View Full Version : Turnpike Rivalry doesn't matter? Ask Harrison

01-01-2012, 08:59 AM
Turnpike Rivalry doesn't matter? Ask Harrison
Mike Bires mbires@timesonline.com | Posted: Saturday, December 31, 2011 8:54 pm

CLEVELAND -- Despite one-sided results, "The Turnpike Rivalry" is anything but dead.

Granted, those who say Pittsburgh vs. Cleveland is no longer meaningful certainly have some ammunition. Since 1992, the Steelers are 29-5 against the Browns. That type of domination suggests that these two franchises are not rivals in the truest sense of the word.

However, what has transpired in recent Steelers/Browns game clearly shows that a genuine bitterness exists between the team's playing today in the AFC's longest-running series.

Sure, there have been a slew of Steeler blowout victories. But there have also been some compelling moments that won't soon be forgotten.

Flash back if you will to the Steelers' visit to Cleveland on Nov. 14, 2004. That's when linebacker Joey Porter and Browns running back William Green were ejected before the game even started. They got tossed for exchanging punches during pre-game warm-ups.

Flash back to the most recent Steelers/Browns game, this past Dec. 8 at Heinz Field. That's when "head hunter" James Harrison delivered a vicious helmet-to-helmet hit on Cleveland quarterback Colt McCoy.

For that hit, Harrison was suspended one game by the NFL as a repeat offender in the league's crackdown on excessively violent hits. Last year, two Browns (Mohamed Massaquoi and Joshua Cribbs) left a game against the Steelers courtesy of Harrison hits.

During a conference call Wednesday, the majority of questions the Cleveland media asked Mike Tomlin centered about Harrison.

When a player takes a cheap shot and knocks a quarterback out of the game with a head-hunting hit, do you think it's fair that he should be able to play when the injured player does not?

"That's not for me to decide," Tomlin said. "Those types of decisions are made in New York."

Do you expect the Browns to have a reaction after the Harrison hit on McCoy followed by the two hits last year?

"I don't have the answer to that," Tomlin said.

Is James Harrison a dirty player?

"No," Tomlin said. "I base my judgment on his whole body of work and being around him day-to-day for the last five years. I can say comfortably that I don't believe James Harrison is a dirty player."

At what point in his career do you think James Harrison made a conscious effort to be a head hunter?

"I have not said that he is (a head hunter)," Tomlin said. "Those are your words, my man."

Today, the Steelers (11-4) have much to play for. They must win to have any chance of improving their playoff seeding. Even at 4-11, the Browns have much to play for, too.

"When we look at the tape next year, this is the game people are going to remember," said Cribbs, a wide receiver/kick return specialist. "This is our Super Bowl ... against the Steelers ... right here, right now."

The Browns are still furious about Harrison's hit that gave McCoy a concussion that will prevent him from playing today. The Browns would love nothing more than to pull an upset that would prevent the Steelers from getting a home playoff game.

Who knows?

Maybe the Browns wouldn't mind putting on a few extra hits on Ben Roethlisberger that would do further damage to the ankle sprain he suffered in the 14-3 over the Browns on Dec. 8.

The Steelers might want to remember their 13-6 loss in Cleveland on Dec. 12, 2009 against a Browns team that finished 5-11. It was one of the Steelers' most disappointing regular-season losses in years. It was a loss that prevented them from making the playoffs.

Surely, the Steelers remember how close the Browns came to pulling off an upset just 23 days ago. Trailing 7-3 late in the fourth quarter, the Browns were deep in Pittsburgh territory when Steelers cornerback William Gay sealed the deal with an end-zone interception.

So despite the Steelers' domination in terms of wins and losses, there's still plenty of bad blood that exists between these two rivals.

Expect a war out there today at Cleveland Browns Stadium.

Stu Pidasso
01-01-2012, 09:59 AM
What an inflammatory, dirty, unsportsmanlike douchbag. Can't win a game, so he is calling for bounties. dick

01-01-2012, 10:08 AM
I hate the Browns more than the Ravens or Bengals but when I see the Browns I see that team, those shitty colors and remember a team that used to be a winner, the dog pound, hatred.

One day they'll get that swagger back and the younger generation will be reminded why the Ravens/ Steelers matchups will never be like the one against the Browns.

01-01-2012, 10:13 AM
i am surprised Tomlin didn't hang up on them like he did with the Jaguars media.

01-01-2012, 10:22 AM
i am surprised Tomlin didn't hang up on them like he did with the Jaguars media.

yeah, those questions are completely unprofessional, ignorant, and only intended to incite a riot like atmosphere. Nothing too surprising coming from Cleveland

01-01-2012, 11:09 AM
Loser team must breed loser news reporters. What a bunch of clowns.

01-01-2012, 11:33 AM
Did we expect anything else from the suckland stains and their fans and reporters? They suck!

01-01-2012, 12:11 PM
Good to see Tomlin support Harrison...just last week I read on this forum how Tomlin needs to go and that he hung James out to dry! Happy to see that post was clearly delusional!

01-01-2012, 12:43 PM
before a late season game with the Browns in 1972, Myron Cope uttered these words

"... the Browns have no insignia on their helmets, probably because the city has nothing to be civically proud-of...


... when a Cleveland couple are seen walking-home from the grocery store, each carrying Brown paper-bags filled with food, people think they have matched-luggage..."

I think Cope respected the tradition of theBrowns, and their fans, but that was funny stuff to hear on the TV in those days during a news broadcast

01-01-2012, 03:14 PM
here's the difference :
We, Pittsburgh, go out to hit hard and play extremely physical.
They, Cleveland, seemingly goes for inducing an injury....and then claiming "victory" for those types of things.

I've lived in Cleveland......and it was more important on any given day for Pittsburgh to "lose", than it was for their own home team to win.
Unfortunately, for them, our bigger rivals now are the Raven's. WE are their biggest rival...and even though they are definitely a big rival even still, they're not our biggest one anymore.They are really a sad case at this point in time.