Patriots NT Vince Wilfork has been fined $15,000 by the NFL for unsportsmanlike conduct in the team's season finale against the Giants.
The fine was specifically levied because after the play was over, Wilfork was deemed to have poked his finger in the opponent's facemask near his eye.
The play in question came late in the second quarter. After the Giants completed a pass in their no-huddle offense, linebacker Junior Seau was penalized for delay of game, as officials felt he was holding a Giants player on the ground. Some pushing between the teams ensued and Wilfork's finger was seen pointing at the area above the facemask of Giants running back Brandon Jacobs.
Wilfork was not penalized on the play.
On his web site, Wilfork explained the play this way: "I have received a number of questions about it that just assume I was trying to poke him in the eye. It was nothing more than them doing trash talking and in the heat of the moment I pointed my finger in his face. I did not make contact with his eye or anything like that. After that it was over, on the field emotions are high there were several bumps amongst players and trash talking the whole game. It was one of the biggest games of the season and we all had a lot of emotion in the game. When things like that happen it is all heat of the moment and once the moment is gone it is over. There are no hard feelings and I really think the commentators did a great job of blowing it up. When the game was over we all said our byes and that was that."