Yesterday, San Diego Charger safety Eric Weedle was fined $10.000 by the team for staying on the field during halftime and not coming into the locker room, which is team policy.
The 31-year-old Weedle was in the wrong. At the very least, he should have informed the team he was staying on the field. As a result of his actions, he missed a team meeting.
Okay, there's something I'm leaving out of the tale here, which you might have figured out at this point.
The reason that Eric Weedle stayed on the field, you see, was because he wanted to watch his young daughter who was dancing during the the halftime show. And yes, the Chargers fined him $10,000 for that.
Again, it was against team policy, and he was wrong. But...well, seriously guys. Not only was the team leading 23-0, so it wasn't likely that anything terribly important was being discussed in the locker room, but...well, okay, y'know, the obvious: it was his young daughter. Even though it was "against policy," and therefore some sort of penalty was due, surely there should be a codicil in there amidst Team Policy which reads, "If a player heretofore fails to return to the aforesaid locker room at half-time and also does not henceforth inform team management because his child is performing on the field, the penalty ipso facto will be reduced from $10,000 to enough money to buy pizza for all his teammates and the equipment managers."
Here's how reporter Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune wrote about it, in part --
"Weddle did not tell team officials beforehand that he was staying on the field. He should have done that. But he missed a seven-minute halftime and a much shorter address by defensive coordinator John Pagano during the intermission in a game in which the Chargers had a 23-0 lead. The team did not have to penalize him for what it termed “conduct detrimental to the team.”
"Detrimental? How about completely alienating a player who spends as much time at the facility as anyone and has started 93 of the past 95 games through myriad injuries and taught younger players on and off the field and been like a coach during games. In addition to making plays that others screw up, this is one of the great family men and role models in the game.
"Between 2011 and ‘14, Weddle played more than 98 percent of the Chargers’ defensive snaps and almost half (49percent) of their special teams snaps. No other player in the NFL played even 75 percent of his team’s defensive snaps and 49 percent of the kick team snaps in that span."
Oh, it should also be mentioned that Eric Weedle is the team captain.
So, clearly through all his actions on the field as a player -- and off, as a human bean -- this is a person who doesn't even remotely hold the respect of of his teammates... A most highly detrimental character and action, indeed.
The NFL has had a lot of off-the-field scandals in recent years, with murders, shootings, physicals assaults and spousal abuse. So, you'd think the Eric Weedle "transgressions" of staying on the field to watch his daughter are the ones that the league would actually love to, well, you know, promote.
Weedle tends to be an outspoken character, which doesn't always play well with the highly-structured NFL. And since the end of last year, the team has been positioning itself to ending its longtime relationship with the player. Something that at this point seems a given. But still...it was his daughter performing at halftime. And they fined him $10,000.
I know that brain injuries are a major concern these days for the National Football League. But I didn't think it affected the front office.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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