Hard Hat Award (Game #4, @ Houston)
Stillers LB James Harrison and SS Troy Polamalu are the co-winners of the weekly Hard Hat Award, given to the Stiller player who best embodies the iron-tough, hard-as-steel attitude of the steel workers inside the blast furnace of a still mill.
This may look like a typo mistake, and these 2 men were last week�s co-winners as well. But alas, it�s not. And even sadder, it�s not. The rest of the team may have skulked their way through this abysmal loss to the Texans, but not these 2 men.
Dirty Harry was the only LB to play with any kind of skill, savvy, and toughness during this game. He stuffed Tate for a 1-yard gain on the 1st drive, perhaps only 1 of 2 plays of that long march that was stuffed adequately. On a screen pass in the 2Q, Harrison took on a mammoth O-lineman, head-on, and absorbed the brunt of a helmet-to-helmet block. He went to the sideline after this play with vision problems. He gamely came back into the game in the 2nd half and gave it his all. A day later, it was revealed that Harrison had broken an orbital bone in his eye. That, my friends, is what Hard Hat football is all about.
Troy again looked like the Troy of old with his slashing style of play. He slashed in and dropped Foster for a 2-yard loss in the 4Q. He then rode Foster like a steer, grabbing him high and hauling him rudely to the ground, after a short grab on a 3d &9 screen that gained 2 yards. He then applied a good stick on Foster just before the 2MW, holding the star RB to a 2-yard gain. Troy did miss Foster on the 42-yard TD run, but this was a case where an ass-clumsy defender (LaMarr Gildon) flopped to the ground and flailed, and that flopped flailing essentially cut Pola out of making the tackle.
As is typical in a losing effort, no other Stillers were even in consideration by The Committee. It�s a rather sad situation when so few players gave the kind of effort expected for the Hard Hat. The defense was soft n� cheesy, and the offense played grabass the entire game. It bears repeating that there is almost always -- if not always -- a strong correlation between the number of players in consideration for the Hard Hat, and if the team won or lost. Simply put, Hard Hat kind of football leads to victory; pansy football (a term used here long before Troy Pola popularized it) leads to defeat.
Kudos to Harry and Pola for winning the Hard Hat Award. Wear the Hard Hat proudly, fellas !
Previous 2011 Hard Hat Winners:
Game #3, @ Indy: James Harrison and Troy Polamalu
Game #2, vs. Seattle: Mike Wallace and Troy Polamalu
Game #1, @ Balt: No One