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Old 12-02-2010, 06:26 AM   #1
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Default Starkey: Anti-Steelers conspiracy?

Starkey: Anti-Steelers conspiracy?
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt...nt_711816.html
By Joe Starkey
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, December 2, 2010

Next time James Harrison has a quarterback in his sights, he should forgo the idea of, you know, tackling him and consider three other options, all of which carry minimal consequences or none at all within the NFL's crack justice system:

Sucker punch the quarterback in the jaw.

Rip the dude's helmet off and pound his skull like a slab of beef.

Wait 'til he drops to his knees, then leap on his back with full body weight and twist his limbs like light bulbs.

Why not? Such actions apparently do not merit any more of a punishment than what Harrison got for attempting to make a legal tackle and perhaps doing so the other day in Buffalo.

What a league. As an entertainment entity, it is a brilliant, raging success. As a de facto court of law, it is a laughable farce.

Miraculously, commissioner Roger Goodell & Co. have almost managed to make wacko Steelers conspiracy theorists seem sane. Those people believe the league is out to get their team, as if damaging one of the NFL's flagship franchises would be a productive move, as if Dan Rooney wasn't one of Goodell's most influential backers when the owners hired Goodell.

Nobody's out to get the Steelers.

It just looks that way.

I mean, even mortal enemies such as Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs will tell you Harrison has been singled out. He said as much Wednesday, on a conference call, opining that Harrison has been "red-flagged."

"If he breathes on a quarterback, he might get a flag," Suggs said. "They're looking at him more closely than anyone in the league."

Without question, Steelers players believe their team has been unfairly targeted. Consider their reaction to Harrison's hit on Buffalo quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.

The on-field official said Harrison used the crown of his helmet. He didn't. I haven't defended all of Harrison's questionable hits, but this was a bad call. Yet, the league re-defined the play and fined Harrison $25,000.

Safety Ryan Clark's take: "We know the NFL is going to protect quarterbacks all of them except ours."

Who can blame him for thinking that way, when abusers of his quarterback have faced such paltry punishment? Two weeks ago, Raiders lineman Richard Seymour a repeat offender sucker-punched Ben Roethlisberger in the head as the latter went to celebrate a touchdown.

Talk about a defenseless player. Talk about an egregious head shot.

Yet, Seymour was not suspended. He was ejected from a game that was rapidly becoming a blowout and fined $25,000. Somehow, his assault fell into the category of "fight," so he was subjected to NFL's fine scale for fighting.

Which raises a question: What's to stop somebody from cold-****ing a quarterback late in a blowout when all he'll face is an ejection and a puny fine?

More to the point, why wouldn't a coach instruct a player to do exactly that, especially if the quarterback in question might be facing his team in the playoffs in a few weeks?

That'd be nice: NFL teams hiring goons, just like the NHL.

Speaking of hockey, you must have seen Texans receiver Andre Johnson rip the helmet off Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan something a hockey player would do and pummel him. Finnegan (repeat offender) instigated the bout with a two-hand shiver to Johnson's face.

Both were given game misconducts, er, ejections, but the game was already in the fourth quarter, so how much weight did that punishment carry? Neither player was suspended. Johnson is free to play in tonight's NFL Network game against the Eagles. He and Finnegan were fined $25,000 apiece.

Same as Harrison.

By its actions, the NFL has equated a brawl with a borderline hit on a quarterback.

Meanwhile, there wasn't even a flag thrown in Buffalo when Roethlisberger went to his knees and 310-pound Marcus Stroud jumped on his back, and stayed there, as teammate Arthur Moats twisted Roethlisberger's leg and gave him a hockey-style facewash.

Hines Ward had the perfect word to describe the NFL yesterday, specifically relating to the league's alleged concern for player safety even as it pushes for an 18-game season:

"Hypocrites."

It's easy to see why Roethlisberger answered the way he did, too, when asked if Seymour's punishment would have been harsher if he'd clocked Peyton Manning or Tom Brady.

"We all know the answer to that one," he said. "Easy."

I disagree. I don't think the league is out to get the Steelers.

I'm just having a hard time proving it right now.

Joe Starkey can be reached at jraystarkey@gmail.com or .
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Old 12-02-2010, 07:25 AM   #2
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Default Re: Starkey: Anti-Steelers conspiracy?

Starkey says

I disagree. I don't think the league is out to get the Steelers.

I'm just having a hard time proving it right now
.


