Myles Garrett Smashing Rudolph With Helmet

Did that really happen?

Jim Rome
November 15, 2019 - 12:54 pm
Myle Garrett

USA Today


Let me ask you something. Anything bizarre go down last night? Did you all see anything on TV that seemed a little off? Maybe something you’ve never seen before?

Because I sure as hell did. And yes, there was an actual game last night, which I’ll get to in a minute. But that is completely overshadowed by that other deal. 

And if for some reason, you didn’t see it, let me roll it for you. Now, I’d give you context before setting up this clip, but I’m not even sure what the context is. I have no idea what context there is that would make any of this make any sense.

Here you go. 

The hell was that?!?!? Seriously. What was THAT?!?

 I still don’t know what I just saw.

Because I know what it wasn’t – it wasn’t some extracurricular activity, at the end of the game, between two teams that hate each other’s guys, where guys are jawing and maybe a punch or two are thrown. No. That’s not what that was. That was Myles Garrett ripping Mason Rudolph’s helmet off his head, and then weaponing it and cracking him in said head, with said helmet. 

And damn near braining him with it. And yes, there was a lot more that happened after that, like Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey throwing haymakers and then kicking Garrett. But this isn’t about any of that.

This is about whatever the hell that was. 

The league is cracking down on “helmet to helmet” hits, but nobody ever thought about cracking down on “hitting a guy with his own helmet” hits. Because it’s never happened. At least not on this level.

Myles Garret must’ve missed the seminar on player safety. Then again, I’m not sure there was a breakout session on not smashing guys in the head with their own helmets.

Hitting a guy without a helmet is one thing. Hitting a guy with his own helmet is another. That is next level. I have seen a lot of football in my time and I have never seen a guy rip off another guy’s helmet and then beat said guy with his own helmet.

I’m sorry – I’m still blown away by the fact that a guy took off another guy’s helmet and then smashed him with it. That is mind-blowing. And awful. And inexcusable. And stunning.

That’s just not something that happens…that’s not one of those heat of the moment things: or one of those unless you’ve lined up and played the team at the highest level, you just don’t get it…because pretty much know who is currently playing the game at the highest level or played the game at the highest level, got that. Or tried to defend that.  Because it can’t happen. That’s something you joke about: like, man, I’ll rip your own helmet off your heat and beat YOU with it, yo!! Except Myles Garrett actually did it!

 And no, there isn’t one of those deals where I say, I’m not rushing in and I’m not going to judge because I wasn’t there. I don’t know what was said. I don’t know what precipitated that. All true: I wasn’t there. I don’t what was said. I don’t know what precipitated. And I don’t give a damn. I don’t care about the context. I’ve seen the suggestion that Rudolph might have done something to him when they were on the ground.

Maybe he did, but if he did, whatever it was, it doesn’t justify ripping off a guy’s helmet and assaulting him with it.

And Garrett’s teammate, Baker Mayfield sure didn’t think so when he was asked about it on the field after the game.

Baker handled that really well in the moment. Given everything that just went down and the fact that they had won a huge game and then his teammate went braindead and did one of the dumbest things ever, Baker handled that really, really well.

And Freddie Kitchens wasn’t looking to make excuses either.

“We do not react like that no matter what. (Rudolph grabbing Garrett’s helmet) is not an excuse for anything Myles did at all, and we are not giving him an excuse.”

He had more.

“Of course that’s not who we want to be at the end of the game. That’s not who Myles wants to be. That’s not who we’re gonna be. You have to be able to maintain your composure in times like that and under no circumstance do we want anything to do with anything like that. I’m embarrassed. Myles is embarrassed. It’s not good.”

And more.

“We have five seconds to go in a game. That cannot happen. We have five seconds to go in a game — the biggest game that this team has won …”

Kitchens was pissed. So were Garrett’s teammates. Odell Beckham Jr called it “dumb” and said “For what direction we’re headed in, for this organization, it just was not where we’ve been going, and it does feel like we lost the game.”

And of course, the question is – what punishment fits that crime? And the answer is: I have no idea. Because I’ve never seen that crime before.

There isn’t a manual you can pull out and say, unsportsmanlike conduct, 15 yards, hitting a guy with his own helmet, 6 games.

And in the immediate aftermath, you had a lot of people huffing and puffing, trying to yell the loudest about what kind of punishment Garrett deserves.

And I love people saying that you can’t do that in this era of player safety and protecting the quarterback.

Right. Like it was ever okay to do that. Like before they starting focusing on player safety it would’ve been cool to crack a guy with his own bonnet.

Here’s another take that I love – that there’s a code among the players and Garrett just violated it.

If you want to say he’s done for the rest of the season, I’m fine with that. I think the league will act punitively and swiftly and we’re not going to see Garrett for the rest of the season, a season the Browns are trying to salvage and now how to go at it without their best defensive player. Really good player. Really stupid decision. 

But no, even though some of you want it, he’s not getting a lifetime ban. If Albert Haynesworth didn’t get a lifetime ban for stomping dude’s head like a grape, Garrett won’t either. If Matt Millen didn’t get a lifetime ban for punching an opposing gm like he did back in the day, Garrett won’t either.  . Shootout to my guy Howard Bryant for that incredible reminder last night.

But even a player punching a gm in the face, isn’t the same as ripping off a guy’s helmet and beating him with it. And yes, if he did that in the street, he’d be arrested for it. Because it’s assault.

Now, I don’t think that you’d treat this like a criminal act, but I can see why people are throwing that around, because everyone is worked up and nobody’s see anything like this.

And because everyone is incredibly lucky that Garrett didn’t actually permanently injure Rudolph or worse. Because as bad as last night was, it could’ve been so much worse.  Think about that for a minute, what if Garrett lost his mind, and permanently maimed Rudolph? Or put him to sleep permanently. Then one of the dumbest things ever officially becomes one of the worst things ever. Thankfully, it didn’t come to that. So, what punishment fits that crime? We’re about to find out. And when does a win feel like a loss: when something like that goes down.