Blog Entry

League gets it right with Harrison

Posted on: December 13, 2011 11:07 am
Edited on: December 13, 2011 11:56 am
 
Let's hear it for the NFL. It did the right and necessary thing by suspending Pittsburgh's James Harrison on Tuesday.

Harrison's hit on Colt McCoy didn't merit a suspension. It warranted a fine. But Harrison's series of incidents -- the fact that he's a multiple offender with illegal hits -- did qualify him for suspension, now more than ever.

Look, the NFL is trying to address head injuries and made it clear it will not tolerate blows to the helmet. So it fines players who do it, and sometimes they get the message, and sometimes they do not.

Harrison clearly did not. So that means the NFL must try something else to get his attention.

It just did.

Pittsburgh fans might see this as part of a grand conspiracy and their hard-hitting Steelers' defense, but they're wrong. Harrison and the Steelers have been warned again and again. And again and again they refuse to listen. That put the NFL in a position of having to respond -- basically, having to make it clear it means what it says -- so it just upped the punishment, and I'm all for it.

Maybe it works. Maybe it doesn't. But it had to be done.

I don't care what it means to Pittsburgh's playoff chances or chances of winning a division. I care what it means to the next guy James Harrison was going to clobber. Harrison didn't, and maybe he should have. The NFL warned him and notified him this was possible.

Harrison didn't listen. Instead, he dared the league to respond. So it did.

The NFL isn't trying to change his game. It's trying to change its game by keeping more players on the field, and what's so wrong with that? Nothing, that's what.











Category: NFL
Comments

Since: May 14, 2007
Posted on: December 13, 2011 1:54 pm
 

League gets it right with Harrison

What you don't understand is those plays cause turnovers. The risk of a flag or suspension is worth the reward of a turnover.

He definitely cares that the league takes money out of his pocket, but he cares about winning more. That's why he's as good as he is.

And don't worry about me. The league keeps going where it's going I will move on - and so will many others. That's what the NFL is having a hard time grasping.




Since: May 14, 2007
Posted on: December 13, 2011 1:51 pm
 

League gets it right with Harrison

If you really believe that you're naive. This has nothing to do with player safety except in the fact it might lead to law suits from retired players. Football has always been about hard hitting - not "amazing talents". This is all in the name of dollars. Dollars brought on by higher scoring games which are brought on by more penalties allowing for longer drives and more scores. Dollars brought on from fines levied against players. The business is in far more danger of being killed because its turning into flag football than it is from a few injuries.



Since: Oct 31, 2007
Posted on: December 13, 2011 1:48 pm
 

League gets it right with Harrison

That hit would've been flagged and fined, even 3 years ago.... The thing you and (most Steeler fans) can't get thru your head is.... it's not the 70's, 80's, or even 3 years ago, its 2011, he visited the league office, they told him how to hit and how not to hit... is Harrison really that stupid? Does he have a learning disability? Or does he just not care.....whatever the reason, he got what he deserved, just deal with and move on, or watch another sport!

And for the record, if Cleveland didn't follow the concussion rules on the side line, then yes, they deserved to get fined, but please quit bringing that up about how unfair it is, because no ruling has been made on that yet! They're still investigating!



Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 13, 2011 1:46 pm
 

League gets it right with Harrison

What HAS changed since Harrison won the Defensive Player of the Year award is the NFL's growing realization of the cost that concussions are wreaking on players after they leave the game.  As more and more reports come out about ex-players with brains like jelly because of all the hits they took to the head, the NFL has been forced to respond.  And forced is the correct word. They are showing more concern about helmet-to-helmet hits because they're terrified of the potential costs, both in terms of legal action and workers' compensation. 

And, they're smart to do so, because they rely on a constant source of fresh players willing to risk their health to play the game.  If more and more parents start wondering if their precious child will suffer brain damage by playing football, they'll start steering them elsewhere, and the NFL will find the amazing talents they enjoy now drying up.  And, in the long term, that will kill the business.


   



Since: May 14, 2007
Posted on: December 13, 2011 1:45 pm
 

League gets it right with Harrison

And yet it happens every week in every game. The only question is why the league can't enforce it properly and with any consistency? Is that so hard either?




Since: Sep 8, 2006
Posted on: December 13, 2011 1:43 pm
 

League gets it right with Harrison

Do not smash your helmet into an opponents head or face - It is not a difficult rule to understand!



Since: May 14, 2007
Posted on: December 13, 2011 1:43 pm
 

League gets it right with Harrison

Basically you and the league are saying that a guy who is playing exactly the same way as he was 3 years ago (and who was the best in the league at that time) is now dirty? As long as that's whats being said I have no problem with that argument. I then have a problem with the NFL (and this joke of a product they're putting on the field). If the game has changed so drastically in 3 years that it now abhors the guy who was best in the league just 3 years ago - then where will this game be in another 3 years? You do the math.




Since: Oct 31, 2007
Posted on: December 13, 2011 1:42 pm
 

League gets it right with Harrison

If you launch the crown of your helmet, into the facemask of a defensless player....it's gonna be a flag, fine, and yes a suspension (when you've been warned many, many, MANY TIMES!!!!)



Since: May 14, 2007
Posted on: December 13, 2011 1:40 pm
 

League gets it right with Harrison

Same player he was 3 years ago when he was defensive MVP, now he's suddenly dirty. I know Browns fans aren't the smartest (or even very good looking), and I know they have trouble recognizing talent (since they haven't seen any in 20 some years) but even you guys should be able to realize he's the exact same player he was 3 years ago.



Since: Mar 3, 2009
Posted on: December 13, 2011 1:39 pm
 

League gets it right with Harrison - BS

There are too many places to start here. Where is the fine for the Browns for sending McCoy back in? Better yet, where is the fine for the league? Addressing head injuries was deemed so important that each game has an official in the booth to strictly watch for plays that involve the head and to make sure the player involved is not put into additional harm. Well, that didn't happen either. We now have a league where you better not touch the QB, that is if it is certain QB's. We also have situations where a QB gets hit a little while sliding, personal foul, then QB fakes a slide, defender pulls up and QB runs for 7 more yards. (See Tom Brady and Pats game from last weekend). I can continue. There are helmets made that really protect your head much more than the ones the pros wear. Why doesn't the league make them mandatory if they are concerned about head injuries? As a Steeler fan, I'm not claiming bias. As a football fan, I am claiming there are different results for the same situation over and over again. They need to take a lesson from the NHL. There should be a set scale of fines, suspensions, etc... for all infractions. That way everyone knows the rules. if you want to stop head shots, make them completely illegal. It doesn't matter if it's a runner or a passer. If the runner lowers his head to a head shot, they both get fined. Sounds ridiculous but this is what it has become. There is no consistency. Until there is, people will claim, Steelers are wronged or this team is wronged. Let's face it. We see bad stuff happen every week without a penalty or a fine, then a guy who hasn't even had a penalty this year must miss a game and lose that paycheck. The commissioner is a joke and has been allowed to screw up the world's favorite game. And this writer is so far off base with the problem his paycheck should be taken as well.


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