Back off, Steelers fans
Posted by cludwig November 13th, 2009, 2:57 pm Read Comments(241) Recommend(6)
THE STEELERS PLAY HARD, BUT DO THEY PLAY CLEAN?
Pardon the interruption prior to kickoff in the biggest game of the 2009 National Football League’s regular season, but I sure wish the NFL would take a long, strong look at how the Pittsburgh Steelers conduct business on the field.
They’re not a tough team to track. They leave bruised, battered and broken bodies strewn across gridirons wherever they go.
“Typing Away With Chick Ludwig” has been inundated with E-mails proclaiming the purity and sanctity of Saint Hines Ward and his teammates, about how they play “good, clean, hard football.”
Don’t tell me that Keith Gary trying to rip off Ken Anderson’s head, Kimo von Oelhoffen’s smashing into Carson Palmer’s left knee and Ward’s vicious block that fractured Keith Rivers’ jaw constitute the best the game has to offer.
Two of those plays caused rule changes. So my fervent hope is that the NFL is watching and paying attention, and will continue to do so.
My message to Steelers fans is this: Don’t kill the messenger. Ward was deemed the league’s dirtiest player in a Sports Illustrated poll, and I just happen to strongly agree with it.
LET’S TAKE A WALK DOWN MEMORY LANE …
KEITH GARY …
“Longtime Bengals observers still remember the night of Oct. 10, 1983, when Steelers defensive end Keith Gary yanked quarterback Ken Anderson,s head like a twist-off, soda-pop bottle.”
KIMO VON OELHOFFEN …
“The so-called “Kimo Clause” now requires that defenders take every opportunity to avoid hitting a quarterback at or below the knees when the quarterback is in a defenseless position looking to throw with both feet on the ground.”
HINES WARD …
His vicious block on Rivers triggered the “Hines Ward Rule,” which outlaws high, blind-side hits.
April 1977: Chuck Noll was summoned to Oakland for depositions in the defamation suit filed by George Atkinson over the famous “criminal element” remarks Noll made the day after the 1976 NFL season opener.
July 11, 1977: As a witness during the trial, Noll was forced to include Joe Greene, Mel Blount and Glen Edwards as players who also were part of the criminal element because of their own dirty play.
July 16, 1977: Blount reacted to this by threatening to quit the Steelers, and he also said he planned to sue Noll for $5 million.
The six-time Super Bowl champions are a franchise to be respected, but not admired.