Hard Hat Award (Game # 13, vs. Clev)
Stillers QB Ben Roethlisberger and OLB James Harrison 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.
In one of the most stirring, Hard Hat efforts ever, Ben shook off a nasty ankle injury that occurred when a DL landed atop his leg and foot, and went on to lead -- and will -- the team to victory. Ben was hurt late in the 1H, and had to be carted to the locker room. At that point, the only questions was if he�d be back in time for the playoffs....or done for the season. But in true Hard Hat spirit, Ben gamely gave it a try in the 2H, limping and hobbling but still persevering. This undoubtedly was one of the grittiest, toughest efforts ever by a Pittsburgh Stiller.
James �Hit Man� Harrison had yet another sterling effort, leading the defensive charge with a classic Hard Hat performance. Harrison dove and stopped McCoy a foot from the GL on the opening series, saving a TD. On the next play, he totally blew up the TE, Moore, and blasted him onto his back on the key 3d & G plunge from the 1-yard line on the 1st drive, which the D stopped. This is hard-nosed linebacking at its finest. In the 4Q, Harry lowered the boom on QB Dolt McCoy with a brutal hit just as Dolt dumped the ball off, which was flagged for a roughing-the-passer penalty. Worse, Harry received a ludicrous 1-game suspension for this hit, which The Committee roundly applauded as the kind of tough, hard-nosed football that we appreciate and demand. Late in the game, Harry relentless pursued McCoy across the field, and then got an ankle-nip sack just before McCoy tried a throw-away, good for a 10-yard loss. Whereas some over-hyped, loafing linebackers around the league would have simply jogged and watched from afar, this was a huge play by a huge player.
Others receiving consideration were OLB Jason Worilds, who had a very strong, stellar game, RB Isaac Redman, and CB William Gay, who had a very solid, productive evening. 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 Ben and Harry for winning the Hard Hat Award. Wear the Hard Hat proudly, fellas !
Previous 2011 Hard Hat Winners:
Game #12, vs. Cinci: Antonio Brown and Curtis Brown
Game #11, @ KC: Jason Worilds
Game #10, @ Cinci: William Gay
Game #9, vs. Balt: James Harrison and Max Starks
Game #8, vs. N.E.: Heath Miller and Ike Taylor
Game #7, @ Ariz: Antonio Brown
Game #6, vs. Jax: Troy Polamalu
Game #5, vs. Tenn: Ben Roethlisberger and Max Starks
Game #4, @ Houston: James Harrison and Troy Polamalu
Game #3, @ Indy: James Harrison and Troy Polamalu
Game #2, vs. Seattle: Mike Wallace and Troy Polamalu
Game #1, @ Balt: No One