The above meme has been shared by thousands this week, and it’s easy to understand why. One of the worst feelings in sports as a fan (or player, or coach for that matter) is when a pivotal play that looks clean gets wiped away by an official’s flag.
Granted, the 49ers had several chances to win in New Orleans and got their fair share of breaks (like Lance Moore’s muffed fair catch and Corey White’s fumble that gave the 49ers a touchback). But even though they didn’t play a great game, it looked like they were on their way to victory when Patrick Willis recovered Brees’ fumble.
Despite the meme’s popularity, it doesn’t present a perfect comparison. Kaepernick was out of the pocket when Akiem Hicks sacked him for a 1-yard loss, and when a quarterback is scrambling the same rules don’t apply.
That’s not to say that justice was done, either during the game or afterward. Ahmad Brooks was fined $15,750 for his hit on Brees. The story soon centered on Ray Lewis, who promised to pay half of whatever penalty the NFL levied.
ESPN analyst Ray Lewis: “I will see Ahmad on Monday and I will have a check in hand for half of the fine.”
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 20, 2013
With all due respect to Brooks, who has probably been the 49ers’ best defensive player this season, there’s someone else who could probably use the money — or at least the sympathy.
Seahawks guard J.R. Sweezy (whose name sounds like something a rapper might choose) was not fined for this hit, an interior blocking technique the NFL allows. It sounds like cut blocks like these will probably get penalized next year, but with the NFL it’s impossible to assume anything about safety when it doesn’t pertain to the health of skill position players.
Idc right now but it’s crazy my teammate gets fined for a legal hit but someone can dive at my ankle and break it and not get fined. #Smh
— Ian Williams (@IWilliams95) November 20, 2013