Oh, man. Not only did my butler Woy wrangle back the comments, all thirty-some thousand of them (YAY! Hittsburgh!), he upgraded my WordPress and now everything is fancy and proper and would you like a spot of tea? Let it be known that my butler rocks his butlerness to the fullest.

I decided today I’d like to throw myself to the vultures of internet commenting and therefore, let’s talk about the politics behind Occupy Pittsburgh.

HAHAHAH! Like I’d fling myself into THAT volcano. I tweeted about Occupy Pittsburgh yesterday and in turn was called a “conformist, follower, and sorry ass coward.” She forgot radical right wing wacko!

No, instead, I’ll fling myself into the volcano of diehard Steelers fans who cannot bear when I write negatively about their beloved precioussss — keeper of the Super Bowl ringsssssss.

James Harrison has been suspended one game without pay for his brutal hit on Colt McCoy (great porn name, FYI), a hit which wiped Colt’s memory of the rest of the game clean out of his cranium.

Prior to the NFL handing down that suspension, James went on the record to say a couple of ridiculous things that he should have left unsaid.

1. He didn’t think he deserved a fine OR a suspension for the hit.

2. He didn’t think he would be fined OR suspended.

And Roger Goodell saw this and said “Mwah. Ha. Ha.”

James’ reason for thinking he didn’t deserve a suspension or fine?

“Well, he took off running with it, and at the last second he, like, chucked and ducked,” Harrison said. “So, people can see it.”

I’m not going to pretend I know what “chucked” means in this context because in my world “chucked” means threw. You know? “Hey! You woodchucks better stop chucking my wood!” That commercial?

Also in my world, ducked means to crouch down to avoid. So James is saying Colt threw the ball and then crouched down.

So let’s watch the hit and see this chucking and ducking for ourselves, since James says people can see it. Start watching the slow-mo at :50.

YouTube Preview Image

Um. Did you see any ducking of any sort? Any downward motion of Colt’s helmet? Did you also see Santa flying by on his sleigh while whipping his reindeer and drunkenly French-kissing a saucy elf?

There was no ducking. None. Colt was standing tall having just found a receiver he was seeking.

There are those that say, “Hey, that’s football!”

But guess what? Whether we like it or not, whether the players and coaches agree with it or not, that isn’t football anymore. That USED to be football. The game has changed and the rules have changed in an effort to reduce brain injuries, so what would have just been a vicious, legal hit ten years ago, is under today’s rules an illegal, fine-worthy, suspension-earning, injury-inducing hit.

The players are aware of the new way of operating and have been for some time. James has been fined and penalized more than most and is therefore MORE than aware of this and instead of simply operating WITHIN the new, more narrow framework, James chose to hit high with his helmet when he had an entire torso he could have aimed for.

He deserved the penalty. He deserved the fine. He’s a repeat offender who is eventually going to kill a guy, and therefore, he deserved the suspension.

This isn’t a case of James doing something iffy and Goodell making an example of him in a way that’s not consistent with his dealings with other players committing similar infractions. This is James CLEARLY breaking the rules  … again, and inflicting a brain injury while doing it.

He’s getting what he deserves.

[flings herself into the volcano, while rocking her mom-jeans to the fullest]



  1. Scott
    December 13, 2011 3:07 pm

    Damn…I got all excited for a moment thinking this post was going to encourage commentary on Occupy Pittsburgh, aka People With So Few Real World Responsibilities That They Can Play “Camp Out” for Weeks On End.

    Go HOME!!!!!

    Sorry….needed to get that off my chest.

  2. gunnlino
    December 13, 2011 3:13 pm

    Back to James and football: I agree , he could have avoided the head to head hit , made the hard tackle , end of play ,
    no controversy !

  3. Aubrey
    December 13, 2011 3:15 pm

    It’s all about players safety, right? So fine the Browns for putting Colt back in the game without fully evaluating him for concussion-like symptoms.

    I understand that Harrison is a repeat offender, but if these hits are illegal because of the emphasis on safety… follow through with that. Make it the priority.

