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View Full Version : James Harrison is being James Harrison, why are we surprised?



BlitzburghRockCity
07-13-2011, 05:55 PM
The proclaimed meanest player in the National Football League has stirred the Steeler Nation and the NFL, and probably the Vatican into a frenzy. Why are we surprised at this? Should we be surprised?

Harrison has long been known for his leave it on the field, play old school, and don't worry about what anyone thinks of him, attitude. It's something to be admired by anyone who can appreciate what the NFL is about. His abilities and dedication to his craft are second to none; you'd be hard pressed to find anyone, Steeler fan or not, that would say he's not the best or one of the best, period.

The news broke this morning about an article in Men's Journal magazine (http://www.mensjournal.com/jamesharrison) in which James does an extensive interview with writer Paul Solotaroff. The article titled Confessions of an NFL Hitman, which was originally done around May of of this year is now being released in the August 2011 issue. I would highly recommend picking up a copy of the magazine and reading the entire article to draw your own conclusions after seeing the whole story. It gives you a very interesting look into the life of one of the toughest guys to ever hit the field. To Mr. Solotaroff's credit, it's a very good read, although James himself may take issue with some of it. In fact, he was on ESPN tonight and said that he has been flooded with calls from NFL players who have given James credit and support for saying what everybody else thinks but haven't had the guts to say. Make no mistake, Roger Goodell is hated among NFL players almost as much as he is among the fans. So if you think that Harrison's comments reflect his own opinions, you might want to think again.

Harrison unloads on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, and the NFL, as well as various teammates including Ben Roethlisberger and Rashard Mendenhall. James refers to the commish as a "crook, the devil, and a dictator". In regards to his reputation as a being a "thug": “My rep is James Harrison, mean son of a bitch who loves hitting the hell out of people,” he says. “But up until last year, there was no word of me being dirty — till Roger Goodell, who’s a crook and a puppet, said I was the dirtiest player in the league. If that man was on fire and I had to **** to put him out, I wouldn’t do it. I hate him and will never respect him.”

He also goes on criticize running back Rashard Mendenhall, calling him a "fumbling machine". His comments on Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger seemed to stir the most ire among Steeler fans when he said "You're not Peyton Manning, you know it man, you just get paid like him" (referring to Ben's interception deep in Steeler territory in the Super Bowl). Ben has since said that he talked to Harrison this morning (James called Ben) and the 2 are fine, stating that James told him the comments were taken out of context and not meant to insult him. Rashard Mendenhall also tweeted that he doesn't have a problem with Harrison because he knows him.

The "trade James Harrison" and "unload the dead weight" chants have already started among some. We all knew that was coming like 2 freight trains on a collision course. As soon as a Steeler player does something controversial people start calling for their heads on a platter. What Harrison did is not the traditional "Steeler way" of going about your business, but Harrison is not your traditional type of Steeler player. He's the best of the best, but in similar fashion to guys like Joey Porter and Greg Lloyd, he will say what he wants to whomever he wants, and that's that. If you don't like, so what! So why are we surprised at these comments? I will admit they took me back this morning as I was getting ready for work and while checking the latest news I saw this come across the wire. As the day went on and the social media outlets were in full gear I thought more and more about it. This is who he is, he speaks his mind honestly. He won't hold back for anyone. If you analyze what he said, how much of it was really wrong?

The comments calling Roger Goodell a dictator are spot on, most fans regardless of affiliation can agree with that. Now the gay slurs, that is unacceptable. You tread in dangerous waters going down that path to say the least. The comments about Goodell being the devil and a crook; well let's just say none of us actually thinks that James believes Goodell is the real devil or a real crook now do we? Harrison's agent, Bill Parise, calls it "bravado". Clearly this is Parise trying to help diffuse the situation which escalated to epic proportions since it hit the media.

A lot of it is bravado," Parise said. "I think people have to be careful not to read that and think those statements are anything more than expressions of feelings, particularly in regard to the commissioner. The commissioner fined James $100,000 last year. What do you want him to say, he's my best friend? James is a tough individual and that's the type of language he uses."

