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Wednesday, September 19, 2012
How to appeal your NFL uniform fine

By Paul Lukas

Titus Young, Tarell Brown
C'mon, Tarell Brown, know the rules. Get your undershirt right.
Want to appeal your uniform-violation fine from the NFL?

Most people reading this will never have to deal with that situation. But thanks to 49ers cornerback Tarell Brown, we've now been given a blueprint for how the appeals process works.

Here's the deal: Brown has been fined $5,250 for wearing a red undershirt instead of a white one during Sunday's Niners-Lions game. We know this because Brown's violation notice has been making the rounds on the Internet. It's a little hard to read, so here's the key passage:

"During the Detroit Lions-San Francisco 49ers game on Sept. 16, 2012, you were in violation of NFL Uniform and Equipment Rules. Specifically, you wore red undergarment sleeves. Your team designated undergarment color is white. ... [T]he league is imposing on you a fine of $5,250."

Bet you didn't know NFL teams even had "designated undergarment colors," did you? Sounds ridiculous, right? So let's appeal that fine! The next paragraph of the violation notice spells out the procedure for doing that:

"You may, if you wish, appeal this fine by logging on to the league office's secure website (https://Onfieldappeals.nfl.net). When the login screen appears, enter the following information in the designated fields: (1) this fine number (12375); (2) your last name (Brown); and (3) this pin number (12586). Once logged in, you will be able to submit an appeal notice for the fine reference above."

Sure enough, if you go to the URL referred to in the notice and enter the appropriate information as directed, you come to a page indicating that Brown has already filed an appeal, which will be heard via telephone this afternoon.

Interestingly, the person hearing the appeal will be Merton Hanks, an NFL vice president of football operations. The good news for Brown is that Hanks is a former 49er; the bad news is that Hanks always wore a white undershirt. Good luck with that appeal, Tarell.