The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cleveland Browns have a long and storied rivalry but what happened at the end of Thursday night’s game will be a stain on that rivalry that won’t go away for a long time.

With eight seconds left in Cleveland’s 21-7 victory over Pittsburgh, Myles Garrett took down Steelers QB Mason Rudolph and in the ensuing tussle, Garrett ripped Rudolph’s helmet off and used it as a weapon, hitting Rudolph in the head. Once that happened, Maurkice Pouncey and David DeCastro retaliated by taking down Garrett and were punching and kicking him. Larry Ogunjobi then retaliated against Pouncey and DeCastro.

Garrett, Ogunjobi, and Pouncey were ejected for their involvement. On the Fox broadcast, Troy Aikman said Garrett hitting Rudolph was “one of the worst things I’ve ever seen on a professional sports field.” Many others in the media felt similarly and in the immediate aftermath, most strongly criticized Garrett for what he did.

Even head coach Freddie Kitchens and some of Garrett’s teammates like Baker Mayfield publicly denounced what Garrett did. It probably wasn’t what they wanted to talk about but many Browns players who spoke publicly in the immediate aftermath did not support their teammate for what he did.

What’s ultimately disappointing is that Garrett’s act totally took away from everyone talking about the Browns getting a massive win against the Steelers. Cleveland has had a rough season, especially when they were projected to be in the playoffs before the season, and a win against a rival may have been the thing that got things on the right track. Instead, we got this.

The NFL has a major decision in how to handle this. There will likely be suspensions and fines for Garrett and/or Pouncey and this will likely dominate discussion for the rest of the week so expect to see more takes in the coming days.

About Phillip Bupp

News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing, highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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