When a bank robber gets away with the money, the last thing he should do is call the bank the next day, identify himself, and say, “You’re damn right I took the money.”
A similar concept applies when a football player apparently gets away with a fairly blatant case of unnecessary roughness.
After recovering a fumble, which eventually was ruled not a fumble, in Sunday night’s game between the Steelers and the Broncos, linebacker James Harrison encountered Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton. Orton, not cognizant of the line between bravery and lunacy, tried to tackle Harrison. So Harrison unloaded on Orton. Hard.
“He was running his mouth and getting in the way of the train,” Harrison said after the game, per Mike Klis of the Denver Post. “And the train wasn’t coming off the track.”
If Harrison had said nothing more, we think he’d be fine. It was a rough play, but no one told Orton to get in the way of the train. But then Harrison added a sentence or two that creates the impression that he was trying to injure Orton.
“He was popping off down there the first
time they were about to score,” Harrison said. “So you run your mouth, expect to get
something. Everything’s between the lines, so he got what he had
Even though Orton wasn’t throwing the ball or otherwise within the protections that apply to quarterbacks, the rules prevent specific instances of unnecessary roughness. Despite the fact that no flag was thrown, Harrison’s word could be enough to trigger a letter from the league office informing him that he’s getting what he has coming, as in money coming out of his check.