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Late For Work 9/25: NFL Investigating Harbaugh Bump With Official

Posted Sep 25, 2012

Rice upset by tweet to Smith. Streaker has anti-bullying message. Rice involved in no-huddle.


NFL Investigating Harbaugh Bump With Official

The NFL announced Monday that it is investigating instances from Week 3 in which coaches clashed with replacement officials, including an inadvertent bump with a ref that Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh acknowledged and apologized for Sunday night.

“We are reviewing incidents from yesterday’s games involving the game officials and Baltimore Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh, New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick and Washington Redskins Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan,” the NFL said in statement.

The league issued its first penalties on coaches for referee incidents to Denver’s  John Fox and Jack Del Rio, who received $30,000 and $25,000 fines respectively, for their Week 2 behavior.

Harbaugh was asked about the NFL’s replacement officials after the Ravens walk through Monday night.

“I really can’t touch on it,” he told reporters. “I think there [are] a lot of good officials in these crews. It’s just going to be hard for those guys to all be on the same page with the history of the National Football League and all that in a few weeks, but there [are] a lot of very talented officials that do a great job and they’re really great communicators and everything. I think there’s a lot of talent there, but the task is tough and they are working real hard at it.”

Harbaugh admitted Sunday night after the Ravens’ win over the Patriots the he made contact with a referee, Rodney Russell, but explained that it was accidental while he was motioning for a timeout in the fourth quarter. He was hit with a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct with two minutes, 23 seconds left in the game.

The moment was captured in the picture to the right.

I didn’t mean to bump him,” Harbaugh said Sunday night. “I wanted to call a timeout, so I apologize for bumping, but the intent was to call a timeout.”

Belichick Explains His Side Of The Story

Onlookers were taken aback to see Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick grab an official after Justin Tucker’s game-winning field goal. Many respected analysts are predicting Belichick will be fined.

After initially declining to speak about the incident, which has gotten a massive amount of attention throughout the sports world, Belichick gave his side of the story, unprompted, in a press conference Monday.

You can read the full statement at the Boston Herald, but here is a snippet:

“By rule, if the ball isn’t over the crossbar, and it’s either inside or outside of the upright, that’s reviewable. If it’s over the crossbar, or over the top of the upright rather, then it’s not reviewable. But I couldn’t tell from my angle when the ball crossed the crossbar where it was. So I didn’t know whether or not that play was going to be under review or whether it wasn’t. So when the game was over, I went out, and I was really looking for an explanation from the officials as to whether or not the play was under review. I did try to get the official’s attention as he was coming off the field to ask that, but I really wasn’t able to do that.

“I’ve coached in this league a long time and never been penalized, never had any incidents with officials or anything like that. I have never meant any disrespect or in any way tried to abuse or be disrespectful to the officials and the job that they do. I’m trying to get an explanation for obviously an important call, play, in that game. That’s the number one thing between coaches and officials. It’s always at the forefront. It’s just communication of what’s going on, of what’s happening.”

Ravens Streaker Has Anti-Bullying Message

I guess if you’re going to “streak” (which I don’t recommend or encourage as it is against the law), you should at least have a purpose. Also, is it really streaking if you’re wearing clothes and a cape?

Apparently there is more to the story behind the Ravens Batman streaker that interrupted the Ravens-Patriots showdown Sunday night.

He wasn’t just some drunken fan that suddenly decided to get a little crazy to entertain his friends. No, Mark Harvey took to the field at M&T Bank Stadium with an anti-bullying message, according to Mike Cole of the New England Sports Network.

He had the words, “Don’t be a bully, be a Super Hero” written across his bare chest as he stormed the field wearing a cape, sunglasses, a hat, black shorts and black tennis shoes.

“The streaker, who also crashed an Orioles game this season with a similar message and similar dance moves, apparently does this to raise awareness for bullying,” Cole wrote. “He even has a website devoted to spreading the message.”

