With my first blog post, I figured what better way to launch this thing than to speak on James Harrison and his issues regarding illegal hits. I again will reinterate, I am a Browns fan, but this is not about that. This issue goes as far as every hit he has made, no matter who, no matter where, that has either cost him a penalty or fine if not both.
The problem I personally have with this entire situation is simple, no game is worth major injury. I have stated this all over the web in the comment sections, but you can only get so in depth in those forums. We all know football is violent, we all love the big hits. It is obvious that these guys are bred to be fearless and instill fear into the mental state of an opponent. I played linebacker and safety early in my life, and yes I loved to destroy opponents coming my way, but I never tried to hurt anybody. There has been a lot of discussion on whether or not Harrison is simply playing his style of the position or if he is intentionally trying to remove heads. Only James Harrison knows the truth to that arguement, and even if it is on purpose he will not admit that.
The thing about his latest actions is simple, yet nobody has really pointed it out. If you look at the replay, Harrison had time to think. Not only did he think, he postitioned himself for the hit he placed on McCoy. There was a stop, position, and lunge at the moving QB. These would have all been fine, BUT instead of a form tackle or sternum shot, he chose to use the crown of his helmet to go straight for McCoy's face and head. You can argue that a moving QB leaving the pocket is then considered a runner, but you still cannot make this hit. All Harrison had to do was lower his body, maybe even wrap up the QB, but he blasted McCoy so violently that he put him out. Harrison believes that old fashioned tackling is not his style, he is more into shoulders and helmets. Again, had he just dropped a bit lower this discussion wouldn't even exist.
Another problem here is the fact that this issue was confronted prior to the season. The Steelers were well aware of the fact that they had targets on them, as unfair as that may be. The league shared thier expectations and made it very clear of possible punishments. Ignorance to the rules is no excuse, these rules have been in place long enough. Makes one wonder if these hits are affecting Harrison also, I mean what is it going to take?
As far as the punishment, if the appeal gets denied that is, it is more than fair. It is obvious that monetary sanctions do not matter to him. They should have never lowered the fine last year because now he feels like he can fight anything handed down. I have to wonder if this matters to him, since as soon as he got the news of suspension he tweeted "LOL". Everyone should be glad that this is all so funny to James, I bet he wouldn't feel the same if someone blasted him and knocked him out cold.
This post is obviously about what is now old news, but I did wonder why nobody pointed out his obvious attempt to make such a hit. I do love my team, and this does involve my team, but tell me why all the other defenders in the league that have been fined have found ways to change? Why is Harrison the guy with the most repeat offenses? I think the league is becoming hard to play in, quite frankly I think it's soft, but research proves concussions are brutal. With that in mind, maybe palyers should avoid the head and hit the body. You can always make a major hit below the neck, and since this wasn't a situation that could be avoided (momentum carrying you means that you were already in motion prior to the release of the ball, Harrison was not) I think he made his own bed and now has to lie in it.