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hawaiiansteel
11-30-2010, 08:57 PM
Ed Bouchette On James Harrison Fines: “I Know Dan (Rooney) Is Hot About All This”

November 30, 2010 6:33 PM

http://cbspittsburgh.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/james-harrison4.jpg?w=420


Ed Bouchette joined the Seibel and Starkey show on Sportsradio 93-7 The FAN with Joe Starkey and Ken Laird filling in for John Seibel today to discuss James Harrison’s’ most recent $25,000 fine, this time coming for his hit on Bill Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Ed said he talked with Harrison’s’ agent yesterday before the fine came down, and James’ agent said he hoped James would not get fined because it will probably push him over the edge.

According to Ed, the Rooney’s relationship with Roger Goodell is still pretty good, but it must be strained after Art Rooney spoke out against the $75,000 fine the league hit James Harrison with.

To even further complicate things, Ed said that Dan Rooney is “hot about all this” and he is sure that Rooney has called him any number of times to address all these fines.

http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2010/11/ ... -all-this/ (http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2010/11/30/ed-bouchette-on-james-harrison-fines-i-know-dan-rooney-is-hot-about-all-this/)

ALLD
11-30-2010, 09:02 PM
Does Goodell realize all the bad karma that is coming his way?

First, he is trying to "clean up the league" and now more fights than ever are breaking out. More QBs are injured despite the new rule. The game is devoving into wide open offense and little defense making the games more routine or predictable and less entertaining.

Sugar
11-30-2010, 09:04 PM
Perhaps the Rooney's could provide a little Christmas bonus to #92 to help him out. I believe that you can gift up to $12K without being responsible for taxes on it. If various Rooney family members or teamates were to be generous to James during the Christmas season, who could blame them? 8)

johnstownsteel
11-30-2010, 09:13 PM
rooney is hot over this?

good...call a press conference and let the media know that harrisons contract has been restructured. let them know that bonuses will be payed out to cover any fines that harrison may incur much like those are paid out in performance incentives. let goodell know that the steelers will not tolerate their linebackers playing like pansys and that they encourage harrison to continue playing like a crazy mother ****er.

Starlifter
11-30-2010, 09:17 PM
The Rooneys have a real problem on their hands. Either they have a rogue player who's dirty, can't play within the rules and they keep him on the field OR they have a clean player being unfairly targeted and they are doing nothing publicly to support him.

Either JH is the kind of player they want or he isn't. If he isn't, take the hit and get rid of him. If he is, step up and protect your asset. They are looking weak and ridiculous right now......

johnstownsteel
11-30-2010, 09:23 PM
and what pisses me off more than anything, they are stealing money out of a players pocket who definitely deserves every penny he's made. harrison was a nobody. he was an undrafted player who was cut by a couple of teams. he perservered (sp?) and became one of the best defenders in the league. and now the league is punishing a player who fought for every minute of playing time, for every penny he's made and every bit of respect that he's gotten from players around the nfl. it's just disgusting..

flippy
11-30-2010, 09:28 PM
Rooney should set up a meeting with Goodell and bring James Harrison's mother along.

hawaiiansteel
11-30-2010, 09:49 PM
Rooney should set up a meeting with Goodell and bring James Harrison's mother along.


or Deebo could bring this woman along when he has to next visit Roger... :lol:


http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r84/vickie03/bigblackwoman.jpg

Leper Friend
12-01-2010, 09:50 AM
rooney is hot over this?

good...call a press conference and let the media know that harrisons contract has been restructured. let them know that bonuses will be payed out to cover any fines that harrison may incur much like those are paid out in performance incentives. let goodell know that the steelers will not tolerate their linebackers playing like pansys and that they encourage harrison to continue playing like a crazy mother bad word.
At this point I think his fines are being taken care of.I have no evidence but I feel it's the right thing to do and if Rooney is "hot over this" he's doing the right thing.

However , if the Rooney's call attention to this publicly, that woul'd be rubbing it in Goodel's face. After that , the only recourse would be to suspend.

flippy
12-01-2010, 11:28 AM
Rooney should set up a meeting with Goodell and bring James Harrison's mother along.


or Deebo could bring this woman along when he has to next visit Roger... :lol:


http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r84/vickie03/bigblackwoman.jpg

I like it. Bribe him with a hooker :lol

Dee Dub
12-01-2010, 12:09 PM
I think Rooney is full of it. And why do I say that?? Here read this....

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2543783

NORTHBROOK, Ill. -- The knock on Roger Goodell's hotel room door came almost three hours to the minute after NFL owners began voting for a new commissioner.

When he opened it, there stood the Steelers' Dan Rooney. He didn't have to say a word.

For all the terrific accomplishments of the Tagliabue Era, for the nonpareil prosperity he has engendered in what has grown into a $6 billion-a-year industry, the NFL is not without storm clouds on the horizon. And those are storm clouds that, frankly, could make Goodell's honeymoon a brief one.

"When I saw Dan smiling, I knew it wasn't bad news," Goodell said Tuesday.

"I said from the beginning that we were going to look for the man to lead us," Rooney said he told the owners during the voting Wednesday afternoon. "I said that when we finished, I had no doubt that that was Roger Goodell."
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This is the man the owners wanted (including the Rooney's), and this is one of the reasons they wanted Him.

Wake up folks. There is a bigger picture here.

ikestops85
12-01-2010, 12:26 PM
I think Rooney is full of it. And why do I say that?? Here read this....

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2543783

NORTHBROOK, Ill. -- The knock on Roger Goodell's hotel room door came almost three hours to the minute after NFL owners began voting for a new commissioner.

When he opened it, there stood the Steelers' Dan Rooney. He didn't have to say a word.

For all the terrific accomplishments of the Tagliabue Era, for the nonpareil prosperity he has engendered in what has grown into a $6 billion-a-year industry, the NFL is not without storm clouds on the horizon. And those are storm clouds that, frankly, could make Goodell's honeymoon a brief one.

"When I saw Dan smiling, I knew it wasn't bad news," Goodell said Tuesday.

"I said from the beginning that we were going to look for the man to lead us," Rooney said he told the owners during the voting Wednesday afternoon. "I said that when we finished, I had no doubt that that was Roger Goodell."
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This is the man the owners wanted (including the Rooney's), and this is one of the reasons they wanted Him.

Wake up folks. There is a bigger picture here.

I understand where you are coming from Dee Dub but things do change. The Rooneys most definitely supported Goodell for Commissioner but you know what they say ... Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Czar Goodell has been given absolute power and I'm beginning to think the Rooneys are starting to regret that support. At least I hope they are.

Oviedo
12-01-2010, 01:04 PM
I think Rooney is full of it. And why do I say that?? Here read this....

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2543783

NORTHBROOK, Ill. -- The knock on Roger Goodell's hotel room door came almost three hours to the minute after NFL owners began voting for a new commissioner.

When he opened it, there stood the Steelers' Dan Rooney. He didn't have to say a word.

For all the terrific accomplishments of the Tagliabue Era, for the nonpareil prosperity he has engendered in what has grown into a $6 billion-a-year industry, the NFL is not without storm clouds on the horizon. And those are storm clouds that, frankly, could make Goodell's honeymoon a brief one.

