Talked to former Vikings Cris Carter, Warren Moon and Daunte Culpepper for this story on NFL sideline behavior. Check out Moon's take on the Buddy Ryan right cross to Kevin Gilbride's jaw during a sideline altercation at the Astrodome during the 1993 season. Moon was on the Oilers sideline that day, resting a rib injury before the playoffs.
One thing that didn't make the story was Vikings defensive end Jared Allen's take on last week's animated sideline display by Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant. Here's what Allen had to say:
On there the line is on how far is too far when it comes to sideline outbursts:
"The line is depending on how far your coaches are willing to let you go. I think when they released the audio [of Bryant's outbursts], all of a sudden everybody’s got a different report. That’s why sometimes, no offense to our media guys, but things get blown up way more than they need to be. It’s a passionate game. It’s a violent game. Guys want to win. And sometimes guys need to vent and they need to express things.
"Heck, me and [Vikings coach Leslie] Frazier have been nose-to-nose on the sideline pointing each other in the chest. It doesn’t mean I disrespect him. It doesn’t mean I don’t love him. ... I’m venting my frustration about what I think needs to be done to win that game and 99 percent of the time it’s never about the individual. It’s usually about a situation. You heard the audio from Dez, it was ‘We need to do this. We need to do that.’ And everybody’s opinion changed. Now if other players have to break you up, I guess that can be a distraction. I don’t know. It happens. I’ve seen guys dang near try to choke each other on the sideline and it never gets caught on tape. It’s a passionate game, and honestly, not that I like seeing it all the time, but when you see that kind of heat and that energy, you know that person’s invested. That’s better than the guy that’s just moping on the sideline by himself with his helmet off. When you see that kind of energy, man, so the line is wherever the coach will let him take it too without fisticuffs.”
On whether there needs to be a time limit on how long a player vents:
“Yeah, it’s got to be ended. Maybe we can get a shot clock on it, right? I don’t know. If it becomes the helmets off, then it can be a little destructive, but I can’t say enough. I’ve thrown my helmet plenty of times. I’ve been nose to nose with coaches plenty of times, with other players, it happens, you know? And again like I said, that’s a sign of someone that’s invested. I have a bigger problem with people that are detached that are just like (whistles), you know? Counting butterflies on the side when you’re trying to get a win. So, yeah, maybe you shouldn’t go on all the time, but honestly I saw the clips, I didn’t think it was that big. Now all of a sudden the audio comes out and everybody’s like, ‘Oh, he’s so passionate.’ Give the kid a break. He was hot, for a minute. It’s just like family. You’re around each other every day, all the time, sometimes you need a vent session. Sometimes you need to just, hey, l-i-g, let it go. Move on.”