It seems we had another James Harrison moment at Lambeau Field during the Packers-Lions game on Sunday.
A 15-year-old fan ran onto the field and managed to run free for 90+ yards before turning toward the Green Bay defense, where linebacker Brad Jones finally stepped in and did security’s job for them.
Watch the fan video below, via Shutdown Corner:
VIDEO AFTER THE JUMP
Tonight’s 49ers-Steelers Monday Night Football contest was delayed prior to kickoff when a transformer exploded at Candlestick Park, plunging the stadium into darkness. The explosion was captured by ESPN’s aerial cameras, and was converted into glorious GIF format by the ever-awesome GIFulmination:
The first outage came at 5:19pm local time, delaying the start of the game for 20 minutes before power returned. But early in the second quarter, with the 49ers leading 6-0, the lights went out again. This time, the delay lasted 16 minutes before play resumed.
Steelers LB James Harrison, serving his one-game suspension, chimed in via Twitter:
If I cant play then can’t nobody play… Lights out!
RIP Don Meredith.
In an unprecedented disciplinary move, the NFL has suspended Steelers’ LB James Harrison for one game following his helmet-to-helmet hit on Browns QB Colt Mcoy last Thursday (VIDEO HERE). It was Harrison’s fifth illegal hit against a QB in the past three seasons, which qualifies Harrison as a “repeat offender” and therefore made him subject to suspension.
From the league’s official statement:
Harrison was penalized for roughing the passer in last Thursday night’s Steelers-Browns game for an illegal helmet-to-helmet hit against a defenseless quarterback, Cleveland’s COLT MC COY. In addition to four fines for illegal hits against quarterbacks in 2009 and 2010, Harrison also was fined twice for unnecessary roughness during that period. Harrison totaled six fines in that two-year period.
The 2011 League Policies for Players manual states: “Players who were fined for violations in 2009 or 2010, and whose fines were either partially or fully upheld, will be considered second and/or repeat offenders under this policy.”
Prior to now, the league had only levied fined against players for such behavior, but Harrison has been the poster child for the league’s new policy against helmet-to-helmet hits for years now. Despite the fact that Harrison plans to appeal, there really is no defense for the way he lowered the crown of his helmet directly into McCoy’s facemask the way he did on this play. Roger Goodell had finally seen enough, and decided to drop the hammer.
Whether or not you agree with the legue’s crackdown on vicious hits, this is the NFL today … like it or not. And after years of fines and warnings, it’s clear that Harrison still just doesn’t get it. Maybe missing some actual game time will get through to him.
BONUS GIF OF THE HIT AFTER THE JUMP
Super Bowl Media Day is one of biggest circuses in all of sports, and with reporters from all over the world asking the same questions over and over again, it can easily blend into a mind-numbing hum of sports cliches and politically correct answers.
Well thank goodness for Steelers Pro Bowl linebacker James Harrison, who used the stage today in Dallas to once-again make his views about the league’s crackdown on illegal hits known. Harrison became the poster boy for the NFL’s heightened stance on violent tackles this season, ultimately losing $125,000 to fines for hitting opposing players too hard. Never one to shy away from a good sound byte, he even threatened to retire from the sport after his now-infamous hit on Mohamed Massaquoi. And as the league’s most heavily fined player this season, Harrison is clearly still harboring some resentment against commissioner Roger Goodell.
Among other things, Harrison said that the meeting he had with Goodell was a “waste of time”, and questioned whether the league really cares about player safety. Fortunately for us, Harrison still seems to have a good sense of humor about the whole thing:
ALERT: Interstellar hit-droid IG-88 files annual no-negotiation hitlist.
Per usual, aspects and individuals of this NFL season are too TEDIOUS to be tolerated and — MUST BE TERMINATED.
REPEAT: Assassin droid IG-88 has identified the following targets:
(1) CHILLY must go STAT. CHILLY has lost control of team. CHILLY to be sidelined PERMANENTLY within minutes of IG-88 entering atmosphere. IG-88 has witnessed locker room float away like a paper boat on windy lake. IG-88 will not tolerate. IG-88, who has carried out a series of successful hits on frigid Hoth, is not intimidated by Minnesota winter climate and will not await Spring to carry out job.
(2) IG-88 will not tolerate coaching weight-loss spree. Human football coaches preferable to IG-88 when obese/aimless. IG-88 vows to cut cord on overly congratulated coach thinning.
(3) IG-Ocho-ocho on fast-track, seek-and-destroy campaign to DETONATE Bengal Ochocinco. Tired antics and Twitter banter FAIL have intergalactic hit-droid fuming over Ohio copycat.
(4) Brutally dull London game matchup — international SNOOZE FEST — must be adjusted STAT or IG-88 WILL TERMINATE. One last chance for London game — get right or guns drop.
(5) IG-88 is coming after playground bully James Harrison. James Harrison, Pennsylvania-situated tough guy, will come face-to-face with INTERGALACTIC droid nemesis IG-88 and learn dictionary definition of HIT TO HEAD. Photos of confrontation will be printed and distributed to Mohamed Massaquoi and Massaquoi family, and posted to all facebook accounts with last name Massaquoi. Massaquoi family line restored by IG-88, star-system leveler and orbital hit-robot. IG-88 DOES NOT TOLERATE JAMES HARRISON ANTICS. IG-88 waits in wings, witnessing fat/sassy James Harrison mock Mohamed Massaquoi and Massaquoi family name — IG-88 will restore pride to Massaquoi variety of human being. James Harrison and Harrison clan will run for earthen hills following IG-88′s appearance in atmosphere. Pittsburgh Steelers warned: Begin go-forward action-plan for life POST-HARRISON. IG-88 burns toward solar system EVEN NOW and hides in shadows prepared to DROP HAMMER on Steelers me-first, me-only defender James Harrison.
