Laughing at the concussed corpses

UPDATE: Harrison will not be suspended, but was fined $75,000. In other news, I watched a different slow motion view of the hit and there is no way on God’s blue and green earth it was a dirty hit. In my opinion.

Let’s just brand this the James Harrison Rule, shall we?

The man takes out two measly Browns and look what happens!

Internet, I am kidding. Please stop accusing me of “glorifying” helmet-to-helmet hits and violence and brain injuries. If those two players had been seriously injured, I wouldn’t dare BREATHE a joke about it.

I was told on twitter yesterday that my WTRT post was “a dick move.”

But this by far, was my most favorite response I received on twitter:

In fairness, that user did sort of back off of such strong accusations, but I must say, if you read my WTRT post again, you’ll see that I technically did not take a stance on Harrison’s hits. That was intentional. I just talked about them and mentioned he’s a beast who will hurt people and eff them up.


I didn’t tell James Harrison as Chuck Norris facts.

“If you type James Harrison into Microsoft Word, the little paperclip just hangs itself.”

“James Harrison can slam a revolving door.”

“James Harrison is the reason Waldo is hiding.”

Honestly, I didn’t think James Harrison looked like he was intentionally laying a helmet-to-helmet hit on Cribbs. The NFL agreed. If it did look intentional, I would have called him out on it. I’m not against doing that. I called him out for being a jerk in this post. I agreed that Hines can be dirty. And I’m sure if I took the time to dig through every WTRT I’ve written over the years, I’d find other instances where I call out dirty work.

I just honestly didn’t think Harrison was hitting dirty yesterday. I’m a Steelers fan, so I’m very aware that my judgment is clouded by that fact.

At this point, it’s a matter of opinion, despite the fact that people in the comments were apparently emailed some special inside information that included empirical data that proved their view correct beyond a shadow of a doubt.

I have no idea what “empirical” means when put in front of the word “data,” but let’s just go with it. It sounds fancy.

So, now the NFL is looking at Harrison’s other hit, and he could in fact be suspended if the NFL finds that the hit was dirty.

I didn’t see the hit live, or I don’t remember it, so I went back and watched it.

I can’t tell. Honestly.

I get the sneaking suspicion that he’s going to be suspended because he took out two players (even though one hit was ruled legal) and because the sports world is freaking out and calling for his suspension and his balls on a stick. It doesn’t help that Harrison is in the media saying basically I wanted to hurt him, not injure him. Therefore, I believe the NFL will make an example of him.

And if that teaches Harrison two things, 1. if you’re going to put the hurt on opponents, do it below their brains, and 2. shut up, then I’m all for it.


  1. jeff
    October 19, 2010 4:38 pm

    If Merriweather didn’t get suspended (50k for a hit worse than either of Harrison’s hit) Harrison is safe.

  2. NW PA Joe
    October 19, 2010 4:59 pm

    The NFL has a problem on its hands because the Harrison hit on Massaquoi is not illegal. Harrison did not lead with his helmet. His shoulder pad got up in Massaquoi’s facemask as a result of his momentum and Massaquoi lowering his head as he tried to control the ball.

    It will be interesting to see what the NFL does. I don’t think that he will be fined.

  3. Ex-Pat Pittsburgh Girl
    October 19, 2010 5:19 pm

    Harrison is getting fined $75K according to ESPN. No suspension.

  4. NW PA Joe
    October 19, 2010 5:21 pm

    I guess I was wrong. Harrison was fined $75000.

  5. unsatisfied
    October 19, 2010 5:28 pm

    he should be able to shake that out of his couch cushions…..

  6. Ms. Redd
    October 19, 2010 5:32 pm

    Why was Harrison fined 75000 while Meriwether, who’se hit was blatantly on purpose, only fined 50000? Seems like Goodell is once again out to get the Steelers (a la Ben’s suspension)

  7. Bram R
    October 19, 2010 8:13 pm

    Harrison is going to get suspended or more heavily fined for running his mouth at a time when the NFL was just starting to get its arms around this issue.

    Not meaning to pile on along with your dementors, Ginny, but since we’re directly on the topic… “If those two players had been seriously injured, I wouldn’t dare BREATHE a joke about it.” … from what I understand, that’s the thing with concussish head injuries. You CAN get up and walk off the field and maybe even come back to play after a few series of downs. That doesn’t mean you’re not seriously injured; nobody can tell just cuz they roused themselves to totter off.

