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The Dark Art Of Dirty Play (Now with a suspension update!)

[Update 1pm] Spikes gets suspended for the first half against Vandy by Meyer. See, this is why the SEC actually has to do something. Meyer is damned if he does, damned if he don't. This is like getting in a fight at school because someone makes fun of your Mom and coming home to your Dad not being mad at you. I'd expect the SEC to step in and make it a full gamer. Also, Evil Tim Tebow makes an appearance in the article.

Spikes appeared to be retaliating after Georgia players pulled off his helmet on two occasions in Florida's 41-17 win in Jacksonville.

Said Tebow of the incident: "We didn't do anything that they didn't do."

I guess Evil Tebow is not resting until the FSU game.

Back to the original article...


There was no penalty called on the following play. So, is it dirty? Should the offending player be suspended?

There was no penalty called in this play either on #55 in white. Is it dirty? Should the offending player be suspended?

There was no penalty called the next play. So, is it dirty? Should the offending player be suspended?

Football is a dirty game and sometimes it gets blown up outside the lines. In the third case, our man Brandon Spikes decided to payback Georgia's Washaun Ealey for Spikes getting gouged or poked earlier in the game. No cameras, officials or YouTube users picked those up. If you were at the game, you saw Spikes down on one knee with his helmet off and getting treatment on the sidelines. I highly doubt it was because an eyelash got in his eye. (By the way, Spikes wears an eye shield. If he got hit in the eye, that means someone came up through his mask, which does not sound fun.)

Of course, getting your knee blown out, watching your quarterback kicked and punched, or getting gouged/poked in the eye is no excuse to retaliate. The nature of sports is that the second man is always punished. In this case, with the SEC already under fire for bad officiating (and missing something that CBS saw live), Spikes might get an example made out of him with a conference suspension. I have no problem with that because it was a dirty play and Spikes should be smart enough not to fight back. That it happened in a chippy game is no excuse either. (UF had 1 personal foul call. UGA had 3 personal foul calls and tried to start one fight. Must have been the black helmets.)

Like they have done with coaches, any penalty on Spikes has to become SEC standard. It's not fair to Spikes to get suspended if the SEC does not create a policy where they penalize players for uncalled fouls (which is what Spikes did). It is also not Urban Meyer's responsibility to suspend Spikes either. A coach's role is to keep his players in line by getting good grades and not committing crimes. Spikes did something that football players have done for decades. If Meyer were to suspend him, that's asking Meyer to suspend guys for chop blocks and facemask penalties.

The opinion on this will depend on two things; if you like UF and if Spikes actually injured the player. As a homer (and someone who once played offensive line), I'll defend Spikes. Had Ealey gotten hurt, all bets would be off. Which brings me to this; I don't think Spikes is trying to injure Ealey. I think he is trying to psych him out. Spikes' hand is against the top of the mask, which is about 1-1.5 inches above the eyes (thinking of a standard fitting helmet, with an inch of space above the eyebrows). I think it is more likely he is hitting him on the forehead, not eyes. That's not much better, and I am being a homer, but I have a hard time imagining anyone being as coldblooded to try to rip a guy's eye out. Remember, Ealey can go back to the huddle and say, "51 is poking me," and a Georgia lineman would put his head into Spikes' knee (and if they don't, they're a terrible teammate). That is how dirty play works; you get our guy, we get you. The game polices itself, consequences and suspensions be damned. And, if you think this is the dirtiest play you have ever seen, you have not played or watched much football, at any level.

If Spikes is suspended, don't be surprised. But don't be surprised either when there is dirty play next week too.