Ndamukong Suh: Reality Shows Won’t Restore Detroit Lions Player’s Image

By Chris Katje
USA TODAY Sports-Andrew Weber

Ndamukong Suh has seen his image taken beating after beating in the NFL. The Detroit Lions star defensive tackle is considered the “dirtiest player” in the league by coaches, players and even anonymous teammates. Despite this label, Suh continues to have a great NFL career and rack up impressive defensive statistics.

The latest move to restore his image though, has me wondering why Suh is doing it.

Let me say first off, I am a Lions fan and season ticket holder. I’ll go a step further and say that I am a Suh fan and will continue to defend him. Suh’s stomp on Green Bay Packers Evan Dietrich-Smith was wrong and was worthy of a fine and the two game suspension Suh received. However, the fines for tackles and an accidental kick to Matt Schaub’s groin are ridiculous.

In an attempt to restore his image with fans, Suh will be appearing on the new ABC reality show called “Celebrity Diving”. The show will star Suh, Katherine Webb, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Keshia Knight-Pulliam, Nicole Eggert, Drake Bell, Kendra Wilkinson, Louie Anderson and Chuy. Suh might be the most relevant current star on the show other than Webb, who shot to sudden fame after Brent Musberger made some choice comments about her during the BCS National Championship Game.

Details of the show are not known, but the celebrities will compete in some sort of planned dives in front of judges. The judges include Greg Louganis, a four time gold medal winner in the 1984 and 1988 Olympics, and David Boudiaj, a 2012 gold medalist. The show will air beginning March 19th on ABC.

The show also appears to be a rip-off of current Fox reality show called “Stars in Danger: The High Dive”, which premiered in January. The Fox diving competition had 3.4 million viewers and posted a 1.3 rating in the key 18-49 age demographic.

Suh was most recently a contestant on “The Choice”, a reality celebrity dating show that aired on Fox. Suh has been trying to do reality television in an attempt to show his softer side off the field. However, the first show didn’t help him, and this one won’t either.

I wrote recently about the continued bias in the league by referees and commissioner Roger Goodell. Both Cam Newton and Tom Brady have now gotten away with questionable kicks to opposing players without suspension or fine. Suh was fined $30,000 for a kick to Schaub’s groin, while being tackled to the ground. This particular play started a string of public comments by NFL analysts including Boomer Esiason and Warren Sapp. No analysts have come out to call Brady or Newton “dirty”.

Suh’s already hurt image won’t be saved by “Celebrity Diving”. Suh was recently named an alternate in the Pro Bowl, despite a stellar season. Fans and players will probably hate Suh even more after this cheesy reality show airs.

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