  8. PittinDC
    October 19, 2010 8:13 pm

    Ms. Redd, Harrison was fined more because they said he was a “repeat offender.” I believe that he was fined for a similar hit in the past.

    I wish I could see a slow motion clip of the hit – it didn’t look like he lead with his head on the clips that I have seen thus far. Nevertheless, I think they league felt like they had to fine him because of all of the talk surrounding the hits.

  9. Different Brian
    October 19, 2010 9:54 pm

    Like NW PA Joe said, he wasn’t ‘leading’ with his helmet, as the motion of two bodies in motion kinda led his helmet into the other’s helmet. This is the problem with fines and ejections for fouls based on “helmet to helmet contact”… the intent can be to lower the shoulder, meanwhile the other body shifts and you’re crackin’ skulls.

    It speaks to the hypocrisy of the NFL. Kinda like governments with tobacco. If you hate it THAT much, then forbid it completely. But they won’t. Because they profit too much off the product.

    Fines are ultimately the best way for the league to walk the line. They’re ‘doing something about it’ but the unaffiliated media parties can put ‘OMG Super Hitz From Week 6’ on the website.

    I liked Ditka’s idea. Just BAN the helmet. No more leading with your head. But the league would never do that… ya know, for player safety. Except players keep getting concussed because they have shields on their head that let them use it as a weapon.

  10. YinzerInExile
    October 19, 2010 11:00 pm

    This is so stupid. I am not a professional skydiver because of the risk, however remote, that I may wind up mooshed across the pavement; I am not a professional free diver because the thought of exploding ear drums turns me off; I am not an arctic explorer because I am really attached to my fingers and toes and wish for them to remain attached to me; I am not a professional outward bound instructor because I honestly couldn’t tell you which I like least: kids, or the outdoors.

    I am not a pro football player, because I think repeatedly hurtling myself at giant hulking man-walls, and subsequently being hurtled to the ground by same, over and over, ad infinitum, sounds dreadful.

    I managed to work this all out, I imagine that it’s pretty obvious to the football players themselves. If you can’t handle getting smashed every now and again — including the risk of permanent maiming — then you shouldn’t play football. If you can’t stand the violence and mooshability of football, then might I suggest curling, professional checkers, or Trivial Pursuit.

    I fail to appreciate why grown-ass men need to be protected from themselves, having made an informed decision to put themselves in harm’s way.

  11. Goob
    October 19, 2010 11:37 pm

    The sad and miserable thing about this is that these types of injuries creep, and they are cumulative, too.

    There is a fellow by the name of Dr. Bennet Omalu; his work in this area of pathology started with an odd encounter with Mike Webster’s brain (no better way to put that, really). Nobody particularly wanted to listen to his conclusions, but I don’t know of anyone who’s had a problem with his evidence. He’s got a better platform for his research now, but we should have been paying attention to this stuff decades ago.

    I remember when the competition committee was considering ideas (different turf, different cleats) to lessen the amount of torque a player could generate in their joints, because they were noticing modern football players were in such good physical shape that they could injure themselves by making a cut. That is several things to me: an indication of incredible athleticism, a mark of remarkable dedication on the part of the player to attain that conditioning, a huge amount of work and time and effort poured into the auxiliary technologies of the game (that turf, those cleats), and completely ridiculous. If the players are that close to the edge all of the time already, it’s no wonder people are getting damaged when you add the additional stresses of a linebacker sending them sideways.

    With knees and ankles, though, there is surgery, there is PT, and even if all that fails there is a cane or a chair. We know very little about brain injuries; we have very little idea how to make those wounded hale again.

    I like the rugby idea; no hits above the shoulders, ever. Anyone who does gets tossed, and the team plays a man down.

    That’d make the coverages interesting.

  12. bluzdude
    October 19, 2010 11:40 pm

    Another Brian is all up in my point…

    The big problem with the specific strike zones is that they change after the defensive player launches. When the receiver or ball carrier feels threatened, the first thing that happens is they curl up around the ball, thus lowering their head right into the area that the defensive player is trying to strike. (Evidence: Willis McGahee Vs. Ryan Clark) Short of the Matrix, there is no way for the defender to stop and change direction.

    Then in super slo-mo, the D-man looks like a head hunting bastard.

