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Cleveland Browns

Dirty tactics common in the trenches

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 24, 2010
Cleveland Browns center Alex Mack works a drill with a medicine ball during the Browns NFL football training camp in Berea, Ohio, on Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2010. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)

Earlier this week, Browns center Alex Mack accused Kansas City Chiefs defensive lineman Shaun Smith of grabbing his testicles. What allegedly happened to Mack, though, was more entertaining than it was newsworthy.

It happens all the time. Mack, pictured right, was just another victim.

If you're surprised at all to hear that, wake up. Dirty tactics are used in every game and not just in the NFL. They're also commonplace in college and even high school football.

"People do nastier things," Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis said when asked what he thought about Mack's accusation. "We've saw people spit on people. You saw people bend peoples' fingers. All type of stuff, man. It's football."

The dirtiest deeds take place in pileups, especially when there's a fumble and players from both teams are literally scratching and clawing to get to the ball. Browns offensive lineman Tony Pashos can attest to it.

"A couple times I had my eye gouged out," said Pashos, who used to play for the Ravens. "One time I had to get stitches for it. It can get pretty heated."

So how did Pashos retaliate?

"I couldn't see," he said. "I stayed in (the game). Whoever it was, was being a jerk throughout the game. So we kind of, whenever we could, took a shot on him. An eye for an eye, right?"

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