I looked over at my wife and asked, “Did I see what I just thought I saw?”
“Yes” was the answer I quickly heard.
All I could do was giggle a bit and post my tweet about what I saw.
What I and everyone else saw was the single finger salute given by AJ Hawk toward his own sideline.
It wasn’t until after the game when queried about it that it all came clear – it was an inside joke, wasn’t done with malicious intentions and seemingly harmed no one. Remember, these are football fans watching these games. For the most part, these people are immune to gestures like this … at least one would hope.
Will he be fined? Probably. Should he be fined? Probably not.
But if he’s dumb enough to do it in a stadium filled with cameras, well I guess he should pay the price.
“I guess it was on TV,” Hawk said after the game, according to a report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “I definitely wasn’t mad or upset with anybody. It was kind of a running joke with a couple of my teammates. I got caught up in the emotion of the game.
“Sometimes you forget that it’s on TV. I definitely want to apologize to anyone who’s kids were watching and got offended or anything. I understand. I’m sorry that got out there. … I definitely apologize for that. It wasn’t meant to get out there for people to see.”
The football field is a rough and tumble place. Men swearing at men. Men bouncing their bodies off one another and mass, controlled violence on every play. It’s not the place for sissies and if one of them flips the bird, it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise and certainly isn’t the first time it’s happened.
Remember a couple of seasons back when Titans owner Bud Adams was caught on camera doing the same?
And remember when Jerry Rice was with Cris Collinsworth for an interview during the Sunday Night Football broadcast of the Hall of Fame Game last year between the Dallas Cowboys and the Cincinnati Bengals? The guys were talking about Rice’s HOF career when Collinsworth mentioned Super Bowl XXIII. Rice and the Niners beat Collinsworth’s Bengals 20-16 and Rice was named MVP. And just to rub it in, Rice showed his ring from the game – however, he wasn’t wearing it on his ring finger, but rather on his middle digit. When he showed it, he made a moment by flipping off all of America.
And we would certainly be remiss at not mentioning the name of Kevin Butler. The Chicago Bears place kicker has a special place in every Packers fans heart … if you remember the 1980s matchups between the Packers and Bears, you will remember the viciousness of those games.
It was Nov. 8, 1987, when the Packers blew a 21-13 lead against the Bears. Chicago trailed with less than a minute left when Jim McMahon led the team down the field for a game-winning 55-yard field goal off the leg of Butler. After the kick, Butler turned and flipped the bird to Packers coach Forrest Gregg, exemplifying what both teams felt about one another in those days.
So, nobody should be appalled by Hawk’s mild actions yesterday … there are much more egregious instances that have occurred over the years.
So, Mr. Commissioner, fine his ass and let’s get on with the season.