The talk today has been about the Steeler who has become Public Enemy No. 1 in the minds of football America -- not Ben Roethlisberger, but rather James Harrison, in light of his two thunderous collisions with Cleveland players yesterday at Heinz Field.
Roughly two-thirds of America thinks he should be suspended, at least according to a poll in the Huffington Post. And, Sports Illustrated's Peter King, probably the best known and most respected football writer in America, is calling for fines and possible suspensions for Harrison and two other players.
We posted video earlier of the Harrison hits earlier, though personally, I don't understand the outrage -- the hit on Cribbs is completely legal; the hit on Massaquoi is a little more grey. Although Harrison does propel his body toward Massaquoi (which he kind of has to -- he's paid to tackle the guy, not hug him), he keeps his head up and almost over that of Massaquoi and instead strikes his with his torso and forearms. Ryan Clark did a similar thing in the game against big Ben Watson, and bounced right off. Harrison happens to be bigger. That's physics, and that hit is pure football.
Now check out the other two head shots being talked about in football circles:
First is the Atlanta Falcon's Dunta Robinson's hit on Philadelphia wide receiver DeSean Jackson.
This appears to be the most violent collision of the afternoon, yet from surveying the headlines, it appears to be drawing the least amount of criticism because although Robinson clearly leads with his head, his head hits Jackson in the shoulder, and he contacts Jackson under the chin with his shoulder pads.
But the hit that appears to be the most premeditated and malicious, and could've been avoided, is New England's Brandon Meriweather's helmet-to-helmet collision with Baltimore's Todd Heap. You'll have to watch this clip the entire way through to get the proper angle that shows how vicious it was.
Meriweather's infraction is clearly flagrant. The ball is overthrown, already incomplete, and Meriweather could've pulled up and avoided the collision. He did not, instead literally launching himself headlong into Heap's face. That was dirty. That deserves a fine and maybe more. Not Robinson, and not Harrison.