Jason Mignanelli | Staff Writer
Nov. 21, 2019
If you actually watched the entire Steelers game on Thursday night and did not shut the TV off in disgust, then you were treated to one of the most bizarre fights in the history of the NFL.
With approximately eight seconds remaining in the game, the Steelers were losing to the Cleveland Browns 21-7. Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph released a pass and was brought down to the ground by Cleveland’s defensive lineman, Myles Garrett. Not liking the manner in which he was tackled, Rudolph began to squabble with Garrett.
While engaging in perfectly normal football roughness after the whistle, Garret took things to a whole other level. Garret removed Rudolph’s helmet and then whacked him right on the head with his own helmet.
A football helmet weighs roughly six to eight pounds. A football helmet used as a weapon could have caused serious damage to Rudolph’s head and face. Not to mention, Rudolph is just returning from a serious concussion.
Fortunately for Rudolph, Garret only got one swing in before Steelers players, including Maurkice Pouncey, rushed Garrett and took him to the ground.
Pouncey is known for defending his teammates on the field and watching what he did to Myles Garrett Thursday night shows just how serious he takes it.
Pouncey rushed Garrett and threw him to the ground, then began kicking him and jumped on top of him throwing punches. The caveat here is that Garrett still had all of his protective gear on and was not hurt in the slightest by the melee of kicks and punches.
However, the most troubling thing about the whole situation was the response by national pundits such as Max Kellerman of ESPN’s First Take.
Kellerman actually blamed Rudolph on his Monday morning television show. Kellerman said that Rudolph instigated it and that Rudolph should be suspended.
After a foolish statement like this, how does Max Kellerman still have a job?
It doesn’t matter if Mason Rudolph did the most despicable thing on earth to Garrett.
There is no excuse for a player to hit another player across the head with a helmet.
Kellerman is completely off base here and he should be shunned by Pittsburgh Steelers fans.
Considering that Kellerman’s comments came prior to knowing what the suspensions would be, we can rest easy knowing that Rudolph was not suspended for his actions and that Myles Garret was suspended indefinitely for his.
Once again Max Kellerman, you are wrong.
Furthermore, there was some talk on national broadcasts about Garrett possibly facing criminal charges for his actions.
I disagree that Garrett should be found criminally liable for something that happened in a football fight. Although, my feelings would have been different had Rudolph been crippled or seriously injured as a result of the blow.
Criminal charges are a bit harsh for this situation, although it wasn’t long ago when NHL player Todd Bertuzzi was charged criminally for an incident that occurred during a hockey game in 2004.
Then playing for the Vancouver Canucks, Bertuzzi skated over and grabbed Steve Moore of the Colorado Avalanche by the jersey and viciously assaulted him in the back of the head.
Moore could not defend himself and fell to the ice under Bertuzzi. Moore’s head and face smashed off of the surface and it caused serious damage to his neck and face. Moore would never play hockey again. For his actions, Bertuzzi was charged criminally and also faced a civil lawsuit.
The parties would eventually settle outside of court but this is one of the only examples of an incident happening during a professional sporting event that would lead to criminal charges. In the case with Garrett and Rudolph, those who are griping about criminal charges should really re-evaluate their stance on the issue.
Moving forward, the Steelers will be without Pouncey for four games as he was suspended for his actions in retaliating against Garrett.
The hope is that Pouncey’s suspension will be reduced. As the Steelers fight for a long shot chance at the playoffs, they can’t afford to be without their All-Pro center for four games.
If you were to ask Pouncey, I’m sure he would do it all over again to protect his teammate.
Pouncey is an example of a true teammate and his actions on Thursday night are yet another reason why he is one of the most popular Steelers in the locker room.