We've all noticed the NFL players dropping like flies to vicious hits this season.
We all know something needs to be done, or else someone's literally going to be killed.
Yes, some of the rules are ridiculous: the Tom Brady rule about lunging at a quarterback's legs. Now it's a personal foul to sneeze on his shoes.
However, the recent rule to suspend players for helmet-to-helmet hits is a great one. We know why, but out steps James Harrison.
He complains, saying that because it's "a legal hit" automatically means it's not wrong.
For a time, baseball players rampantly used steroids, which was "legal" because some substances had yet to be banned.
So sure, that was legal. But we recognized it was a problem and cracked down on it.
Now I'd like you to take a moment to go look at James Harrison's hit on Mohamed Massaquoi from last weekend. Because it's technically a copyright violation, I won't be posting any links, but go ahead and search on Youtube or some other relevant video site.
Or, if you have it, check your Tivo or On Demand replay.
Watch what Harrison does as he reads the play. He sees the crossing route from Massaquoi and has plenty of time to react and make a good form tackle on the receiver.
As a side note, according to ESPN's player pages, James Harrison has a 35-pound advantage over the two-inch-taller Massaquoi, so it's not as if he were scared he'd be unable to down a massive tight end. In fact, Lawrence Timmons was right next to him to gang tackle Massaquoi!
If he'd simply run up and made the tackle, nobody would have cared.
However, he made a different decision. Rather than playing sound football, he decided to sprint at full speed and lunge directly into the back of the head of the receiver as he was catching the ball.
Where I'm from, we have a phrase for that. It's not "smart play," "strong tackle" or anything of that sort.
It's "cheap shot."
Harrison is whining over the new rule, claiming he doesn't understand why he's being punished. He's sitting out of practice and considering retirement.
Want to know what I think?
Good. Go ahead and retire.
The NFL doesn't need whiny little brats exploiting the technicalities and trying to use, "hey, it was technically a legal play", as an excuse to intentionally injure another player, while simultaneously playing bad football.
Who knows what damage you've done not only to the Browns organization, not only to Mohamed Massaquoi the NFL player, but Mohamed the person! For God's sake, you could have fractured this 23-year-old young man's spine and paralyzed—or even KILLED—him!
Just because it wasn't against the rules yet doesn't make it OK. Just because you're the one getting fined doesn't mean it's unfair.
Just because you wanted to make Sportscenter's highlight reel doesn't prevent you from needing to be punished.
Good riddance if you retire. I honestly hope you do.
The NFL, the players, and the fans do not want your cheap shots.