Staff Editorial

It was a long time coming, and Finnegan got what he deserved

During the Texans’ shutout of the Tennessee Titans Sunday afternoon, Cortland Finnegan and Andre Johnson got into a bit of a brawl, and both players ended up being ejected from the game. The repercussions of the squabble have yet to be seen, but the NFL is surely concocting punishments for both players as you read this — but will they fit the crime?

Hopefully, Finnegan receives a harsh punishment and Johnson gets a slap on the wrist. It’s not surprising that the city he plays for is on his side, but if you watch what happened (even if you live in Tennessee), you’ll most likely agree.

What you won’t hear about is how both players were pushing and shoving during the play before. Similar to sound bites taken out of context, the incident will be replayed over and over again around the country, but both players were at fault to a certain extent.

But it was Finnegan who threw the first punch. The players ripped each other’s helmets off, and Johnson hurled Finnegan to the ground after he was hit, countering with a few solid punches.

Finnegan has been warned about playing dirty before. The NFL fined him $10,000 on Oct. 8 for being a little too spirited, and he has a reputation of being a dirty player.

It’s more than likely that Johnson will come out of this with praise, while Finnegan should come out with a suspension given his history.

Andre Johnson is the highest paid receiver in NFL history. Unlike prima donna receivers like Terrell Owens, Chad Ochocinco and Randy Moss, Johnson has remained a team player who stays out of the spotlight.

The only time he grumbled was last season when he demanded his contract get restructured for a new salary, which is $10.5 million a year for seven years.

His teammates are backing him up, too. “Great win today,” Texans running back Derrick Ward tweeted. “And yes, I’m saying it: Titans are some straight punks, especially that lil’ leprechaun Fennigan. [I] can’t wait to see them again.”

But the Houston Chronicle columnist Jerome Solomon put it best: “Text from NFL player: If [Johnson] passed a hat around the league, he could pay his fine and have money left over for a new car.”

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