Working with a Steelers fan is never an easy task. My fellow writer Adam Parker is a die-hard. He bleeds black and gold. It is especially tough being an Eagles fan, as it is all too easy for him to fire off the insults during the postseason. Because as Philadelphia goes one-and-done, Pittsburgh manages to pull some ridiculous fourth quarter magic and blaze a path of victories straight to the Super Bowl. Making the playoffs generally one of the most emotionally draining moments of the season, compounded by Adam rubbing the Steel City's success in my face.
The reason I gave you that intro is because I know that when Adam, and most other Steelers' fans read this, they are going to unanimously disagree.
But here we go anyway.
I have never liked James Harrison. Ever. I think that Harrison has an absolutely awful attitude and that he plays dirty because he isn't actually as good as he is set-up to be. I really honestly believe that because Harrison plays in Pittsburgh, a team that is infamous for their solid defense, he feels entitled to the point of not following the rules. Combine that self-found entitlement with the majority of Pittsburgh fans stuck in the old mindset about rule changes, and it forms an entitled jerk like Harrison.
To clarify -- By playing dirty I am of course referring to the consistent helmet to helmet shots that Harrison delivers to other NFL players, with little to no remorse. I am not going to open the debate about helmet to helmet contact, because that is a whole other mess in itself. But currently, the rule is that players can not engage one another with helmet to helmet shots intentionally. Harrison must think that he is an exception to this rule because he simply does not follow it.
Widely known around the NFL as the Hitman, Harrison was recently fined $75,000 following a hit on Cleveland Browns wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi, in which he was unable to return to the game. Roger Goodell made the decision to lay down such a heavy fine following Harrisons' third helmet to helmet infraction that season, which of course gave the Steelers linebacker even more bad blood towards the NFL commish.
At this point, most Steelers fans will throw down the, 'NFL conspiracy against Pittsburgh' card. Complaining that Goodell and the NF as a whole love to hold back the Steelers from success by hitting them with excessive fines and suspensions. Ok. I'll bite and just agree that Goodell for some ridiculous reason is out to get Pittsburgh, (Even though almost every suspension and fine handed to Steelers players has been reasonable).
"..He's a crook.."
"..If that man was on fire and I had to piss to put him out, I wouldn’t do it..."
"..I hate him and will never have any respect for him.."
Then my personal favorite was not even in regard to Goodell, but Harrison pointed his hate towards his own quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's Super Bowl performance:
"Hey, at least throw a pick on their side of the field instead of asking the D to bail you out again. Or hand the ball off and stop trying to act like Peyton Manning. You ain’t that and you know it, man; you just get paid like he does."
Not only did Harrison manage to disrespect the man who will be fining and suspending his punk-ass, but he also managed to throw the player who led the Steelers to a Super Bowl under the bus. It is simply mind blowing that any player in the NFL would have that much blatant disrespect for his own teammates, and the head of the NFL. I thought that Harrison was bad before, but this puts him on an entirely new level.
This is not something Chad Ochocinco would do, or even Terrell Owens. This is bush-league. This is out of control. This is beyond real.
If I was Mike Tomlin, I would be foaming at the mouth. There is not a chance that Tomlin will let this slide on his club, and I would not be even slightly surprised to see Harrison straight up cut, or traded immediately once the lockout is lifted. There is no room for idiots like Harrison on a team that has so much respect and such a strong history, regardless of what he brings to the table defensively.
This is a matter of character, and it is clear that James Harrison has none.