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: Apr 22, 2009
Posted on: December 16, 2011 9:06 pm

NFL denies James Harrison's suspension appeal

Harrison is a thug and will always be a thug.  Harrison will be the player in 15 - 20 years that will not be able to walk or talk and will blame football.  Next incident (there will be another) Harrison should be expended for at least 4 games.

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: December 16, 2011 9:02 pm

NFL denies James Harrison's suspension appeal

You're taught to drill him in the chest with your face mask. 

I love this comment.  Heard it a thousand times this week.  The only problem is Harrison didn't hit McCoy with his face mask and didn't hit him in the chest.  By your comment, Harrison tackled wrong.

Since: Sep 18, 2006
Posted on: December 16, 2011 8:59 pm

NFL denies James Harrison's suspension appeal

MDHoosier, you are right it was a perfect tackle.... But if Brady ducked his head to the side where Fletcher's head was located, it would have been a helmet to helmet...
That's my issue with these rules, the defensive player can't win... A defensive player coming off a block dives for the QB, the QB steps back a step and the hit that would have been to the waste is now at the knees... Flagged... A defensive player majes a tackle and the QB ducks his head down now creating helmet to helmet... Flagged....
I understand someone launching themselves head first like Meriweather(formerly of the Patriots) did last year but thats a big difference to the majority of the plays flagged this year... Player safety is one thing, stacking the deck against defensive players is another... Helmet to helmet contact happens on every play but is OK if the offensive player initiates it(running back or O-Line lower their head at contact)... A defensive players does it and its a flag & fines....
I was a fan of Goodell in the beginning but the new rules under his leadership are truly destroying the game as we know it... He is basically doing everything in his power to turn the game in the a high scoring affair like Arena Ball

Since: Jan 12, 2008
Posted on: December 16, 2011 8:56 pm

NFL denies James Harrison's suspension appeal

This is just another example of how pathetic the rules have become. Let's play flag football. Anyone who has ever played knows the majority of these penalties and fines (not just Harrison), are a bunch of crap. You can't let up in the middle of a play. In this instance McCoy is trying to make a play to gain yardage. He didn't slide to give up. You're taught to drill him in the chest with your face mask. The reason players are getting injured isn't because of dirty play, it's because the size and speed of today's players. Get better helmets. Instances like that of Suh from Detroit are dirty and worthy of suspension, not tackles during plays. Punching, kicking, stomping, biting and stuff after the whistles are dirty. Let them play the game. 

Since: Oct 2, 2006
Posted on: December 16, 2011 8:49 pm

NFL denies James Harrison's suspension appeal

I am sure Roger Goodell will give your demand for his resignation all the consideration it is due BlakNGold. Which means less than half a second.

What really needs to happen is for CBS to ban your account for about a month. All you do is spew blind loyalty to your Steelers while putting down Colt McCoy, Ray Lewis, Roger Goodell, Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and anyone else who crosses your team or disagrees with you.

Since: Jan 3, 2009
Posted on: December 16, 2011 8:45 pm

NFL denies James Harrison's suspension appeal


Before you call somebody stupid, perhaps you should learn to spell.  You incorrectly spelled "commisioner".  It is "commissioner".  That's OK, you're excused.  You probably got your education in a Baltimore Area School... 

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: December 16, 2011 8:42 pm

NFL denies James Harrison's suspension appeal

Look at the tackle on Ben again.  The Browns player wrapped his hand ABOVE the knee.  Ben's foot twisted in how the bodies landed, but the tackle was not illegal.

Since: Jul 7, 2007
Posted on: December 16, 2011 8:38 pm

NFL denies James Harrison's suspension appeal

...and in the same breath, when Pittsburgh plays Cleveland in 3 weeks, we will get to see this hit 4 or 5 times!  ...because IT SELLS BABY!

Goodell is nothing more than a two faced crooked cheating thug himself.

Since: Nov 20, 2007
Posted on: December 16, 2011 8:10 pm

NFL denies James Harrison's suspension appeal

if Ray "The Knife" Lewis or Terrell Thuggs was constantly scrutinized by Goodell and Ray Anderson, you would be calling the commissioner and his henchman the exact same things Harrison used and you would support any bad-mouthing the Ravens dish out to the NFL authority.  you have to acknowledge the heavy-handed stance towards Harrison and the Steelers versus other players (Seymour and C. Woodson) and their obvious infractions (e.g. punching opposing players). typical Ravens fans (and Browns fans - one in the same) to criticize the Steelers and their fanbase.  it fills my heart with Black & Gold pride to watch you point your crooked little fingers at us, trying to tell us what is right.  since your team doesn't have the hardware that the Steelers have, all you can do is wag your finger.  OUCH! 

Since: Aug 22, 2007
Posted on: December 16, 2011 7:38 pm

NFL denies James Harrison's suspension appeal

goodell has ruined the nfl. this is a MAN's league. not for nancyboys like colt mccoy. why blame harrison for colt being weak and frail and a horrible FB player?

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