U mad, bro? Readers accuse Mason Rudolph of starting Steelers-Browns brawl, Tim Benz of racism | TribLIVE.com
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U mad, bro? Readers accuse Mason Rudolph of starting Steelers-Browns brawl, Tim Benz of racism

Tim Benz
Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett reacts after swinging a helmet at Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Cleveland.

This may have been the easiest week yet to compile angry responses for “U mad, bro?”

Or maybe it was the hardest.

In terms of volume, I may have had more feedback on the Myles Garrett helmet attack on Mason Rudolph than I have received on any other single topic.

Let’s just say I got bogged down surfing through the options.

As a result, I decided to pick the most topic-diverse correspondences of the bunch, so as to hit all the highway off-ramps of this mess.

And I sprinkled in some actual football and a little Pirates talk, too.

Thomas sums up the anger over the past week from Cleveland toward Rudolph in the wake of Garrett’s helmet attack during last Thursday’s Browns’ win over the Steelers.

Rudolph “started it”?

Yeah. Ok.

Rudolph started it in the same way Ron Goldman “started it” by bringing Nicole Simpson her sunglasses.

Which is why it is so macabre and ironic that O.J. Simpson’s tweet advancing the “Suspend Mason” nonsense helped fuel this false interpretation of the events in the first place.

As if this Garrett-Rudolph situation didn’t have me fired up enough, some guy named Tony decided to exacerbate my anger by stirring race into the conversation.

Here’s the kind of guy Tony is. He’s the kind of person that— if the roles were reversed— and Clay Matthews took Lamar Jackson down in the same fashion that Garrett did to Rudolph, he’d call that racist, too.

This guy is just looking for anything everywhere that he can call “racism” so he can raise his hand, act aghast and appear high-minded.

In reality, he looks stupid.

Based on my exchange with him, it’s 100% clear to me that if a white player did the same thing to a black QB that Garrett did to Rudolph, he wouldn’t be looking for a reason to suspend/fine/blame the black QB as so many are with Rudolph.

He’d call it a hate crime and demand the white defensive player be banned for life and scoff at any suggestion that the black quarterback-victim was at all culpable.

Any analysis I’ve done on this topic is absent of race, and he accused me of injecting it. That’s being inflammatory in the hopes of making himself look noble and enlightened.

A frequent emailer named “Bellva Dear” didn’t seem to be in lockstep with my suggestion that Maurkice Pouncey should get a free pass when it came to a suspension because he was defending his quarterback from Garrett’s helmet assault.

How was Pouncey defending his QB when he was kicking Garrett on the ground?

Uh, to make sure the unhinged guy who was swinging his helmet around like a maniac didn’t get up.

This became “stand your ground” kinda stuff.


If Pouncey felt Garrett needed to be injured so as to not kill Rudolph, who are any of us to disagree?

What Garrett did was so far beyond the norms of sports, the efforts to stop him needed to go that far as well.

Yes, up to and including injuring him in the process to prevent him from doing anything further to Rudolph, if needed.

And let’s not get carried away. Punching and kicking a guy wearing a helmet isn’t the same thing as swinging a helmet at someone who isn’t wearing one.

Ralph from Ohio wasn’t mad at Rudolph for his vicious, dangerous, almost-pulled-helmet trick. Rather he was upset at Rudolph’s play.

It was very clear to me that Mason Rudolph appeared totally ineffective in the first half of last week’s game. I was sure that Tomlin would insert the back up to start the 2nd half or shortly after. I was dismayed that Tomlin never did.”

Well, that criticism of Rudolph I will echo. He was bad Thursday.


So were his receivers and blockers. The running backs weren’t good either.

Beyond that the offense was fantastic, though!

To your comment, independent of his lack of support, Rudolph was poor on his own.

However, I simply don’t think the coaches have as much faith in Devlin Hodges as you do. Or even I do.

I get the impression they thought the team was so depleted, it was going to be a circus if Hodges got in there. That said, it was a circus with Rudolph anyway, I suppose.

I don’t think the difference between Rudolph and Hodges is as vast as the Steelers want it to be. They want to take this full season without Ben Roethlisberger to assess what they have—or are missing—in Rudolph.

We shouldn’t blame them for that.

John chimes in on the hire of Ben Cherington as the new GM of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Or, more specifically, Bob Nutting’s plans now that Cherington has been hired.

“When Jim Rutherford was asked about Pens’ ownership he said: ‘They give me what I need to succeed.’

Does Nutting provide the Pirates front office with what they need to succeed?

The question answers itself.”

It does. So why bother posing it? And why bother making an analogy between a capped sport and an uncapped sport?

But, yes, John. I see your greater point and cosign on your frustration. Cherington may be the greatest baseball mind the game has ever seen.

Unfortunately, it won’t matter long term if the payroll for the on-field product at the Major League level doesn’t increase.

By the way, little known fact. Did you know that, despite being friends, Cherington once hit Neal Huntington in the head with a Red Sox helmet at the GM meetings after Huntington fleeced him on the Mark Melancon-Joel Hanrahan deal?

It’s totally true. 100%. Look it up.

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at [email protected] or via Twitter. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless specified otherwise.

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