The comments about Roethlisberger's performance in the Super Bowl and Mendenhall's fumble problems aren't exactly old news. The main issue people have with it is the context in which it was said, not that he necessarily said it out loud. I'm sure the entire sideline gasped when those plays happened and similar thoughts went through the every players head even though nothing was ever said. It's only natural to react that way. We all know the interception he is referring too and the Rashard fumble were key turning points in the game.

The Rooney's have made a brief statement: “I have not yet seen the article in Men’s Journal nor have I spoken to James Harrison about his comments. We will discuss the situation at the appropriate time, when permitted once the labor situation is resolved.”

Since we are in the midst of the lockout still, the league and the Steelers can't really do much about Harrison's comments. I'm sure we'll hear from the Rooney's and coach Tomlin at some point. Perhaps a fine will be in order then, we'll have to wait and see. Suffice it to say that no one inside the confines of the organization is happy with the interview comments and for Harrison's sake it's good that we're in a lockout right now. Trading or releasing a guy like Harrison isn't going to solve anything in this writers opinion. With a player like James you take the good with the bad. The team knows it all too well. They don't like it but they deal with it. Harrison's "live weight" is worth more to the Steelers than his "dead weight" being released. You want a winner on the field, he is that. You want a competitor and a guy that gives you 100% every minute, that's Harrison. Say what you want about him but he's been a big part of the Steelers success since he became a starter. He's over 30 anyways and only plans on finishing out his current contract so releasing him makes zero sense.

Paul writes that Harrison intends to retire after his contract is up and pursue his other passion, real estate. Assuming James lasts the final 3 years of his deal it wouldn't surprise me one bit to see him follow through with that plan. Until then though, this is who James Harrison is, he shouldn't be released nor will he be. The Rooney's stand by their star players through thick and thin (Santonio Holmes was released, but remember the issues with Holmes were more criminal related than just magazine chatter), and while James may have a habit of making more thick moments than thin, he'll be here when the NFL 2011 season gets underway.

Matt Pappas
SteelerAddicts.com

BlacknGold Bleeder
07-13-2011, 11:00 PM
Well written article !! It is what it is, from a man who calls it like it is.Last I knew we are still entitled to an opinion in this country,ya may not like what is being said but he has a right to say it.

steelersbabex25
07-13-2011, 11:40 PM
I don't have a problem with James Harrison voicing his opinion about Goodell (bringing his teammates into it is a different story for me), but it was the hostility that was included. There's a very thin line between being frank and being vulgar, and I think he definitely crossed the line. Most of us don't care, his teammates might not care, and I'm sure he doesn't care, but it doesn't shed very good light on him or the organization.

Black@Gold Forever32
07-14-2011, 12:43 AM
Ok I'm all for a player voicing his opinion but James Harrison probably wouldn't like people throwing around the N-Word so using a gay slur to bash the commish isn't wise.....People do find the word f$ggot offensive so James should use better judgment before using that word........

I'm sorry I hope James Harrison isn't just fined but also suspended for him being a total idiot with his remarks.....

BlitzburghRockCity
07-14-2011, 02:13 PM
Using the gay slur wasn't the brightest move in the world I'll give you that. It does offend people, but Harrison doesn't really care who he offends so in that sense I'm not surprised he used it. I could see him using the same type of language he used in the interview, frequently in his day to day life. That's just the type of guy he is.

jpele
07-14-2011, 04:30 PM
So how many fan cheered when Ben threw the pick ? Or perhaps you were thinking along similar lines as James, I was.

