(Scroll down to the bottom for a KERRZY’S NOTEBOOK EXCLUSIVE: Tom Brady is the new face of UGG Australia; we’ve got a sneak peak of the first ad they’ll be putting out!)
Does the NFL really care about the safety of its players?
No way, says veteran Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Hines Ward, who absolutely nailed it this week when he blasted the league and commissioner Roger Goodell over what he called the “say one thing and do another” attitude of the NFL’s decision makers.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review was there for the minute long tirade after practice on Wednesday, and Ward makes some pretty damn good points:
“Talk about safety, but you add two games… If they’re so concerned about safety, why are you adding two more games? That right there tells it all. They don’t care about the safety of the game. If they’re worried about concussions…mandate each player has a new helmet. They don’t do that. They collect money from every helmet (company) that pays them enough money to get their helmets out on the field. Now they have three different helmets and none of them (are) proven that they work.”
Player safety wasn’t Ward’s only example of NFL hypocrisy though:
“Talk about you don’t want players to drink, but our major endorsement is Coors Light. That’s all you see is beer commercials…You say you don’t want us to gamble, but you have (point) spreads. For us, as players, we just play football. Whatever the league decides to do, they’re gonna do.”
So, you’re asking yourself, what got Hines Ward so mad?! Ask teammate James Harrison…
Harrison was fined $25,000 for a hit on Buffalo Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick on the weekend – his fourth fine of the season, taking his grand total to $125,000 in just 11 weeks of football.
After the game he told ESPN that he didn’t expect to be fined, because the hit was identical to the one he was flagged, but not fined for, a week earlier on Oakland’s Jason Campbell. I guess he was wrong!
Earlier this week Harrison also learned that the league had rejected the Steelers-supported appeals of his first three fines.
Back to an angry Hines Ward:
“I’ve never seen an appeal [where] somebody gets all their money back. It’s just a waste. Why even appeal it if you’re not going to get it back? That’s the case with James. He’s going to continue playing, and if they keep taking his money, we’ve got to find a way, if we can do a couple of autograph signings in the offseason, to make that money back.”
Now that’s a good teammate!
Sunday Afternoon Raw
Since we’ve just discussed the topic of the NFL’s alleged hypocrisy, this seems like the best place to slot in the biggest story of the past weekend, at least in terms of negative on-field happenings:
The NFL has fined (not suspended) Houston Texans receiver Andre Johnson and Tennessee Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan $25,000 each for an incident that saw both players have their helmet ripped off, and one guy (Johnson) throw three haymakers – all while the play was live on the other side of the field.
James Harrison has been fined $125,000 for four hits because the NFL says its looking out for the safety of its players, yet two guys are allowed to fist fight on the field without facing a suspension?
This is the same NFL that is so over-protective of its image that it has a “personal conduct policy” it uses time and again to suspend players for things that happen in the offseason, away from football, even if the player doesn’t face any criminal charges.
The best part about this is that the NFL apparently warned Finnegan about his behavior after the whistle, following fines for personal fouls in three straight games earlier this season. I imagine it went something like this: “Hey Cortland, this is the NFL calling. Just wanted to let you know that if you don’t clean up your act, Mister, we’re going to…fine you again…and we mean it!”
This is interesting: Finnegan hosts a weekly radio show, where he said that had he thrown a punch, he thinks the league would probably have suspended him. Then a teammate of his called in and said that by fining the two players an equal amount, the league is basically saying “you can criminally assault someone on the football field when they don’t have their helmet on.”
For his part, Andre Johnson apologized right after the game.
Monday Night Madness
If you missed this week’s Monday Night game, a San Francisco win over the Arizona Cardinals, you didn’t miss much…if you missed the post-game press conference of Cards QB Derek Anderson, you missed the highlight of the night!
Anderson blew a gasket when asked by a reporter why he was having a chuckle with a teammate on the sidelines while they were losing heavily…and this is what happened:
Anderson has since apologized, saying the loss was incredibly frustrating for him and his teammates because he felt they were prepared for the game after a good week of practice. The fact that his club was held to a pair of field goals on national TV didn’t help matters I’m sure!
I hate that the reporter decided to question the man’s integrity rather than stick to the game itself – to me it’s important for the leader of a team to stay positive and try to lift the spirits of his teammates in a game like that, rather than moping about. I bet if this guy had his way, every member of a team would sit alone on the sidelines and dwell on what a bad game they’re playing as soon as they went down by more than two touchdowns. It would probably be called the EFL = Emo Football League.
Also - if you haven’t seen it yet, check out Dwight Howard's Derek Anderson impersonation!
A Mind Of Its Own
There’s no question that Troy Polamalu is one of the best defensive players in the NFL, but part of the reason I decided to call my football blog “Polamalu’s Hair” is because he also has some kick-ass flow coming out of that helmet…
Well if you thought his hair was sweet before, you’re about to have your mind blown - it turns out his hair has its own Twitter account (@TroysHair), which I learned the hard way last week:
Boy, was I embarrassed!
As you’d expect, the Troy’s Hair Twitter profile lists his location as Troy’s Head (primarily) and it’s not verified by Twitter…but he is ‘Burgh Verified, which is good enough for me.
If you’re into the Twittin’ and the Tweetin’ I suggest you give the best hair in the game a follow and get used to gold like this:
And believe it or not (he must have a phone charger up there or something), much like Santa Claus around Christmas time, Troy’s Hair actually tweets back if you send it a note! I promised it a mention in my next blog and I’ve been promised that if it ever starts a blog, I’ll get a mention back. Now, if only my hair would jump on the Twitter bandwagon…
Despite an eight-game losing streak and the second-worst record in the entire NFL…the Cincinnati Bengals continue to talk trash…
Buffalo Bills WR Steve Johnson drops what would have been a game-winning touchdown pass…and then takes to Twitter to blame God…
The Denver Broncos and coach Josh McDaniels were fined $50k each for taping 49ers practice in London…Should he be fired?
KERRZY’S NOTEBOOK EXCLUSIVE: The Boston Herald reports that Tom Brady is the new face of UGG Australia, who apparently make UGGs for men… Check out their first ad!
Game to watch: It’s got to be the battle for AFC-East supremacy (for now) on Monday night between Tom Brady’s UGGs, I mean, New England Patriots and the NY Jets. Both clubs come into the game with 9-2 records, the Jets are 5-0 on the road, the Pats are 5-0 at home…something’s got to give! If that doesn’t float your boat, there’s always the Steelers and the Ravens playing for top spot in the AFC North (and, of course, the game within the game: James Harrison vs. the NFL).