We've all heard Harrison bash NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in the past. The bashing wasn't rational then, and it's even more confusing now that we are reportedly close on a new collective bargaining agreement between the NFL owners and players. I mean, picture this: While De Smith, Jeff Saturday, and others are sitting across the table from Goodell, Art Rooney (owner of the Steelers), and the other owners in a good faith effort to finalize a CBA after 124 days of 'lockout,' someone is interrupting to inform them that Harrison told the Men's Journal this:
"If [Roger Goodell] was on fire and I had to piss to put him out, I wouldn’t do it," Harrison told the magazine. "I hate him and will never respect him."
Any guesses on how long the awkward silence lingered in the room?
Harrison also went on to call Goodell names like 'crook,' 'devil,' 'puppet,' and 'dictator.' He also used an anti-gay slur to describe Goodell. No details as to what the slur was, but I bet DeSean Jackson has an idea.
Oh, and Harrison didn't just reserve his venom for Goodell. He also took pot shots at his own teammates, including Ben Roethlisberger [emphasis mine].
"Hey, at least throw a pick on their side of the field instead of asking the D to bail you out again," Harrison said. "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."
I am no Roethisberger fan. I think he's a heckuva player, but a total sleaze ball off the field. The man oozes a slim trail his entourage slips on. But, Roethlisberger hasn't done anything to warrant these kinds of comments from Harrison. And Harrison is certainly in no position to criticize Ben for his Super Bowl XLV performance.
Harrison had one tackle against the Packers in that game. One.
It's also worth noting that Harrison is most certainly not on the same level as Roethlisberger or Troy Polamalu in terms of overall team worth in Pittsburgh. As we've seen in 2009 and 2010, when Polamalu is out, the Steelers defense is terrible. And without Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh stands no chance of advancing to the Super Bowl.
Sorry, but Steeltown ain't winning no playoff games with Byron Leftwich under center.
So, for a player like Harrison, who could be easily be replaced in a heartbeat and the Steelers defense would be just fine (thank you), to say these kinds of comments now is just baffling.
You know, with all of Harrison's ranting and raving against the NFL trying to become 'safer,' the irony is he might be suffering from the very complications that these new rules are trying to prevent. One of the symptoms of long term post-concussion syndrome is irrational thinking and irritable behavior, and both those descriptions sum up James Harrison just about perfectly these days.