Standing in the Browns corner, weighing in at chizzled 272lbs, he stands at a height of 6 foot 4 inches; he is the former first overall selection in the 2017 draft and was selected to his first pro bowl in 2018. Ladies and gentleman he is Myles “Superman” Garrett.
His opponent. Wearing the traditional Pittsburgh black and yellow; we asked him about his stats and fight history but he was unable to remember do to too many headshots. He was thrusted into this spot because of injury and has faced the worst season any quarterback has ever seen with regard to player safety. He is Mason “might’ve had a nickname but won’t come to mind” Rudolph.
I guess anything is possible during a rivalry Thursday Night Football matchup, even attempted murder. Being relatively no named fighters certainly didn’t stop either side from flexing the wrong type of muscle. The argument could be made that Pittsburgh initially opened the flood gates of violence and that this eruption was a long time coming. Anyone remember Antonio Brown? (Rhetorical; of course you do, how could you possibly forget?) The Spartan kick of all Spartan kicks? If you don’t, go check his latest tweets.
I don’t actually believe AB had any sort of ripple effect to this moment. I’m going to comfortably say that the two sacks right before this play had more impact in the wheels spinning. But it’s still amazing that even from home Brown’s name is still right there.
Getting back to our prized moment though. Each fighter was allowed one weapon of his choosing. Myles had quickly selected the opposing fighter’s helmet, while Rudolph took more of a team approach and picked O-lineman Maurkice Pouncey instead of a traditional helmet or bat. The fight went as every spectator imagined. Mason Rudolph appears to be making a theme of using his head to try and defend. Whether they’re tackling him or trying to take his head off with the very thing that protects it; still not the wisest plan in today’s game. After Garrett makes clean contact with the opposing quarterbacks head, shock and mayhem ensues.
Thankfully the helmet hit was the hardest contact that anyone received in the melee. Pouncey would fire off big punches at Garrett in protection of his quarterback. Fortunately, Garrett’s pesky helmet (which he still had on) took the majority of impact.
Another Browns player, Larry Ogunjobi, can be seen plowing over a defenseless, unaware and now helmetless Rudolph from behind. For the rest of the team members however they can be seen pushing and shoving but just swinging their dance partner around in circles, with no more haymakers.
Garrett has since been suspended indefinitely while Pouncey will sit for three games, Ogunjobi only one.
For me, it’s simple. The suspensions to Pouncey and Ogunjobi are justifiable and well deserved. I truly feel that in Myles Garrett’s case, he shouldn’t be a part of the NFL any longer. Not just this season, but for life. This inexcusable act should have to not only face the music for years in football history, but be the starting point for the NFL organization to get a grip back on player safety. For someone to justify using what should be a protective helmet as a weapon tells me that the respect for one another’s safety is pretty well gone from the sport of football.
No matter the circumstance, using a weapon with the intent of damage that Myles Garret had should not be tolerated across any sport. The fact that there were questions of potential charges to be considered should drive home the severity of this incident. If suspending the player from playing the sport is questionably not enough punishment and the idea of laying criminal charges comes around, it’s obvious this isn’t just a normal rustle tussle at the end of the game. There needs to be more from this to protect the players.
With history on the gridiron, it was definitely only a matter of time before we saw the fireworks. Still not enough for me to justify what I saw. The game at this turning point was extremely out of reach, so the fact that these events occurred takes away from what would’ve been a winning storyline for the Cleveland Browns.
Instead, because of these events that unfolded in front of our eyes, I’m left to feel the Browns walked away from this much more on the losing end than the actual losing Steelers. Their team is now divided based on right and wrong, their defense is now missing what was one of the brightest stars. Once again, nothing but drama and uncertainty surrounds the Cleveland Browns.