James Harrison’s Suspension is a Slap in the Face of NFL Fans

by on October 22nd, 2010
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As a fan of the game of football, I am appalled by the NFL’s decision to suspend Pittsburgh Steelers LB James Harrison one game for his tackle on the Cleveland Browns QB Colt McCoy, who sustained a concussion on the hit.

If you are one of the people who support NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s one game ban on Harrison, then you too, are as brain dead as he is for making it.

As a supporter of NFL football, I, like every other fan, pay good money to watch the best players compete week in and week out.

Unless I am getting a discounted ticket price for a discounted team, forced to play without one of it’s toughest players in a pivotal game because of an asinine suspension, count me amongst those who are upset at such an unwarranted and unprecedented suspension.

A suspension NOT for stomping on a players arm after a play, BUT for making a split second live play tackle on a QB was was initially running with the ball tucked under his arm, outside the pocket and heading for a first down, who then raised up and threw the ball at the very last second, which resulted in a hard hit that briefly knocked McCoy cuckoo for coco puffs. It’s football boys and girls, it’s a rough game, and yes, chances are, if you play, you are going to get injured eventually.

Making fans pay full price for games that don’t feature it’s best players due to suspensions for live play incidents is a slap in the face of the NFL’s fan base. I guess you wouldn’t mind if you went to McDonalds, ordered the #3 combo, paid full price, and then find out they didn’t include your fries when your miles away. You’d be pretty upset I’m imagining, so you can understand my point about paying $100 or more to see back-ups playing instead of starters. If the NFL wanted to slap Harrison with a fine on the hit, so be it. But to shorthand the Steelers with a suspension of Harrison is a joke.

And as for the NFL puffing out it’s chest trying to say it wants to protect it’s players, please, don’t make me laugh. If anyone deserved to be hit with a huge fine or suspensions, it was the Cleveland Brown’s organization for allowing a concussed Colt McCoy to return to the game a few plays after being knocked out of it. Where was the outcry for this indiscretion? Where was the outcry against the very same NFL, who the very next day, was selling $20 photos of the knocked out McCoy laying prone on the field that night? (Which, conveniently, was pulled after a few people did point this out to NFL brass) How about those NFL videos promoting the “Games Greatest Hits”? The hypocrisy is hilarious at best!

The majority of NFL players, if not all of them, have been quoted a plethora of times stating they’d rather take a shot up high, rather than have their knee’s blown out or legs broken by a low hit. Players understand that this is a rough, violent sport, that pays great, and leads to a pretty good off the field lifestyle that provides for their families for a very long time. They understand the risks they take when the shoulder pads and helmets get put on during game day. They get it. So why doesn’t Roger Goodell and his cronies?

Defensive players should not have to go through a mental checklist just to make a damned tackle during a game. Offensive player’s goals are to get a first down or to score, by any means necessary, and the defensive player’s goal is to stop the offensive player from doing so, by any means necessary. I understand that cheap shots 3 yards out of bounds, or 3 seconds after a play is whistled dead are deeds that are punishable by not only flags, but fines as well, but the NFL has no business at all suspending people for play during live action. The speed of the game is too great to do so.

I can only imagine the likes of Alan Page, Deacon Jones, Mean Joe Green, or Jack Tatum if they played in today’s game. Those players would lose their minds if they had to put up with the sissification of today’s NFL product, where fans have to hold their collective breath making sure there isn’t a flag on a player for making a sack, but flagged for hitting the QB too hard. Call the waaambulance, please!

In closing, don’t make me roll my eyes about the NFL saying it needs to change rules so that players don’t come back and sue the league years later because of injuries. It’s not the hard hits and injuries that those older players are suing the NFL for, it’s due to the fact that NFL teams allowed those very same players to go back into games injured, just as the Browns did with Colt McCoy. Fans, want to see hard hitting NFL action. Players want to see hard hitting NFL action. Let’s stop trying to make these ridiculous rules trying to prevent injuries. Injuries are going to happen regardless. It’s treating the injuries that needs to be addressed by the NFL. It’s making sure players are healthy enough to play without further risk as the main problem at hand. That’s where the focus on change should be.

Otherwise, if you support the suspension on James Harrison, say good-bye to the NFL as you know it.

That’s football. Deal with it or watch tennis.

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