Justice – really?

Courtesy Pittsburgh Steelers

After each Steelers game, I like to move on and focus on the next one. You can’t change what’s happened, so what’s the point of going back over it? It’s going to be a different opponent who present contrasting challenges, so I look forward, not backwards.

The game against the Browns was different. Not only because of the disturbing way it finished, but also for the sad reaction it provoked in some quarters.

The NFL can be commended for the swift manner in which they acted to suspend Myles Garrett and for the length of his enforced absence. It deserved that and possibly they will extend it and that can be justified.

I always keep the game recording with the intention of going back and viewing again, but I never do watch them a second time. Usually, but this time it was different.

I gave some support for Maurkice Pouncey’s actions in defending a teammate and that didn’t go down too well with some of my fellow SNUK members. That kinda surprised me. I wasn’t condoning violence, but his act of defending a teammate.

I decided to go and review the incident again to see if I possibly was mistaken. That Pouncey’s actions were out of order. So, 36 hours later I watched the last minute of the game again and again.

You have to start with the late hit/unnecessary roughness whatever you want to call the personal foul that Myles Garrett inflicted on Mason Rudolph. It’s third down, Rudolph gets his pass off, the ball’s gone and Garrett grabs Rudolph and takes him to earth. That should have been a penalty.

Garrett is on top of Rudolph for longer than he should have been. Eventually the get up grappling with each other and the referee comes to help Rudolph.

Garrett rips Rudolph’s helmet off and lashes out using the helmet as a weapon on a player who no longer has any head protection. Garrett connects with Rudolph’s head. Pouncey arrives on the scene and sees the physical assault on his teammate and jumps in to defend him.

The perpetrator is a man possessed so Pouncey weighs in with fist and feet to defend Rudolph. Maybe he went over the top, but bear two things in mind:

  1. Pouncey is the offensive captain and is there to protect his men.
  2. Rudolph was out earlier in the season with a concussion and here was an opponent beating him around the head with a weapon.

Pouncey should be forgiven for his actions and didn’t deserve the three-week suspension that was dished out. Justice? Now, please let me think about that.

Statement from Art Rooney:

As an organization, we are disappointed with what occurred last night near the end of our game against the Cleveland Browns. The actions of the players involved were not something that should be part of any football game.

Our players, coaches and everyone in the Steelers organization understand that we must always maintain composure, no matter what happens. After a hard-fought game between two rivals, it is a shame that the game ended that way.