The big story of the week in the NFL continues to be the brouhaha over violent hits in the game, and the league’s threat to begin suspending players who deliver flagrant blows to the head. The general consensus seems to be that yes, something needs to be done to protect players and prevent head injuries. But most people also tend to agree that in this sport, these types of collisions are an inevitable – and even an exciting & compelling – part of the game. So how do you strike a balance?
Ray Anderson, the NFL’s VP of Operations, followed up his controversial statement from earlier in the week with this video, which was sent to all 32 teams today to illustrate what the league considers to be a legal and illegal hit. The video includes highlights of the Meriweather hit and other examples of dangerous shots to the head, along with several “clean” plays that show how players can make hard, effective tackles without endangering anyone’s safety (well, any more than necessary … this is a contact sport, after all).
WATCH THE NFL PLAYER SAFETY VIDEO BELOW
In the video, Anderson states:
“Illegal hits to the head of an opponent will not be tolerated. A player is accountable for what he hits. Illegal techniques must be removed from our game. We all accept that football is a physical and tough game, but players must play under control. If a player launching into an opponent misses his aiming point, he will nevertheless be held responsible for what he hits.”
“Player safety is our highest priority,” Anderson says to his audience of coaches and players. “We’ve said publicly, and we will repeat to all of you, we will not apologize for or be defensive about aggressive enforcement to protect players from illegal and potentially life-altering blows to the head and neck.”
In the wake of a series of violent collisions during this past weekend’s games, three players have been fined, and the NFL has announced that – effective immediately – players will face suspension for illegal hits, with an emphasis on protecting defenseless players from blows to the head.
Steelers LB James Harrison, Patriots S Brandon Meriweather and Falcons CB Dunta Robinson were fined a total of $175k by the league for flagrant hits on Sunday that had normally bloodthirsty NFL fans collectively cringing and calling for reform. NFL executive vice president of football operations Ray Anderson stressed that no rules will be changed, but stated that there will be elevated accountability for illegal hits to the head:
“What we’re trying to make sure our players understand is that you should know the rules,” Anderson said. “The coaches know the rules, the players should know the rules. And so if you are in violations of the rules — particularly one of those trying to protect against head, neck injuries — we’re going to hold you to a higher standard.”
That’s all well and good, but the immediate question becomes where do you draw the line? These are bang-bang plays we’re talking about here, and defenders are simply doing their jobs by trying to deliver the hardest hit possible. The Meriweather and Harrison hits were definitely flagrant head shots, but Harrison (unbelievably) wasn’t even flagged on the plays, and you could easily argue that Robinson’s hit was clean (in fact, we named it our Hit Of The Week). In this sport, regardless of intention, blows to the head just seem inevitable … and unfortunately, so do the injuries that come along with them. That’s one of the main reasons these guys make so much money: NFL athletes put their bodies on the line every Sunday, and there is a very good chance that they could be hurt and suffer long-term repercussions.
Both Harrison and Robinson plan to appeal their fines, so right away there is some gray area here, and there’s bound to be a lot of backlash from players and coaches. UPDATE: It has already begun, and Bears All-Pro LB Brian Urlacher is among the early critics of the NFL’s new policy:
“It’s freaking football. There are going to be big hits. I don’t understand how they can do this after one weekend of hitting. And I can’t understand how they can suspend us for it. I think it’s a bunch of bull.
“You know what we should do? We should just put flags on everybody. Let’s make it the NFFL – the National Flag Football League. It’s unbelievable.”
UPDATE #2: Now James Harrison is threatening to retire from football rather than adjust the way he plays the game:
“I’m going to sit down and have a serious conversation with my coach tomorrow and see if I can actually play by NFL rules and still be effective,” Harrison said. “If not, I may have to give up playing football.
So basically, if Harrison can’t keep hurting people, there’s just no point for him anymore. What a nutjob. Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin excused Harrison from practice today “to cool off”, but expects him back at practice tomorrow.
WATCH VIDEO OF THE MERIWEATHER AND HARRISON HITS AFTER THE JUMP
First Kornheiser, and now this.
Steelers LB James Harrison took a lot of heat for electing not to join his teammates when they visit the White House on Thursday to meet with President Barack Obama.
But the Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports that it isn’t politics or any devious motives that will keep Harrison from attending. Rather, it is his paralyzing fear of flying.
“Yeah, there’s a lot of truth to that,” confirmed Bill Parise, Harrison’s agent. “When James was in college, his mother had to drive him to all the away games. That’s the absolute truth. The transition for him into the NFL was real difficult at first.
“He can get on airplanes and fly, obviously, but he doesn’t like to.”
Harrison also chose not to visit the White House three years ago after the Steelers won Super Bowl XL, and doesn’t understand why it’s a big deal this time around. But then again, three years ago he wasn’t the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year.