Posted by Will Brinson
Everyone that is in the NFL, around the NFL or talking about the NFL believes that the league is targeting the Steelers' James Harrison with its illegal hit policy.
This includes Harrison's boss, Pittsburgh's owner Art Rooney, and even his most bitter rivals (Terrell Suggs of the Ravens recently said that Harrison was 'red-flagged' by the NFL).
But it does not include the NFL itself.
"I would say that's misguided and, frankly, completely untrue," Ray Anderson, NFL VP of Football Operations told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "Every team and every player, hopefully, will have the confidence that, if they play within the rules, we won't have this problem."
In fact, Anderson wouldn't even discuss the specifics of Harrison's complaint.
"We won't respond to any particular player and certainly we won't respond to players who may have appeal cases pending," Anderson said.
He then went on to point out that if a player can't adjust their particular playing style, then they will end up "sitting and watching games like you and me." (While I doubt that Anderson watches the game the same way as everyone else, his point is taken.)
Anyway, here's the thing: the NFL isn't targeting Harrison, or ordering their refs to "target" Harrison and continually hit him with fines. They just aren't.
Think of it like a third-grade classroom: there's always one kid who qualifies as the bully. This kid picks on other kids in a manner that's against the classroom rules. Said kid, for picking on others, gets in trouble frequently. Because of this, if the bully goes near a corner of the classroom inhabited by nerds, the teacher keeps a close eye on that kid.
It's just how life works -- and the exact same thing is applicable to Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens, only with endzone celebrations.
If someone keeps begging the league and the public to watch what they do (note to Harrison here: threatening to retire is not a good way of keeping attention off yourself), well -- surprise-surprise! -- the league and the public will absolutely watch what they do.
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