My man James Harrison of the Pittsburgh Steelers is taking a lot of flack lately, because of his choosing not to go with his teammates to the White House and meet President Obama.
First of all he was quoted as saying, "This is how I feel -- if you want to see the Pittsburgh Steelers, invite us when we don't win the Super Bowl. As far as I'm concerned, he would've invited Arizona if they had won.”
I think he’s missing the point a bit, but OK, whatever you want to do, James. I saw the film of him saying that, and I just get the idea that it was the first thing that popped into his head. He does have a history of messing with the press. So maybe he has other reasons. Like his agent said, “It absolutely is not political. He just doesn't want to go.”
What really puzzles me is wondering why, exactly, this is a story that’s being reported in dozens of news sources? Is this really news? It wasn’t news when he didn’t go with the team to meet the President after Super Bowl XL. So what if he’s had a couple of outstanding seasons since then? It’s the exact same choice now as then.
I say, just let James be James. He has his reasons and he doesn’t have to explain them to any of us. The only thing he needs to do is justify his new gargantuan contract by continuing to play like a monster. This video shows you why James is a big deal. And I can tell you the exact moment I became a big Harrison fan… it’s at the 2:57 mark.
Then there’s this other shining moment…
(Ed Reed is still wishing someone would answer that damned phone.)
Maybe one day, he’ll look back on this as a missed opportunity and regret that he didn’t just go along. But either way, that’s his problem.
I’d really hate to see this entire hullabaloo turn him off from talking to the press. He had one of my all time favorite sports quotes back in January of 2008, after the Steelers lost to the Jaguars in the opening round of the playoffs.
The Jags’ QB ran 30 yards on a 4th and 3, blatantly aided by an uncalled holding penalty. They were holding the rushers all night but on this play one of their lineman was holding Larry Foote like a wedding usher as the runner went by. Hell, I could see it even from MY vantage-point:
The next day, when asked about the non-calls, Harrison said "I have nothing to say about that. I ain't got no fine money to give away for talking about them blind refs, so I got nothing to say."
That kind of eloquence should never be silenced.