Posted by: mdegeorge | October 20, 2010

The reaction to the reaction continues in the NFL

By Wednesday, I’m usually tired of the fallout from the previous weekend’s NFL slate. But the drama of Week 6’s hard-hitting debates is engrossing enough to take over attention that should be devoted to the MLB Playoffs.

What’s transpired in the last 48 hours should if nothing else provide a blueprint for exactly not what to do in these types of situations.

[picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=james+harrison&iid=9814249″ src=”″ width=”461″ height=”594″ /]

First, there’s the NFL themselves, who mistakenly sold pictures of the illegal hits through their website. The prints available, including James Harrison’s devastating hit on Mohamed Massaquoi that made him fall to the ground like a Mortal Kombat character, were later pulled from the virtual shelves and lead to this apology from NFL spokesman Greg Aiello:

We regret the mistake. The photos will be taken down and we will ensure that no photos of illegal plays will be available again. An outside vendor uses an automated process to post photos for sale to fans. We will fix the process immediately.

No word on whether Bill Belichick is that outside vendor, though we knew that the NFL would find a way to print and sell the cuckoo birds circling Massaquoi’s head if they could. Maybe a new DirecTV channel for concussions? Call it the “Grey Zone” channel.

Then there’s Channing Crowder, who uttered one of the dumbest statements you’re likely to hear for a while:

If I get a chance to knock somebody out, I’m going to knock them out and take what they give me. They give me a helmet, I’m going to use it.

I know Crowder earned a top-notch education at Florida, but did he put two and two together on this one that he’s going to lose the benefit of the doubt from refs for the rest of his career?

Ask guys like Rodney Harrison and John Lynch what a bad reputation in the eyes of the refs can do for you. If it’s even iffy, it’s a penalty. Enjoy, Channing!

But the winner in the dumb deeds sweepstakes this week has to be Harrison, who sat out of practice today and is reportedly serious mulling over the idea of retirement after being fined $75,000 for a pair of possibly season-ending collisions with Massaquoi and Josh Cribbs.

Harrison’s agent believes this isn’t a hollow threat, and the player has met with head coach Mike Tomlin to discuss his future.

It’s pretty remarkable that a mere $75,000—to a guy who made in the neighborhood of $13.3 million last year—would send Harrison into such a tailspin.

It’s equally remarkable that such a minor tantrum has garnered this much attention. Harrison’s stunt is the equivalent of your four-year-old slamming her bedroom door and swearing she’ll never talk to her mean ol’ mommy and daddy ever again because you told it her it was time to stop playing with her dolls.

Come the first of the month, Harrison will see his paycheck and, coupled with the joy of knocking the snot out of guys on the weekend, this will all be an episode of the past.

For now, though, let’s hope it takes Tomlin a couple weeks to find a big enough pacifier for Harrison so as to slow the Steelers’ train down a little bit.


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