When you openly aspire to be the dirtiest player in the league, it shouldn't be a shock when you're thrown out of a game for baiting someone into punching you. Thus was the case with the reaction from yesterday's brawl in Houston, with very few people in power standing up for Finnegan.
The Houston Chronicle's Jerome Solomon tweeted:
Text from NFL player: If Dre passed a hat around the league, he could pay his fine and have money left over for a new car.
But this was far from the only pro-Johnson source on this matter.
Chris Chase, The Shutdown Corner:
Other than maybe a few members of the Finnegan family, I'd imagine that everyone watching that encounter was pulling for Johnson. Notice how none of the Titans who belatedly run into the fracas went after the Texans' receiver, they all went to calm down Finnegan. They had his back out of obligation, not desire.
Not that Johnson was right to fight back. He lost his cool and will pay the price, both financially and on the field. But every now and then a bully needs his comeuppance. Good for you, Andre.
Tony Dungy said on NBC's Pro Football Night in America he used to warn Colts players about keeping their cool when playing Finnegan. NBC's Rodney Harrison said of the Titans, "they're dirty, they're cheap."
ESPN's Cris Carter said Finnegan vs. Johnson looked more like a free-swinging mixed martial arts bout than the typical NFL scuffle and Mike Ditka called Finnegan a snake on the Mike and Mike show.
Of course, the real reaction will come down later today or tomorrow, when the NFL hands down its sanctions for the event. Finnegan's past history will color any close incident with him, so expect a suspension for him. As much as it pains me to say it, I think Andre Johnson will also draw the suspension here. Both because of what he did on the field and because the NFL has a history of doling out equal punishments for the same incident.
But, in what has largely become a lost season for the Texans (and despite what anyone tells you, beating up on hapless
Rusty Venture, er, Rusty Smith is not a turning point for the defense), at least fans will have a memorable takeaway from it all: someone finally standing up against Cortland Finnegan's thuggish actions.