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Thread: Starkey: Anti-Steelers conspiracy?

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    Default Starkey: Anti-Steelers conspiracy?

    Starkey: Anti-Steelers conspiracy?

    Thursday, December 2, 2010

    Next time James Harrison has a quarterback in his sights, he should forgo the idea of, you know, tackling him and consider three other options, all of which carry minimal consequences or none at all within the NFL's crack justice system:

    Sucker punch the quarterback in the jaw.

    Rip the dude's helmet off and pound his skull like a slab of beef.

    Wait 'til he drops to his knees, then leap on his back with full body weight and twist his limbs like light bulbs.

    Why not? Such actions apparently do not merit any more of a punishment than what Harrison got for attempting to make a legal tackle and perhaps doing so the other day in Buffalo.

    What a league. As an entertainment entity, it is a brilliant, raging success. As a de facto court of law, it is a laughable farce.

    Miraculously, commissioner Roger Goodell & Co. have almost managed to make wacko Steelers conspiracy theorists seem sane. Those people believe the league is out to get their team, as if damaging one of the NFL's flagship franchises would be a productive move, as if Dan Rooney wasn't one of Goodell's most influential backers when the owners hired Goodell.

    Nobody's out to get the Steelers.

    It just looks that way.

    I mean, even mortal enemies such as Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs will tell you Harrison has been singled out. He said as much Wednesday, on a conference call, opining that Harrison has been "red-flagged."

    "If he breathes on a quarterback, he might get a flag," Suggs said. "They're looking at him more closely than anyone in the league."

    Without question, Steelers players believe their team has been unfairly targeted. Consider their reaction to Harrison's hit on Buffalo quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.

    The on-field official said Harrison used the crown of his helmet. He didn't. I haven't defended all of Harrison's questionable hits, but this was a bad call. Yet, the league re-defined the play and fined Harrison $25,000.

    Safety Ryan Clark's take: "We know the NFL is going to protect quarterbacks all of them except ours."

    Who can blame him for thinking that way, when abusers of his quarterback have faced such paltry punishment? Two weeks ago, Raiders lineman Richard Seymour a repeat offender sucker-punched Ben Roethlisberger in the head as the latter went to celebrate a touchdown.

    Talk about a defenseless player. Talk about an egregious head shot.

    Yet, Seymour was not suspended. He was ejected from a game that was rapidly becoming a blowout and fined $25,000. Somehow, his assault fell into the category of "fight," so he was subjected to NFL's fine scale for fighting.

    Which raises a question: What's to stop somebody from cold-cocking a quarterback late in a blowout when all he'll face is an ejection and a puny fine?

    More to the point, why wouldn't a coach instruct a player to do exactly that, especially if the quarterback in question might be facing his team in the playoffs in a few weeks?

    That'd be nice: NFL teams hiring goons, just like the NHL.

    Speaking of hockey, you must have seen Texans receiver Andre Johnson rip the helmet off Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan something a hockey player would do and pummel him. Finnegan (repeat offender) instigated the bout with a two-hand shiver to Johnson's face.

    Both were given game misconducts, er, ejections, but the game was already in the fourth quarter, so how much weight did that punishment carry? Neither player was suspended. Johnson is free to play in tonight's NFL Network game against the Eagles. He and Finnegan were fined $25,000 apiece.

    Same as Harrison.

    By its actions, the NFL has equated a brawl with a borderline hit on a quarterback.

    Meanwhile, there wasn't even a flag thrown in Buffalo when Roethlisberger went to his knees and 310-pound Marcus Stroud jumped on his back, and stayed there, as teammate Arthur Moats twisted Roethlisberger's leg and gave him a hockey-style facewash.

    Hines Ward had the perfect word to describe the NFL yesterday, specifically relating to the league's alleged concern for player safety even as it pushes for an 18-game season:


    It's easy to see why Roethlisberger answered the way he did, too, when asked if Seymour's punishment would have been harsher if he'd clocked Peyton Manning or Tom Brady.

    "We all know the answer to that one," he said. "Easy."

    I disagree. I don't think the league is out to get the Steelers.

    I'm just having a hard time proving it right now.

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    Default Re: Starkey: Anti-Steelers conspiracy?

    Photo shows hold of Harrison
    By: Mike Bires
    Beaver County Times
    Wednesday December 1, 2010

    PITTSBURGH — For conspiracy theorists who believe the NFL is out to get James Harrison, there’s ammunition hanging on the wall outside the Steelers’ locker room.

    Each week, team photographer Mike Fabus mounts photos that he took during the Steelers’ previous game. One of the photos this week shows Harrison clearly being held by Buffalo tackle Demetrius Bell.

    The picture shows Bell grabbing Harrison's jersey as the Steelers' star linebacker chased Bills Ryan Fitzpatrick.

    But neither referee John Parry nor umpire Dan Ferrell, who are both positioned behind the offense when a play starts, made the correct call.

    In the win, the Steelers were flagged 12 times including six times for holding. Four of the holding calls went against left guard Chris Kemoeatu, who said only two of them were legitimate. The Bills were penalized only four times, not once for holding … even though Fabus’ picture proves beyond doubt that Harrison was held at least once.

    “They can’t see when I’m getting held, but they can obviously see something that I don’t think is there,” said Harrison, who was penalized in Buffalo — and then fined $25,000 on Tuesday — for roughing the passer.
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    Default Re: Starkey: Anti-Steelers conspiracy?

    Goodell & goons needs taken to court and charged with discrimination and attempted game fixing.

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