It Is What It Is

One of the most highly touted defensive players in recent history, Ndamukong Suh was drafted number two overall in the 2010 NFL draft by the Detroit Lions.
During his final year at the University of Nebraska, Suh won the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, given to the nation’s best defensive player; the Lombardi Award given to nation’s best defensive lineman or linebacker; as well as the Chuck Bendarik Award, given to the nation’s best defensive player. Suh was also a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, given to the best collegiate football player. He finished fourth in the voting.
With all of this success, Suh seemed to have the world at his fingertips. He was drafted by a team looking to rebuild its image and its defensive line. According to the Lions, Suh was the perfect man for the job.
Since his professional career began, however, Suh has been a very controversial player, often toeing the line between being an aggressive player and a dirty player. There are countless examples of this occurring throughout his first two seasons, beginning with his rookie year. In 2010, Suh was fined for hits on Cleveland Browns quarterback Jake Delhomme and Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler and collected fines totaling $22,500 for the season. As recently as the 2011 season, Suh was back at it again, playing the game the only way he seemingly knows how. During the preseason, Suh was fined $20,000 for a hit on Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton, as he ripped the helmet off the rookie quarterback long after the play was over. Against the New England Patriots, he threw an open handed punch against left guard Logan Mankins, but was not penalized for his actions. Despite all of these events, Suh claimed that he was not a dirty player.
For the first half of the 2011 season, it looked like Suh was right. The Lions were 7-3 and Suh had not been fined since the preseason. Then, during the Thanksgiving afternoon game against the Green Bay Packers, Suh removed all doubts about his style of play. During the third quarter, Suh slammed the head of Packers back-up guard Evan Dietrich-Smith into the ground three times. Then, after getting up, Suh stomped Dietrich-Smith’s arm with his cleat. Predictably, Suh was ejected from the game and later fined by the NFL and suspended for two games. Despite his foul, the worse insult was Suh’s explanation of the event. With practically undeniable evidence against him, Suh claimed that he was simply trying to detach himself from the play and that he isn’t a dirty player. Suh then filed an appeal, but it was denied.
Clearly the fines have not stopped him from continuing his dangerous style of play. How can a player continue to deny that he is a dirty player when he is perpetually surrounded by questionable playing style? The story line behind the Lions is not there 7-4 record, but Suh’s questionable actions, a trend that haunted Suh in college. Back during his stellar senior season at Nebraska, police cited Suh for negligent driving. Suh blew a 0.035 into the breathalyzer, below the legal limit. Suh swerved his mother’s SUV and ended up totaling one car and causing $26,000 worth of damage to three others, including the vehicle he was driving.
Clearly Ndamukong Suh needs to reevaluate his lifestyle and playing style if he wants to continue to have success at the professional level. After all, it has been said that you can never make the same mistake twice. The second time you make it, it is not a mistake, but a choice. Clearly Ndamakong Suh has been making many bad choices in the last two years.