Ndamukong Suh makes Detroit Lions' bad day vs. Green Bay Packers worse

Nov. 24, 2011

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DETROIT Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and sometimes you get kicked out for acting like an idiot.

The Lions lost a big game and a piece of their reputation, and they deserved to lose both. Bad, angry and stupid is no way to go through Thanksgiving, son.

The Packers have beaten everybody they played since January, so losing to them even 27-15 at home is not so terrible. But this wasn't just a loss on Thursday. It was a nuclear meltdown.

The Lions blew several chances in the first half. They drew so many penalties that I wasn't sure if it was Thanksgiving or Flag Day. Aaron Berry let Greg Jennings run around him, literally, on a screen pass. Nate Burleson dropped a pass that should have set up a field-goal attempt. He also dropped a first-down pass. Jason Hanson pulled a 47-yard field goal wide left.

Matthew Stafford, who is supposed to be a franchise quarterback, threw three interceptions and nearly threw a fourth.

And the worst performance of the day came from their best player. Somebody, please tell me: Is Ndamukong Suh trying to win the Super Bowl or the next Ultimate Fighting Championship?

Suh was ejected for repeatedly jamming Evan Dietrich-Smith's head into the ground after a play, then stomping on him. It was not just dirty. It was ridiculously stupid. The score was 7-0. In a huge, close game against the best team in the league, Suh guaranteed he would get kicked out.

This was the strongest sign yet that Suh just doesn't get it. He is an incredible player: Hall of Fame talent combined with world-class relentlessness. But he needs to borrow somebody else's head.


Suh said afterward he was trying to "remove myself from the situation." By "situation," I figured he meant "the game." But he meant that he was being held down by Dietrich-Smith, and "my intentions were not to kick anybody, as I did not."

It was a good defense, except for a technicality: it was complete nonsense. Watch the video. The head-jamming and stomp were both blatant. Suh said "I did push his helmet down multiple times, because he's holding on to me and he's grabbing." Sorry, but that is not an acceptable reaction to being held down. The whole league knows it. Suh also said he was "being pushed" by other Packers, but that isn't on the video either. His explanation was straight out of fantasyland.

The Lions can say Suh gets an unfair rap. He can do charity work and give the commissioner chocolate-covered peaches. Doesn't matter. The evidence is in, and people on their couches across America are ready to convict.

The worst part? This wasn't surprising. You could see it coming for two years. It's fair to ask: If the Lions had told Suh to reel it in earlier, instead of constantly defending him, would he have learned from his mistakes by now?

This should have been a great day in Lions history: Finally, a Thanksgiving Day game in Detroit that the nation wanted to watch. Oh, sure, we had to listen to Nickelback, but Nickelback only played one song. You know the one. It sounds like all their other songs.

Anyway, the Lions' problem is not Nickelback. They have lost four out of six games and must visit Drew Brees and the Saints on Dec. 4. Their cornerback position is a mess they began the Packers game with four active corners and finished with two healthy ones.

It is possible, maybe even likely, that Suh will be suspended for that game. Commissioner Roger Goodell must evaluate Suh's actions, combined with his previous actions, combined with his inane statements afterward. It would have been nice if Ndamukong Suh had just said "I lost my cool and I'm sorry." But evidently, he never even thinks that. That's why he keeps making the same mistakes.

What's your take on the Packers Family Night change?

Retrieving results.
Watching practice is fine.(Your vote)
579 votes
I'd rather watch a scrimmage.(Your vote)
862 votes
I don't want to pay to watch practice.(Your vote)
1025 votes
It doesn't matter to me.(Your vote)
1278 votes

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If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports