Is it time already for another round of Antonio Smith vs. Richie Incognito? It seems like only yesterday we were just getting over the whole "he tried to rip my ankle off" thing. This time, however, the shoe is on the other foot. I woke up this morning to an article in the Houston Chronicle referring to an altercation (again) between Incognito and Smith. When I went to check out the evidence for myself, I was shocked and appalled by why I saw.
Take a look at Smith, lined up in the 3-technique over Incognito at left guard. Incognito clearly gets away with an egregious hands-to-the-face penalty, but Smith's reaction is both absurd and unnecessary, especially in a preseason game.
Here is another angle that gives a better view of the incident.
This is as sickening as it is infuriating. Smith is lucky he missed Incognito, because if he made contact, the risk of serious injury was massive. Football helmets are hard - very hard. Imagine a musclebound 300 pound man swinging a baseball at your face, and now imagine what your face would look like if he actually hit you. Blood is a guarantee, a concussion is likely, and if contact is made at just the right spot, death is possible. There is absolutely no excuse for Smith to let his anger get this out of control so as to forcibly remove another player's helmet and use it as a weapon. Even when that player is Richie Incognito.
I fully expect Smith to be fined for this altercation, and considering his history both with Incognito and with the league, fans should brace for a possible one game suspension in a worst case scenario. As a Texans fan, I can only hope a one game ban is not enforced. At the same time, as a lover of the game, I would be completely comfortable with losing Smith for a week to send a message that this kind of behavior is not okay in any way, shape, or form.