    PS Where in the heck was Harrison’s head supposed to go, anyway? Let’s just make the defense bear hug everyone instead of hitting them. Or we could pull a CFL and just have defenders politely ask the offense to not move the ball.

  4. Virginia
    December 13, 2011 3:18 pm

    Aubrey, I’m not a Cleveland blogger so I’m not concerning myself with whether or not the Cleveland coaches followed the rules, and yes, there are new rules in place for how staff is supposed to treat a possible concussion.

    I’m simply talking about James not following the rules and as I said, all he had to do was aim lower. That’s it. Aim. Lower.

    That game was full of tackles that illustrate that it’s quite easy to still lay a nice hit on someone in a legal way.

  5. stellabella
    December 13, 2011 3:21 pm

    Steeler fan born and raised. And I agree with you 110%. It was a dirty hit and he deserved punished.

  6. Dan (Not Onorato)
    December 13, 2011 3:32 pm

    Agreed. I have no problem with the suspension. James has been warned enough over the past year or so with the multiple fines to know that he has to change his game.

    To the people who will say that hes changed his game this year should also remember that hes also been out over a month with the broken eye socket.

    BTW…whatever happend to wrapping up for a tackle instead of going for the “big hit”? Clark does that as well and it drives me crazy.

  7. Rob
    December 13, 2011 3:35 pm

    Amen! Preach it!

  8. Karen
    December 13, 2011 3:51 pm

    Thank you Dan. He clearly lowers his head to lead on the slo mo replay. As a Pittsburgher, I get annoyed with unobjective fans wearing black and gold goggles when it comes to the players. The same ones crying about their woman beating douchebag LB are the same ones that were crying about Rodney Harrison. Pot, meet kettle.

  9. Seriously?!?!
    December 13, 2011 3:54 pm

    OK, I’m not going to throw fire balls at you since I know you are a decent person but the only person that deserves the “pain” of that hit is the OUT OF THE POCKET QB – COLT McCOY! The “white devil” (aka Commish)is ruining the sport of football.

    How can you NOT lead with your helmet when you are falling into the guy trying to tackle them?!?

    F’n Browns!

  10. spoon
    December 13, 2011 3:55 pm

    this is my favorite Browns blog

  11. Karen
    December 13, 2011 3:59 pm

    Hey Seriously….did you watch the replay? Those goggles are too tight huh?

  12. Leslie in Dayton
    December 13, 2011 4:00 pm

    I love James, but I hate this stuff. Colt was out of the pocket…but James knows better…ugh.

    The one game suspension is probably warranted. That doesn’t mean we have to like it!

  13. Brian
    December 13, 2011 4:03 pm

    The Harrison suspension was not really about that particular hit. It was a combination of at least 5 fineable hits by Harrison over the last 2 years. Since the fines weren’t working, suspension was next.
    As for the Occupy Pittsburgh protesters, I see no reason to resent a little civil disobedience. Of course it would help if they had very specific demands.

  14. Steve P.
    December 13, 2011 4:18 pm

    I’m a die-hard Steelers fan, and I totally agree with you.

    Brian @13 – the official rules state that the last three years of infractions by a player are considered when determining punishment, so you’re totally correct. If this was someone else, it would probably be a fine.

  15. jmarinara
    December 13, 2011 4:21 pm

    “That USED to be football. The game has changed and the rules have changed in an effort to reduce brain injuries, so what would have just been a vicious, legal hit ten years ago, is under today’s rules an illegal, fine-worthy, suspension-earning, injury-inducing hit.”

    And THAT is exactly the problem.

    The NFL making senseless changes that cheapen the game has been its Achilles heel over the years.

    Do I want to see more men with concussions? No. Do I want to see hard hits and solid tackles? Yes.

    The rules make no sense. You can’t hit a QB or a WR in the helmet, but you can hit a lineman or RB. Yeah. . . they’re REALLY worried about player safety.

