Blog Entry

NFL denies James Harrison's suspension appeal

Posted on: December 16, 2011 10:54 am
Edited on: December 16, 2011 2:48 pm
By Will Brinson

The NFL denied Harrison's appeal of his one-game suspension(Getty Images)

Steelers linebacker James Harrison was suspended one game by the NFL this week. He also filed an expedited appeal, and the NFL announced on Friday that his appeal was denied, meaning Harrison will miss the Steelers game against San Francisco Monday.

James Harrison suspended

It's hardly a surprise that Harrison's suspension held up, although because of the way of the hit on Browns quarterback Colt McCoy unfolded (McCoy became a runner and then decided to pass at the last second), there was a possibility of the punishment being overturned.

"It is clear from the video that you squared up and led with the crown of your helmet when you contacted Colt McCoy," on-field appeals officer Ted Cottrell, who heard the appeal, said in a letter to Harrison. "This is precisely the technique that you must avoid using as a defender. I have determined that your actions were particularly egregious and warranted the discipline imposed by Ray Anderson."

The linebacker's history of violent and/or flagrant hits (the NFL says Harrison's been punished five times for illegal hits on a quarterback) contributed to his punishment and clearly the appeal as well.

 "I'm not surprised. You're appealing to the same people who put the suspension in place, so no, I'm not surprised at all," Steelers safety Ryan Clark said. "I don't care about the league's message anymore. It's about us as a football team playing the type of football that's going to help us win championships, despite who gets suspended, despite who gets fined.

"We're going to try to play within the rules. We're going to stop fighting this battle of talking to them. That's what this is about."

Harrison's hit on McCoy led to plenty of controversy -- not only with Harrison's suspension and Mike Tomlin telling Steelers players to keep quiet, either. McCoy was never checked for a concussion and re-entered the game.

Additionally, the NFL is reportedly set to start handing out lengthy suspensions for on-field violations.

"Like I said on Wednesday, my disappointment is for James," Clark said. "He's been trying really hard to comply with what's being asked of him. For him to be suspended for this situation, to us, is disheartening. To me, it was a between-the-whistle play. They're making an example out of him for it this year. I don't think it's right.

"We have to continue playing and just roll with the punches and try to win games without one of our best players."

Harrison's suspension was the first for an "illegal hit" and he could potentially miss multiple games if he doesn't change his approach to playing defense.

"Oh well. It is what it is," Harrison told Josina Anderson of ESPN. "That's the decision I was expecting anyways. I'll deal with it and move on."

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Since: Dec 16, 2011
Posted on: December 16, 2011 11:31 am

NFL denies James Harrison's suspension appeal

The game of football has been played with aggression for over 100 years. It is why it is called tackle football. As players got bigger and stronger, the hits needed to get bigger in order to jar the ball loose. James Harrison was taught at a very young age by coaches at all levels that this is how to be successful in this game. And just because he does it better than most, he has suffered fines and now a suspension. With decisions like this, the NFL is no longer a league that I respect. I agree with another post that Roger Goodell has to go. He is nothing more than a mouthpiece of the owners. He and his band of lawyers that run the NFL these days are ruining the sport. In a few years, there will be more positions on the field that can't be tackled than can be tackled. It is already becoming flag football-like. I became a Steelers fan in the early 70's because I like their style of play. And they play smashmouth football better than anyone else. Is it a surprise that they have 6 Lombardi Trophies? Stop this madness!!!

Since: Aug 20, 2006
Posted on: December 16, 2011 11:31 am

NFL denies James Harrison's suspension appeal

I second the motion for his resignation

Since: Jan 13, 2009
Posted on: December 16, 2011 11:31 am

NFL denies James Harrison's suspension appeal

Big surprise Adolf Goodell hammers James Harrison.  should not have wasted anytime appealing to this d-bag.  OK for richard seymore to have 2 incidents for punching guys with no suspension.  OK to punch; not OK to hit a little girl qb from dumpland when he is running out of the pocket.  The best part of all this is that the steelers keep winning regardless of how much these d-bags in NY keep trying to put obstacles in front of them--Roger the Dodger cant stand the fact that the team wins and then pisses all over him in the process. As for "uncle Marty" next time harrsion might take out peyton mannings little brother. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Since: Oct 10, 2008
Posted on: December 16, 2011 11:30 am

NFL denies James Harrison's suspension appeal

I am wondering how these kind of penalties are going to work going forward?  Is it the history of the player during their career or is it a season to season tally? 

