Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison has apparently helped changed the life of a Cleveland Browns fan. Yes, the man suspended on Tuesday for one game for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Browns quarterback Colt McCoy, might have helped a person by leveling him 6 years ago.
Bill Lubinger, of The Cleveland Plain Dealer, wrote tonight that the man that Harrison body slammed during a 2005 Christmas Eve game against the Browns, is now sober and has turned his life around.
The drunk Browns fan in question, Nathan Mallet, ran out on the field during the Steelers 41-0 blowout of the Browns in Cleveland and celebrated like the Browns won the Super Bowl. Mallet was pushed away by a Browns players and ended up with his back turned to Harrison. Harrison promptly picked up Mallet from behind and slammed him to the ground. Harrison held Mallet down until security arrived to take him away.
Mallett was banned from Browns games after the incident and was eventually sentenced to a five-year probation that required him to wear a wrist monitor. The monitor was activated for every Browns home game according to Lubinger. Mallet reportedly has since checked into rehab and has been sober for several years now according to the story. He also has lost a little weight since the incident.
Unfortunately the Harrison random act of kindness was not likely considered during his recent appeal of the one game suspension handed down by the league on Tuesday. There has yet to be a decision back from Ted Cottrell, but many think the suspension will stand. It is also unlikely that the hit on McCoy will help him 6 years down the road as well. McCoy likely wishes he was as drunk as Mallet was when Harrison leveled him last Thursday night. Mallet is done facing Harrison, but McCoy might have a few more games left in his career against the man they call Deebo.