"When I saw Dan smiling, I knew it wasn't bad news," Goodell said Tuesday.

"I said from the beginning that we were going to look for the man to lead us," Rooney said he told the owners during the voting Wednesday afternoon. "I said that when we finished, I had no doubt that that was Roger Goodell."
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This is the man the owners wanted (including the Rooney's), and this is one of the reasons they wanted Him.

Wake up folks. There is a bigger picture here.

I understand where you are coming from Dee Dub but things do change. The Rooneys most definitely supported Goodell for Commissioner but you know what they say ... Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Czar Goodell has been given absolute power and I'm beginning to think the Rooneys are starting to regret that support. At least I hope they are.

I think that Godell's vision of the future NFL and the Rooney's vision of what football should be have diverged since he took over.

I think the situation that has arisen regarding hits is directly linked to the push for 18 games. Goodell wants to artificially push down statistics on injuries so he can get 18 games giving as little as possible to the players. Every injury that occurs this season becomes a bullet in the players gun to fight for more concessions from the NFL to get the 18 games. The fallout is that tough defensive teams, which the Rooney's own, are getting targeted to their detriment.

I also think Goodell just may be a bad manager not thinking through implementation details or doing due diligence before hemakes decisions. EgVerything he has done with regards to player discipline and the current crusade against hits have been half baked and poorly implemented. That is textbook a bad manager and leader.

I really hope he is a one term commisioner but if he gets a new CBA he unfortunately will have probably bought himself another term and more confusion and chaos. That is why I almost hope that there is a lockout and games are cancelled. That becomes egg on Goodell's face.

Djfan
12-01-2010, 06:12 PM
I really hope he is a one term commisioner but if he gets a new CBA he unfortunately will have probably bought himself another term and more confusion and chaos. That is why I almost hope that there is a lockout and games are cancelled. That becomes egg on Goodell's face.


My thoughts exactly.

Crash
12-01-2010, 06:17 PM
After a meeting with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell last month and even after his fourth fine of the season that was handed down to him Tuesday, Steelers linebacker James Harrison feels that he has yet to do anything wrong.

Harrison was fined $25,000 for his helmet hit to Buffalo quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick this past week to raise his season total to $125,000, but still refused to admit to any guilt today while talking to the media for the first time since the fine was levied.

“The way I play there is nothing wrong with it,” Harrison said. “I am not playing dirty. I am not doing anything outside the lines. I am sure if you ask 10 guys in the league, I am sure eight or nine of them are going to say that he’s not a dirty player and he’s a hard player and that’s he’s just getting a bad rep right now.”

Harrison also said that he plans on appealing the fine and that agent Bill Parise has “talked to a few guys” to see if there is any anything action that he can take with the league on behalf of his client.

Hines Ward, no stranger to being the subject of NFL fines, said the NFL treats players "almost like you're guilty until proven innocent," adding that it's a waste of time to appeal fines levied by the league.

hawaiiansteel
12-02-2010, 12:48 AM
hey Dan, is Deebo being targeted because he plays for the Steelers? :wft


Harrison: NFL targeting me for hard hitting

By ALAN ROBINSON, AP Sports Writer


PITTSBURGH (AP)—Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison(notes) promises he’s not changing his aggressive style of play, even if the NFL and his own coach agree he must.

Harrison believes he is being unfairly targeted for hard hits that have drawn $125,000 in fines for four infractions since mid-October. His own teammates and at least one Baltimore Ravens player, linebacker Terrell Suggs, argued Wednesday the league is focusing extra and possibly unwarranted attention on any Harrison hit.

“Your guy over there, No. 92 (Harrison), I think he is red-flagged,” Suggs said during a conference call with Pittsburgh reporters. “The referees are kind of looking for him. Even if he breathes on a quarterback wrong, he might get a flag. … I think they are looking at him more closely than they are everybody else in the league.”

Harrison plans to appeal all fines. His appeals of a $75,000 fine for hitting Browns receiver Mohamed Massaquoi and a $20,000 fine for a blind side hit on Saints quarterback Drew Brees were rejected Monday. A day later, he was fined $25,000 for roughing Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.

“It angers me, of course, that they’re taking absurd amounts of money from me for plays that I consider to be clean and legal hits,” Harrison said. “I’m sure if you asked 10 guys in the league, nine of them would say he’s not a dirty player. He’s a hard player. He’s just getting a bad (reputation) right now.”

While coach Mike Tomlin said Harrison probably should change his tackling style to conform to the NFL’s stricter enforcement of potentially dangerous hits, Harrison said he won’t.

“I’m not playing dirty,” he said. “I’m not doing anything that’s outside the lines. … There’s nothing malicious or illegal about the way I’m playing or I’m tackling guys, so I’m going to continue to play the way I’m playing.”

While the NFL threatened suspensions for repeat offenders when it began its stricter enforcement of player safety rules earlier this season, Harrison has not been suspended. League spokesman Michael Signora said there was no such penalty for the Fitzpatrick hit Sunday because it wasn’t flagrant.

“It was illegal because the initial contact with the defenseless quarterback’s chest was made with his helmet,” Signora said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. “It was not a late hit. It was not a hit to the head. And he pulled off the quarterback when they hit the ground. Although it was not flagrant, as a multiple offender of the rules in this area, Harrison received a significant fine.”

In response to that fine, safety Ryan Clark posted a Twitter message in which he promised the Steelers (8-3) would be “hitting harder and more vicious” Sunday against the Ravens (8-3) because they will get fined regardless.

Clark, the Steelers’ player representative, also contacted the NFL Players Association to complain about the league’s treatment of Harrison. And several teammates believe the three-time Pro Bowl linebacker is being repeatedly punished because his intense hitting potentially endangers some of the NFL’s marquee players.

“I feel the owners want to protect their quarterbacks, the franchise guys, the guys making the big bucks, the guys everybody comes to see,” linebacker James Farrior said. “Those are the people who fill the stands. When you have somebody like James Harrison hitting these guys and putting a hurting on them, sometimes they don’t want that. They don’t want the quarterbacks hit too hard.”

Partly because of Harrison’s latest fine, Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward ripped into the league, arguing the league toughened its player safety stance only because it wants to expand to an 18-game season.

“The league doesn’t care about us anyway,” Ward said. “They don’t care about the safety of the game. If the league was so concerned about safety, why are you adding two more games on? You talk about you don’t want players to drink … and all you see is beer commercials. You don’t want us to gamble, but then there are (NFL-endorsed lottery scratch-off games).”

Harrison also believes his Oct. 17 comments that he doesn’t mind hurting players as long as he doesn’t badly injure them may have led to the NFL’s close scrutiny of him. Two helmet hits by Harrison that day caused concussions by Browns receivers Massaquoi and Joshua Cribbs minutes apart during Pittsburgh’s 28-10 victory.

Harrison also is troubled because Broncos coach Josh McDaniels was fined $50,000 for not reporting that a videographer illegally taped a 49ers practice and Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan and Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson were fined $25,000 each for fighting, yet he was fined more for a non-penalized hit.

“It’s starting to look like it’s OK to cheat, it’s OK to fight, but if you hit somebody too hard, we’re going to fine you a whole bunch,” Harrison said. “Maybe it’s because I play for the Steelers, who knows?”

