I Hate the Harrison Suspension, but Understand it

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison was suspended a game for the helmet-to-helmet hit on Brownies’ QB Colt McCoy.

As a Steelers fan, I hate the fact that the NFL suspended one of our best defensive players.  However, as they say, “rules are rules”.

Harrison knew what the rules were regarding what are deemed illegal hits.  He knew that the NFL outlawed helmet-to-helmet shots.  He also knew that the NFL was looking to make an example out of him.

Harrison should have used his head (no pun intended) and led his shoulder – not his head – on McCoy.  All defensive players have to follow the NFL rules, no matter how “wussie” they tend to be.

Speaking of which, I think the NFL has gone too far in softening itself.  I mean, football is a brutal sport, and players know that going in.  I hate those “defenseless player rules” (what the hell does that even mean?  Aren’t ALL players defenseless?).  And I especially hate those rules protecting the QBs – particularly Tom Brady (Redskins fans know what I am talking about).

But I digress…

Categories: NFL, sports story

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9 replies

  1. I completely agree, its a load of bs, but he really cant be tackling the same way as it is clearly not tolerated

    Check out my blog on several similar hits


  2. I totally disagree with you with on this issue. I’ve been an NFL fan for 40 years. I saw the game on August 12, 1978 when Jack Tatum of the Oakland Raiders hit a defenseless Darryl Stingley of the New England Patriots when he was coming across the middle and it the air trying to catch a pass. At the age of 26, Darryl Stingley was paralyzed for life and died due to complications of that injury at the age of 55. In my opinion, the NFL did the right thing by putting rules into effect to protect players. James Harrison has been repeatedly flagged, fined and now suspended for a game because he obviously doesn’t think that rule applies to him. In this particular case took two steps before he used his helmet against Colt McCoy so he had time to stop. Calling this rule “wussie” is just wrong. Players should play tough, but not at the expense of someone getting paralyzed or receiving a concussion from a helmet blow to the head they don’t recover from.

    • If you watched that play in 1978, that makes you an old man lol. All kidding aside, I understand that the NFL is trying to protect its players, though it is a bit wishy-washy on the concussion issue (see Colt McCoy). I just think that the NFL is turning into the Arena League with all of its rule changes regarding hitting and emphasis on offense.

      Besides, the way the NFL protects its quarterbacks is nauseating. I cannot get that personal foul penalty on London Fletcher’s hit on Tom Brady out of my head. Did you remember what the ref’s explanation was? Now THAT was bullcrap…

  3. Yes, some calls are pretty crazy regarding QB’s. I think it’s improved from last year when you couldn’t breathe on them. The NFL’s biggest revenue stream comes from their TV contracts and ratings are high when top QB’s are playing. Tebow is making crazy money for the networks. Brady, Rodgers and Brees bring home the bacon as well. The NFL is going to protect that entity. It would be stupid of them not to.

    Even with all the rule changes, QB’s still take a beating. If you don’t believe me, ask Vick, Schaub, Henne, Leinart, Cutler, McCoy and Campbell.

    That’s 7 QB’s out of 30 or 23% of the workforce getting injured. Any other business that reported a 23% injury rate would immediately be shut down.

  4. Hi Again Scott,
    Of course you’re going to be upset about James Harrison, your best linebacker being suspended for a game….You’re a Steelers fan! The fact remains this was the fifth incident in the past three years that James Harrison has been disciplined for a late hit on a QB. At some point, he has to be accountable for his actions. I saw an ESPN interview today which he stated, “I’m not changing the way I was taught to tackle and will continue to do it the same way”. James Harrison and Ndamukong Suh just don’t get it so guess they’ll have to be sent a message that gets their attention – their wallets! BTW, I guess I am an old man in years, but I can still hold my own. LOL!

  5. It’s impossible to not hit a guy with your helmet unless you just refuse to be a good tackler. If you use good wrestling technique to tackle a guy, your head is going to be up and your going to attack with your arms and shoulders. Ah. but this isn’t wrestling..these guys are moving extremely quick. The problem is slot receivers, quarterbacks, and running backs that catch out of the backfield are small guys…what’s your average lineback 6’2″ -6’3″? These little guys probably scrape out an average of 5’10. That’s a solid 3 or 4 inches that linebackers have to account for now. 3-4 inches plus another 10 inches of the head ..that’s at least a foot or maybe even 15 inches a defender has to duck just to get a legal hit. All while try to explode through the offensive player, wrap him up and make a tackle in less than a second. My opinion is 1. quarterbacks shouldn’t be allowed to run if defenders aren’t allowed to tackle 2. Make the bump rule 10 yards and all of this goes away. Most of the middle routes go away and quarterbacks won’t be dumping junk to speedy short guys in the middle.

    • I have a better idea: why don’t the NFL dress all QBs in skirts (Brady deserves to wear a pink jersey), put lipstick on them, paint their toenails, and let them gallivant all over the field. With the way the refs are calling penalties on hits on the QB, they might as well…

  6. The rule is simple: dip your head to use as a weapon, get fined/suspended. There’s nothing wrong with hard hits, but Harrison is constantly lowering his head to hit people, using his helmet as a weapon. I don’t think the league is out to make Harrison an example (this is the 7th time he’s been in trouble for illegal hits in three seasons), Harrison is making himself an example by continuing to use the crown of his helmet to try and injure opponents. All of this is his own doing.

    That Brady call was just a terrible penalty (maybe the worst I’ve ever seen), but it wasn’t indicative of what the league is trying to do in terms of player safety. That was a referee panicking and calling what he thought happened, and not what he actually saw.

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