This story is getting this sort of press for two reason. The first, as [the author] acknowledged, is Suh's reputation, deserved or not. When someone who has been the center of a "Dirty or Not?" debate all season does something dirty-looking on a national stage, everyone is going to offer their two cents.
The second reason, however, is intent of an action like this. A play like this is much different from a helmet-to-helmet hit or facemask twisting. Hits and facemask grabs are almost always accidental and are done so in the goal to make a play for your team.
The stomp happened after the play, away from the play. There is no moral nor practical explanation for Suh's actions. It was done in the heat of the moment as an expression of anger, frustration and violence. This was not a case of bad defensive mechanics or bad luck. This was a conscious choice made by Suh, and regardless of his mental state at the time, it was inexcusable.I posted this before Suh's "apology". His apology was basically meaningless and too late. The biggest blunder he's made so far is that he has still failed to apologize to Evan Dietrich-Smith, the player he stomped. I'm sure Suh still feels as though Dietrich-Smith, in some manner, deserved what happened, but regardless of what the Packers lineman did to piss off Suh, his reaction was irresponsible, dangerous, and deserving of a personal apology. I expect a 1-2 game suspension, but wouldn't be surprised with 3-4. Five seems excessive, but arguing over a game or two given the circumstances seems petty and dumb.
The only way this wasn't a terrible act and dirty play by Suh is if you believe Suh's story. Which I don't.
Moving on, I think the most interesting part of this incident is the story broken by Jay Glazer's Blackberry:
This news is guaranteed to spark conversation that Suh is losing respect in the locker room. In fact, the story is currently less than 30 minutes old and I'm already seeing tweets suggesting this. News is coming out that his Nebraska teammates didn't really like him and though he should get anger management classes. So Suh must be a terrible teammate and will probably tear apart the locker room, right?
Um, no. Not by a long shot. Even if this Glazer story is true, which I fully believe that it is (even though I'm sure the Lions will deny it), it does not speak to the Lions players' respect for Suh. These men are intense. When they're angry, things will get heated, words will be shouted and occasionally punches will be thrown. So when the Lions players are barking at Suh, they're just being their intense selves. But since they are also men, this will soon be water under the bridge. The players undoubtedly know how important and valuable Suh is to the defensive line and the team. They have no problem with his demeanor nor the way he plays the game. Hell, even former Lions Zack Follett was praising Suh's humbleness on twitter. They're just pissed that he made this one, bad mistake.
The Lions players don't hate Suh. They hate the decision he made on Thursday. They hate that it cost Detroit four points and that they will be without his services for at least a game or two. They hate that it was a completely avoidable mistake. And as a fan, I'm with them. I don't hate Suh nor do I want him off the team. But like the players, I was mad as hell at what he did and cursed his name Thursday night. Now, I'm over it and ready to move on. I'm sure the players feel the same. Now let's go make some playoffs.