In football, there are a lot of plays that can be referred to as “game changers” and ones that you will remember after the game. For the Cleveland Browns, though they may not have been game changers, they will certainly remember two plays inparticular from their game against the Steelers on Sunday. Steelers linebacker James Harrison delivered two blows in the game that put Joshua Cribbs and Mohamed Massaquoi on the sidelines for the remainder of the game, if not longer.
The Browns came to the line in their wildcat formation with Cribbs behind center. The ball was snapped and Cribbs rolled out to the right and was wrapped up Lamar Woodley. As he was falling to the ground, Harrison came in leading with his helmet and delivered a blow to the left side of Cribbs’ head. This hit was far from unintentional, as you can see from the video Harrison leads and goes right through Cribbs with his helmet. In this situation, where he is pursuing from the blind side, he had every opportunity to wrap him up and finish the play. Somehow there was no flag on the play but if there were, it may have saved Massaquoi a similar headache.
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Later in the same quarter, Mohammed Massaquoi was running a route across the middle when Harrison gave him the lick of short career. As the ball was just arriving to Massaquoi so was James Harrison. Again, on the blind side of the receiver Harrison clearly leads with his helmet and blasts the right side of Massaquoi’s head. He, like Cribbs, was escorted to the locker room and did not return to the game. Again, no flag was thrown on this play. Oh wait, yes the Browns were flagged for delay of game after center Alex Mack kicked the ball out of bounds. Perhaps it was out of frustration because the refs were allowing an opponent to head hunt or perhaps he was kicking it out because he thought Massaquoi had fumbled. We’ll never know.
When asked about the hits he put on the two aformentioned players, Harrison responded…sort of.
“You hate to see anyone down like that, but then you realize he just went to sleep for a little bit and he came out of it and he’s going to be OK,” and later, “that’s football.”
Um, “he just went to sleep for a little bit”? For some reason when I read this quote I can’t help but picture the big dumb retard from The Longest Yard who begs the question “Can you teach me to football?”. Harrison saw nothing wrong with his hits and said that it would be a “travesty” if he got fined for them.
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Even though there weren’t any flags thrown for these two hits I would think it would be impossible that Harrison not incurr any fines from the league. The same thing happened a few weeks ago in Cleveland when T.J. Ward lit Jorden Shipley up like a Christmas tree in the end zone. He was flagged for it and received a $15,000 fine. Roger Goodell set the precedence early in the year by slapping Ward with such a steep fine and now he must refer to his own precedence when fining Harrison. Looks to me like the only fine the Commish can hand out is one to the tune of about $30,000. He should also fine the refs for blowing two personal foul calls.
Image Source: The Big Lead