|8:34:57 AM - Thu, Dec 7th 2017
|Steelers-Bengals marred by worrying
Tuesday 5 December 2017 19.03 GMT Last modified on Tuesday 5 December 2017 20.04 GMT
The [url=http://www.goldenstatewarriorsauthentic.com/Womens-Stephen-Curry-Jersey]http://www.goldenstatewarriorsauthentic.com/Womens-Stephen-Curry-Jersey[/url] body count included a pair of young men carted off on stretchers and still more knocked out with serious injuries. Some were a result of routine plays that embody football’s existential risks, others were the offspring of more sinister intentions. Who can say, as the medics rush the field before a hushed stadium or from the antiseptic fluorescent buzz of a hospital room, which brand [url=http://www.usasoccershops.com/damarcus-beasley-world-cup-jersey]DaMarcus Beasley Authentic Jersey[/url] of violence is more concerning? Does it even matter?
One thing’s for certain: the grim tableau of carnage that was Monday night’s divisional grudge match between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals, beamed in 4K ultra-high-definition to a national audience, comes at the worst possible time for a league beset with problems from all sides.
The first sobering moment came early on when Ryan Shazier, the Steelers’ Pro Bowl linebacker, immediately reached for the middle of his back after a delivering a head-first hit across the middle. The game was halted for several minutes as the 25-year-old was strapped to a backboard, carted off the field and taken to the hospital for tests amid fears of a spinal injury. (Thankfully, he will not require surgery “at this time”.)
What came next was hardly unavoidable: a parade of illegal hits and deliberate head shots between regional rivals bound by a well-documented antipathy. Steelers rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster detonated a vicious blindside block on Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict then preened over his motionless victim, prompting unfettered disgust from ESPN commentators Sean McDonough (“shame on him”) and Jon Gruden (who called it “sickening”). Not long after, Cincinnati safety George Iloka punctuated a game-tying touchdown catch by Pittsburgh star Antonio Brown with a late, high hit. (Iloka and Smith-Schuster have been suspended one game for their actions).
Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, when asked to assess the brutality of the night in the immediate aftermath, offered a chilling assessment: “AFC North football.”The Steelers’ comeback from 17-0 [url=http://www.tennesseetitansauthorizedstore.com/ben-jones-jersey-elite]Ben Jones Jersey[/url] down in a prime-time game bursting with playoff implications should have been the topline, but the reaction from NFL insiders spoke volumes.
For a league that’s made a strategic effort to persuade the public that it’s a worthy [url=http://www.authenticspursshops.com/authentic-5-dejounte-murray-jersey.html]Dejounte Murray Jersey[/url] American pastime and not merely a vehicle for gratuitous violence, this was hardly a banner night. Television ratings continue to languish along with [url=http://www.officialtigerstore.com/Jordan_Zimmermann_Jersey]http://www.officialtigerstore.com/Jordan_Zimmermann_Jersey[/url] the quality of play. Look no further than the actual roll of starting quarterbacks for Week 13’s games, a who’s who that included: Jacoby Brissett, [url=http://www.authenticnikeseahawkshop.com/cliff-avril-jersey-for-sale-c-47.html]http://www.authenticnikeseahawkshop.com/cliff-avril-jersey-for-sale-c-47.html[/url] Ryan Fitzpatrick, Blaine Gabbert, Brett Hundley, DeShone Kizer, Josh McCown, Matt Moore, Tom Savage, Trevor Siemian, Geno Smith, Mitch Trubisky. Say nothing of the ongoing showdown with the president of the United States that’s represented a nightmare scenario for Roger Goodell’s pathologically apolitical operation as it’s ballooned into the biggest story in American sports.