Fans react to Steelers-Browns fight: ‘There’s no place for that in sports’
What happened at the end of the Steelers-Browns game Thursday night was not football, Western Pennsylvania fans said Friday.
While the NFL doled out suspensions and fines for the fight at the end of the game, fans said that level of violence — Browns defensive lineman Myles Garrett swung Mason Rudolph’s helmet at the Steelers quarterback’s head — has no place in football or sports.
“There was no call for it,” said Mandy Rodgers, of Tarentum. “It was just ridiculous, and I think he [Garrett] should be penalized for it.”
The NFL suspended Garrett indefinitely. Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey, who rushed to defend his quarterback and punched and kicked Garrett in the head, got a three-game suspension. Larry Ogunjobi, a defensive lineman for the Browns, was suspended one game for shoving Rudolph to the ground. Rudolph was not suspended.
There is no excuse for fighting in a sporting event, said Saltsburg resident Charles Shepard, a retired Kiski Prep teacher who coached baseball, swimming and soccer.
“Football is entertainment, and that wasn’t entertainment,” he said.
Charlie Belavic, of Greensburg, said Garrett should be arrested for swinging the helmet at Rudolph’s head. He also felt Pouncey’s suspension was justified, though he expects the center to appeal it.
Barney Hanson, part-owner of The Point Bar and Grill in Greensburg, said Pouncey likely reacted out of anger and in defense of a teammate.
Bloomfield resident Drew Bollman expected a lot of suspensions in the aftermath of the fight. He said Pouncey kicking Garrett in the head was disturbing.
“But as far as using the helmet to hit a player with his own helmet, I’ve never seen anything like that in sports. I don’t think there’s a place for that in sports,” Bollman said. “I think his punishment should be pretty serious to set precedence that that’s not going to be tolerated in the NFL.”
Ed Daquila, of Freeport, said Garrett’s suspension is justified.
“I’ve just never seen anything like it,” Daquila said.
Besides the fight, the Steelers overall performance also was pretty terrible, some fans said.
“The Steelers picked a funny time to fight when they did not show a darn thing all game,” said John Meadows of Jeannette. “They showed no fight the whole game.”
John Vazquez, 65, of Kennedy, said there were too many injuries and head shots throughout the entire game. He blamed Cleveland and said they should have been forced to forfeit the game.
“Steelers win. You lose,” he said. “There is no room in football for that violence.”
Vazquez said Garrett should be suspended for the season.
“That should send a strong message that there’s no place in the NFL or any sport for violence,” Vazquez said.