Your a local writer that watched games and you don't think they are out to get the team or individual players?
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Old 12-02-2010, 09:43 AM   #3
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Default Re: Starkey: Anti-Steelers conspiracy?

okay.. a rival teams' player says they are targeting our guy.. everyone on the Steelers knows they are being targeted or treated differently. the coach thinks so.. the owner thinks so.. and nobody with a straight face can say the Raiders game was called fairly. give me a ****ing break... refs have always been biased.. that's why certain players are protected more than others and it's why some are targeted more than others. refs can't call an unbiased game because the league encourages them to protect and target certain players. the NFL is turning into the NBA more and more with the refs blatantly treat players differently.
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Old 12-02-2010, 09:49 AM   #4
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Default Re: Starkey: Anti-Steelers conspiracy?

This NFL year just pisses me off altogether. Quite possibly the most unsatisfying year I've experienced to date.

And F Goodell...you know you're a special kind of evil when you make Gary Bettman look like a half decent pro sports commissioner.
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Old 12-02-2010, 10:09 AM   #5
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Default Re: Starkey: Anti-Steelers conspiracy?

Honestly, if I didn't love the Steelers so much I would say F all of this. It makes me sick to see what is happening to this game. I'd love nothing more than to pull all of my money out of the NFL pie, but in the end I'm an addict and I can't bring myself to do it. So I'll renew my tickets, I'll order the directv sunday ticket, and I'll buy my kids Steeler stuff for Christmas. All which goes right into the pocket of the man I now despise.

Here in lies the problem. As much as we all hate what's going on, they got us by the balls and they know it. They are banking on fan loyalty. It may change one day, but it won't be overnight. The fan base may slowly erode and one day the NFL could be MLB.
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Old 12-02-2010, 10:15 AM   #6
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Default Re: Starkey: Anti-Steelers conspiracy?

Goodell's gunsel Ray Anderson (a former high school All League QB who obviously knows how the game is played at its highest level) has his rebuttal out this morning - Anderson wants no part of getting into it with Hines Ward - if Ward is willing to call out his own QB you know he will go after Anderson

Ray Anderson, the National Football League's executive vice president for football operations, said today the league is not targeting the Steelers, in particular linebacker James Harrison, for illegal hits -- a claim made by several Steelers players and even Baltimore Ravens defensive end Terrell Suggs....

"I would say that's misguided and, frankly, completely untrue," Anderson said when asked if the Steelers are being targeted. "Every team and every player, hopefully, will have the confidence that, if they play within the rules, we won't have this problem."..


Wide receiver Hines Ward on Wednesday called the NFL "hypocrites," questioning why a league that says it is concerned about player safety wants to increase the regular-season schedule from 16 to 18 games.

"The league is a joke," Ward said. "They don't care about the safety of players. For them to even try to make it 18 games lets you know they don't care."

Asked about Ward's charge, Anderson said, "I have no comment to Hines Ward."


http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10336/1107724-66.stm
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Old 12-02-2010, 10:31 AM   #7
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Default Re: Starkey: Anti-Steelers conspiracy?

Anderson is a gutless little bitch.. the only way he can get back at these guys is by hiding behind a desk and hitting them in the paycheck.
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Old 12-02-2010, 10:40 AM   #8
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Default Re: Starkey: Anti-Steelers conspiracy?

I hate to believe that there is some kind of conspiracy,but from what i have witnessed this year it sure is a valid question. What would they have to gain?
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Old 12-02-2010, 11:04 AM   #9
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Default Re: Starkey: Anti-Steelers conspiracy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SCMom View Post
This NFL year just pisses me off altogether. Quite possibly the most unsatisfying year I've experienced to date.

And F Goodell...you know you're a special kind of evil when you make Gary Bettman look like a half decent pro sports commissioner.


I've been getting more and more pissed all year
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Old 12-02-2010, 11:49 AM   #10
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Default Re: Starkey: Anti-Steelers conspiracy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 330steelerguy View Post
I hate to believe that there is some kind of conspiracy,but from what i have witnessed this year it sure is a valid question. What would they have to gain?
NY Jets Superbowl win. I really think the NFL tries to influence who wins the title each year. They don't pick winners and losers. But I think they do try to get a handful of teams to win that will drive more revenue to the league.

The Saints win last year was a huge revenue boost because of the players like Brees and New Orleans story.

The Jets are a big market team with a new stadium being built and will host the superbowl in 2014. The NFL needs to boost the NY market. There is nothing better than a SB.
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