  16. Steve P.
    December 13, 2011 4:24 pm

    Aubrey @2 – the Browns say that they followed medical protocol, the head trainer said he was fine to return, so the only real recourse would be for the NFLPA to sue on McCoy’s behalf. The NFL met with Browns people today to determine what needs to change to prevent that kind of thing from happening again.

  17. Monty
    December 13, 2011 4:28 pm

    I’d like to weigh in, but I can’t get past the thought of Santa “whipping his reindeer” while making out with an elf. That’s dirtier than the puss explosion thing.

  18. Sara
    December 13, 2011 4:42 pm

    Agree on this one..as soon as I heard how bad McCoy was after the game I knew something would be coming.

    And agree to the person who said it’d be a fine if it was anyone else–not that he’s being unfairly treated but that he’s done this before.

    Some of his fines might be questionable, not this one. I know he’s incredibly strong so maybe he just doesn’t realize his own strength in the heat of the moment, but sheesh, maybe he should try a little harder.

  19. Christina
    December 13, 2011 4:50 pm

    I did expect the suspension and it’s okay for me.

    Just change the point of view. Imagine some random Browns guy would have knocked Ben out helmet on helmet so badly that he would open his eyes and answer the question “Who are you” with “I am Tim Tebow and I am not gonna have sex before my wedding day.”

    The same people who complain now about the suspension would have called for god and Roger Goodell to not only suspend but kill the guy, who did that to us, with fire.

  20. empirechick
    December 13, 2011 4:58 pm

    Brian @ 13: THANK YOU! Since the beginning of the Occupy movement I have been waiting for some coherent message. They clearly have everyone’s attention, how about a couple solid points that people can rally around?

  21. Gep
    December 13, 2011 5:00 pm

    While I am a DIE HARD Steelers fan, I have to say, James got the flag, and the fine… Having said that, he HAS changed his style of play from last year, let the previous games show it… However, humor me as a COACH, not a fan… Colt (porn star) had left the pocket and became a running back with an option to throw. If Colt (porn star) would have pitched the ball to an RB and that subsequent RB took off and then opted to throw the ball, there would NEVER be a flag or fine. Colt (porn star) KNEW what he was putting himself in for ONCE leaving the pocket, especially from the Steelers’ Defense. Where in the rules is it stated that a RB is defenseless? If you read the NFL rules on “pocket breakdown” and “outside the pocket”, as a FAN of the GAME (not a team, not goggles here), the rules are simple… you become a rushing player outside of the pocket… look at Colt (porn star), did he LEAVE the pocket? YES! Did James lower his had, Yes! Was the H-to-H intentional? No! Now I am a coach here in Australia (yes we play gridiron here… among the kangaroos and wombat, and I currently hold the State title, so I have some knowledge of the game and the rules.

    Now lets take a look at the rules and the changes, without my goggles (I like that phrase black and gold goggles)… Has the NFL changes the rules of the game? Yes! Has the NFL done EVERYTHING in it’s power (i.e. training sessions with teams, workshops with coaches and players, workshops with owners on new rule changes) to explain and justify rule changes? No! The LARGEST sporting body in the USA, made changes to the OP Rules and just expected people to follow them, with little to no discussion on them. Then, in the wisdom of the Commissioner, he appointed ex-players (mainly QB’s and no-bodies) to review and enforce these rule changes. Where is the democratic way there? I, and many of my friends and family, have FOUGHT to give EACH of you the right to say what you want at ANY time… and I am 100% sure myself, or my other brothers and sisters of the Armed Forces, would do it again. So what did we fight for??? We are allowing ONE man to dictate a game we love, obsess over and sit behind our PC/Macs and whinge about. Let me remind you, that we USED to be the #1 country in the world, and this sport used to be held in the highest regards. I am ALL for player safety, but the NFL and the Commissioner need to define, regulate, educate, work shop and create these rule changes. If they do not, then we need to stage a coup… and remove the dictator (we may find him in a well hiding, like so many others) and make this game safe AND enjoyable…

    See what I did there?? I kept my goggles off and spoke as a coach and a fan of the GAME… not just a team. My name is Gep, and I approve this message! Thanks for listening/reading… And thanks to Ginny for letting me say my peace…

  22. Joe
    December 13, 2011 5:03 pm

    Were concussions as bad in the past before the conditioning that players do now (thinking to the ’70s and the beginning of steroid use)? or were doctors ignorant of the issues.

