Sports

Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy praises NFL taunting rule

We found the guy who likes the NFL’s taunting rule.

We found the guy who likes the NFL’s taunting rule.
Image: Getty Images

Can Bears’ head coach Matt Nagy do anything right? The supposed “offensive genius” currently has Chicago ranking second to last in total offense — more than 20 yards behind the third-worst team, Seattle — and tied WITH DETROIT for the third-fewest points scored in the NFL this season. Nagy has more than disappointed the public in his fourth season as head coach, he’s been laughable. Not even Justin Fields could pull the Bears out of the rut Nagy put his team in.

Nagy has been on the hot seat all season, and really, it’s a miracle he still has his job. That’s why I find it so insane that he would want to defend the universally despised (and as Deadspin’s Carron Phillips points out, racist) taunting rule. For all intents and purposes, Nagy should want to keep his job as head coach of the Chicago Bears. He already doesn’t have a good rapport with the public in Chicago. Why not take an easy shot at the taunting call? Even worse, the Bears were on the bad end of a horrible taunting call just two weeks ago in their loss against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

This taunting penalty played a large role in determining the outcome of the game, as the Steelers were allowed to continue their drive, thus taking more time off the clock, and allowing the Steelers to walk away from the drive with a field goal. I mean, this is the most obvious move I’ve ever seen. The ball was set up perfectly on the tee and Nagy just whiffed, and not like an “Oh, I missed it”-type whiff, he swung with all his might to prove a point, swung with his eyes closed, then lost his balance and fell face first into home plate.

From Nagy:

“It doesn’t mean you can’t have fun, but there’s young kids right now that are watching games, and what happens is you go to one of these sporting events and you might see some imitation going on that’s taking it over the top. I’m a firm believer in respect and just kids growing and watching and we have a huge platform as leaders. I’m talking players and coaches. 

“Think of the kids’’? Are you kidding me? I can do a quick Google search right now for “Best taunting moments in NFL history.” I can look up “NFL hardest hits of all-time” on YouTube. One quick swipe of my fingers, and I can find the most devastating injuries in the history of professional sports, not just football. So, yes, removing taunting from the game may stop children from seeing their favorite athletes look naughtily in the direction of the opposing team (wow, great progress), it doesn’t stop kids from just finding that stuff elsewhere. Elementary schools have computers nowadays. Kids have a wealth of internet knowledge all at the tip of their fingers now. More kids know how to use Google than read a clock with hands, but this move… this’ll be the one. Stop playing.

You know what’s probably more traumatizing to young children? Growing up a football fan in Chicago. Growing up and watching their favorite franchise draft an incredible college talent in Fields only to use him more poorly than Willy Wonka uses his Oompa Loompas. You think kids want to grow up to be NFL fans who come to games with brown paper bags over their heads? No, but you’re almost forcing their hands at this point. Maybe when the Bears fire Nagy at the end of this season, those kids will finally have a bright immediate future ahead of them. One where they won’t have to worry about how David Montgomery is being used. One where they’ll be excited to see Allen Robinson involved in the passing attack. As of now though, Nagy is most likely creating a lot of Packers fans in the Windy City.

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