    The rules being legislated in the last few years are going to strangle the life out of the game that we love. No one is forced out there. The risks are known.

    And if they were serious about preventing injuries, they could use helmets with softer shells on the outside, as well as inside.

    But then the coaches and fans wouldn’t hear that satisfying “smack” whenever there’s contact.

  13. Judy
    October 19, 2010 11:45 pm

    “It speaks to the hypocrisy of the NFL. Kinda like governments with tobacco. If you hate it THAT much, then forbid it completely. But they won’t. Because they profit too much off the product.”

    Speaking of hypocrisy and profit, you can purchase photos of the hits on

  14. Black n Gold Girls
    October 19, 2010 11:52 pm

    I used to coach recreation football. (9 year olds to 13 year olds). When teaching a young kid the game we tell them not to play with fear or apprehension. The NFL wants defensive players to do just that! The fine to James Harrison is nuts! This has the potential to change the game as we know it.

    The players should protest on Sunday. I propose that on the very first play of the game the kicker sends the ball downfield and the kick returner takes a knee at the 20. THEN they all grab a partner and dance a nice waltz. No harm no foul. The NFL will get the point.

    Bob LaVella
    Founder Black n Gold Girls

  15. Ex-Pat Pittsburgh Girl
    October 20, 2010 10:28 am

    It seems that the NFL store has yanked the picture. I guess they didn’t like the fact that they were being called hypocrits.

  16. bucdaddy
    October 20, 2010 10:45 am

    The risks are known.

    Not so much until recently. It appears the effects of the trauma aren’t showing up for 20 or 30 or 40 years, so really, we’re just now getting an idea of what was happening to players’ heads in the 1970s. On the one hand, I kind of agree that a man is entitled to do what he wants and take risks with his life; on the other, does it really benefit society to be stuck caring for an army of 6-foot-5, 350-pound zmobies in 20 years?

    I follow this a little bit because Dr. Julian Bailes at WVU is involved in the research. What seems to be evolving is the thought that it;s not the big hits like Harrison’s that do most of the damage, it’s the every-day hit hit hit hit hit hit hit of practice that’s harmful in the long run.

    But really, this all is just now getting rolling.

  17. bucdaddy
    October 20, 2010 10:46 am


  18. bucdaddy
    October 20, 2010 11:28 am

    Also, I saw Laughing at the Concussed Corpses at Metropol once, I think they opened for Corrosion of Conformity and Cannibal Corpse.

    It was the Alliterative Asskickin’ Tour.

  19. Joe K.
    October 20, 2010 12:35 pm

    Massaqoi ran himself all the way across the field to the area Harrison was covering. Maybe offenses should stop exposing their receivers like that. There’d probably be a lot less of this if there were more I-formation football played these days.

  20. Steelerscansuckit
    October 20, 2010 1:20 pm

    You can backtrack all you want but the whole post was glorifying that thug. whatever. I don’t really care except I do know this whole ridiculous town would be up in arms if Ray Lewis laid out Hines Ward and then bragged about it.

  21. cmd_45
    October 20, 2010 1:47 pm

    Here’s the thing…Hines Ward never would have gotten hit like that. Learn how to protect yourself, boys, or step off the field.

  22. PensFan024
    October 20, 2010 2:02 pm

    Except that Ray Lewis did lay out Rashard Mendenhall like that, then celebrated over him and then the next day said he was trying to hurt the rookie. but, hey keep trying.

  23. LaReina
    October 20, 2010 3:00 pm

    My grandmother could take out two Browns.

  24. mfj
    October 20, 2010 4:24 pm

    #Tony: You can trust the NFL to always do the right thing.Of course, first they have to get caught doing the wrong thing and have somebody point it out in a highly public manner.

  25. SpudMom
    October 20, 2010 9:53 pm

    There is a reason I never, ever want to see either of my sons on a football field and this is it. Brain injury is occurring at all levels on which the game is played and kids are dying as a result. No game is worth that.

    It’s also the reason that I pretty much don’t watch football in the first place and if that makes me a Turncoat ‘Burgher, so be it.

  26. NMSteve
    October 21, 2010 8:54 am

    So is Harrison going to hang up the cleats? Is he done? Or is he just bluffing?

    I tend to think that he is not the kind of person to bluff. I think that he is willing to walk away at this point.