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Thread: Starkey: James Harrison should quit complaining

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    Starkey: James Harrison should quit complaining

    Starkey: Harrison should quit complaining

    By Joe Starkey, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
    Thursday, May 26, 2011


    Apparently, there are at least two angry James Harrisons in the world.

    One is a well-known Steelers linebacker with the Twitter handle @jharrison9292 and 46,156 followers. The other is a budding computer scientist, a self-described "geek, hacker, coder, developer and builder of many things" living in Oxford, England, going by the handle @jamesharrison with 361 followers.

    Guess which one has a blog titled "Talk Unafraid — The (occasionally coherent) ramblings of a geek?"

    That would be the second James Harrison, who looks nothing like a linebacker but very much like a character from "Revenge of the Nerds." He is a second-year student at the University of London (which, I believe, appears on Penn State's non-conference football schedule in 2012).

    For all their differences, the two sound remarkably alike. Consider some recent tweets ...

    Geek: "Whoever thought merging keyboard and mouse ports into a single PS/2 connection is an utter idiot."

    Linebacker: "I'm absolutely sure now after this last rule change that the people making the rules at the NFL are idiots."

    Somebody — certainly not me — should tell @jharrison9292 that the people making the rules at the NFL include his team president, Art Rooney II.

    That doesn't mean Rooney was totally in favor of the latest tweaks on head shots, but he was one of the owners who ratified them by a unanimous vote of 32-0.

    Truly, the latest legislation isn't much more than an affirmation of last year's crackdown on launching and head hits — which happened to cost @jharrison9292 more money ($100,000) than any player in the league. The caveat is that teams now could be fined if their players exceed a yet-to-be determined threshold of flagrant fouls.

    Ejections also are possible if officials deem a hit egregious enough.

    I'm all for holding teams accountable. The Steelers flipped out last season, maybe in a good way, deeming the NFL's crackdown a personal affront and using it to fuel to their improbable run to the Super Bowl. It was them against the football world. Everybody from Harrison to Troy Polamalu to Hines Ward ripped the NFL.

    But the key phrase above is to the Super Bowl. The Steelers got there, proof they could thrive in spite of whatever changes the league made. The rules did not and will not change the Steelers' personality. They will remain the most physical defense around.

    Somebody — certainly not me — should tell @jharrison9292 to get over himself and adjust to the rules like everybody else. His constant whining, which included the ludicrous threat to retire last season, does nothing but make him look bad and turn himself and his team into a target.

    The rule is clear: Don't be a missile. Don't launch yourself head-first into a defenseless player, and don't hit a defenseless player in the head.

    If the worst that comes of it is players such as @jharrison9292 passing up the occasional video-game kill shot, so be it. The game will continue to provide us with heaping helpings of the violence we crave.

    Was anyone complaining about a lack of physicality in last year's Steelers-Ravens playoff game? Of course not. As I sit here, I'm looking at a photograph from that day, showing @jharrison9292 burying Joe Flacco face-first in the turf with a perfectly legal hit (I'm also looking at a tweet from @jamesharrison that reads, "Sobriety is overrated. Massively").

    A week earlier, the New York Jets played one of the finest defensive games you'll ever see. They blew up the New England Patriots' blocking schemes and made Tom Brady look like a rookie — and did so without launching themselves into players' skulls. They were Jets, not missiles.

    Punishing defense is possible within the parameters of the new NFL. Maybe @jharrison9292 should take a harder look at himself and realize he was the only Steelers player who had multiple issues with hits on defenseless players last season.

    Somebody — certainly not me — better tell this guy to clam up and play. This isn't the end of the world. The end of the world was predicted for last Saturday, you'll remember, and did not happen, which prompted a legendary tweet from our computer scientist, heretofore known as Jimmy the Geek:

    "I wouldn't really mind if it was the end of the world. At least it'd be decisive."

    He sounds angry.

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    Re: Starkey: James Harrison should quit complaining

    What a load of Crap !

    The rule is clear: Don't be a missile. Don't launch yourself head-first into a defenseless player, and don't hit a defenseless player in the head.
    Yeah - ask John Harbaugh how CLEAR the rule is. Everyone thinks the rules are clear until they are fined for doing something that is not clear. Harbaugh was all proud that HIS team adjusted to the rules and that Harrison needed to learn as well. And just after making his stupid statement, Harbaugh's own player was fined for a hit that he THOUGHT was clean.

    Harrison's hit on Massaquoi was only to the head because Massaqoi lowered HIS head at the last second.

    Goddell is on record saying that it will always be the fault of the defensive player, even in situations where the offensive player lowers his head at the last second.

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    Re: Starkey: James Harrison should quit complaining

    Quote Originally Posted by Eich
    What a load of Crap !

