First, the good news - article courtesy of SBNATION...
The suspension imposed upon Pittsburgh Steelers LB James Harrison was upheld after an appeal to the NFL office, according to Jason La Canfora of NFL Network. Harrison was appealing a one-game suspension he received for an illegal hit on Cleveland Browns QB Colt McCoy last week.
Thanks to the NFL and NFLPA, a modest parcel of justice has been served to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Now for a quick look at where the Steelers stand on this issue. Then lets also look at just one example of James Harrison at it again, on another play from earlier in the game last Thursday. The play went largely unnoticed (and unpenalized), but is yet another example of why James Harrison is an unapologetic, unremorseful, repeat offender who should be banned from playing in the NFL until he is rehabilitated by a Steelers organization in denial.
According to the Pittsburgh Steelers organization, staff and players, an injustice has been done. As far as they are concerned, James Harrison is a paragon of virtue and a model citizen. He has done nothing wrong. Furthermore the world is out to unjustly punish the Steelers. And they have every intention of continuing to play their "style" of football, the NFL be damned. To wit:
"I'm not surprised. You're appealing to the same people who put the suspension in place, so no, I'm not surprised at all," Steelers safety Ryan Clark said. "I don't care about the league's message anymore. It's about us as a football team playing the type of football that's going to help us win championships, despite who gets suspended, despite who gets fined..." (AP article source - Friday, Dec. 16th)
Perhaps even more disturbing is something Harrison said in an interview with Men's Journal after the 2010 season (SBNATION article source):
Harrison indicates that, even after receiving $100,000 in fines over the course of the season for illegal hits, Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau told him not to change anything he does. "When the fines came down he said, 'Don't change a damn thing.' You're doing it the way we do it on this team."
Make no mistake, Harrison and the Pittsburgh Steelers have no regrets, no remorse, are in complete denial about Harrison's dirty style of play. The have absolutely no intention of making any serious attempts to make the appropriate corrections to Harrison's attitude or the consistently dirty and illegal style with which he plays.
In a recent discussion here on DBN, HenryDawg mentioned that in addition to the illegal hit to McCoy's head late in the 4th quarter, he remembered seeing another play earlier in the game where Harrison made a very questionable hit. He asked if anyone had access to a replay, so I took a look and sure enough, with 8 minutes left in the 2nd quarter - have a look. I'd say the evidence speaks for itself.
NFL, are you watching?...
Frame 1: Here McCoy’s basically already been sacked by three Steelers players.Harrison in the foreground (circled), plants and prepares for launch…
Frame 2: (view from the side...) Harrison launches, helmet straight into McCoy’s helmet…
Frame 3: From behind Harrison after he has connected with McCoy, his helmet bouncing off McCoy’s helmet:
Last year the NFL decided to take steps to try to mitigate the problem with concussions in the NFL. It really isn't rocket science. When you tackle someone you don't launch yourself into another player leading with the crown of your helmet. And if you deliberately launch your helmet directly into the head of another player, you're going to suffer consequences. If you do it with complete abandon repeatedly, the consequences might be severe.
Get it Pittsburgh?
We'll see if this modest one game suspension sinks in to the thick skull of Harrison and the thick skulls of those in the front office and coaching staff of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Time for a reality check Pittsburgh. Clean up your act or the NFL will do it for you.