'American Muscle' stirs the pot in Packers and Lions rivalry

A reality TV series called American Muscle is centered around a training environment for professional athletes. The center hosts a vast array of athletes, and has also hosted some controversy in the past (i.e Richard Sherman airing his grievances against 49ers Michael Crabtree).

If there is anything the NFL fan loves more than the inside scoop into the personal lives of professional football players, it’s the ebb and flow of the dramas that lie within.

One such drama came to a head on American Muscle recently – putting division rivals Ndamukong Suh and T.J Lang in the hot seat, rehashing the 2011 “Thanksgiving Day Stomp” as it has come to be known.

As is well-known, Suh carries around a tag of being “dirty” and typically unpolished in the art of rules, regulations or manners. Even after all of this time, the matter still doesn’t sit well with Green Bay Packers starting guard, T.J Lang. As can be seen from the video that was posted to Bleacher Report and other such fan sites, the tension in the room was palpable.

As is well-known, Suh carries around a tag of being “dirty” and typically unpolished in the art of rules, regulations or manners.

Being questioned as to his motives that fateful Thanksgiving, Suh just kept insisting that the issue was resolved or was “in the woods.” Lang did not seem to agree. When asked if the two men would pose for a picture with the host and owner of the training center, both men looked genuinely uncomfortable and Lang declined. In the end, they did take a photo for the sake of being amiable, but … it looked forced.

Yes, it’s been a long time. It’s time to put the past in the past … right?

Wrong.

I remember watching that Thanksgiving Day game and thinking, “is this guy truly serious right now?” To make matters worse, his press conference was laughable. He held to his original statement that he didn’t do anything wrong – that millions of viewers who had seen him shove Evan Dietrich-Smith‘s helmet into the ground and then stomp on his arm, were seeing things incorrectly. Even when he was handed down a 2-game suspension after a full investigation, he was dismissive and unapologetic.

Through the years, we’ve seen his demeanor consistently nasty and irritating; he plays without class or sportsmanlike qualities. He is placed in a position of power by being made an (albeit unintentional) role model for kids and young adults with dreams and aspirations to make something of themselves, and he squanders that opportunity by acting inappropriately and selfishly on the field and off of it.

As a fan of the Green Bay Packers, I am proud of our longstanding traditions of keeping council with some upstanding guys; T.J Lang is one of them. Yes, he and Josh Sitton have made some strong comments by way of Suh and the Detroit Lions in recent memory – but these guys are passionate about the game of football and don’t want to see it cheapened by the likes of what went down on Thanksgiving three years ago.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, I’d really like to know what’s being said in that one …


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Tags: Green Bay Packers T.J. Lang

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