If you were watching the Steelers-Browns Thursday night football game and turned it off early, thinking it was over, you missed a brawl in the final seconds in which Browns defensive end Myles Garrett ripped Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph’s helmet off and then hit him in the head with it.
Fox Sports announcer Joe Buck called it “one of the worst things I’ve ever seen on a professional sports field.”
Garrett, Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey (who kicked Garrett in the head) and Browns defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi were ejected after the ensuing brawl. Garrett was suspended on Friday for at least the rest of the season. Pouncey received a three-game suspension while Ogunjobi received one game.
Longtime Baltimore sports fans may remember a similar incident that happened with the Baltimore Colts in 1954 involving defensive end Don Joyce, who twisted the helmet off Los Angeles Rams linebacker Les Richter and hit him in the face with it. Sports writer and pro football historian Dan Daly pointed out the Colts incident on Twitter after the game Thursday night.
Richter required multiple stitches near his eye. Joyce was ejected but not suspended, according to a Baltimore Sun account at the time. Joyce said that Richter had kneed him during a kickoff, which led him to retaliate.
Then-Colts President Don Kellett said, “I think Joyce was too kind. Richter first kneed Joyce in the groin. I would have hit him with a goalpost, not a helmet.”
Then-NFL commissioner Bert Bell chose to fine Joyce, but not suspend him.
For those wondering: Has this ever happened before? Here's #Colts DE Don Joyce standing over #Rams LB Les Richter in 1954 after he pulled off Richter's helmet (lying on the ground) and bashed him in the face with it. Joyce was ejected but not suspended. #Browns#Steelerspic.twitter.com/BZMFZRERkv
“We cannot condone this sort of thing. But there is no sense flying off the handle and condemning the boy too harshly. ... We have all been angry one time or another and did things we were sorry for, so let us temper justice with reason," Bell said.