Harvey has certainly gotten everyone’s attention, and has a website pushing his cause: BiggerThanBullying.com.

"Bullying is a real problem in America, and I am here to stop it," Harvey says on the website. "We all have super powers and it's time to put them to use. I'm talking about the power we have to make friends, stand-up for one another, and ultimately make 'bullying' just another word in the dictionary."

However, Harvey may want to find a legal and safe way to get his positive message across.  He was charged with trespassing and disorderly conduct.

Per WBAL, the Ravens said Harvey “created a dangerous situation and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Rice Upset By Tasteless Tweet To T. Smith

Running back Ray Rice wasn’t happy to see a tweet that appeared to be directed to receiver Torrey Smith Sunday night, just hours after he lost his 19-year-old brother, Tevin, in a motorcycle accident.

Twitter user, @KatieBrady12, crossed the line when she wrote, “Hey, Smith, how about you call your bro and tell him all about your wi--- ohhhh. Wait. #TooSoon?.”

Really? You went there?

In addition to intense backlash from many Ravens fans on Twitter, Rice also responded to @KatieBrady12 writing: “smh u are terrible I hope you know the word karma.”

The Twitter account has now been switched to “private.”

Internet users believe the Twitter handle belongs to an employee of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and have reached out to the university in complaint, reports John-John Williams IV of The Baltimore Sun.

The reporter reached out to Johns Hopkins, and received this statement from a spokesman:

“Our deepest sympathies are with Torrey Smith and his family. The social media comment that made light of the Smith family’s loss represented the thoughts of one individual. It does not in any way represent the Johns Hopkins community," said Dennis O'Shea, spokesman for Johns Hopkins.

‘Definitely’ A Way To Keep Rice Involved In No-Huddle

Rice carried the ball just 10 times in the season-opening win against Cincinnati (which was a blowout so Rice was wisely placed on the sidelines in garbage time), and then added only 16 more carries in a loss to the Eagles.

Questions began to surface about whether there was a place for Rice in the Ravens’ new no-huddle offense.

Well, after seeing Rice excel on the ground versus the Patriots, a game in which the Ravens continued to use the no-huddle, The Sun’s Matt Vensel says there is “definitely” a way to keep the Pro Bowl running back involved.

Of his 20 carries, which went for 101 yards, 13 of them came while the Ravens were in the no-huddle. He churned out 66 yards and a touchdown while rushing in the no-huddle, according to Vensel. Plus he was targeted five times in the passing game, catching all of them for 49 yards.

“[The Ravens] showed they can keep one of the best running backs in football involved without taking their foot off the gas pedal. That's a pretty scary thought – one that the offensive coaching staff needs to keep fresh in everyone's minds going forward.”

Already Pulling For Flacco-Ryan Super Bowl

Just three weeks into the season and CBSSports.com’s Clark Judge is already pulling for a Ravens-Falcons Super Bowl.

“[A]nd I'll tell you why: The quarterbacks. Finally, mercifully, fittingly, a Super Bowl could settle the debate over which is better,” he wrote.

Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco have been linked since they were both selected in the first round of the 2008 draft, and they both continue to get better each year.

If he had to take one of the two quarterbacks into the Super Bowl for his team, Judge says he would take Flacco for one “compelling” reason: He wins big games, including in the playoffs, and Ryan has yet to do so.

Judge acknowledged that Ryan is the face of the Atlanta franchise and has better passing statistics, but  Flacco has a 5-4 playoff record and is the first quarterback in league history to start and win playoff games in each of his first four pro seasons.

“But this isn't fantasy football, people,” wrote Judge. “This is a league where you're measured by what you do in January and February, and, no offense, but Matt Ryan hasn't done diddly-poo. …

“So whom do you want -- Flacco in Baltimore or Ryan in Atlanta? I'll take the quarterback I can trust when I need to win most. Give me Joe Flacco.”

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