Jared Allen has learned that he will not be suspended for a helmet-to-helmet late hit on Aaron Rodgers two weeks ago, but will have to fork over another $25,000 fine – after having already coughed up $50,000 for going low, twice, on Matt Schaub earlier this season. Allen was typically defiant in the wake of his meeting with league brass in New York:
"The way I look at it is I told my side of the story and they told me what they thought was going on. We were able to come see eye-to-eye and get a better understanding from both sides. I’m just going to go out and keep playing football the way I play football.…nothing that happened was intentional. Most of those hits I was falling to the ground and I try to pull up. I’m not going to change the way I play. I’m going to play hard from snap to whistle and keep playing football."
The Pioneer-Press reports that Allen had an advocate on his side during his hearing – Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier. The team had to rearrange the practice schedule on Tuesday so Frazier could accompany Allen to New York. Frazier explained why it was important for him to be there:
"I think it lent some credence to who he is and what he’s about as well as talking through plays that were in question from a coaching standpoint and from a former player’s point of view, and now the player’s point of view also. A combination of those gave it a unique blend that’s not ordinarily there."
Maybe Frazier has a future as a defense lawyer. And speaking of defense…a pair of former Vikings have come out to support Allen, and criticize the NFL for becoming the National Fluff League. One of them is the all-time tough-guy Jim Marshall, who said of all the fining that’s been going on lately:
"I think it’s crazy. I think it’s just absolutely ridiculous. Football is a rough game. They’ve pretty much taken the quarterback with the protection that he’s got, you can’t put your hands on him, you can’t touch him. If you’re in the air and he gets the ball off and you happen to hit him, they want to fine you. You can’t play all-out if you’re doing those kinds of things. They got too many rules now.I just don’t understand some of the rules that they have in effect. “You can’t touch this guy here.” A guy can go out there if he wanted to be just real chicken shit he could get out there and every time somebody came up, he could fall down like he got hurt."
And another all-time great Viking bad-ass, John Randle, had this to say about the same subject:
"The game is about contact. If you want to protect your quarterback, keep him on the sideline. It’s 11 men. He’s part of the game. … There are not a lot of rules that protect defensive linemen, DBs or linebackers. It’s a brutal game. It’s a game where people are going to get hurt. That’s why teams have a good starting quarterback and good backups."
Both Randle and Marshall said they would end up being fined plenty if they played in today’s league. I doubt it though. At their age, they’d just break their hips.