MattyVfromCT
07-14-2011, 04:43 PM
Should he have gone about this the way he has? No. But there has been far worse done by others in the past. Calling out teammates isn't a good thing but everyone who's panicking thinking this will split the locker room is going a lil overboard. Ed bouchette was on the fan morning show and he was laughing about all the get rid of harrison talk. He was talking about how he's witnessed locker room brawls with guys using chairs as weapons, Mel blunt suing chuck Noll, blunt also calling out bud carson, among other things and all this happened on good, even great super bowl winning teams. People need to understand that not everybody on a football team is buddy buddy, loved dovey with all of their teammates. Plus its a known fact that offensive guys and defensive guys weren't in love with each other on the great 70s teams and the 90s teams as well. Personally I think last year's offseason drama was far worse than this year. We lost ben for 4 games and traded away our super bowl mvp yet managed to go 12-4 and win the Afc title. Good teams put aside their beefs when they step on the field. The only issue I see is how goodell and the refs will respond. The stuff with ben and rashard wont be a major issue imo

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LarryNJ
07-14-2011, 04:52 PM
So how many fan cheered when Ben threw the pick ? Or perhaps you were thinking along similar lines as James, I was.

I admit it, I called him things much worse than an overpaid Peyton wannabe, or a fag! :lol:

BlitzburghRockCity
07-15-2011, 01:33 PM
Yeah there's no way this splits the locker room in Pittsburgh. Like we talked about on the Podcast last night, the Steelers are not falling apart. Things like this are taken out of context all the time. Players call out players and the media only shows part of the interview piece or something happens where things are taken out of context. Unless you specifically hear Harrison say out loud, "Ben sucks, he costs us the Super Bowl" then you're better off not believing most of what you hear. Most times there's more to the story than what you know.

Zachintosh66
07-15-2011, 10:24 PM
regardless if james was right/wrong/misquoted/misunderstood/or has the right to "speak his mind" it was still flat out not smart. he has had multiple off field issues (dismissed or not), multiple issues running his mouth w/ him already 33yrs old in a contract year... he wont finish his career in pittsburgh...

they will move Timmons out, and let Sly/Foote/Fox battle inside

James will leave and continue to run his ignorant mouth, accumulate fines and fade into post-pittsburgh FA obscurity.

Black@Gold Forever32
07-15-2011, 10:43 PM
regardless if james was right/wrong/misquoted/misunderstood/or has the right to "speak his mind" it was still flat out not smart. he has had multiple off field issues (dismissed or not), multiple issues running his mouth w/ him already 33yrs old in a contract year... he wont finish his career in pittsburgh...

they will move Timmons out, and let Sly/Foote/Fox battle inside

James will leave and continue to run his ignorant mouth, accumulate fines and fade into post-pittsburgh FA obscurity.

well said and I agree with alot you said here Zachintosh......It wasn't smart at all by James Harrison........

BlacknGold Bleeder
07-16-2011, 12:28 AM
It wasn't smart at all,but in no way should this effect his stay here in Pittsburgh. The Rooneys have every right to be pissed,and I'm sure he will get an earful from them.I really don't see them getting rid of him solely because of this,it may make him less desirable to be signed but I really don't see it as that important of an issue to get rid of him any earlier then already planned...:2cents:

steelersbabex25
07-16-2011, 01:48 AM
he has had multiple off field issues (dismissed or not), multiple issues running his mouth w/ him already 33yrs old in a contract year... he wont finish his career in pittsburgh...

Which is why I don't understand how everyone is so quickly accepting the "I was misquoted" excuse. Any celebrity that says something not too popular in an interview will come back a day later and say, "no, I didn't really say that, it was taken out of context." But does anyone honestly have such a hard time believing that James would say the majority of the things that he was quoted as saying in that article? I sure as hell don't.

Zachintosh66
07-16-2011, 08:26 AM
It wasn't smart at all,but in no way should this effect his stay here in Pittsburgh. The Rooneys have every right to be pissed,and I'm sure he will get an earful from them.I really don't see them getting rid of him solely because of this,it may make him less desirable to be signed but I really don't see it as that important of an issue to get rid of him any earlier then already planned...:2cents:

but thats just it... its not just this. Its the battery vs his gf (eventually dismissed), its the incident w his pitbull attacking his kid, its him opening his stupid mouth towards the white house

there was another fringe LB who got in trouble around that time as James' battery and his *** cut... #justsayin. The franchise has taken on a few for him already....


