A Letter to Shane Ray
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A Letter to Shane Ray

A Letter to Shane Ray

Dear Mr. Ray,

In regards to the SEC Championship game, I understand that this may be a sensitive topic for you, but it needs to be addressed. Getting ejected from a game that important must not have been one of your brightest moments.

With being ranked fourth in the nation in sacks and third in tackles for a loss, one can easily assume that you are Missouri’s best defensive player. Therefore, it was obviously a hard hit to your defense when you got yourself ejected during the second quarter. But more importantly, that call alone must have been a shot to your confidence. It was clear by your reaction that you were not happy to be losing the opportunity to finish the game. But looking back, how can you argue that the call was unfair? 

Let’s take a look, shall we? 

NCAA’s targeting rule states “that players who target, launch, and contact defenseless opponents above the shoulders will be ejected.” 

It’s really quite a simple rule if you ask me — don’t be an idiot and tackle someone who doesn’t deserve it. 

Now that we have the official rule, we can break it down piece-by-piece to see if the targeting call was an accurate call. 

First, you clearly targeted Sims in hopes of a sack. However, that backfired since Sims had already thrown the ball, which left you targeting and then contacting a defenseless opponent. Not only did you knock him down, you also hit him above his shoulders which can clearly be seen as Sims’ head snaps back right as you made contact. 

So yes, the refs made the right call when deciding whether or not to eject you.

I don’t want to hear any excuses. You had enough time and space to avoid plowing into Sims. If anything, you could have at least targeted somewhere lower than near his head. I mean come on, as such a great defensive player, you can’t tell me you couldn’t have avoided that hit. If you’re as good as everyone thinks, then you should have known better than to have made that tackle. 

Under normal circumstances, I would have some pity for the player that gets ejected before half time during such an important game, but for you, there is no pity. You knocked Sims down, and then just walked away as if it was no big deal. You’re in the SEC pal, there’s this thing called southern hospitality. Regardless of the situation, you should have offered a hand in helping Sims get up. Not a southern gentleman? Okay, then what about having good sportsmanship? Players help each other up even after normal tackles — it’s just the nice, right thing to do. 

You’re lucky nothing had happened to Sims. If you had caused him any physical injury, then there would have been other repercussions along with the whole town of Tuscaloosa coming after you. The targeting rule was made for a reason: keep the players safe and from injuring people for no real reason. 

I sincerely hope you have learned your lesson. 

It was a pleasure beating you and your team in the SEC championship. 

Roll tide.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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