James Harrison And Channing Crowder Should Retire

October 21, 2010 – 3:14 am by McD

I was initially going to make fun of James Harrison for whining about the new hitting rules and threatening to retire yet again. So dramatic!

But then it seemed like he was one player who was just upset he got fined for doing what he was very obviously told to do by coaches and everyone else involved with teaching him football from a very young age.

Harrison never figured out he didn’t know proper tackling technique.

Even the hit that didn’t get him fined (the one on Josh Cribbs) was still poor tackling because Harrison lowered his head, and every time a player does that, they could break their neck and end up like this.

I can’t even count the amount of times a player trying to deliver a similar shot lowered his head only to miss or have the ballcarrier bounce off and give up a huge gain. Damn you, 1994 Chargers secondary! I’m still not over it!

At least Harrison was just going for a good, old-fashioned American cheap shot on a couple of defenseless players.

Then Channing Crowder chimed into the debate and, instead of proving that helmet-as-weapon hits weren’t a real problem, essentially proved everyone’s point for them.

First, Crowder admits that pretty much everyone already uses their helmets as weapons:

“If I get a chance to knock somebody out, I’m going to knock them out and take what they give me,” Crowder said Wednesday. “They give me a helmet, I’m going to use it.”

Um, dude, that’s the point. We don’t want you to use your helmet. Hence all the fines and stuff everyone’s been talking about. Jeez, read your Twitter followers for once.

“If I’m knocked out, I don’t know where I’m at, I can’t say my name, now I can’t play football,” he said. “If I get hit in the head and black out for a second and now I get back up dizzy, OK, I’m ready to go.”

Yes, exactly. Can’t believe that pussy Muhammad Ali isn’t boxing anymore. It’s just a little Parkinson’s Disease. Pansy. Hey, how come Chris Benoit stopped wrestling? That guy was awesome. The way he used his head as a weapon when he jumped from the top rope…fucking epic, man.

“When I drop back in coverage and I see a receiver running a crossing route and I’m about to break on him and hit him I’m not going to think about, ‘Well let me turn my shoulder or let me aim at his torso.’  I’m just looking to knock the hell out of him,” Crowder said.  “So they can’t change the game.  If they really want to change it they’ll take our face masks off, but anything they do is not going to work.”

What thoughtful insight into the nuances of defensive football. You’d never notice Ron Zook was his college coach.

I saw Mike Golic mention on TV today that tackling in the NFL is at an all-time worst because teams don’t have the roster depth to allow much hitting in practice. That makes sense. 53 guys plus a practice squad isn’t very many players.

But how are these professional football players totally unaware that they’re awful at a major part of football? That punters know more about proper tackling form than All-Pro linebackers? Is it actually manly to get concussed and risk paralysis because you’re too lazy to keep your head up?

“They want to save the receivers and quarterbacks because they sell all the jerseys,” Crowder said. “They don’t give a damn at all about defensive players because we don’t sell as many jerseys as them.”

Somebody was upset a reporter called and forced him to stop reading Il Principe and drinking his nightly glass of port in the reading room. The nerve of people these days. To suggest other players might need protection from nut jobs using their helmets to cause lifelong injury is just outrageous. Outrageous! I bet Crowder’s monocle almost fell out of his eye!

I think, deep down in places they don’t like to talk about at parties, Harrison, Crowder, Brian Urlacher and everyone else against these new helmet rules are worried that they have no other football skills than hitting people dirty and being a fake tough guy.

Maybe they’re worried that if they were forced to actually use their repeatedly concussed brains and practice technique instead of being remarkably similar to Ogie Ogilthorpe, they might not like football as much. Not too many places one can try to kill people legally.

Man IS the most dangerous game of all, you know

You know who doesn’t give a shit either way if James Harrison retires? The Pittsburgh Steelers. Harrison is in the second year of a six year, $51.75 million contract which I’m sure they have no intention of paying its full value and would probably love to be off the hook for a portion of it now.

That’s the nature of the modern NFL. If I learned anything from Days of Thunder it’s this: Drivers NFL players don’t like to be reminded of their mortality. They’d rather pretend nothing’s wrong and get crashed by Cary Elwes every week than find out there’s something wrong with their brains and they can’t win the Daytona 500 and sleep with Nicole Kidman when she was still hot.

So yes, goons of the NFL, there will be no more using your helmets in an attempt to give yourself early dementia. I realize how cool it would be to be like Evander Holyfield, what with his slurred speech, outrageous debt, illegitimate children, and performance-enhancing drug accusations, but it’s just not going to happen. Sorry.

And remember, if you’re going to find me and harm me, don’t lower your head.

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