Which is why I don't understand how everyone is so quickly accepting the "I was misquoted" excuse. Any celebrity that says something not too popular in an interview will come back a day later and say, "no, I didn't really say that, it was taken out of context." But does anyone honestly have such a hard time believing that James would say the majority of the things that he was quoted as saying in that article? I sure as hell don't.

I couldn't agree more...


Like I said, it doesnt matter if he was right or wrong (personally i agree w everything he said about Roger) but still you can't talk **** about your boss or your bosses boss in a publication not get in trouble.

James is a moron, thats obvious when he came to the 'burgh and he didnt know which other Kent LB that played for Pittsburgh too... i still believe this wont be forgotten and his days are numbered...

steelersbabex25
07-16-2011, 10:04 AM
James is a moron, thats obvious when he came to the 'burgh and he didnt know which other Kent LB that played for Pittsburgh too... i still believe this wont be forgotten and his days are numbered...

We all said Santonio Holmes little run in with the law wouldn't cost him his place in Pittsburgh either. Look what happened there.

MattyVfromCT
07-16-2011, 03:18 PM
We all said Santonio Holmes little run in with the law wouldn't cost him his place in Pittsburgh either. Look what happened there.

That's a different scenario. Santonio had been arrested a half dozen times since he was drafted, he was in the final year of his contract and had stated he wanted to play in a bigger market (basically saying he wants more $) before the wake and bake scenario. Add in the wake and bake as well as the woman claiming he threw a drink in her face and he was due to serve a 4 game suspension in the final year of his contract and he wanted out anyways. Plus that was a message job for ben to get his head out of his *** after rape accusations in 2 straight offseasons. James didn't break the law here. He spoke his mind in the united states of america. Amazing how politically correct and censored society is and continues to strive being. Any time anyone says something that offends anyone u have a bunch of people calling for them to lose their jobs and its absolutely disgusting in my opinion. Yes he went about it the wrong way and yes the rooneys will discipline him but he's not getting released, nor should he, and the thought so many people are calling for it when all he did was SPEAK HIS OPINION in a supposedly free society pisses me off. This whole thought police censorship is exactly what's wrong with this country

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steelersbabex25
07-16-2011, 05:25 PM
That's a different scenario. Santonio had been arrested a half dozen times since he was drafted, he was in the final year of his contract and had stated he wanted to play in a bigger market (basically saying he wants more $) before the wake and bake scenario. Add in the wake and bake as well as the woman claiming he threw a drink in her face and he was due to serve a 4 game suspension in the final year of his contract and he wanted out anyways. Plus that was a message job for ben to get his head out of his *** after rape accusations in 2 straight offseasons. James didn't break the law here. He spoke his mind in the united states of america. Amazing how politically correct and censored society is and continues to strive being. Any time anyone says something that offends anyone u have a bunch of people calling for them to lose their jobs and its absolutely disgusting in my opinion. Yes he went about it the wrong way and yes the rooneys will discipline him but he's not getting released, nor should he, and the thought so many people are calling for it when all he did was SPEAK HIS OPINION in a supposedly free society pisses me off. This whole thought police censorship is exactly what's wrong with this country

Lol. Ok, A. James didn't break the law HERE, but he has broken the law before. B. So I can go out calling a bunch of people I don't care for f*ggots in a public magazine article, right? Cause that's just freedom of speech after all. C. Nobody's asking for his right to freedom of speech to be taken away. We're asking for him to start thinking with his brain and not with whatever part of his anatomy he was actually thinking with. Cause Steeler fans already go through enough trouble proving ourselves to fans of other teams, and our top and supposedly "most respected" linebacker throwing out gay slurs and calling out his teammates is not something that we really want added to the list of idiotic things that our players have done in the past 5 years. D. I'm not calling for his job. I'm not stupid. And there's a 99.99% chance that he won't go this year or next year. But when his contract is up and the FO is deciding whether or not to resign him, one of the things that I can guarantee you they'll consider (because it is the Rooney's after all) is how many media and/or legal problems he's causing the team. And I can also guarantee that in the next 4 years he'll continue to cause more media stir, whether it's because of legal trouble or stupid things he says in interviews. And the more he talks, the more likely it gets that he won't be returning after his contract is up in 4 years or whenever it is. E. Don't start bringing out the "this is the USA" talk. James rejected an invitation to visit the White House. He isn't exactly the most upstanding American.

