I know I'm arguing with a small segment of fans who are more than likely being made to sound prepubescent and stupid by the idea of their team losing its most impactful defensive player for the rest of a season that probably already felt a lot like being led into a room blindfolded on your birthday and having the surprise be yet another kick to the genitals. The Cleveland Browns hardly got to bring any happiness before they got humbled, so I'd imagine their sad sack supporters have difficulty feeling sympathy for anyone else that hasn't felt the unrelenting pain of decades of Doomsday-esque dread, Mason Rudolph included.
That being said, going the "he started it!" route, as if we are talking about a push-for-push shoving match on a playground and not one man reacting to a relatively run-of-the-mill tussle with what could be considered attempted murder in up to 10 states, is beyond idiotic. Even if Mason Rudolph did indeed "start it", I double checked the math and it turns out that one wrong plus one felony do not - in fact - equal a right.
Never mind Myles Garrett reacting in such an insane fashion that people automatically assumed slur and had their race cards out more prematurely than a kid waving a $20 from three rows back at a college bar. What Myles Garrett did was so egregious and shocking that I initially missed Maurkice Pouncey kicking him in the head as a retaliatory defense of his quarterback. With that being the case, you can surely deduct that my eyes didn't spend too much time trained on the helmet tug, or even the groin "kick", that prompted it.
Sorry, but this third grade logic doesn't apply to a sequence of events that compares favorably to trying to burn someone's entire house down because they flicked a lit cigarette at you. It just doesn't, and I presume that would be pretty obvious if the worst case scenario were to have come at all close to playing out last night.
Sure, Mason Rudolph could have given Myles Garrett a slight crick in his neck and a rising stomach pain, but Myles Garrett could have turned Mason Rudolph into an absolute vegetable of a patient that's in a perpetual state of drooling. Even in a sport that used to celebrate the type of brutality that we now know broke human brains, one of those things is simply not like the other in reaching a degree of senseless violence that not even the most psychotic of superhumans sign up for. I'd say that is best encapsulated by a quote that couldn't possibly state something more obvious...
I'll concede that Mason Rudolph is not anywhere near as innocent as he let on...
However, he also couldn't potentially be found guilty in a court of law (not that this incident should go anywhere near that far), so excuse me if I consider the "case" against him to be about as pressing as an alternate side parking ticket. Anyone that's played sports knows the retaliatory act always gets more attention, and I think that saying probably applies a wee bit more when the retaliatory act is an attempt to cave in an opponent's skull.
Speaking of Myles Garrett...
I question whether he thinks he participated in some sort of 'Instant Classic' last night. When "what happens in 8 seconds" is the type of assault that typically causes blunt force trauma then it overshadows the result of a shitty Thursday Night Football game between two largely boring teams in the same way that an unexpected hurricane might overshadow the taste of the wings at a beach party. There's not a coach or teammate in the Browns' locker room that had the tone or temperament of someone that just won a football game, and it's because said football game was just evvvvvver-so-slightly less rare than the attempted bludgeoning that brought it to a barbaric end...you goddamn lunatic.