    The rule is clear: Don't be a missile. Don't launch yourself head-first into a defenseless player, and don't hit a defenseless player in the head.
    Yeah - ask John Harbaugh how CLEAR the rule is. Everyone thinks the rules are clear until they are fined for doing something that is not clear. Harbaugh was all proud that HIS team adjusted to the rules and that Harrison needed to learn as well. And just after making his stupid statement, Harbaugh's own player was fined for a hit that he THOUGHT was clean.

    Harrison's hit on Massaquoi was only to the head because Massaqoi lowered HIS head at the last second.

    Goddell is on record saying that it will always be the fault of the defensive player, even in situations where the offensive player lowers his head at the last second.


    It's going to take the officials weeks of training to try and interpret these rules and come game time (if we have games) they will still be inconsistent. I really have some sympathy for the officials having to make sense out of this mess.
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    Re: Starkey: James Harrison should quit complaining

    Harrison clarifies his position on rules changes and ‘idiots’

    By Doug Farrar
    Thu May 26



    The one problem with calling an entire group of people "idiots" and leaving it at that is that it tends to eliminate the more complex underpinnings of your argument. Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison(notes) must have discovered this when he threw that particular phrase at the NFL owners, executives and coaches who put together the rules that seem forwarded to one interest above all others: increasing player safety for the purpose of either reducing debilitating injuries or increasing the momentum for an 18-game season, depending on which side of the argument you believe.

    So, in the interest of getting his entire argument out there, Harrison started a blog and specified his position. And when you read it (which you can do after the jump), it seems that Harrison does have some valid arguments. The rules changes put into place during the 2010 season were reactionary at best, and the implementation of those rules on a week-to-week basis had the same "ready, fire, aim!" feeling common to many of Roger Goodell's policies. Referees often seemed clueless as to the kinds of judgment calls they were supposed to make — and as much as I'm of the opinion that many NFL officials are fodder for high school games instead of the pros, they're also put in untenable positions by impulsive decisions that they then have to enforce. You do not want these guys making more judgment calls.

    It's also easy to argue that certain players were targeted by Ray Anderson and a rules committee that seemed to enjoy its function a bit too much at times. Where I do not agree with Harrison is when he hypothesizes that this is some sort of anti-Steelers conspiracy — watch the way refs had a microscope on Detroit's Ndamukong Suh(notes) late in his rookie season, and it's pretty clear that the profiling had more to do with players who ran afoul of Anderson's idea of how football should be played. I do not believe that the NFL has a "poster child," but I do think there is profiling going on, and that it needs to stop if games are to be called evenly and fairly.

    In any case, here's Harrison's point of view — it's quite a bit deeper than, "The rules guys are idiots," though it doesn't exclude that point from being correct as well.
    It's been weighing heavy on my mind all day, so I figure I might as well just let it out. I want to make it clear that I am all for player safety. I don't disagree with all of the rule changes.

    But come on…REALLY? Now you have to wait until a guy catches, or even worse, you have to let them catch the ball before you can even attempt to tackle him. Along with that, you cannot let any part of your helmet or facemask touch any part of them basically from the chest up. If you are following the letter of the rules exactly, now most tackles, if not ALL tackles can be flagged, fined and/or result in ejection from that game, or future game(s).

    I understand the intent behind making the rules, but in their attempt to make the game safer, they are actually clouding what is allowable. Even the referees are confused. A close look will show you that the referees were calling things that were not even supposed to be called, and NOT calling things that were actually illegal.

    The decision to call a penalty or impose a fine is seemingly, at least some of the time, dependent upon the uniform and the player. After my meeting this past fall with Roger Goodell, Ray Anderson, and Merton Hanks and some others, who I now have absolutely no respect for (to keep it PG), I definitely believe there is no equality in their enforcement of these rules.

    These rules are targeting hard hitting players and defenses i.e. STEELERS. I guess the NFL needed a poster child for their campaign.

    The quarterback rule clarification (Rule 12, Section 2, Article 13) is a great change. But that's just saying "Hey Steelers..by the way…Ben's nose getting broken last year really did not deserve a penalty."

    I know there are hits out there that could go either way, but if it's me I already know which way they are going to go. I love this game, but I hate what they are trying to turn it into.

    I wonder why the NFL is suddenly coming down so hard on player's safety issues. I can't help but think it's not actually for the safety of the players.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/blog/shutdo ... nfl-wp2193

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    Re: Starkey: James Harrison should quit complaining

    I'm just waiting for the colts or pats to lose a game on the last drive because their defense stopped the other team but hit 'illegally' so the other team got a first down. Then manning, brady and everyone else will start crying about how bad the rule is.

