As arbiter of the biggest sport in America, the NFL has its fair share of questionable rules and controversies. It's essentially a modern-day gladiator games, where we pit our biggest, strongest masses of sinew and muscle against one another, resulting in lifelong recovery and concussions that threaten the fabric of the game itself. Of course, any corporation that makes billions of dollars per year is prone to clashes of ego, and the NFL is no different. Some incidents are far stranger than others though.
During a week 15 matchup between the San Diego Chargers and Miami Dolphins, Chargers safety Eric Weddle decided to stay on the field at halftime to watch his daughter perform in a dance routine. In other words, he opted to be a good dad. As a result, the team fined him $10,000 and placed him on the injured reserve. He's a nine-year veteran who's been with San Diego his entire career, but will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.
It goes without saying that Weddle was shocked and angry about the fine. Even if he didn't inform coaches of his decision to stay on the field during halftime, which he probably should have, the Chargers were running away with the game already and there's no way him watching his daughter in a dance routine instead of listening to a halftime speech in a meaningless game was "conduct detrimental to the team."
Weddle's agent called the way he's been treated "beyond reproach," and it's pretty clear he's not going to return to the team next year. There have been ridiculous calls and fines and situations in the NFL, but this one might be one-of-a-kind: a team burning a bridge between itself and one of its most consistently great players both on and off the field. Because he was being a good dad.
Cover image: FF Swami via Flickr.