The NFL & Their Silly Little Double Standards

I am already over the one game suspension that the league handed down today to Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison for his helmet-to-helmet hit Thursday night on Cleveland Browns quarterback Colt McCoy. It is what it is and it is time to move on from it. Right now I am most concerned about the ankle injury suffered by Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in the game against Browns and the effects of it moving forward. I am also more concerned about the silly irony of the NFL moving forward in regard to injuries.

Believe it or not, I can tie the Harrison hit on McCoy, the injury suffered by Roethlisberger and the irony of the NFL all together in a nice little package for you. You see, player safety is very important to the NFL right now. Hell, Roger Goodell said so himself in a memo to the clubs last October. Here is a quote by Goodell: “One of our most important priorities is protecting our players from needless injury. In recent years, we have emphasized minimizing contact to the head and neck, especially where a defenseless player is involved. It is clear to me that further action is required to emphasize the importance of teaching safe and controlled techniques, and of playing within the rules. It is incumbent on all of us to support the rules we have in place to protect players.”

In the aforementioned memo to the clubs, the first paragraph reads: One of our highest priorities is player safety. We all know that football is a tough game that includes hard contact. But that carries with it an obligation to do all that we can to protect all players from unnecessary injury caused by dangerous techniques from those who play outside the rules. Here, here, Roger, I could not agree more that the players in the league should be protected. I hate hearing about serious injuries to any player, on any team, especially to players on my beloved Steelers.

Now I know not all of the injuries around the league are because of players playing outside the rules of the game, but should we glorify any of these injuries? Should the NFL or any of their partners benefit from any injury? Absolutely not. Well, maybe not, unless it is the NFL itself, then it is OK to do just that.

Let\’s take the Roethlisberger ankle injury the other night. You can buy a framed high quality photo from the NFL photo store of the exact moment that Roethlisberger nearly has his ankle snapped off by Browns defensive lineman Scott Paxson. Two of these sizes are even listed as a “Best Seller”. What a great Christmas gift for any Browns fan.

Ben Roethlisberger Framed Picture Suffering Ankle Injury

The NFL has not forgot about us Steelers fans needs at Christmas time, as we can buy a high quality photo of McCoy right after Harrison let him ride the Deebo ride. I am not positive, but I do not think that is a version of the Tim Tebow pose and I do not think all three people in the picture are praying. Isn\’t this a result photo of why Harrison was suspended?

Colt McCoy Framed Picture After Hit By James Harrison

This is not the first time that the NFL has made this mistake as they also sold pictures last season of the Harrison hit on Browns receiver Mohammed Massaquoi, the Dunta Robinson hit on DeSean Jackson and the Brandon Meriweather hit on Todd Heap. NFL PR guy Greg Aiello had those photos removed from the store once they came to his attention and said he will ensure no photos of illegal plays are available again. Instead the NFL will sell you photos of injuries to players and injury aftermath as a substitute apparently.

I certainly can clearly see the difference of the these types of photos, just as clearly as Harrison saw McCoy running with the football tucked under his arm outside the pocket. Nothing says player safety in the NFL like pictures of players being injured. Hey at least none of these photos show illegal hits.

UPDATE: Seems this post hit the mark and a nerve as the two pictures have now been removed from the NFL store.

  • SteelerFanSinceForever

    This article should be mailed to NFL offices immediately.

  • israelp

    Let me tell you how to solve the defenseless quarterback and receiver issue. Give them handguns.

  • Dcmalibu

    Absolutely. Why isn’t the player diving at Ben’s knees fined? Hypocrisy at its finest.

  • What do you know, a picture of Scott Paxson hitting Ben in the knee with the crown of his helmet.

  • KelleM1609

    Thanks Dave, we can always count on you to get the truth out.

  • Thinkaboutit

    If they are so concerned about player safety, why are Thursday games scheduled?

  • MJones

    Agreed 110%. The hypocrisy & inconsistency with which the ‘rules’ are enforced in this league is laughable.

  • AndyR34

    In all fairness to Paxson, if you watch the replay, Paxson hits him first up around the waist and slides down as Ben tries to get away. I don’t think Paxson did anything wrong here and yoou are not being even-handed about this.

  • AndyR34

    Thanks, Dave…if player safety is So important…why weren’t the Browns fined for allowing McCoy to go back into the game…why doesn’t the NFL require an independent concussion expert to make the decision? As you say…it is hypocrisy at it’s best.

  • burgh_fan

    I think you are kind of off base. Harrison was not suspended because McCoy got a concussion he was suspended because of the hit. I don’t think the result as you state had any impact on his suspension although I could be wrong.

  • So love this article…spot on!! Why stop with these two photographs…I think one of Ben’s “misshapped, broken nose” after the Ngata (non penalized, non fined) hit would bring a pretty penny….

  • He was suspended because of the hit, although I would love to see Goddell teach the players how to stop inertia (definition: Inertia is the resistance of any physical object to a change in its state of motion or rest, or the tendency of an object to resist any change in its motion. It is proportional to an object’s mass. The principle of inertia is one of the fundamental principles of classical physics which are used to describe the motion of matter and how it is affected by applied forces.)

  • Exactly!

  • right…I thought chop blocks were illegal…especially ones that break ankles…

  • Edwardchappell

    if you take notice in the slow-motion replays, most of the helmet to helmet hits that resulted in fines this year were a direct result of the player on offense ducking his head, just before impact