Watching the NFL’s first Black Friday was kind of a metaphor for Black Friday shopping as a whole: It sounds like a good idea, and then it starts.
In a game that didn’t seem anywhere near as close as the score might indicate, the Miami Dolphins beat the New York Jets, 34-13. The 8-3 Dolphins took a two-game advantage in the AFC East while the 4-7 Jets, who have lost four in a row, are only nominally in the playoff hunt.
The game was another disappointing holiday game for the Jets. Tim Boyle, normally a third-stringer, was elevated to starter to see if he could do better than ineffective backup Zach Wilson or injured starter Aaron Rodgers. If anything, he helped prove Wilson’s problems aren’t entirely of his own making but also the responsibility of poor offensive line and skill play, as well.
Boyle’s Hail Mary-pass at the end of the first half, which was intercepted and returned 99 yards for a touchdown by the Dolphins, is already being called the “Hell Mary.” It’s never good when your stupid plays get their own names. (See also: “Butt Fumble,” another infamous Jets play during a holiday game.)
And then there was the bloodied referee and two ejected players. Whoopsie.
As Fox News noted, the ejections came after the Dolphins’ Raheem Mostert scored to make the score 27-13 early in the fourth quarter.
As the Dolphins kicked the extra point, a physical altercation broke out:
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) November 24, 2023
— Mike McDaniel (@MikMcDaniel) November 24, 2023
As per Sports Illustrated: “During the fight, Jets defensive lineman Michael Clemons pointed his arm at one of the Dolphins’s offensive players.
“In the motion of pointing, Clemons struck umpire Carl Paganelli in the face. Due to being hit in the mouth, Paganelli was shown spitting blood.”
Clemons was ejected — as was Miami offensive lineman Austin Jackson.
Nevertheless, people tend to remember when you get ejected for bloodying a referee then, say, just being involved in your standard-issue sports scrum.
It’s understandable that there are fights in the heat of the moment in the NFL — not OK, but understandable.
When those fights go so far astray that they injure a referee, however, that’s an entirely different matter. Control your tempers and control your limbs, gents.
However, one must confess to a grim irony: In the first NFL game played on Black Friday, the Jets and Dolphins definitely comported themselves like Black Friday shoppers.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.