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=a ... ngharrison (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ap-steelers-defendingharrison)

Crash
12-02-2010, 12:59 AM
Steelers outside linebacker James Harrison spoke at length Wednesday after practice, the first time he has done so since the NFL fined him for a fourth time this season.

Harrison, who has now been docked a total of $125,000 by the league, said he won’t change the way he plays the game.

“There’s nothing malicious or illegal about the way I’m playing or the way I’m tackling guys so I’m going to continue to play the way I’m going to be playing and let the chips fall where they may,” Harrison said. “Anything I do that may be even close to the border is going to be called.”

Harrison’s teammates again came to his defense and inside linebacker James Farrior called out the NFL Players Association's executive director for not doing more to support Harrison.

“Where is DeMaurice Smith when all of this is going on?” Farrior said.

What follows are excerpts from Harrison’s Q&A with reporters:

Q: James Farrior said there’s not a lot of consistency with some of the penalties, fines…

A: “It’s like the wild, wild West, they’re making the rules as they go. They’re deciding what they fine, what they don’t want to fine, who they want to fine, who they don’t want to fine. They twisted our quarterback up (in the Bills' game), after the whistle was blown and everything else. If that had been Peyton Manning or Tom Brady they might have suspended that guy.”

Q: Do you wonder why guys aren’t getting flagged more for hitting Ben?

A: “It’s because it’s not Tom Brady or Peyton Manning. If I hit anybody I’m going to get a flag.”

Q: Will you seek any clarification from Roger Goodell, Ray Anderson about what you can do to stop getting fined?

A: “They say you can’t put any part of your helmet on a defenseless receiver or player. As far as I see it there’s no way that you can not put your helmet on someone when you’re lowering your target area. The first thing that’s going to hit is going to be your head, that’s what’s out in front of you. Unless they want guys trying to tackle with their back, I don’t know what else there is to do.”

Q: Do you think it’s a matter of you guys hitting too hard?

A: “To a certain point I guess it may be that. I don’t know. It’s starting to look like it’s OK to cheat, it’s OK to fight, but if you hit somebody too hard we’re going to fine you a whole bunch more than the other two.”

Q: Can you think of a reason why you are being red flagged?

A: “Maybe it’s because I play for the Steelers, who knows?”

Q: Could you use more support from the NFL Players Association?

A: “To be honest I don’t know if they could do a whole lot considering that the person that makes all of these rules is above them.”

Q: How important is it to get the word out the fines and your feelings on them?

A: “If it wasn’t for y’all making a big fuss over the hits from way back when they had those three hits (on Oct. 17) none of this would even be a real big issue. The media, y’all control what goes on, y’all are like puppet masters and y’all control the puppets. If y’all say that they’re doing wrong and the media starts to say this more and more then I think things will start to change. Until y’all do something about it I don’t think nothing’s going to change.”

fordfixer
12-02-2010, 08:00 AM
Steelers outside linebacker James Harrison spoke at length Wednesday after practice, the first time he has done so since the NFL fined him for a fourth time this season.

Harrison, who has now been docked a total of $125,000 by the league, said he won’t change the way he plays the game.

“There’s nothing malicious or illegal about the way I’m playing or the way I’m tackling guys so I’m going to continue to play the way I’m going to be playing and let the chips fall where they may,” Harrison said. “Anything I do that may be even close to the border is going to be called.”

Harrison’s teammates again came to his defense and inside linebacker James Farrior called out the NFL Players Association's executive director for not doing more to support Harrison.

“Where is DeMaurice Smith when all of this is going on?” Farrior said.

What follows are excerpts from Harrison’s Q&A with reporters:

Q: James Farrior said there’s not a lot of consistency with some of the penalties, fines…

A: “It’s like the wild, wild West, they’re making the rules as they go. They’re deciding what they fine, what they don’t want to fine, who they want to fine, who they don’t want to fine. They twisted our quarterback up (in the Bills' game), after the whistle was blown and everything else. If that had been Peyton Manning or Tom Brady they might have suspended that guy.”

Q: Do you wonder why guys aren’t getting flagged more for hitting Ben?

A: “It’s because it’s not Tom Brady or Peyton Manning. If I hit anybody I’m going to get a flag.”

Q: Will you seek any clarification from Roger Goodell, Ray Anderson about what you can do to stop getting fined?

A: “They say you can’t put any part of your helmet on a defenseless receiver or player. As far as I see it there’s no way that you can not put your helmet on someone when you’re lowering your target area. The first thing that’s going to hit is going to be your head, that’s what’s out in front of you. Unless they want guys trying to tackle with their back, I don’t know what else there is to do.”

Q: Do you think it’s a matter of you guys hitting too hard?

A: “To a certain point I guess it may be that. I don’t know. It’s starting to look like it’s OK to cheat, it’s OK to fight, but if you hit somebody too hard we’re going to fine you a whole bunch more than the other two.”

Q: Can you think of a reason why you are being red flagged?

A: “Maybe it’s because I play for the Steelers, who knows?”

Q: Could you use more support from the NFL Players Association?

A: “To be honest I don’t know if they could do a whole lot considering that the person that makes all of these rules is above them.”

Q: How important is it to get the word out the fines and your feelings on them?

A: “If it wasn’t for y’all making a big fuss over the hits from way back when they had those three hits (on Oct. 17) none of this would even be a real big issue. The media, y’all control what goes on, y’all are like puppet masters and y’all control the puppets. If y’all say that they’re doing wrong and the media starts to say this more and more then I think things will start to change. Until y’all do something about it I don’t think nothing’s going to change.”


There it is :Agree

fordfixer
12-02-2010, 08:31 AM
Harrison, Steelers won't remain silent on NFL's fines
By Mark Kaboly, TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, December 2, 2010
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 11761.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_711761.html)

They've tried to go about it quietly — and that didn't work.

They tried to go about it the diplomatic way — and that didn't work, either.

Now, the Steelers and some top-named NFL players are dealing with what they believe are unfair, unjust and excessive fines in a proactive way — they are speaking out.

And nobody is off-limits, especially following James Harrison's fourth fine over the past two months for what seemingly was a legal hit put on Buffalo quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick that cost the former NFL Defensive Player of the Year another $25,000.

Not the media, not NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and not even one of their own — NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith.

Steelers veteran linebacker and defensive captain James Farrior called out Smith yesterday for not getting involved in the NFL's fine-happy state of mind that seems to be zeroing in on Harrison, who has been fined $125,000 this year.

"Where is DeMaurice Smith when all this is going on?" Farrior said. "He is supposed to be our leader. I haven't heard him one time. We are on our own right now. It is just one guy (Goodell) making all the rules up and doling out the fines. There is nothing we can do about it."

So the Steelers have decided to go on the offensive.

Normally reluctant to speak about the league and its decisions to fine players, Steelers players have decided to make their displeasures known to the public.

"You have to talk about it," Farrior said. "We can't just keep sitting here and taking it. Sooner or later somebody is going to have to say something. We can't just keep quiet the whole time and just keep letting them bend us over and give it to us."

Harrison has even talked to his agent, Bill Parise, about getting some outside help. Team player rep Ryan Clark called the NFLPA's senior regional director Jason Belser to ask for help with Harrison.

