All good things come to an end…
Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison has been a good boy this year. No personal fouls. No fines for plays that weren’t flagged. By the way, I want everybody to re-read that sentence and let sink in how utterly ridiculous that concept is. Meanwhile, other than a handful of (deserved) fines against Ryan Clark and Chris Kemoeatu, Roger Goodell has been fairly lax on persecuting the Black and Gold. Given Silverback’s verbal bitchslapping of the commissioner in Men’s Journal, he’s probably been more frustrated than a virgin directing a porno waiting for revenge.
Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Ginger Dictator, vengeance is mine.
Earlier today, the NFL handed down a nearly unprecedented punishment for playing football, suspending Harrison for one game due to his vicious hit on Cleveland Browns quarterback Colt McCoy. It was the first time a player has been suspended over a football play in 25 years. Keep blazing those trails, Ginger. No wonder the Steelers were the only team to vote against the CBA.
I’m not going to rehash Harrison’s hit in detail because there is no point. I will only say Ben Roethlisberger takes similarly violent and vicious hits all the time and I don’t see others’ being suspended. McCoy left the pocket and moved toward the line of scrimmage. Inadvertent helmet-to-helmet hits on running backs are legal because it goes with the territory. A quarterback scrambling around trying to make a play is no different. Harrison aimed for his chest and didn’t leave his feet. A similar hit on any other player wouldn’t have drawn any flags, let alone a fine or suspension.
I apologize for the lateness of this update but I was waiting for the Harrison verdict to come down from up on high. I kinda expected Ginger would slap him with a suspension. Delirious with power after suspending Ndumakong Suh, a junkie always craves their next fix. Plus, after hitting Silverback with $125,000 in fines last year, this was the next logical step. The irony here is sitting out a game will cost Harrison only about $73,500 (one game check).
Maybe that’s why he tweeted “Lol!!!” minutes after the ruling was made.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting a different outcome. James has repeatedly been warned and fined. I love him to death and he is an outstanding player but at what point do you figure it out that you just can’t lead with your helmet anymore. Really? The suspension was over the top for that play but we are not talking about just that play. The league in its infinate wisdom said before the season started that they would consider past acts in their determination of punishment. I fully expect slings and arrows for this comment but back in my day if you got in trouble for something you eventually stopped doing it. Well maybe now should be eventually for Mr. Harrison. I know the league could and should be more consistant with other hits but we’re not talking about other players or hits. This is one that could have been avoided by Silverback turning his head and/or aiming about 8 inches lower.
No stabbings, Bill (I’ll leave that to the guy down in Baltimore), but this is the first time a player has been suspended for something that happened between the whistles in 25 years. And that incident 25 years ago was Jim McMahon getting bodyslammed. That’s hardly the same as what Harrison did.
I understand what you’re saying. And your view is shared by many, including many talk show hosts/reporters here in the Burgh. But my thing is this: I don’t think its fair to single out Harrison for leading with his helmet. As I’ve pointed out, Troy and Clark do it on every play, not to mention I see Ben and Heath take hits of that nature almost every game. Why is Harrison the poster boy for this?
If EVERY guy who lead with his helmet got cracked down on, I wouldn’t like it but I would agree with your stance that fighting it is like tilting at windmills. However, since some players get away with it, some are fined occasionally, and some (like Silverback) are punished severely, I can’t take this seriously. It reeks of selective punishment and that, I’m sorry, is simply not fair.