Take your millions of dollars, stop talking, and play the game. We wouldn't have to have these conversations if these players would keep their mouths shut for 5 seconds.

DIESELMAN
07-16-2011, 08:49 PM
All I have to say about Harrison and his comments are...... He should've thought before he spoke but Harrison is a passionate man that doesn't care what people think of him before or after the fact. Considering the road he has traveled to get to the NFL as a starter, he has a attitude and a chip on his shoulder, he calls it like he sees it, everyone else be damned, he lives by his own code and his own rules. He plays a violent game, a game that he loves being changed and torn up right before his eyes, by a man who has never played the game. He doesn't go out and kill, rape, rob, drive while impaired or do drugs. People can call him a bum, an idiot, a moron or whatever else, its not going to change the fact that Harrison is as real as it gets. I bet a years paycheck that no one from SA would walk up to him and call him out. Thank God for forums, where everybody can hide behind their screen name and say whatever they want, everyone be damned. Whatever Goodell or the Rooneys have in mind for punishment won't do anything to change who Harrison is and how he lives his life.

steelersbabex25
07-16-2011, 09:24 PM
Everyone is missing the point that I (and I think some others here) are trying to make. Nobody is denying that Harrison is right about Goodell. He is a crook, he is changing the game too much. Everyone agrees with that. What some of us disagree with is the way that he said that and even that he said anything at all. Goodell knows that the players and organizations aren't happy with him. He's not dumb. He doesn't need Harrison or anyone else for that matter to remind him of that. Calling Goodell out is not going to make things better, if anything it's going to make things worse, and not for all the players around the league that agree with what Harrison said. The only person that's going to feel the consequences of his actions is James himself, regardless of how many players he's speaking for.

Black@Gold Forever32
07-16-2011, 10:07 PM
Exactly I hate the Furher Goodell more then anybody and I think he is ruining the NFL....But James Harrison isn't doing himself any favors or the Steelers........I expect James to be fined even more this year which I bet leads to suspensions.......James Harrison getting flags and maybe being suspended during the season hurts the Steelers......

DIESELMAN
07-18-2011, 08:01 AM
Everyone is missing the point that I (and I think some others here) are trying to make. Nobody is denying that Harrison is right about Goodell. He is a crook, he is changing the game too much. Everyone agrees with that. What some of us disagree with is the way that he said that and even that he said anything at all. Goodell knows that the players and organizations aren't happy with him. He's not dumb. He doesn't need Harrison or anyone else for that matter to remind him of that. Calling Goodell out is not going to make things better, if anything it's going to make things worse, and not for all the players around the league that agree with what Harrison said. The only person that's going to feel the consequences of his actions is James himself, regardless of how many players he's speaking for.

I get the point your making but I seriously doubt his words and his punishment will change the way he plays and the way he gets his message across. The Steelers locker room had his back last season, I don't see that changing this year. Hell, if anything it brought them closer together. Some of the things he said were abrasive and probably hurt or pissed some people off but not everyone gives a **** to be politically correct. The point I'm making is, Harrison is old school, he doesn't care if he pisses people off. He speaks from his heart, whether anyone understands where he is coming from or not, he's not going to lose sleep over it. Fines and suspensions be damned, whether he made himself a bigger target for Goodell, Harrison will fight that fight and any other fight, his way.


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DIESELMAN
07-18-2011, 08:07 AM
James Harrison getting flags and maybe being suspended during the season hurts the Steelers......

I definitely agree with you on that bro. In my last post, I'm not trying to stick up for or defend Harrison's actions. He is who he is, the players in the locker room know that and so does the rest of the league. Maybe if more players, coaches and even owners (Rooneys did last season), maybe they can get through to Goodell and change his evil ways (not going to happen). All we as fans can do, is strap in and hang on, it's going to be one hell of a ride.


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