"I said, 'We have to do something. We need to stand behind him,'" Clark said. "I think we need to be more vocal about the situation."

Others have followed the Steelers' lead about expressing displeasure with how they are being treated.

"I think it's bull the way they are doing it," Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher said on "Mike & Mike In The Morning" on ESPN Radio.

Baltimore Pro Bowl linebacker Terrell Suggs also didn't hold back his thoughts about how the league is handing out fines, especially to Harrison.

"It is just getting ridiculous," Suggs said. "I think there is definitely some injustice."

What the Steelers are looking for is clarity.

One week, Harrison was flagged for hitting Jason Campbell with his full body weight but was not fined. He was fined for hitting Drew Brees with his facemask; was fined for hitting what the NFL termed a defenseless receiver in Mohamed Massaquoi; and was fined for hitting Fitzpatrick with the crown of his helmet.

"I think the NFLPA can be instrumental in getting us that clarity," Clark said.

Harrison thinks the NFLPA might not be able to help, either.

"It's starting to look like it's OK to cheat, it's OK to fight, but if you hit somebody too hard, we're going to fine you a whole bunch more than the other two," Harrison said. "Maybe it's because I play for the Steelers, who knows?"

Harrison, as well as others in the locker room, believes that speaking out to the media is the only way things will start to change.

"The media, y'all control what goes on, y'all are like puppet masters, and y'all control the puppets," Harrison said. "If y'all say that they're doing wrong, and the media starts to say this more and more, then I think things will start to change. Until y'all do something about it I don't think nothing's going to change."

msp26505
12-02-2010, 09:26 AM
I said this was what I wanted and a few suggested that if it happened, the Steelers may begin to lose focus.

I can definitely see some merit to this argument, but I think that such an injustice is happening before our eyes that something has to be said about it.

It's kind of like "the bigger the lie, the more people will believe it". Those who don't see the hits and the ridiculous calls going against the Steelers are likely to believe that the Steelers are just playing dirty, and a few of the Steeler-hating talking heads are more than happy to perpetuate this myth.

I understand Tomlin's unwillingness to directly criticize officiating because it could lead to fines, and I want to see him (and all the FO) maintain their dignity...which I am sure they will, but I'd also like to see ARII speak up about it soon, as well.

Information is power, and the players are the first line of defense because they are the ones in the trenches.

BradshawsHairdresser
12-02-2010, 10:05 AM
Harrison, Steelers won't remain silent on NFL's fines
By Mark Kaboly, TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, December 2, 2010
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 11761.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_711761.html)

They've tried to go about it quietly — and that didn't work.

They tried to go about it the diplomatic way — and that didn't work, either.

Now, the Steelers and some top-named NFL players are dealing with what they believe are unfair, unjust and excessive fines in a proactive way — they are speaking out.

And nobody is off-limits, especially following James Harrison's fourth fine over the past two months for what seemingly was a legal hit put on Buffalo quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick that cost the former NFL Defensive Player of the Year another $25,000.

Not the media, not NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and not even one of their own — NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith.

Steelers veteran linebacker and defensive captain James Farrior called out Smith yesterday for not getting involved in the NFL's fine-happy state of mind that seems to be zeroing in on Harrison, who has been fined $125,000 this year.

"Where is DeMaurice Smith when all this is going on?" Farrior said. "He is supposed to be our leader. I haven't heard him one time. We are on our own right now. It is just one guy (Goodell) making all the rules up and doling out the fines. There is nothing we can do about it."

So the Steelers have decided to go on the offensive.

Normally reluctant to speak about the league and its decisions to fine players, Steelers players have decided to make their displeasures known to the public.

"You have to talk about it," Farrior said. "We can't just keep sitting here and taking it. Sooner or later somebody is going to have to say something. We can't just keep quiet the whole time and just keep letting them bend us over and give it to us."

Harrison has even talked to his agent, Bill Parise, about getting some outside help. Team player rep Ryan Clark called the NFLPA's senior regional director Jason Belser to ask for help with Harrison.

"I said, 'We have to do something. We need to stand behind him,'" Clark said. "I think we need to be more vocal about the situation."

Others have followed the Steelers' lead about expressing displeasure with how they are being treated.

"I think it's bull the way they are doing it," Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher said on "Mike & Mike In The Morning" on ESPN Radio.

Baltimore Pro Bowl linebacker Terrell Suggs also didn't hold back his thoughts about how the league is handing out fines, especially to Harrison.

"It is just getting ridiculous," Suggs said. "I think there is definitely some injustice."

What the Steelers are looking for is clarity.

One week, Harrison was flagged for hitting Jason Campbell with his full body weight but was not fined. He was fined for hitting Drew Brees with his facemask; was fined for hitting what the NFL termed a defenseless receiver in Mohamed Massaquoi; and was fined for hitting Fitzpatrick with the crown of his helmet.

"I think the NFLPA can be instrumental in getting us that clarity," Clark said.

Harrison thinks the NFLPA might not be able to help, either.

"It's starting to look like it's OK to cheat, it's OK to fight, but if you hit somebody too hard, we're going to fine you a whole bunch more than the other two," Harrison said. "Maybe it's because I play for the Steelers, who knows?"

Harrison, as well as others in the locker room, believes that speaking out to the media is the only way things will start to change.

"The media, y'all control what goes on, y'all are like puppet masters, and y'all control the puppets," Harrison said. "If y'all say that they're doing wrong, and the media starts to say this more and more, then I think things will start to change. Until y'all do something about it I don't think nothing's going to change."

:Clap :Clap :Clap
It's about time. Players need to bring public attention to the inequities, get the spotlight off a few players and onto the Fuhrer.

ikestops85
12-02-2010, 11:21 AM
Harrison's comment about the media is right on target. I got to give him props for that. Goodell only responds to bad PR. He is a reactionary type of manager ... not a proactionary one. I'm glad to hear the players start to speak out on this issue. Especially players that aren't Steelers.

A lot of football fans from other teams hate the Steelers. Much the same way Indy and the Pats are hated. They do this because we have been successful for so long and their teams haven't been. They think we get all the calls and all the breaks in the game. When this first started they all laughed and said they were glad the Steelers were finally getting their comeuppance. Now that other players are starting to complain they might realize that this issue is bigger than just the Steelers getting fined. It has to do with changing the game we all know and love.

and props to Hines also for pointing out how hypocritical the league is about player safety. :Clap

feltdizz
12-02-2010, 11:22 AM
I said this was what I wanted and a few suggested that if it happened, the Steelers may begin to lose focus.

I can definitely see some merit to this argument, but I think that such an injustice is happening before our eyes that something has to be said about it.

It's kind of like "the bigger the lie, the more people will believe it". Those who don't see the hits and the ridiculous calls going against the Steelers are likely to believe that the Steelers are just playing dirty, and a few of the Steeler-hating talking heads are more than happy to perpetuate this myth.

I understand Tomlin's unwillingness to directly criticize officiating because it could lead to fines, and I want to see him (and all the FO) maintain their dignity...which I am sure they will, but I'd also like to see ARII speak up about it soon, as well.

Information is power, and the players are the first line of defense because they are the ones in the trenches.
Again, what will ARII speaking up about this do for our team? Will it make the media and fans come to their senses or will it look like an owner protecting his team?

