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Dashon Goldson's big hit embodies contradictory nature of NFL

With almost a quarter to go, and the San Francisco 49ers up three touchdowns on Monday night, Dashon Goldson hit the Arizona Cardinals' Early Doucet on a short crossing route.

Blew. Him. Up.

*Destroyed him. *

*Savage hit. *

Those were the descriptions I heard. All of them offered with awe and admiration. Though no one was more enthusiastic about the hit than Goldson's own coach.

No doubt. Lombardi's first commandment, according to his biographer: "Thou shalt hit."

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I'm less certain Lombardi would approve of what followed. With Doucet still prone and motionless, Goldson turned to celebrate, to make plain his great glee.

I'm not coming down on Goldson. I wish I could do what he did (probably, so do you). And I'm guessing we get the same kick watching a guy get, well, blown up.

Let's just call it what it is: a guilty pleasure.

That moment -- from hit to celebration -- goes to the heart of the game. The beauty, yes. The violence. ... The hypocrisy.

A clean shot can be a debilitating one.

Ask Jack Tatum. Ask Ronnie Lott.

Thou shalt hit.

The NFL has become ever more vigilant about concussions and player safety. But it's still football.

You know why you watch, or one of the reasons, anyway. Hit porn? Or is hitting the new dunking? You play it back. You ooh. You aaah. You make a top-10 list.

It's OK. Doucet got up. He'll play again this Sunday.

But what if he didn't?

Follow Mark Kriegel on Twitter @MarkKriegel.

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