Is it possible for something to go from ridiculous to absurd?
Just two days after to traveling to New York to meet with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Steelers linebacker James Harrison was fined $20,000 for his hit Sunday night on New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees.
The meeting with Goodell was intended for both to better explain their perspectives on the NFL's latest interpretation of the rules regarding tackling.
After the Wednesday meeting, Harrison said, "It was just for him to hear my side of things and for them to help me understand exactly what the rules are as far as helmet-to-helmet contact. So I spoke my mind. They said what they had to say. We had a semi-productive meeting, I guess...I came away with a better understanding, and I think they got a better understanding of how I see things."
Sure sounds like his voice was heard.
This makes the third time this season that Harrison has been fined.
On September 19th, he was fined $5,000 for a hit against Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young. Act II came during the Cleveland Browns game in October, where he was fined $75,000 for a hit on Browns receiver Mohamed Massaquoi. Including today, that brings Harrison's total fines to $100,000.
Putting that into perspective, Harrison's total is nearly half the $250,000 fine that was levied against Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis when he was convicted of obstruction of justice in a murder case.
This has gotten totally out of control—the hit on Brees was debatable whether it should have even been called as a penalty.
As the Steelers Troy Polamalu and others have suggested, there needs to be some independent representation in the league office for setting the player fines.
Clearly Harrison is being singled out, and that is plainly unfair.