Players form other teams are the ones with the power to point out the injustice. Harrsion said it best as well... the media played a big part in this because of one weekend of 3 hard hits... if that weekend didn't happen it's football as usual.

RuthlessBurgher
12-02-2010, 03:47 PM
"You have to talk about it," Farrior said. "We can't just keep sitting here and taking it. Sooner or later somebody is going to have to say something. We can't just keep quiet the whole time and just keep letting them bend us over and give it to us."

So, essentially, what Farrior is alleging is that Roger Goodell is anal raping James Harrison (at least in a metaphorical sense). If we get one more person to allege that Goodell is anally raping an NFL player, Goodell must be suspended for 4-6 games (after all, the precedent has been set for multiple rape allegation, irregardless of any factual information to the contrary).

hawaiiansteel
12-03-2010, 02:51 PM
Rooney welcomes discourse on hits policy

By Scott Brown, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, December 3, 2010

http://files.pittsburghlive.com/photos/2010-12-02/rooney-a.jpg

Art Rooney II
Associated Press


Frustrated over James Harrison's battle of wills with the NFL, Steelers president Art Rooney II said the team has been going to bat for the outside linebacker behind closed doors.

Rooney said Thursday he is worried that the Steelers' hard-hitting defense could be compromised in the league initiative to cut down on dangerous hits.

Rooney questioned whether the NFL has overstepped its bounds in its proactive approach to player safety. He thinks the Steelers have been targeted during the crackdown.

"It certainly looks that way," Rooney said. "Not that we're expecting much sympathy from other teams, but I think some of this will be part of the discussion after the season is over. Hopefully we'll all have our chances to express our opinions and at that point have a better understanding of where the owners in the league stand on some of this.

"I think we're sympathetic to the idea that we need to focus on player safety and particularly on helmet-to-helmet hits. The other side of it is it's still a football game, and I think we've got to be realistic about how the rules can be changed and what we expect of the defensive players in particular."

Harrison has been the player most affected since the league started enforcing the rule on unnecessary roughness.

He has been fined a total of $125,000, and Rooney said there is a concern that the NFL will suspend the three-time Pro Bowler if he doesn't conform to the rule that prohibits helmet hits on defenseless players.

Ray Anderson, the NFL's executive vice president of football operations, told the Tribune-Review yesterday that the league is not singling out Harrison.

Anderson did put the onus on Harrison to play within NFL rules. He added if the Steelers' sacks leader continues to run afoul of them that it could see him suspended.

"At the end of the day we have an important responsibility, and if that means at some point we have to remove a player from the field to get the message clearly in his mind and to protect players that he's violating, we will do so," said Anderson, whose office reviews every play from a given week and decides if any warrant fines. "But we hope that doesn't come to pass."

Harrison said earlier this week that he won't change his style of play and "will let the chips fall where they may."

His latest fine set off another barrage of criticism in the Steelers' locker room Wednesday.

Wide receiver Hines Ward railed against the hypocrisy of the league. Inside linebacker James Farrior asked why NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith had not done more to back Harrison.

Harrison has unsuccessfully appealed three of his fines and plans to contest the one he got earlier this week.

Smith did not return several messages yesterday.

"I think guys maybe just want an explanation," free safety Ryan Clark, the Steelers' player representative, said of Farrior's comment about Smith. "He does not have to come out here. He can call or whatever, but we'll see how it plays out."

Rooney said the Steelers have been in consistent contact with the league since Harrison started getting fined on a regular basis.

Dan Rooney, Art's father and Steelers chairman emeritus, has also been in touch with the league.

"I think he shares some of the concerns we have," said Art Rooney of his father, the U.S. Ambassador to Ireland. "I'm sure the conversation he's having are between him and the league, and that's the way they should be kept."

Rooney said he doesn't have a problem with players voicing their opinions on the issue as long as it doesn't consume them.

The Steelers visit the Ravens on Sunday with first place in the AFC North on the line.

"They understand what's at stake here in this game and as we head into the home stretch of the season," Rooney said. "I'm not worried about it, but I think it is something they need to keep in mind. We need to make sure we keep our focus and not allow it to become a distraction."

ROONEY'S TAKE

Steelers president Art Rooney II on ...

Assertions by some of the Steelers' defensive players that the NFL's top priority is to protect its marquee quarterbacks:

"(Such claims) have been something that's been going on since Jack Lambert said we should put skirts on them. Maybe we've taken more steps down that road. And again, that's been one of our concerns, is how far are we going with some of this? Protecting the quarterback, particularly the hit to the head kind of situation, is something we're in favor of. Of course, the other side of it is, you get to the point where are you still allowed to tackle the quarterback? I don't know."

Coach Mike Tomlin refusing to publicly criticize the NFL for the penalties and fines that James Harrison has received this season:

"I think Mike doesn't want to fall into the trap of having this become a distraction. It's a tough line that he's got to walk, but I think he's walked the line the right way and he understands that players are going to vent on occasion. That's fine: They can say what they want to say. But I think from Mike's point of view he needs to make sure it doesn't become a distraction, and I think he's got to be guarded in what he says because of that."

Strong safety Troy Polamalu saying earlier this season that commissioner Roger Goodell has too much power when it comes to disciplining players for on-field infractions:

"If you look down through the years, our league has benefited from having a system where we've had a commissioner that was a very powerful office. And I'm not necessarily looking to dramatically change that in any way. The fact we've had a system where our commissioner has kind of been 'the buck stops' and that's where the power is in the league ... overall, I'm satisfied that's the way it should be."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 12044.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_712044.html)

feltdizz
12-03-2010, 03:42 PM
basically this Anderson guy is saying Harrison will be benched in the coming weeks if he sacks a QB.

I can't believe the NFL has stooped this low. Actually I can... but I think it's hilarious to see.

I would switch to college ball but it's just as bad if not worse. They kick half the guys off UNC in a months time while suspending and reinstating Cam Newton in 24 hours... all while saying they need to close the loop hole Aurburn's lawyers found to get him reinstated.

hawaiiansteel
12-03-2010, 05:53 PM
basically this Anderson guy is saying Harrison will be benched in the coming weeks if he sacks a QB.

I can't believe the NFL has stooped this low.

http://static.nfl.com/static/content/catch_all/nfl_image/Ray_Anderson_65x90.jpg

Ray Anderson

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM ETRay Anderson
NFL executive vice president of football operations Ray Anderson, whose responsibilities include player discipline, took your questions during a live chat on Friday, Dec. 3.

Ray Anderson, NFL.com
Good afternoon everyone. Looking forward to answering your questions today. Let's get started.
Darrell Davis, USA 2:03 PM ET
How much forethought did the league office give to going heavy hand with the fines midseason? Is this playing out as you expected? Was ownership consulted prior to this? Is this new administration of discipline a reflection of ownership consensus, or did the league office decide this on their own?

Ray Anderson, NFL.com
Darrell, we would take issue with the term "heavy handed." Rather we view it as holding players to a higher standard of accountability for complying with safety rules. This emphasis didn't begin midseason but was reiterated many times beginning last February particularly rules related to protecting against illegal helmet-to-helmet and other hits against defenseless players. Ownership is always kept abreast and we have overwhelming support for player safety initiatives and enforcement.
unkraut, Frankfurt, Germany 2:06 PM ET
Hello Mr. Anderson, what ever happened to the Dunta Robinson fine? Every single expert who took a closer look at the Robinson-Jackson hit said it was a legal hit, and Robinson appealed. Will the fine be upheld?

