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Thursday, December 15, 2011
Shoelaces? Are whoopee cushions next?

By Kevin Seifert

Matt Brock had me for a minute. I admit listening to his appearance on a Portland radio station this week with rapt attention, eager to hear how Green Bay Packers offensive line coach James Campen had "encouraged" his players to get under the skin of Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh by untying his shoes at the bottom of piles.

I finally caught on when Brock said that Suh wasn't discussing his stomp of Packers guard Evan Dietrich-Smith with Lions coach Jim Schwartz on Thanksgiving Day. No, Brock said that Suh was telling Schwartz how the Packers kept untying his shoes on the field.

I laughed at that point, presuming Brock was just having fun and would probably be surprised to know the story briefly caught a national wave in our Suh-centric society. It would have been funnier if Packers linemen had been trying to tie the laces of both shoes together in true Three Stooges fashion, but that's not for me to judge.

For anyone who thought Suh was enraged by an untied shoelace, I'll pass along what Campen told reporters in Green Bay: "We have more important things to worry about that tying up someone’s shoes during a game."

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Dietrich-Smith said: "That's a complete fabrication. Complete lie. I was never told anything and there were no acts of that sort. You can go back and watch the film but you won't see me on the ground trying to untie shoes."

I've heard of players gouging eyes and punching each other in the groin during games. Some players bite. Others pull hair. I'm pretty sure Dietrich-Smith would have been the first to untie his opponent's shoelaces as a way to divert nervous energy, as Brock suggested. What's next? Tummy tickles? Oh well, It was funny while it lasted.