by Ryan Wilson
It's seldom (never?) that you see a kicker get slapped with a 15-yard personal-foul penalty, but that's exactly what happened on an extra-point attempt after the touchdown that wasn't. Pittsburgh's Jeff Reed was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct after pushing Frank Walker which led to the Steelers having to kickoff from their 15-yard line.
It seemed kind of ticky-tack at the time -- the Steelers and Ravens were beating the crap out of each other all afternoon, to penalize the kicker for shoving a defensive back is, well, odd -- but apparently Reed was defending punter Mitch Berger's honor. You see, Berger, who also serves as Reed's holder, allegedly got a loogie right in the grill, courtesy of the aforementioned Walker.
"The guy dove, he tried to take out Jeff's knee," said Berger, who holds for Reed's kicks. "I went over there and he got up and he spit in my face -- and they called it on Jeff for pushing him!"
"That's the first I heard that. I don't believe it for one second," Harbaugh said yesterday ..."Frank Walker wouldn't do it; none of our players would do it. I don't believe it for one second."
I don't know what it is with NFL players and spitting, but, if history's any guide, Berger's accusations aren't completely implausible. That said, spitting is so mid-2000s. If Walker really wanted to make his point, he would've started chucking shoes.
Mitch Berger Says Ravens Player Spit in His Face, John Harbaugh Doesn't Believe Him originally appeared on NFL FanHouse on Tue, 16 Dec 2008 12:45:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.