    What I’m trying to say is, players are much much bigger and faster today and hit a lot harder. I don’t think that in the 50’s and 60’s they were as big and this wasn’t as big of a issue.

  23. Ex-Pat Pittsburgh Girl
    December 13, 2011 5:22 pm

    I like that Harrison has been suspended. I’m sure he’s not hurting for money and plus, this will keep him rested for the playoffs. Maybe now people will stop telling me that the NFL is fixed in favor of the Steelers and that the refs never call anything against them.

    This whole Occupy movement has me torn. God bless ’em, but this whole refusing to leave private property business is bugging me. If I came and camped out on your lawn for three months and you finally told me to leave and I didn’t, that’s trespassing. Doesn’t make a difference to me that it’s some big bad corporation whose property your on.

    I saw one quote that said something to the effect of “When did it become illegal to peaceably assemble?” It’s not, but that doesn’t mean you can assemble on private property and then take issue when the owner says, time to leave. If you (the collective, not the personal) are going to throw out the Constitution, please take the time to actually get it right.

    Sorry for the digression. [I’ll now join Virginia in flinging myself into the volcano while rocking my Pirates tee since I don’t have mom-jeans. I will be bringing some Mad Elf with me to quench the thirst from the volcano’s heat.]

  24. Ex-Pat Pittsburgh Girl
    December 13, 2011 5:23 pm

    Oops — Doesn’t make a difference to me that it’s some big bad corporation whose property you’re on.

    Stupid brain.

  25. Vivian formerly NYLuvsPitts
    December 13, 2011 6:29 pm

    The thing that makes James a good player is that he plays on the edge. The problem with that is sometimes he goes over the edge.

  26. Aileen
    December 13, 2011 9:00 pm

    Gep – I think you’ve identified one of the biggest problems with the rule changes: the NFL did it in mid-season last year and with little to no guidance, training, explanation, etc.

    I love the Stillers, but the helmet-to-helmet hits make me cringe.

    By the way, speaking of concussions and brain injuries, if you haven’t read the 3 part series on Derek Boogard’s brain injuries and his death in last week’s NY Times, I beg you to do it. John Branch wrote a very compelling article and I hope to God that Sidney recovers from what’s ailing him.

  27. bucdaddy
    December 14, 2011 3:47 am

    I have not seen your ass (yet) but I seriously doubt it is “sorry.” Even in mommy jeans.


    Mad Elf? Oh … oh my.

    I think I love you.

  28. rjq
    December 14, 2011 8:44 am

    I agree about Harrison. But I’m biased because I don’t like him at all.

    The Occupy people probably leave sometime during the night because there is never anyone there at 8 am. It smells, it’s unsightly and it’s enough already. They made their point. Time to move on. They’re actually a part of the 48% of PA that is receiving gov’t assistance. At least it’s something.

  29. Virginia
    December 14, 2011 8:49 am

    rjq, took care of the comment issue for you. ;)

  30. emstef23
    December 14, 2011 8:55 am

    That’s Church Ginny!

  31. Dan (Not Onorato)
    December 14, 2011 8:58 am

    Gep- First of all thank you for your service to our country.

    That being said, I disagree with you on several points. Harrison took a step or two and lead with his head into the head of McCoy. Once again going for the “big hit”. As I stated previously, if he would have just wrapped him up this would be a non-issue. It was my understanding of the rules that a QB does not become a rusher until after he passes the line of scrimmage because until that point he has the option of passing the ball. If that is incorrect, then I apologize.

    Joe- I think it was a little of both. The docs and players didnt know much about it in the 60s, 70s and 80s. I just keep thinking about Mike Webster and his final months leading up to him passing away and then you hear about some NFL vets in nursing homes that are suffering from brain injuries, etc.

