Josh Cribbs I have no Empathy For, James Harrison I Do

Gene ZarnickCorrespondent IOctober 18, 2010

PITTSBURGH - OCTOBER 03: James Harrison #92 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on during the game against the Baltimore Ravens on October 3, 2010 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Josh Cribbs collision with James Harrison that sent him to the sidelines was awesome.

Mohamed Masaquoi getting throttled a few plays later was icing on the cake.

You will all say I'm not empathic.

I'll tell you that I am, just my affinity lies with my team.

Sorry, I'm not one of those fans who has to pretend that I care for each and every player on the opposing team and stand up and clap every time they laboriously rise, using all their strength and might to make it to the sidelines.

Man up, get off the field and let's continue the football game.  That's what I'm thinking.

Why is it that the word "empathy" is only used when someone is injured or in an adverse situation?

Even worse, if you don't empathize with someone that is involved with either of those scenarios then you're basically crucified, deemed as evil or uncaring, and classified in the realm of a bigot.

I empathize.  Every single game I empathize.

The difference is that I empathize with the players on my team the entire game, instead of pretending I care about every single player that is injured during a weekend's worth of football like most people do.

Cleveland Browns fans can feel sorry for Josh Cribbs.  I'll continue being happy that their best player is no longer on the field.

Football is a brutal sport where defensive players like James Harrison are ingrained with the thought process that they should go out there to knock someones head off.  The only problem with either of those hits that he delivered is that the players didn't get up immediately.

There could be 10 other hits that are identical to either of Harrison's hits over the course of the football weekend and if the player doesn't get injured then everyone is praising the jacked up moment.  If the player gets injured, then it's a dirty play and now everyone thinks the player delivering the hit should get fined or suspended.

I just think it's part of the game and football should continue being football.

When players try to tackle someone are they trying to knock them out?  Yes, but anyone that truly believes a player is leading with their helmet on purpose should go put a helmet on, run into a steel door a couple times, and then see if that's how you would take aim all game.

Injuries happen.  Some can be preventable and some can be reduced, but when you have a game where two men are running full speed at one another someones bound to get knocked out a time or two.

I guess I just understand that injuries and mishaps like the ones during the Steelers/Browns game happen on a regular basis. I guess that's why I don't need to feel bad about what happened.  To me its just is what it is.

I'm an optimist and I focus on the positive.  If the opposing teams' best player isn't on the field then that's a plus in my book.  Some may think that's uncaring, some my think I don't have sympathy for the players injured.  I just think I have empathy for my team and I understand the thought process that goes through a defensive players' mind.

Of course I don't want anyone to be seriously injured or in the worst case have a career ending injury, but for those 60 minutes I understand that injuries are part of the game, so why not look for the benefit in them.

Sorry Cribbs and Masaquoi, you won't be receiving a get well soon card from me.  How about I just bring an extra strength bottle of Aleve with me the next time you face the Steelers.

P.S.  Have fun in rehab Robbie Hummel.  Go Duke!