review today in the Commissioner's Office, Wesley was suspended without pay for one additional game. I would have thrown his ass out for an entire season.
Smith was on the ground totally unconscious for an entire minute. One whole minute. The odds of him dying early, of Smith having early onset Alzheimer's Disease, hell, of just getting a minor concussion which he plays through and doesn't dare tell anyone because he's afraid of being fired -- NFL players have the crappiest contracts in all of professional major league sports, not to mention those contracts are year-to-year (if I remember correctly) -- just went sky-fracking-high.
And Wesley's punishment for maiming Smith is one game without pay. For which Wesley absolutely will get major bonus money this coming year come contract-renewal time, all in exchange for having intimidated the hell out of the opposing team. One man's next 30-40 years (if he lives that long, and if he does he'll only live it in massive pain and/or with brain damage and/or unable to know what is even going, all due to this one hit Wesley put on him this past Sunday) all in order for one team to gain an ongoing advantage in professional football.
It wasn't an accident. It was an assassination.
Eight-year special team's veterans don't have accidents at that level.
Period. Full stop.
The NFL is really pushing hard with its officials to stop letting its ball handlers get knocked out, especially the high-priced talent such as quarterbacks and receivers. Hit a QB after he's got rid of the ball and you are D-O-N-E. Hit a kicker after he's got rid of the ball and it'd be better for you if he'd kicked that ball up your ass. Same with hitting a receiver on a crossing pattern all stretched out up in the air (totally vulnerable) before he touches the ball. You can hit that stretched-out receiver (or QB or kicker), but if you mistime it so you even breathe on him before his fingers touch the pigskin, pack. You're done.
Problem is, the league has not yet put in that PUSH when it comes to Special Teams. That said, these officials handled this incident damn fine. From breaking up the fight between the teams, to making sure the fight didn't get worse, to reviewing what happened and throwing Wesley out of the game.
I don't know if the officials could have done anything before the game to stop the incident -- perhaps have laid down the law with both teams as to their expectations regarding hits on people when they didn't have the ball -- but I don't see as to why they'd have done that, if only because what Wesley did was SO FAR FUCKING OUTSIDE THE GODDAMN RULES that No One saw this coming.
Wesley hit Smith at least a full second before the ball arrived. The punt landed on the ground after Smith was already down on the turf unconscious and not moving.
It was a slaughter, an attack, an intentional attempt to hurt Smith for good. That Smith was unconscious for over sixty seconds tells you how damn close Wesley came to succeeding.