Ray Anderson, NFL.com
Every player has the right to appeal a discipline decision to a neutral arbitrator. Those two arbitrators, Art Shell and Ted Cottrell, both former NFL players and coaches, are jointly appointed by the NFL and the players union. They handle the appeal process and make final determinations. Dunta's decision is still pending.
Andrew, Alabama 2:09 PM ET
James Harrison was fined 75K for his helment to helment hit. Andre Johnson is only fined 25K for throwing multiple punches to a helmentless Finnegan. Why such a difference in fines, especially when Harrison's was during play, and unintentional, while Johnson's was after the whistle and intentional?

Ray Anderson, NFL.com
Harrison's fine was a result in part of being a repeat offender. Therefore the $75,000 was an escalation due to prior violations. Regarding the fight fines, that's a separate and distinct category from illegal hits to defenseless players. They are simply treated differently and the players involved in the fight were handled accordingly.
chris cusumano, danielson,ct 2:11 PM ET
Why is there such opposition to having current players reside on a discipline committee?

Ray Anderson, NFL.com
Current players and coaches would have a clear conflict of interest, and that is, there would be an understandable tendency to protect their own interests and that of their team. That's not a criticism, that's reality. To our knowledge, no other major sport has ever permitted current players to play a role in the discipline process.
Bill, Wayne 2:14 PM ET
How do you respond to Mr. Rooney's comments that it appears that the Steelers are being treated more harshly than other teams across the league when it comes to penalties and fines for "illegal" hits?

Ray Anderson, NFL.com
Bill, we have received numerous questions along these lines. Neither the Steelers nor any other team is singled out for special treatment one way or the other. In fact, through Week 12, the Steelers have averaged 6.5 penalties per game, including accepted penalties, declined penalties and offsetting fouls, which ties them with three other teams for 10th most in the NFL. 1/3 of the teams have been penalized as much or more than the Steelers.
Tony DeSantis, Lower Burrell, Pa. 2:21 PM ET
Why aren't the game officials fined when they screw up a call & could possibly cause a team to lose. If they are fined, then why isn't it publicised like the players who are fined.

Ray Anderson, NFL.com
Tony, every single play of every single game is reviewed and graded by the officiating VP and his supervisors. Every crew and every individual official are graded for every call they make and every call they miss. They are ultimately ranked by position and by crew and those rankings determine postseason eligibility, postseason assignments, bonus pool eligibility and job retention. Just like the players, if the officials do not perform at the highest level they will not be retained.
Allan, Virginia 2:26 PM ET
If player safety is paramount why is the NFL attempting to lengthen the season?

Ray Anderson, NFL.com
Allen, we know few people like the preseason and we know the fans don't like it. So as we consider going to 18 regular season games while maintaining the 20 game structure, we are undertaking a comprehensive review of all matters that impact player safety. This includes, for example, increased number of players on gameday and practice rosters; limiting the number of offseason and training camp days; establishing limits on the number of practices that can be held in helmets and with contact; and staggering reporting days based on NFL experience, so veterans and those with the most game experience would practice less than rookies and younger players.

Player safety is of vital importance and that is why we are spending so much time on this subject.
Toby Fey, Toledo 2:34 PM ET
What is the rule on "incidental" contact, when the defender hits a player in the head or neck area because the receiver or quarterback ducked, slides or was pushed?

Ray Anderson, NFL.com
In that instance, we determine the contact is unavoidable by the defender. An example is a quarterback who is scrambling and goes into a late slide to avoid contact by a defender. In this instance, we would view helmet contact as legal because it occurs on a runner and not a defenseless player. As a reminder, not all helmet contact is illegal.
Ricky Daniels Jr., Stephenville, TX. 2:39 PM ET
Where does the money go from the fines that the NFL players have to pay?

Ray Anderson, NFL.com
Ricky, money collected from player fines go to support retired players in need and medical research.
Gene, South Carolina 2:42 PM ET
Why wont you answer ward's charges to the nfl?

Ray Anderson, NFL.com
We admire Hines as a player and respect his opinion and the right for him to express himself. However, we believe Hines' comments are misguided and we respectfully disagree with them.
dustin, south carolina 2:44 PM ET
in refernce to the the answer to toby feys' question then why has james harrison been fined for those same hits and not others?

Ray Anderson, NFL.com
Dustin, every play is evaluated on its own facts and circumstances. Included in the evaluation is the individual player's history of violations. Repeat offenders are subject to increased discipline. But it's important to remember that not every play that is penalized is a flagrant enough foul to result in discipline. Further, even though a foul may not have been detected and flagged during the course of the game, through our internal review process we may identify plays that rise to the level of discipline.
Paul , Philadelphia 2:49 PM ET
Why doesn't the NFL demand players wear helmets that reduce the risk of concussions? Why doesn't the NFL invest research to perfect in soft shell exteriors for helmets so that they CANNOT be used as weapons?

Ray Anderson, NFL.com
Paul, we are constantly researching all kinds of safety related enhancements including for helmets. We are encouraging helmet manufacturers to research and develop helmets that may reduce the risk of concussions. Many medical experts have joined in the effort to improve helmet safety and reduce concussions at all levels of all sports. These medical experts are evaluating all options.
Darian Guerrero, Greeley, CO 2:56 PM ET
Mr. Anderson, After doing a study on the current situation, based on Dr. Ann McKee's studies on CTE (chronic trauma encephalopathy) and your self-narrated video for players "on notice", my question is how will the league ,better, enforce players to stop their cruel gameplay--which they have been using their whole career. Will fines increase and suspensions become more common? Will you require every NFL teams' coaching staff to change their tactics on coaching, in order to re-train the players to tackle properly upon your request according to the video?

Ray Anderson, NFL.com
Darian, we have no higher priority than player safety. That is why for decades we have made rule changes to advance player safety while maintaining the excitement and physicality of the game. Part of our emphasis is on players playing within the rules and coaches coaching to the rules, including returning to tackling fundamentals.

Ray Anderson, NFL.com
Thanks very much for your time. We appreciate your interest and your passion for our game. Enjoy Week 13!

http://chat.nfl.com/front/index/1278?mo ... _headlines (http://chat.nfl.com/front/index/1278?module=HP_headlines)

hawaiiansteel
12-04-2010, 09:01 PM
Steelers, Ravens, refs meet on Sunday

Alex Marvez is a Senior NFL Writer for FOXSports.com. He's covered the NFL for the past 16 seasons as a beat writer and is the former president of the Pro Football Writers of America.

Updated Dec 4, 2010 6:41 PM ET


Three teams will be in the spotlight Sunday during the latest incarnation of the NFL's hardest-hitting rivalry.

Officials prefer doing their job in relative anonymity, but the Steelers have made that impossible. Players, head coach Mike Tomlin and even franchise president Art Rooney II continue to carp about what they claim is unfair treatment, especially toward James Harrison. The star outside linebacker was fined $25,000 — raising his season total to $125,000 — for leading with his helmet when hitting Buffalo quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick during last Sunday’s game.

