Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison is feeling a tad bit paranoid these days, $125,000 later, as the fines handed down by the league continue to add up.
This week Harrison came out and said that he believes he is being unfairly targeted when it comes to supplementary discipline and his teammates seem to agree. It must be frustrating for him to see former Denver Broncos coach Josh McDaniel fined $50,000 for his role in a videotape scandal, and two guys fined $25,000 each for an on-field fist fight – all the while, Harrison gets slapped with a $75,000 fine for a hit that wasn’t even penalized on the field!
Adding another interesting wrinkle to this story is the fact that the Steelers are now claiming that Harrison was again targeted this past weekend…this time by the Baltimore Ravens!
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says Ravens guard Chris Chester is being accused of trying to hit, or even injure Harrison as the Ravens went to kick a first quarter extra point. Chester took a false start penalty on the play and tried to nail the Steelers linebacker, but here’s the thing: Steelers guard Trai Essex says they are taught to hold their position on an extra point, because lunging forward creates gaps in the blocking wall.
So, James Harrison, was it deliberate?
“Of course it was deliberate. There’s no way that happens on an extra point because [o-linemen] don’t shoot out. It’s obvious that it was blatant…It’s cheap, but when it comes down to it, it’s only a 5-yard penalty, they move back to the 7 and re-kick. It’s not going to hurt them.”
Part of the frustration for Harrison is the inconsistency when it comes to the fines being handed out, or not being handed out, to players. To illustrate that point, here’s a gem: Houston Texans safety Bernard Pollard was fined $40,000 this week for “striking a player in the head area when he was defenseless.”
He should have just ripped the guy’s helmet off and thrown a couple of punches, it would have saved him some money!
Ups and Downs
Quite possibly the biggest story to come out of the NFL so far this season is the ‘return’ of Michael Vick to the elite class of quarterbacks in the league.
That’s a storyline that continued into this week, with word that Vick is leading fan voting for the Pro Bowl by a huge margin over the likes of Peyton Manning, who led the balloting two weeks ago. As of Wednesday, Vick was in front with just shy of 730,000 votes, almost 40,000 more than Manning’s total.
Does that mean the court of public opinion is shifting in Vick’s favor? I hope so, because in a society where high profile people tend to get off a little easier than the average person Vick did his time, spending about two years behind bars for his crimes. None of this in and out of jail in a couple of hours garbage like we see with the Lindsay Lohan’s and the Paris Hilton’s of the world. Actual hard time!
If that’s not good enough for you though, it might warm your heart to read that he’s still paying off a massive amount of debt to his creditors. Vick filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy back in 2008 and Yahoo's Chris Chase reports two-thirds of his money goes to creditors and taxes, while the rest of his money is “strictly controlled” by the court.
Whatever side of the Michael Vick issue you’re on, you might want to tune in when his Eagles face the Cowboys in Dallas on Sunday. Either you’ll see him continue to get hit after throwing the ball and have his facemask pulled, or the issue Philly brought up with the league will have been sorted out!
Speaking of Peyton Manning, all eyes will be on him when his Indianapolis Colts face the Tennessee Titans tonight, but not for the usual reasons.
People will be watching closely to see if the 34-year-old continues his humanitarian work with the pigskin!
In his last three starts, Manning has thrown a whopping eleven interceptions – three against New England and four a piece in losses to San Diego and Dallas!
So what’s wrong with Peyton Manning?
NFL.com analyst Pat Kirwan says it could be a mixture of a few factors, like the Colts running with an inexperienced group and Manning ‘carrying the team’ more than he’s had to in years past. It’s interesting to note that his touchdown pass production is still right on track, but he’s throwing the ball way more than ever before. Kirwan says Manning averaged about 30 throws per game back in 2005, but these days, that number is closer to 47!
Surely this is a dream Manning can’t wait to wake up from! Did anyone see Inception? Perhaps you can go into his dream and help him out!
Best Flow for your Dough?
The New England Patriots are on fire these days, coming off a 45-3 win over the NY Jets on Monday that put them atop their division and did a lot to cement their status as the team to beat in the NFL right now. Despite all of that though, it’s Tom Brady’s hair that’s still getting most of the attention…
Why did he grow his hair out? Is he going bald? Did his supermodel wife make him do it? What does Justin Bieber think?
Personally, I wish they would just leave the guy alone and focus on the solid numbers he’s putting up every weekend. Besides, I think his hair looks pretty slick anyway. That said, I also think it’s a bit unfair that Brady’s loaf is getting all of the accolades so far though, and I’m here to ask you this very key question:
Whose hair should be the talk of the NFL?
I’ve narrowed the list down to five players (clockwise): Pittsburgh’s Troy Polamalu, Cincinnati’s Domata Peko, Tennessee’s Chris Johnson, Brady and Green Bay’s Clay Matthews.
Obviously my vote goes to Mr. Polamalu (who else’s hair tweets?), but I’d like to know what you think – cast your vote down in the comments section!
Washington Wizards rookie John Wall has got nothing on Detroit Lions QB Drew Stanton, who breaks it down in the end zone after a TD last weekend…
Steelers receiver Hines Ward sounded off about the NFL not caring about the safety of its players last week, and part of that tirade had to do with helmets. Well, it looks like he was on to something…
Apparently Ward and the Steelers are up for UN peace awards...and it doesn't appear to be a joke!
The Seattle Seahawks let us in on a little secret – what happens in the pile, stays in the pile…I’m glad I never played football!
Washington Redskins complainer Albert Haynesworth will sit for the rest of the season after being out of shape, then whiney, then ‘sick,’ then mad…
Game to watch: There are a couple of beauties shaping up for this weekend – first of all, the New England Patriots take their 10-2 record to Chicago to face the 9-3 Bears. Can Brady and the Pats ride the momentum of a lopsided win over their AFC-East rival Jets? Conversely, they’ve tried to “bury” that embarrassing loss, but can the Jets bounce back with a win at home over the Miami Dolphins? As well, the Green Bay Packers can move into a playoff spot with a win over the Detroit Lions, paired with a NY Giants loss to the Minnesota Vikings. Should be a fun weekend!