Hard Hat Award (Game # 12, Vs. Cinci)
Stillers WR Antonio Brown and special teamer Curtis Brown 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 what was a first in the long, illustrious history of the coveted Hard Hat Award, the co-winners each shared the same last name.
Tonoio Brown had a big game in the win over Cinci. It started ominously enough, when he dropped a simple slant pass on 3d & 11 on the first drive. Tonio didn�t mope, however, and came back and had a stellar game. He had a great RAC after short crosser for 45 yards on the last play of 1Q. He then had abrilliant pluck on a 3d & long seamer late in the 3Q, good for 23 yards. Brown received a legal, devastating hit by Nelson on a deepish lob down the s-line in the 4Q. He instantly writhed in pain near the Stiller bench, but in true Hard Hat fashion, he shook it off and soon returned back to the game. Lest anyone forgets to mention, Brown also busted the game open with a sterling 60-yard punt return for a TD, the first by a Stiller since 2006.
The other Brown, Curtis, had a superbly strong game on special teams. He had another good, crisp solo stop in KO cover, early 2Q. Then, late in the 2Q, he fought off a block, got onto his feet after slipping on the shitty turf, and made a key stop on the 13. Curt had yet another tackle on coverage, this on punt coverage, in the 4Q. This is the kind of Hard Hatted play that wins the special teams battle and more often than not wins the tough games.
Others receiving consideration were OG Doug Legursky, RB Rashard Mendenhall, DE Brett Keisel, and OLB James Harrison. 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 Brown and Brown for winning the Hard Hat Award. Wear the Hard Hat proudly, fellas !
Previous 2011 Hard Hat Winners:
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