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    Re: Starkey: James Harrison should quit complaining

    Wonder how Starkey would like it if the powers that be changed the rules of journalism so that it was nearly impossible for him to do his job? Betcha he would complain, too.

    The more these guys write, the bigger tools they make themselves look like.

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    Re: Starkey: James Harrison should quit complaining

    Quote Originally Posted by BradshawsHairdresser
    Wonder how Starkey would like it if the powers that be changed the rules of journalism so that it was nearly impossible for him to do his job? Betcha he would complain, too.

    The more these guys write, the bigger tools they make themselves look like.
    Yeah, at first it's a $100 fine for a dangling participle. Okay. Then $500 for a split infinitive. Ugh. Suddenly, the powers that be go too far and just ban all adjectives. What? Adjectives are a critical part of being able to express the English language in written form. Writing without adjectives would be like football without tackling!

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    Re: Starkey: James Harrison should quit complaining

    Cook: Harrison's remarks out of line

    Friday, May 27, 2011
    By Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


    Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall tweeted earlier this month that it's wrong to celebrate the death of another human being, even Osama bin Laden. That's OK. We live in America. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinions, even an NFL player.

    Steelers linebacker James Harrison tweeted Wednesday that the people who make the rules in the NFL are "idiots" and said league officials are targeting the Steelers with their tougher player-safety rules. That's unacceptable. Forget freedom of speech in this case. Harrison, in essence, called his boss -- Steelers president Art Rooney II -- an "idiot" because Rooney voted for the rules changes. Beyond that, he violated the Mike Tomlin rule. "I'm not opposed to guys tweeting or facebooking or whatever they do," the coach has said. "Just don't tweet about my business."

    I have no problem with Mendenhall's tweet.

    I have a big problem with Harrison's.

    For one thing, Harrison was wrong about the NFL targeting the Steelers. They weren't targeted last season when the St. Louis Rams led the league in penalties with 126 and the Steelers ranked 24th with 86, and the Oakland Raiders led in penalty yards with 1,161 and the Steelers were 25th with 716. The Steelers made it to the Super Bowl, which wouldn't have happened if the NFL had some sort of conspiracy against them. The Steelers also aren't being targeted now. The tougher rules are for the safety of all the players, including Harrison and his teammates. Sometimes, players need to be protected from themselves.

    It also was incredibly arrogant on Harrison's part to suggest the new, more stringent rules are designed to take some of the toughness out of the Steelers' defense. He wasn't alone there. Teammate LaMarr Woodley tweeted, "lol im sorry that im not sorry we hit 2 hard." Like the Steelers are the only defense that hits hard? Try selling that opinion in Baltimore. Or New York. Or a lot of other NFL cities. Certainly, the Steelers' defense wasn't all that tough and intimidating against the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV, was it?

    In a way, it's understandable why Harrison feels targeted by the NFL office. He was fined $100,000 last season for what the league determined were dirty hits, more than any player. But Harrison needs to look in the mirror once in awhile. Maybe the reason he was fined so much is that he didn't play by the rules. Of course, blaming commissioner Roger Goodell and discipline czars Ray Anderson and Merton Hanks -- "who I now have absolutely no respect for," Harrison blogged Thursday -- is so much easier than blaming himself.

    "I guess the NFL needed a poster child for their campaign," Harrison said in that same blog. "I know there are hits out there that go either way, but if it's me I already know which way they are going to go."

    Calling Goodell and the others "idiots" is going to help that situation?

    That can't possibly help Harrison and the Steelers.

    That's what I mean about him violating the Tomlin rule.

    Harrison blogged that he is "all for player safety," but then said later, "I love this game, but I hate what they are trying to turn it into."

    Is it just me or is that contradictory?

    This is just another case of Harrison overreacting. He did it in October after he was fined $75,000 (later reduced to $50,000) for a hit on Cleveland Browns wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi when he threatened to quit football. Like he was going to walk away from his $51.75 million contract? Harrison also did it at the Super Bowl when he used his media-day pulpit to mock Goodell. He came across sounding awfully foolish that day, especially when he was asked if he might not think differently about player safety if he's 50 and mentally disabled because of hits to his head that really weren't necessary for him to be known as a fierce player or for him to get that huge contract. "I'm not worried about that," Harrison replied. "It's part of the game. We signed up for this. It's not a touchy, feely game. I've said it many times. I'm willing to go through hell so my kids don't have to."

    My guess is that Harrison doesn't feel so strongly about his principles that he will follow through with his retirement threat any time soon. That $51.75 million contract, remember? He will show up at Steelers headquarters, whenever the NFL lockout ends. He then will have two choices: Do a better job of adjusting to the new rules or continue to pay the big fines and, ultimately, be suspended.

