The big news from NFL week six involved the altercation between head coaches Jim Schwartz of the Detroit Lions and and Jim Harbaugh of the San Francisco 49ers. Yesterday evening, the league announced Roger Goodell will not fine either coach for their behavior. As shocking as it may be that the Ginger Dictator failed to partake in his favorite pastime, I’m not really surprised. For one, no Pittsburgh Steelers were involved. For another, it wasn’t much of a fight. I’ve seen drunken hootchies over in Oakland throw down harder than those two putzes.
Not that I blame Schwartz for flipping out. Harbaugh was yanking up his shirt and belly bumping his players like he had just won the Little League World Series. He then evidently told Schwartz to “get the F out of my way” when they met at mid-field. The best part was after Schwartz went after him in aggressive fashion, Harbaugh ran like a scalded dog only to turn around and act like he wanted to fight after six or seven people where there to keep them apart. As we’ve seen with the assclown in Baltimore, those Harbaugh brothers are pure class.
The talking heads at the four letter are calling the incident “Coachgate” which either shows how much the NFL dominates our sporting lives or demonstrates how desperate they are for news. I tend to favor the latter. I try to avoid as many obnoxious pregame shows as I can but when Monday Night Countdown devotes a ten minute segment to such luminaries as Cris Carter and Keyshawn Johnson bowing their heads and solemnly asking, “What happened to sportsmanship?,” I have to laugh.
Sportsmanship has been gone for a very long time. And a big reason is because of networks like ESPN. When a guy makes a nice block or great tackle, maybe they show that in the highlight package. But Cam Newton does Deion Sanders’ obnoxious dance routine and it gets played on a constant loop. Watching the Jets last night, it was nice to see Santonio Holmes continuing to behave like a huge dick, posing after he catches five yard passes like he just won the Super Bowl. As talented as Antonio Brown is, his goofy gesturing after every catch will wear on my patience in very short order.
Another thing I have to note is a lot of people are saying things like, “This NEVER happened in the past. How would Don Shula or Chuck Noll behave?” I can’t speak to Shula but Noll was far from an angel. He refused to shake hands with former Bengals head coach Sam Wyche for two seasons after he felt Wyche ran up the score on his team. Then there was Jerry Glanville. The Houston Oilers under Glanville were among the NFL’s dirtiest teams for years.
One incident in particular is remembered by diehard members of Steeler Nation to this day. The full story is told by Merril Hoge in his fantastic autobiography, Find A Way. In short, the Oilers (who were in our division, thus we played them twice a year) had committed multiple personal fouls in the first meeting. In game two, the fed-up Steelers fired back, leading to a scuffle along the sideline. Two Oilers, who weren’t even on the field, decided to come flying in, inciting a bench clearing brawl. After the game, Noll stormed up to Glanville (seen above) and said:
You ever send one of your guys off the sideline after one of my guys again, I will personally come to your side of the field and find your ass.
The Emperor don’t play.
As paunchy as Mike Tomlin has gotten over the past couple years, I don’t think he does either. Now that we know coaches can’t get into trouble for a post-game fracas, I hope Mike remembers that next time somebody sucker punches Big Ben. With the Ginger Dictator constantly looking for ways to punish the Steelers, I wouldn’t want any of our players taking matters into their own hands. But I’d love to see Stone Cold Mike Tomlin unleash hell on an opposing coach.
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