Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Athletes being stupid: James Harrison

By Jeff

James Harrison is a great linebacker. Some may think he plays dirty, but I think the majority of the plays he was fined for were not really dirty hits. His football skills aside, Harrison comes off as an idiot.

The lastest example is an interview he did in a recent issue of Men's Journal. Harrison rips Roger Goodell, Ben Roethlisberger and Rashard Mendenhall in the interview. You can read some of the quotes in the link above, but they don't let you read the full story. More of the quotes are in this Post-Gazette story.

While I giggled a little bit when I read the line about how Harrison wouldn't pee on Goodell if the man was on fire, I can't approve of those comments. According to the Post-Gazette, Harrison also used a gay slur to describe Goodell, which is wrong and needs to stop in sports and society in general. Now, I am guilty of having used gay in inapproriate ways or as insults, but I'm trying to eliminate words like gay, fag, homo and similar words when I rip on people. I'm saying this because if you're a regular reader, you know I try and point out my hypocrisy.

Anyway, Harrison was already out of line when he started ripping his own teammates. He had some harsh words for Roethlisberger's two interceptions and Mendenhall's fumbling in the Super Bowl. While the plays Harrison talks about in the article definitely hurt the Steelers, it's incredibly stupid to call out your teammates in a magazine months after the Super Bowl.

Football is the ultimate team game. You never win or lose because of one or two players. Teams win or lose because one team plays better or one doesn't play well. The defense could have stepped up, but instead were beat by Aaron Rodgers. There is no doubt the game would have been different without there turnovers. But it would have also been different had the defense stopped the Packers on several third and long plays.

Those are words that should stay in the locker room. They are not for the world to read about or for Roethlisberger or Mendenhall to read for the first time after a friend sends them a link. This can really mess of team chemistry. If Harrison wants to remain a member of the Steelers, he may want to issue an apology or have a chat with his teammates and team management. The Steelers organization havs never had a shortage of linebackers and Harrison is 33 years old. While he is stil producing like an elite linebacker, the Steelers have shown in the past they have no problem with cutting older veterans and just finding that next great linebacker.

Kenny Loggins - Footloose

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