The situation has become so polarizing that even some Ravens defenders are backing Harrison. Considering the long-standing animosity between these two franchises, this is the equivalent of Republicans supporting an Obama-led political initiative.

Outside linebacker Jarret Johnson was the latest Raven to decry Harrison’s six-figure fine total.

“I don’t think a tenth of that is fair to him,” Johnson told FOXSports.com after Friday’s practice at Ravens headquarters.

The NFL insists the Steelers aren’t being targeted and stress that officials are adroitly following the league’s enhanced player safety mandates by enforcing rules already on the books. But there are others outside Pittsburgh’s locker room who agree with Steelers safety Ryan Clark’s recent assessment that officials are “on edge” because of league pressure and forced into a “make the call first, review it later” approach.

Regardless of which side is right, the possibility of Sunday’s game being filled with yellow flags is a distinct possibility considering the bone-crunching history between two traditionally strong defensive squads and the current state of NFL officiating.

“I hope not,” Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco said. “We’d like to see both teams pin their ears back. Any time you get that kind of thing involved in the game, it’s not good for us and it’s not good to watch. I hope everybody plays good football and (the officials) let us go after each other.”

This is coming from someone who hasn’t benefited from the extra protection the NFL tries to give quarterbacks. The league has privately acknowledged 11 of 12 hits on Flacco that should have drawn personal foul penalties since the start of the 2009 season weren’t properly called on the field, FOXSports.com has learned.

Asked if the NFL’s stronger enforcement of safety rules has made a difference, Flacco said, “I have not noticed one thing.”

“If it is a penalty, that’s all I want,” Flacco continued. “I don’t want them to get fined a week afterward. I’ve gotten hit in the head and we haven’t had any roughing-the-passer calls. There’s been several over the past couple of years and we don’t get penalties … I just hope it gets called evenly both ways.”

Conversely, Johnson said he does detect a slight change in the way defenders are playing because of the NFL’s push to eliminate helmet blows.

“Guys on crossing routes, they’re aiming lower,” said Johnson, an eight-year NFL veteran. “You see some guys backing off a little bit. But for the most part, when you’re playing you can’t think about that stuff. You’ve got to play. If they fine you, you’ve just got to eat the fine.

“It sucks.”

Some of the most memorable moments in Steelers-Ravens history involved helmet-to-helmet contact. Baltimore players were on the receiving end of most. Clark sent running back Willis McGahee to the hospital in an ambulance with a crushing blow following a catch in the AFC Championship Game two seasons ago.

Not even Baltimore’s defensive players are immune. Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward — known for his controversial blocking style — once broke Rod Woodson’s nose and knocked fellow safety Ed Reed woozy.

In today’s NFL, such shots would draw fines and a possible suspension, especially if there were a pattern to such actions.

Pittsburgh’s defense has drawn four personal fouls in a two-game span that featured 24 overall team infractions. Tomlin says his team is re-emphasizing the proper tackling technique during practice.

“We’re going to do the very best we can to try and play within the rules, play hard and play fair,” Tomlin told me and co-host Rich Gannon earlier this week on Sirius NFL Radio. “That’s all we can control. We’re not going to get too out of whack when it comes to dealing with these things as long as I’m seeing guys doing everything within their power to play within the rules.”

Ravens coach John Harbaugh’s safety push has paid higher dividends. He said Baltimore began emphasizing defensive contact between the neck and waist before the 2009 season began.

“The No. 1 thing needs to be player safety,” Harbaugh said. “If you’re in a vulnerable position and you can’t protect yourself … your head should be protected. I can’t imagine that any player can disagree with that.

“What the definitions are and all that, that’s always open for conversation. We should continue to have those conversations. But when you launch yourself into the head in a guy who can’t see it coming or defend himself, that’s going to be against the rules.”

Harbaugh cited Ravens future Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis as a player who re-educated himself.

“He’s just as physical as he’s ever been,” Harbaugh said. “But he’s been doing it within the rules, I think out of respect for the guys he’s been going against. It’s been very successful.”

Success on Sunday night is imperative for everyone involved in the game. The Steelers-Ravens winner will claim the AFC North lead with a 9-3 record. As for McAulay and Co., a well-officiated game will quiet Pittsburgh’s griping and reaffirm the NFL’s championing of its officials’ accuracy.

“It’s still going to be everything it’s always been,” Harbaugh said of a series decided by an average margin of 4.4 points in the past seven games. (Pittsburgh holds a 4-3 edge.)

“It’s going to be physical. It’s going to be hard-fought. It’s going to be close. It’s going to be tough. It’s going to be the great rivalry it’s always been.”

We can only hope.

http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/pitt ... es-120310- (http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/pittsburgh-steelers-baltimore-ravens-battle-referees-120310-)

Flasteel
12-05-2010, 12:22 AM
http://i55.tinypic.com/29fbjbd.jpg

I had to throw out the old Photoshop of that pic. :tt2

hawaiiansteel
12-06-2010, 10:04 PM
Steelers-Ravens Game Showcases Inconsistency in NFL Officiating, Gives Steelers Right to Complain

by Ben Carsley on Mon, Dec 6, 2010


When Steelers' President Art Rooney II claimed that the Steelers were being unfairly targeted by officiating crews just two days earlier in the week, fans across the NFL likely rolled their eyes.

After several missed calls hurt the Steelers during their 13-10 victory in Baltimore on Sunday, it would appear as though they have a legitimate beef.

Whereas the Steelers -- linebacker James Harrison in particular – have been flagged for numerous questionable offenses this season, the Steelers fell victim to two non-calls on Sunday. The first missed call came on Pittsburgh's first drive of the game, when Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata appeared to break Ben Roethlsiberger's nose on what should have been an illegal-hands-to-the-face penalty.

http://photos.triblive.com/photos/PITT/1129481/33037601E.jpg

The second, far more egregious missed call came on a vicious hit on Steelers tight end Heath Miller by Ravens linebacker Jameel McClain, who hit a defenseless Miller, knocking him out of the game with a concussion.

Neither play drew a flag, but both -- especially the Miller hit -- were arguably far worse than any of the infractions Harrison has been penalized and fined for this season. Such missed calls give some credence to the Steelers' claims that they are being unfairly targeted by the NFL.

Following the NFL's Week 6 -- a particularly violent week that saw DeSean Jackson of the Eagles, Dunta Robinson of the Falcons, Dallas Clark of the Colts, and Mohamed Massaquoi and Josh Cribbs of the Browns suffer head injuries -- the league embarked on a campaign to limit player injuries by enforcing a harsh crackdown on helmet-to-helmet hits. Robinson, Harrison and Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather were fined heftily for their respective hits, and players across the league were warned that officials would be stricter than ever when it came to flagging players for using their heads while tackling.

While the NFL's sentiments were noble, their execution of the enforcement of the new rules has left much to be desired. Players are confused over what does and doesn't constitute a legal hit, and the league has been inconsistent at best in the way it has fined and flagged players.

Some players, like Harrison, have been fined large amounts for hits that were deemed legal during games, while others have not been fined for hits that have been ruled penalties on the field.