I can understand both sides of the issue, but in all fairness how should Harrison react should he be up againsts a mobile quarterback like Tebow in the playoffs? 

My feeling is the NFL should set in the rules that once a quarterback breaks the pocket that he has now established himself as a runner.  Not to say spearing or lauching should be encouraged, but the QB with a skirt trend needs to be put into question.

Roethisberger has made them change their interpretations of the 'in the grasp' rule because of his ability to break out of defender's attempts.  Tom Brady's actions have evolved the 'tuck rule'. 

It's time for the NFL to revisit the defenseless player rulings to protect the players, but still maintain the integrity of the game.

Since: Mar 16, 2009
Posted on: December 16, 2011 11:29 am

NFL denies James Harrison's suspension appeal

He and Suh need to be put together in a padded room.  They are both clearly bi-polar, on roids or simply in the game to seriously hurt people out side the confines of the ultimate goal of the TEAM.

They can accomplish the same results and play within the rules, while helping their teams, without doing it in such a reckless, idiotic manner.

If either of their coaches had a set of balls, they would speak out, to the media, and put each player in their place.  If I were a coach, I would not give the standard politically correct sound bites and try to keep protecting them.  Tell it like it is and if they do not stop, then cut them.  I rather win or lose with good men that win or lose with thugs like this.

Harrison came into the limelite in the Superbowl against Arizona.  There were a few instances in that game where he was going past the whistle and trying to hurt people.  It has not changed since and that was 3 years ago.  I had my fill and I hope he is stupid enough to do it again and really get suspended.  There is no place for it.

The day is coming so I will go ahead and say it now....Good riddance, Harrison.  Get some help and perspective.

Since: Sep 16, 2010
Posted on: December 16, 2011 11:29 am

NFL denies James Harrison's suspension appeal

A Steeler fan calling for the resignation of the NFL Commisioner.  I'm sure that holds plenty of merit.  Also what's this crying about you not watching the NFL Network and calling for Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton?   All the thugs should be suspended?   What about Julian (the groper) Edelman?  Why does he get let off the hook so easy?  Cry me "three rivers."

Since: Feb 25, 2010
Posted on: December 16, 2011 11:27 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: May 18, 2008
Posted on: December 16, 2011 11:22 am

NFL denies James Harrison's suspension appeal

I think this was more of a political decision based upon some of Harrison's off the field comments. It is my understanding that this is the first tiem in 25 years that a player has been suspended for a "tackle". The funny part about this is that the flag on the field was for a late hit and not helmet to helmet.

Just isn't as much fun following football as it once was with all this non-football stuff going on. Everything time there is a big hit on the field in an NFL game, I look around for a flag. Not Fun

Since: Mar 29, 2007
Posted on: December 16, 2011 11:20 am

NFL denies James Harrison's suspension appeal

Oh keep crying

Since: Dec 8, 2006
Posted on: December 16, 2011 11:14 am

NFL denies James Harrison's suspension appeal

Yes he did lead with the crown, but a suspension for the first violation of the year is rediculous. Richard Siemore flat out punched a player and he did it last year to Ben Roethlisberger and to a different player in 2009. All he got was a $30k fine because it was his first incident this year. For the rest of the season I will only watch Steelers games and I will not watch the NFL channel or goto Maybe they will get the message acrossed to James Harrison that he can't lead with his helmet (which is wrong), but they need to be even acrossed the board with how they handle these things. For his first violation in over a season he should not have gotten a suspension they already set that presidence with Siemore and no I don't think the two issues are unrelated.

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