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Blog Entry

NFL needs consistency with illegal hits

Posted on: December 6, 2010 12:13 am
Edited on: December 6, 2010 12:15 am
H. Miller suffered a concussion after a helmet-to-helmet hit by Baltimore's J. McClain (Getty).

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Despite the detailed instructions and the diagrams and the variety of explanations and the tutorials, many of us still don’t understand the newly-reinforced helmet-to-helmet and defenseless receiver rules.

Why are some hits called and not others? What about the helmet-to-chest hits on a quarterback who just threw the ball? Is he defenseless? Can the defender led with his facemask? With the crown of his helmet? What if it’s below the waist?

I suppose some people have a handle on the rules, but there are times when I’m not sure if anybody knows what the hell is supposed to be called. Like, um, the dudes wearing the stripes during tonight’s Ravens-Steelers game.

Last Sunday, I got into a discussion with a Steelers fan on Twitter about why James Harrison was penalized for his illegal hit on Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.

He claimed Harrison hit Fitzpatrick in the upper chest, and his helmet slid into Fitzpatrick’s chin. I countered that it was head-to-chin all the way.

He claimed there was a bias against the Steelers. I countered that the officials were giving Harrison more scrutiny – based on his reputation, why wouldn’t they? – but that ultimately Pittsburgh was treated the same as everybody else.

We went back and forth probably 10 or 12 times.

This week, owner Art Rooney II got into the act, saying he thought the NFL looked at the Steelers differently. I still vehemently disagree, even after tonight’s 13-10 Pittsburgh win against the Ravens when Roethlisberger was hit in the helmet twice with no flag thrown.

But what I’ll continue to question is why every game is called differently. And I believe this: if Harrison had destroyed the Ravens TE, instead of Baltimore’s Jameel McClain leveling Steelers TE Heath Miller on what was CLEARLY a helmet-to-helmet hit, Harrison would have been ejected, fined and suspended.

But with McClain, a yellow flag was not thrown. I’ll repeat that: when McClain gave us an absolute clinic on what is an illegal hit – there’s very little doubt this play will show up on the video that officials present to teams during next year’s training camps – and what should be penalized.

Instead, Miller crumpled to the turf in a frightening manner, and he later walked off the field with a concussion. And a 15-yard penalty was not called.

Minutes afterward, while the game was still in the third quarter, word began to leak out. NFL officials made sure to let everyone know that a penalty should have been called and that a mistake had been made. But the flag wasn’t thrown. And frankly, it wasn’t fair.

I understand the argument that players move at warp speed, and they can’t always control how they’re hitting an opponent. Mistakes happen. I get that. But the rule is the rule, and the penalties need to be enforced equally across the board.

I’m sure Harrison would agree.

“It was a hit that should have been penalized,” Harrison told NBC after the game. “Nine times out of 10, if you put me on that hit, a flag goes up and I’m fined.”

At the very least.

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Since: Dec 25, 2006
Posted on: December 6, 2010 10:06 am

NFL needs consistency with illegal hits

Amen to HTB44 that is....   ..why dont these screwy message boards cascade??

Since: Aug 14, 2006
Posted on: December 6, 2010 10:05 am

NFL needs consistency with illegal hits

Funny how you failed to mention the 2 hits to Ben's helmet.  One ofcourse broke his nose, both with no flag.
Also note that all three penalties that were not called were all across the 50 and would have resulted in scores.
(one did to win the game).   Can you really sit there and say that breaking Brady or Manning's nose would not have resulted in a flag? probably you can because you believe a bar hopping slut over the best QB in the league about rape even though there was ZERO evidence.


Since: Dec 25, 2006
Posted on: December 6, 2010 10:05 am

NFL needs consistency with illegal hits

Amen on all points brother!!

Since: Oct 3, 2008
Posted on: December 6, 2010 9:50 am

NFL needs consistency with illegal hits

Pathfinder- I can't find it online,  but I watched that Flacco hit in slo mo several times last night.  Harrison let up and landed on his hands and did not drive his body into Flacco's. 

