Thursday, July 14, 2011

James Harrison: A Man Misunderstood

There has been a media uproar recently regarding comments made by James Harrison in an article for Men's Journal magazine. The Steelers linebacker made derogatory comments about NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, and running back Rashard Mendenhall. Not quite sure what all the fuss is about. By any one's standards James Harrison is a loose cannon so if you put a microphone in front of him you shouldn't be shocked if says something controversial.

If you went looking for a gas leak with a match and the building blew up would you be surprised? If you left an alcoholic in a bar with an open tab would you be stunned if they were drunk when you came back? James Harrison is a linebacker in the Steelers mold. His predecessors Joey Porter, Greg Lloyd, and Jack Lambert were no different. They're all outspoken, aggressive, hard nosed, sons of bitches that will take your head clean off if you give them a chance. The same mindset that makes them legendary on the field is the same mindset that gets them into trouble off the field.

Professional football players aren't wired the same way as average people and James Harrison is more volatile than most. He's an easy target that's vulnerable to criticism because he speaks his mind and gives you the unedited, unfiltered version of how he feels. Reporters and journalists exploit this characteristic and use it to their advantage.

It's unfortunate James Harrison's brash and abrasive words detract from the real message he's trying to convey. The real message is James Harrison is a football player who feels he's been unfairly labeled as a dirty player and punished unjustly for playing a violent sport in a violent manner. Personally I think there's a lot of truth to that. Your thoughts?

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