There's two things we know about the Pittsburgh Steelers' James Harrison. 1) He has never been afraid to speak his mind. And 2) he hates Roger Goodell. Both of those facts became apparent this week when an interview with Harrison appeared in Men's Journal quoting Harrison as calling Roger Goodell a "crook" and a "devil," and saying, "If that man (Roger Goodell) was on fire and I had to piss to put him out, I wouldn’t do it."
I wonder how the lockout negotiations would be handled if we put Roger Goodell and James Harrison in a room and let them hash it out.
It seems Harrison's quotes stem from last season when Goodell used Harrison as the poster boy for dirty hits and dirty plays that dominated the NFL concussion discussion last year. And Harrison hasn't forgotten about that.
According to Harrison:
"My rep is James Harrison, mean son of a (gun)who loves hitting the hell out of people," he says. "But up until last year, there was no word of me being dirty -- till Roger Goodell, who's a crook and a puppet, said I was the dirtiest player in the league. I hate him and will never respect him."
His other descriptions of the commissioner include an anti-gay slur, "stupid," ‘’puppet" and "dictator."
He also took aim at many other NFL players:
On his own QB Ben Roethlisberger:
"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."
On the New England Patriots:
"I should have another ring. We were the best team in football in 2004, but the Patriots, who we beat during the regular season, stole our signals and picked up 90% of our blitzes (in the AFC title game). They got busted for it later, but, hey, they're Goodell's boys, so he slapped 'em $500,000 and burned the tapes. Was he going to rescind their Super Bowls? Man, hell no!"
On Houston Texans LB Brian Cushing was who busted for PEDs last season:
He's "juiced out of his mind."
Many commentators will say that Harrison has crossed a line. But frankly, I find his candor and full-blown honesty refreshing in this day and age of sound bites and bland press conferences. When 99% of players and coaches stick to the same tired cliches of "Playing 110%" and "We're going to give it our best," James Harrison at least gives us his real feelings on subjects. Whether we like it or not, at least we can respect him for his honesty.
The Steelers' owner Art Rooney released a statement on the matter that said, "I have not seen the article in Men's Journal, nor have I spoken to James Harrison about his comments. We will discuss the situation at the appropriate time, when permitted once the labor situation is resolved."
Something tells me Art isn't going to be too happy with his star linebacker.