Earlier Wednesday, the NFL announced it fined Tomlin $100,000. In addition, depending on how things shake out for the remainder of the season, the Steelers could have a "modification or forfeiture" of their draft choices in 2014.
Even after putting all of my anti-Steelers bias aside, this "punishment" was a joke. It's essentially a slap on the wrist to Tomlin. Here's why:
As pointed out by Behind the Steel Curtain, Forbes Magazine reported Tomlin to have made approximately $5.75 million in 2012. Given that he signed an extension through 2016, let's just call Tomlin's salary an even $6 million per season throughout the remainder of his deal.
Coaches, unlike players are paid year-round salaries. However, since we talk so much about game checks when it comes to fines, let's break down Tomlin's income as if he were a player.
Here's the math for you visual learners:
Base Salary ($6,000,000)
/ 16 Regular Season Games
$375,000 Income Per Game Week
Simply deduct $100,000 from Tomlin's $375,000 income per game and Tomlin took home approximately $275,000 before taxes. In total, Tomlin's foolish antics on the sideline ended up costing him about 1.6 percent of his yearly income.
Once again, here's the math.
Fine Amount ($100,000)
/ Base Salary ($6,000,000)
Sure, $100,000 seems like a lot of money, but that's for most of us who don't experience the major paydays the NFL has to offer. That's why I wanted to break things down and apply them to terms that most of those reading this would understand.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median American household income in 2012 was $51,017. With that being said, how much of an impact would a Tomlin-esque fine be to you and me?
Let's do the math.
Household Income ($51,017)
$816.27 Fine Amount To Most Of Us
That's right: $100,000 to Tomlin is like $816 to us. Essentially, Tomlin ran over a board and some leftover nails, punctured his tires and now he has to replace them.
Sucks? Yep. Tolerable? Absolutely.
What Tomlin did was embarrass the Steelers organization. Given Tomlin's status as a head coach, his actions are even more of an embarrassment to the image that the league is trying to portray. I believe that Tomlin's punishment shouldn't have just impacted him greater financially, but increased the embarrassment-meter a few notches as well.
The goal of a punishment is to deter future actions and what the league handed out simply didn't do that.
To me, a one-game suspension is more fitting. Not being able to go to work because you did something stupid is embarrassing in itself. Missing compensation for your actions atop of the embarrassment of not being allowed to work is even more salt in the wound.
Now we're talking.
Had Tomlin lost a proverbial "game check," he would have been docked 6.25 percent of his annual income. So, what does that mean for you and me?
Let's find out:
Base Salary ($51,017)
$3,188.56 Total Fine Amount
$3,188.56! Now you're sleeping on the couch for a while.
Tomlin being fined a game check is more like his transmission blowing up on the way to work.
Clearly, the NFL fumbled away an opportunity to set a future precedent for what has become an issue twice for the New York Jets and for something that's happened twice in Baltimore in the span of five days.
Tomlin deserves a second chance — but in terms of being a member of the NFL's competition committee, it should only come after a one-year suspension. He embarrassed the league, so it only seems fair they react as well.
These thoughts are just my two cents. Hopefully it helped portray a more real-world aspect of how much those two cents are actually worth.