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

Since: Dec 4, 2011
Posted on: December 13, 2011 8:00 pm

League gets it right with Harrison

Here's the contact information passed on to me so we in Steelers nation can send our displeasure to the Czar himself!! Let's get them emails and phonce calls going!! Steelers nation will rise up and be heard!!

Contact Roger Goodell at 212.450.2000

He can also be reached at

If thgis isn't correct please let me and all of Steelers nation know!! Thanks!!

Since: Oct 3, 2006
Posted on: December 13, 2011 7:43 pm

League gets it right with Harrison

If you look at the replay, Harrison had no intention of going lower.  He clearly led with his helmet.  Yes McCoy was out of the pocket, but Harrison still could have gotten into his chest or lower.  No doubt.

Since: Apr 7, 2010
Posted on: December 13, 2011 7:31 pm

League gets it wrong with Harrison

If they're going fine James Harrison and sit him for a game, that's OK. I just want to see the refs protect Roethlisberger the way they're protecting the players who play against the Steelers. Bart Scott goes helmet to helmet on Roethlisberger, I want to see the fine and suspension. Haloti Ngata breaks Roethlisberger's nose, I want to see the fine and suspension. Willie McGinnest and D'Qwell Jackson combine to drive Roethlisberger's head into the turf for a concussion, I want to see the fine and suspension.

The NFL needs to use one set of rules for everyone

Since: Jan 2, 2010
Posted on: December 13, 2011 7:14 pm

League gets it right with Harrison

Harrison hit McCoy crown-to-crown, and it was a beautiful hit. It knocked McCoy unconscious. A penalty and and a one game suspension. Two games later McCoy faces Harrison again. Nice set up leading into the playoffs for the Steelers.

Since: Mar 17, 2008
Posted on: December 13, 2011 6:50 pm

League gets it right with Harrison


Since: Oct 15, 2006
Posted on: December 13, 2011 6:31 pm

League gets it right with Harrison

Figured the picture wouldn't load, so just go to this site:

You can see clearly that Harrison has his head down and the impact to McCoy's facemask is with the crown of Harrison's helmet.

Quit being a homer and admit that this jackass is dirty and was clearly trying to hurt McCoy...just like all the other players he's gone after.

Since: Oct 15, 2006
Posted on: December 13, 2011 6:29 pm

League gets it right with Harrison

 - If you think that hit was facemask to facemask you're either blind or delusional.

Looks to me as if Harrison has his facemask burried in his own chest...

Since: Feb 22, 2008
Posted on: December 13, 2011 6:08 pm

League gets it right with Harrison

 I played safety and was taught to place my head in the center of my target, you must see what you are hitting.  Now this is call being dirty.  You can't lead with a forearm or shoulder.  So tell me how do I teach my little brother the proper way of tackling these days.

Leading with the crown of the helmet is illegal because of the danger to the target and also because it is a great way to break your neck.  Your little brother is hopefully smart enough to remeber that you are supposed to plant your shoulder into the center of the target's chest.  In fact, it doesn't really matter that Harrison didn't have time to pull up because he didn't need to.  If he made a clean hit on McCoy it would have been fine.  But from the first moment Harrison committed to the tackle he lowered his head and was targeting McCoy's facemask.  I guarantee you you were not taught that when you were taught to tackle.  If that is what you took away you weren't listening.  Obviously, mistakes are made in the secondary where things happen quickly and both players are flying around at funny angles.  Harrison's hit was 100%, unredeemably intentional helmet to helmet contact.

Since: Feb 22, 2008
Posted on: December 13, 2011 6:01 pm

League gets it right with Harrison

I don't know what video you are watching, because the crown of his helmet clearly goes into McCoy's facemask.
They watch the same video, it just looks different with black and gold glasses on. 

Since: Feb 22, 2008
Posted on: December 13, 2011 5:59 pm

League gets it right with Harrison

Judge, I dare to ask you why does the league only put rules in place to protect Quarterbacks and Wide Recievers? Do you ever think it might be about money, and not player safety
It is pretty clear that this is part of the league's motivation.  However, when you consider that defensive players deliver the hits it doesn't really make sense to make rules protecting them.  Protections for offensive players will cover defenders.  As far as RBs go, as much as a nightmare as this rules seems to be to enforce, imagine if it applied to players who were constantly running through traffic.  99% of the team a defender can avoid helmet contact in the open field.  In running plays, this will be even harder to do.  Furthermore, the protections apply to defenseless players like QBs standing in the pocket and WRs going for a ball.  No other players on the field are required to take their eyes off of the opposing team to do their job, and this makes QBs and WRs uniquely defenseless.

 I agree that these protections should apply to all players when defenseless, like for example to Keith Rivers when Hines Ward erased him from the side 15 yards from the play, but as a Steelers fan I am sure you have no problem with that one.  All hits on defenseless players should be subject to fines.  And since Harrison makes a habit out of this, he should get steeper punishments.

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