Absolutely amazing. It's such a contrast to the NHL when two opposing players have words and exchange shoves, then directly following the next face-off they drop the gloves and go for it. That's exactly what happened here, the only difference being it was after the next snap and they tore off their helmets, and everyone is abuzz!! Does that smack of a little of hypocrisy? Or is the overall American broadcast media not yet ready for the NFL to adopt behavior most likely ascribed to the NHL.
I hope it's the former, because as a dyed in the wool hockey fan I watched that exchange with a mixture of incredulity and not a little satisfaction that finally, in the uber-controlled and over regulated environment that is the NFL, a couple guys really and truly succumbed to their basest instincts....the need to beat the crap out of the enemy.
Personally, I do believe it is the former because I know the NFL likes to hold itself up as the model sports league globally, and some of their acolytes like to look down on the NHL as a fading, second rate sport that, <gasp> does not actively discourage heated fisticuffs between opposing players. However, the NFL does not give fans the credit that some of them are due. Lots of us have grown up playing competitive team sports. I have played rugby and soccer in school, football for 10 years, hockey for 25 years and while I have never made a living at it, like 99.9% of the rest of us, I understand the frustrations that can build during a particularly stressful game.
Like NHL players, these guys go up against each other time and time again. The general audience does not usually see the dozens of small battles waged between the players on opposite sides of the ball or puck. They don't notice tempers rising or understand the body language as two opposing players jaw at each other while the play is stopped. It gets very intense at times and while I tip my hat to all the athletes who keep their cool, I understand why fighting is not forbidden in hockey. It's not as frequent in baseball, but it happens on an almost weekly basis in MLB, and everyone can remember several big time brawls in the NBA, so it's not unheard of in "mainstream" American sports. I'm just surprised it took this long before we witnessed a good old one on one fistfight in the NFL. I know I'm in the small minority and will be likely be branded a Neanderthal and a thug by many who read this... but I liked watching it.