Sunday, October 24, 2010

Intentional bad acts: in football and in plagiarism

On October 24, Beasley Reece was talking with Ike Reese about the new rules for dangerous and flagrant hits implemented by the NFL. Ike launched into a polemic about how bad the new rules were, and how they might be related to the owners' desire for an 18 game season.

Of the hits of last week that have grabbed some attention, Ike found only one that was problematic, that by Patriots Meriweather, which he deemed to be intentional.

Limiting severe penalties to intentional acts of harm makes sense in football. Football is a contact sport, and people are going to get hurt, sometimes in plays that look pretty dangerous. These plays happen quickly and there's no re-do. In the world of plagiarism, nobody is forced to copy the work of others without noting the source, and there is time to review things to check things. Football players get one shot at a play, and it is over. "Copying without attribution" occurs with or without admitted intent, and does harm to the copied writer and to the reader. It should be punished. If the copying is done with knowledge that credit is being taken for someone else's work, penalties should be enhanced.

Of course, there will be few people who will admit to intentionally doing a bad thing, in plagiarism or in football. In the world of plagiarism, copying is self-evident from objective analysis, and in the world of football, observers can witness helmet to helmet contact. The do-er of the bad deed will generally not admit to intending to do it. In the present case discussed by Ike Reese, notwithstanding what Ike Reese said on October 24, Meriweather says the hit was unintentional.

Anne Marie Green talked about the hit on Eagle DeSean Jackson by Dunta Robinson. Robinson was fined but so was Eagle QB Kolb for a horse collar tackle.

"Jolly Talk" addressed the issue of intent.

from ESPN:

New England Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather, who was fined $50,000 by the NFL for two helmet-to-helmet hits on Baltimore Ravens tight end Todd Heap in Sunday's win over the Ravens, told reporters in the locker room Wednesday that he was "sorry for the hit" and that he wants to move on. (...)

Meriweather had said Monday that his hit on Heap was not intentional and that any punishment handed down by the NFL would not alter his aggressive approach to the game.

"I'm going to be aggressive, point blank," Meriweather said during his weekly interview on Boston sports radio station WEEI. "I won't change my game, period. I'm sorry it happened. Heap is actually a real good friend of mine. I talked to him yesterday and let him know it wasn't intentional and he told me he understood."

The website betus was a bit foggy on Meriweather's position:

The New England Patriots will catch a break this week as linebacker Brandon Meriweather escaped with just a $50,000 fine for his helmet to helmet hit on Todd Heap. Had the hit happened this week, he would have been suspended under the new NFL rules. [discussed on betus]


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