The Steelers are targeted.... I am whining.. but they are still winning. 

Since: Sep 7, 2006
Posted on: December 6, 2010 9:23 am

NFL needs consistency with illegal hits

While I agree that the call, or no call, against the Ravens for that hit on Miller is a crock, I can't stand listening to Steeler's Fans crying about how "their team" is targeted by the NFL. There was also a no call on a hit on Flacco when he had released the ball, got wrapped up textbook, and then had a Pittsburgh linebacker drive him into the ground with his full weight on top of him.

Now, I'm no NFL ref, but it was just like a call that got made against Wilfork, the NT for "that other team up north" that people like to point out gets all the calls. It was a 15 yarder, automatic first down.

There are good calls and bad calls for every team on both sides of the ball? You don't think so? Watch Monday night football tonight. Watch Tom Brady get pounded by the Jets, because he's going to. There might be one or two roughing the passer calls made, but he's going to get hit a lot.

Nobody likes a cheap shot, just quit crying like there's some kind of conspiracy. Steeler's fans, you're better than that, you're starting to sound like Raider's fans...

And other than your QB being a rapist, the team's got character. Have some of the same, don't go all Oakland on us.

Since: Aug 1, 2010
Posted on: December 6, 2010 9:21 am

NFL needs consistency with illegal hits

Like I said last week. You want to know the truth, watch the video. When Harrison broke free the ref grabbed his flag and had thrown it before Fitzpatrick "HIT THE GROUND". Watch the video. It's like watching a Democrat lie. It's on the Momma Freakin tape. And then to watch Ben get beat up and one of Pittsburgh's greatest guys get laid out and not a flag. Come on. I bet you believe goverment healthcare will really work even though Canadians and the English have proven it fails. WAKE UP AMERICA! 

Since: May 13, 2009
Posted on: December 6, 2010 9:16 am

NFL needs consistency with illegal hits

thank goodness heath is going to be okay.  i do not know how his neck is not broken.  i have blasted people before for "crying" about bad calls.  I believe good teams should win regardless of a few missed calls so I am not starting to "cry" now.  Ravens/Steelers is an absolute war and arguably the best rivalry in football.  again,  just glad my boy heath is gonna play another day.

Since: May 28, 2009
Posted on: December 6, 2010 8:47 am

NFL needs consistency with illegal hits

If anyone still believes that the Pittsburgh Steelers are not being targeted by the NFL officials after this game you must not be even looking at the replays. During tonights game between the Patriots and the Jets watch Sissy Brady after he gets hit to hard look at the ref and throw a hissy fit and then the ref will pull out the flag and the Jets will be walking backward again.  I think the NFL should just cancel the rest of the season and award the championship to the Patriots so we the fans don't have to put up with this charade of officiating any longer.

Since: May 16, 2007
Posted on: December 6, 2010 8:28 am

The Steelers Reputation?

What about the Ravens reputation with Ray Lewis and that bunch of thugs? Goodness.

Baltimore should have been flagged twice for illegal hits. They weren't.

Actually I thought the game was called rather one sided - happy the Steelers won. They did what good teams do - find a way to win, if not with offense, do it with defense.

I am a fan of neither team (Saints fan).

Hopefully we do not have the NFL officials deciding playoff games because they "scrutinize" one team more than another. What is left of the integrity of the game is at stake here.

Since: Dec 6, 2010
Posted on: December 6, 2010 8:25 am

NFL needs consistency with illegal hits don't know football if you don't think that was a vicious hit.  First off, the McClain had a whole second to see that Miller did NOT have the ball (with his hands up and the ball on the ground) and second, McClain made ZERO attempt to "put on the breaks".  He went for the big hit to make some BS point with NO FLAG on the play and Miller ends up with concussion.  If the fine is not greater than 50k for that hit, then the NFL and Goodell are full of s*** and Harrison has every right to say whatever it is that comes to mind about how the NFL is treating him.

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