49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

October 21, 2011
Re: Aldon Smith, the league giveth and taketh away

To: Aldon Smith
From: NFL league offices


Dear Aldon,

Congratulations! You won our Pepsi "Rookie of the Week" award -- your second in as many weeks -- for your two-sack, one-safety, one-big-forced-fumble performance against the Lions. Well done!

Also, you owe us $15,000 for hitting Matthew Stafford below the knee.


Smith was penalized for roughing the passer on his first-quarter hit on Stafford, and the 49ers were docked 15 yards on the play. In addition, Lions tight end Brandon Pettigrew was fined $7,500 for a chop block on outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks in the second quarter. Neither Jim Harbaugh nor Jim Schwartz was fined for their altercation immediately after the game. Isaac Sopoaga also was not fined for ripping off the helmet of an opponent, an action for which he was penalized in the game.

In addition to Smith's rookie honor, Frank Gore was voted the FedEx "Ground" player of the week after rushing 15 times for 141 yards and a touchdown against the Lions. Both awards are determined by a fan vote. Gore has won the award once before, in 2009 following a 207-yard game against the Seahawks in Week 2

The money the NFL collects in fines goes to an array of charitable causes, mostly of them geared toward youth education and medical research.

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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