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Bet on the NFL Steelers linebacker James Harrison spoke his mind at meeting with Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner, regarding stricter enforcement of dangerous hits. Teammate Troy Polamalu criticizes policy as causing paranoia throughout the pro league.

Steelers linebacker James Harrison had been threatening to retire after being slapped with a $75,000 fine by the NFL for a helmet hit to Browns wide receiver Moahamed Massquoi on October 17. He was fined $25,000 more than other players who were also fined, as his hit was deemed to have been a habit. Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather and Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson were fined $50,000 each for helmet to helmet hits.

Commissioner Goodell requested the meeting with Harrison after one of his worst games against Miami. The meeting was held at NFL headquarters in New York on a Steelers day off. The two met so that Harrison could explain his side of the story and the two could come to a better understanding of the league rules.

The fine is being appealed by Harrison, who was also fined an additional $5,000 for slamming Vince Young, the Tennessee Titans quarterback, to the ground on September 19 during a game against the Titans. Furthmore, he could face additonal fines for a late hit during the game against the Saints.

Harrison's position is that Massquoi ducked his head and initiated the contact that Harrison was later fined for. But Harrison will have difficulty arguing his point, as two hits against the Browns resulted in concussions.  How much of an effect do such hits have on football odds when players end up with concussions and keep playing yet perform below their potential, or have to take time off on the injured list?

Harrison's teammate Polomalu is even more dismissive of the NFL rule, arguing that the commissioner has too much control over the players and that executives of the teams should have more say in determining fines against players. He also argues that there is widespread paranoia in the league as a result of the stricter enforcement, and fears that a watered down game will lose popularity in Europe, a market the NFL is marketing to aggressively. However, Polamalu stated that a meeting between himself and the NFL commissioner would not solve anything.

Will more hesitant defensive lines have a noticeable effect on sportsbook odds, especially for teams heavily reliant on their defenses to win games?


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