    At least now they are starting to recognize it and trying different methods to treat athletes.

  32. rjq
    December 14, 2011 9:40 am

    Thank you! *mwah*

  33. Lauren
    December 14, 2011 10:13 am

    Meh. I find it hard to defend anything Harrison has done in light of what’s happened with Sidney Crosby in hockey. Make all the excuses you want, but both the NFL and the NHL need to do everything they can to protect their players. Whether it benefits your favorite team or not.

  34. Steve
    December 14, 2011 10:57 am

    Let me ask this question. Which would have been more effective in sending the message to the QB (i.e. if you run, you will suffer)?

    A) Helmet to Helmet hit that knocks Colt senseless

    B) Wrapping him up in a real tackle and driving him into the ground.

    I tend to think that if James had smashed Colt flat like a pancake than the message would have been just as clearly delivered.

    Also James leaves his feet as he is making this play. Another fundamentals no no.

    This was a poor play by a professional player.

  35. Butcher's Dog
    December 14, 2011 2:18 pm

    James in one corner, Matt Cooke in the other. One of these men has truly changed because of what he did in the past, the other hasn’t. Care to choose which is which?

    Put padding on the outside of the helmets and play that way for a couple of years. Then let’s check the concussion statistics. That would apply to both hockey and football at all levels. Just my two cents.

    Finally, if you doubt that all the Occupy people have a point, read “Reckless Endangerment” and let us know what you think after that. I’m starting on “Throw Them All Out” next, which I think will probably confirm what I already think.

  36. Jason
    December 14, 2011 5:19 pm

    Dan (Not Onorato), it’s true that a QB becomes a runner after passing the line of scrimmage, since he loses the option to pass. However, in this case, McCoy tucked the ball and ran five full strides away from the pocket before pulling up the ball and releasing it just before Deebo hit him. He was an RB when Harrison lined up his hit (poorly, I might add — JUST AIM LOWER ALREADY DEEBO!!).

    I think the “bigger picture” question is this: if the intent of the rule changes — and Harrison’s fines and suspension — is indeed to protect player safety, then why are helmet-to-helmet hits perfectly legal on runners? I know the NFL likes to over-protect QB’s (except ours), but there is hypocracy at work when you say hitting a QB in the head is a health threat, but hitting a running back in the head is totally cool (even though a runner is actually moving towards the defender, thereby increasing the intensity of the impact). Why not outlaw and penalize all helmet-to-helmet hits? Not holding my breath waiting for the Ginger Dictator to explain that one to me…

  37. steel_girl_716
    January 6, 2012 1:00 am

    This is National Football League football. This is not flag football, this is not peewee football. This is smash mouth, rough house, I’ll-chew-thru-your-arm-to-get-to-that-ball football. I love James Harrison. Everytime I see the other team’s quarterback prance out onto the field, I in my loudest Steeler cheering voice scream, “Fresh meat, Harrison and its dinner time”! It is my hope that the quarterback craps his pants when he sees Harrison coming for him. It is my hopes the entire game that Harrison hears the dinner bell and sacks his ass! Its not like I want anyone to get hurt but this is not a game for sissies! This is a game for the biggest, the best, the fastest and the strongest men to take the field with all their glorious skills on display and prove at the end of the game who is best! If you’re afraid you might get a boo-boo, stay home and play fantasy football. But if you’re going to suit up and play the game, you better be prepared for when the Hangman comes down from the gallows!
    Yes, I understand the league has made changes and we as fans and they as players must respect these rule changes. Fine. We’ll deal. The players will adapt. But what about holding a team responsible for playing Colt (great porn name, indeed) when clearly he needed to be loaded onto a back board? hmmm, yeah, good job Cleveland, you’re so tough and so smart.

    Fine, Harrison got fined, suspended, okay Goodell, you the big boss man and got your way. But you know what, I’d like to know how many Steeler fans would contribute a dollar to a “Pay Harrison’s Fine” fund… cause I sure as hell would… put me down for $20. And during the playoffs, I’m in for $50. Love you James! Let’s Go Steelers.