By: Will Burchfield
TV ratings are down in the NFL.
Pro-Bowl offensive tackle Taylor Lewan might have a solution.
The University of Michigan product, now playing for the Titans, took to Twitter on Thursday to suggest the NFL “should take a page out of the NHL’s book” and allow its players to fight.
It’s not much of a surprise to hear this from Lewan, who has, shall we say, a history of aggression. This season alone, he was flagged for unnecessary roughness (like, really unnecessary) in the Titans’ Week 3 loss to the Raiders and was ejected for making contact with an official in Tennessee’s Week 10 win over the Packers.
All told, Lewan accumulated four personal fouls in 2016, one of the highest totals in the NFL.
This is all in keeping with his new middle name:
Here’s the irony.
When an actual fight broke out during the Titans’ Week 14 win over the Broncos this season, Lewan wanted no part of it.
The truculent tackle literally sat things out.
He explained his display of pacifism to The Tennessean afterward.
“That’s something me and my fiancée talked about,” Lewan said. “I was like, ‘Next time something goes down, I’m out of there, dude.’ That’s just how it’s got to be. You know? And the crowd loved it. It was a nice little theatrical thing. But that’s done. I’ll definitely be in there next time.
“But it’s just showing that obviously I’m not a psychopath. I understand that people are fighting. I’ve been caught for fighting before. I need to go away. So it was good. It’s a nice little fun thing in the middle of the game. A little comedic relief in a stressful situation.”
“I’ll definitely be in there next time.”
Or, as one Twitter user put it:
Lewan met his fair share of challengers on Twitter, too, with most of them pointing out the obvious: the last thing the NFL needs is more violence. Even the NHL, where fisticuffs have resisted the test of time, is doing its best to phase out fighting.
And then there’s the issue of discipline:
With Lewan on the roster, the Titans would need a pretty good penalty kill.