Last week, Patrick Chung (of my beloved New England Patriots) laid a vicious helmet-to-helmet hit on Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Cecil Shorts III during the final drive of a tight game. New England took a 15-yard penalty for the dirty hit, but Shorts was done for the day. A few plays later, Chung made the interception that ended the game.
Football has its hands full with the head-injury crisis, as every week brings more lawsuits and more damaged former stars. The NFL has instituted new medical regimens to protect concussed players, and made refs crack down on the most dangerous hits. But it hasn’t considered an obvious step that would deter dirty play: a penalty box.