What has many fans and players even more confused is that players such as Richard Seymour, Andre Johnson and Cortland Finnegan, have been fined less money after-the-whistle fighting than those players who have been disciplined for making legitimate plays in games. Seymour, Johnson and Finnegan all received $25,000 fines for fighting, while Harrison has been fined a total of $125,000 for several separate hits this season.

The fining system has been so random that many marquee players, such as Hines Ward, Brian Urlacher and Charles Woodson, have vocally expressed their displeasure with the way the NFL has dealt with these issues. Ward went so far as to call the league "hypocritical," and said they merely want to make it seem like they're protecting players so they can expand the regular season schedule to 18 games in the near future.

While such a claim is unlikely, it can no longer be considered unreasonable for the Steelers to suggest that they have received the short-end of the officiating stick this season.

The NFL's initiative to improve player safety is a good thing, and is a movement that shouldn't be so quickly dismissed by fans or players. Sure, current players might be unhappy with some calls right now, but if the tradeoff is improved health for them in the future, their temporary frustration will be well worth it.

But what players and fans have every right to ask for is consistency in officiating, and that's something that's been sorely lacking so far this season.

Never was its absence more noticeable than on Sunday night.

http://www.nesn.com/2010/12/steelers-ravens-game-showcases-inconsistency-in-nfl-officiating-gives-steelers-right-to-complain.html

msp26505
12-07-2010, 09:02 AM
The fines were too small and probably would have never been levied had the game not been a national game and the announcers not questioned the calls repeatedly.

But the bigger thing is that these hits should be penalties.

Steeler drives should have been extended and field position been improved. We have seen numerous occasions this year where the Steelers lost a considerable amount of potential real estate or had drives stall after non-calls that are more egregious then calls that go against the Steelers...often in the same game.

ikestops85
12-07-2010, 12:04 PM
I do visit the forums of other teams and the sentiment is changing about the Steelers. On both the bengals and seahawks boards people have said words to the effect of

"I thought the Steeler fans and players were just whiners but after this game I'm not so sure. There were several blatant infractions that had to be seen by the officials but they weren't called."

I just hope the media keeps the story alive. Goodell hates the bad PR and will have to do something if it continues.

Ghost
12-07-2010, 01:49 PM
I read a post on another board where a guy said - you know it's bad when a Pat's fan thinks the Steelers are getting screwed. Real fans are taking notice.

I think it's funny that this week, following a ton of talk (from players on the Steelers and other teams) about them being targeted and then the huge denials from the NFL, that they just flat out disregarded the rules on 2 hits against the Steelers. Makes them look so stupid.

hawaiiansteel
12-13-2010, 09:04 PM
Steelers President Weighs In On Hits, Fines

December 13, 2010 5:45 PM

http://cbspittsburgh.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/artrooney.jpg?w=320

Steelers President Art Rooney (Photo: KDKA)

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — With six Super Bowl championship celebrations, Steelers fans have grown used to success and they don’t take too kindly to anything that puts those winning ways in jeopardy.

Fans and players alike have expressed frustration over the NFL’s recent crackdown on hits — particularly with Steelers linebacker James Harrison shelling out $125,000 in fines on four separate occasions this season.

KDKA-TV’s Rick Dayton recently had a chance to sit down with team president, Art Rooney III, to get his thoughts on hard hits, fines and what his grandfather The Chief might think about the state of the game right now.

“I think our fans want to think that the games are being officiated fairly and in a consistent way,” Rooney told KDKA, “and so that’s why you get some of the questions that have come up in some of our games. And it’s been an unusual year — there’s no question about it — for our team.”

Unusual is one way to describe it.

While there are many more wins than losses as another playoff run draws near, the fines have also piled up quickly against Harrison.

“There have been some challenges, no question about it,” continued Rooney, “but I think our guys are doing a good job of trying to make sure we are playing within the rules and are not doing things that can hurt the team when it comes to what might happen with penalties.”

Against the Raiders in November, the Steelers were flagged for a team record 163 yards and Oakland Defensive Lineman Richard Seymour was tossed from the game for a shot to Ben Roethlisberger’s jaw. The league later fined Seymour $25,000.

Rooney says the Steelers simply want consistency in the calls.

“The league has put a new emphasis on discipline on hits that are against the rules,” Rooney continued, “and I think everybody is really trying to understand how the discipline is going to be applied.”

When asked what his grandfather might do or say about all the fines and debates over officiating, Rooney paused for a minute and then said he’s sure of one thing: The Chief would have made his point to the league, but it would have been a private conversation — behind closed doors.

http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2010/12/ ... its-fines/ (http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2010/12/13/steelers-president-weighs-in-on-hits-fines/)

Sugar
12-13-2010, 09:09 PM
When people talk about the Steeler way of doing things, I think Art II is right about this. It's better to deal with this in private as opposed to the ownership whining in the press. Sure, you get your fans on your side, but you also run the risk of alienating other owners that you may need in the future.

hawaiiansteel
12-14-2010, 02:36 AM
Rooney: Roethlisberger’s Headed In Right Direction

By Rick Dayton
December 13, 2010 6:15 PM


PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — From his off-season troubles in Georgia to a broken nose, it’s been quite a year for Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger; but team president Art Rooney says he thinks Number 7 is getting his life back on the right track.

“I think Ben has made some changes in his life, has recognized that he needs to do some things to make sure he is the kind of person and kind of leader on this team that he can be,” Rooney told KDKA, “and I think he has done a good job with it.”

The 2010 season started with Big Ben nowhere in sight. The NFL took care of that with a six game suspension that was reduced to four — giving Roethlisberger plenty of time to think.

“He’s got to continue to keep his guard up and number one work hard on the field and obviously be a good person off the field,” Rooney added, “and he’s certainly doing a good job in both regards.”

“I think he’s where we want him to be at this point,” Rooney told KDKA-TV’s Rick Dayton. “He’s working hard as a football player. He’s doing things off the field that I think people are proud of what he’s doing, and I think he certainly has his life headed back in the right direction here and hopefully on the field he’s going to continue to be successful for us.”

But it has been challenging for Roethlisberger on the field this season — with a broken nose and injured foot taking a toll on the Steelers signal caller.

“No question guys are bigger, stronger, faster and those are the kind of challenges the league is trying to deal with in terms of making sure it continues to be a safe game to play,” Rooney added, “and that’s part of what’s been going on this season is kind of adjusting to some of that.”

Through it all, though, Rooney says the Steelers have their sights set on another run deep into the playoffs.

“I think the thing we have in front of us is an opportunity and I think that’s really all you can ask for. We have an opportunity. We put ourselves in the driver’s seat and so now we just need to take care of business. Every week is going to be a challenge.”

http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2010/12/ ... hlisberger (http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2010/12/13/rooney-roethlisberger)’s-headed-in-right-direction/

Northern_Blitz
12-14-2010, 10:56 AM
When asked what his grandfather might do or say about all the fines and debates over officiating, Rooney paused for a minute and then said he’s sure of one thing: The Chief would have made his point to the league, but it would have been a private conversation — behind closed doors.

I think this is his way of telling fans that they're letting the league know how they feel, they're just not doing it in front of the cameras because it would hurt the league.

Maybe the fact that he's now doing an interview is telling the league that if the BS continues they will start to air their laundry for the media.