    Harrison is a tough character, as tough as any player in the NFL. But this is a fight he can't win. The league is too strong. The game is bigger than him, any player or any team.

    Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11147/11 ... z1NWrijM74

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    Re: Starkey: James Harrison should quit complaining

    Quote Originally Posted by hawaiiansteel
    Cook: Harrison's remarks out of line

    Friday, May 27, 2011
    By Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


    Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall tweeted earlier this month that it's wrong to celebrate the death of another human being, even Osama bin Laden. That's OK. We live in America. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinions, even an NFL player.

    Steelers linebacker James Harrison tweeted Wednesday that the people who make the rules in the NFL are "idiots" and said league officials are targeting the Steelers with their tougher player-safety rules. That's unacceptable. Forget freedom of speech in this case. Harrison, in essence, called his boss -- Steelers president Art Rooney II -- an "idiot" because Rooney voted for the rules changes. Beyond that, he violated the Mike Tomlin rule. "I'm not opposed to guys tweeting or facebooking or whatever they do," the coach has said. "Just don't tweet about my business."

    I have no problem with Mendenhall's tweet.

    I have a big problem with Harrison's.

    For one thing, Harrison was wrong about the NFL targeting the Steelers. They weren't targeted last season when the St. Louis Rams led the league in penalties with 126 and the Steelers ranked 24th with 86, and the Oakland Raiders led in penalty yards with 1,161 and the Steelers were 25th with 716. The Steelers made it to the Super Bowl, which wouldn't have happened if the NFL had some sort of conspiracy against them. The Steelers also aren't being targeted now. The tougher rules are for the safety of all the players, including Harrison and his teammates. Sometimes, players need to be protected from themselves.

    It also was incredibly arrogant on Harrison's part to suggest the new, more stringent rules are designed to take some of the toughness out of the Steelers' defense. He wasn't alone there. Teammate LaMarr Woodley tweeted, "lol im sorry that im not sorry we hit 2 hard." Like the Steelers are the only defense that hits hard? Try selling that opinion in Baltimore. Or New York. Or a lot of other NFL cities. Certainly, the Steelers' defense wasn't all that tough and intimidating against the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV, was it?

    In a way, it's understandable why Harrison feels targeted by the NFL office. He was fined $100,000 last season for what the league determined were dirty hits, more than any player. But Harrison needs to look in the mirror once in awhile. Maybe the reason he was fined so much is that he didn't play by the rules. Of course, blaming commissioner Roger Goodell and discipline czars Ray Anderson and Merton Hanks -- "who I now have absolutely no respect for," Harrison blogged Thursday -- is so much easier than blaming himself.

    "I guess the NFL needed a poster child for their campaign," Harrison said in that same blog. "I know there are hits out there that go either way, but if it's me I already know which way they are going to go."

    Calling Goodell and the others "idiots" is going to help that situation?

    That can't possibly help Harrison and the Steelers.

    That's what I mean about him violating the Tomlin rule.

    Harrison blogged that he is "all for player safety," but then said later, "I love this game, but I hate what they are trying to turn it into."

    Is it just me or is that contradictory?

    This is just another case of Harrison overreacting. He did it in October after he was fined $75,000 (later reduced to $50,000) for a hit on Cleveland Browns wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi when he threatened to quit football. Like he was going to walk away from his $51.75 million contract? Harrison also did it at the Super Bowl when he used his media-day pulpit to mock Goodell. He came across sounding awfully foolish that day, especially when he was asked if he might not think differently about player safety if he's 50 and mentally disabled because of hits to his head that really weren't necessary for him to be known as a fierce player or for him to get that huge contract. "I'm not worried about that," Harrison replied. "It's part of the game. We signed up for this. It's not a touchy, feely game. I've said it many times. I'm willing to go through hell so my kids don't have to."

    My guess is that Harrison doesn't feel so strongly about his principles that he will follow through with his retirement threat any time soon. That $51.75 million contract, remember? He will show up at Steelers headquarters, whenever the NFL lockout ends. He then will have two choices: Do a better job of adjusting to the new rules or continue to pay the big fines and, ultimately, be suspended.

    Harrison is a tough character, as tough as any player in the NFL. But this is a fight he can't win. The league is too strong. The game is bigger than him, any player or any team.
    Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11147/11 ... z1NWrijM74
    Lets also not forget that the league is bigger than Herr Goodell and the owners. Its the fans that this game belongs to and this tinkering with rules on how to tackle is emasculating it beyond what we want to see.
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    Re: Starkey: James Harrison should quit complaining

    He also made no mention of the unwarranted 6 game suspension of our qb. If there was ever team being targeted it was us. How much you think Harrison wold get fined if he broke Flacco's nose?
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