Hel­met-swing­ing episode not con­fined to Browns, Steel­ers

For­mer Colt DE Don Joyce did same thing in ’54 sea­son

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - SPORTS -

If you were watch­ing the Steel­er­sBrowns game Thurs­day night and turned it off early, 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 Fri­day for at least the rest of the sea­son. Pouncey re­ceived a three-game sus­pen­sion, while Ogun­jobi was banned for one.

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. Ac­cord­ing to a Bal­ti­more Sun ac­count at the time, Joyce was ejected and later fined by then-NFL Com­mis­sioner Bert Bell but not sus­pended. 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 goal post, not a hel­met.”

Said Bell: “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.”

Joyce went on to be­come a wrestler in the off­sea­son (not to men­tion a world cham­pion with the Colts in 1958 and 1959). Richter went on to the NFL Hall of Fame.

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