In a new piece for Men’s Journal, our old friend Paul Solotaroff traveled to Scottsdale, Arizona to talk to Steelers linebacker and intimidating man James Harrison. Just by looking at the piece’s accompanying photo, which shows Harrison posing with his two gigantic guns, you kind of get the idea that this won’t be your typical, puff-piecey player profile.
In addition to learning that Harrison grabbed a rattlesnake barehanded and threw him over a fence whilst in the Arizona desert (“Had to,” he says. “My son was here visiting, so that bitch had to bounce out. ASAP.”), we learn that Harrison is (surprise!) mad. At a lot of people.
He’s mad at 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.”
He’s mad at 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 percent 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!”
But most of all, he’s mad at NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
“My rep is James Harrison, mean son of a bitch 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. 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 respect him.”
In addition to those comments, Harrison said some other things that will land him in hot water. Although it’s not in the preview piece on the Men’s Journal website, CBS New York reports that Harrison used a gay slur when talking about the commissioner, inferred that black players get fined more for hits on white players than the opposite, and that Texans linebacker Brian Cushing, who has been the subject of persistent steroid rumors, is “juiced out of his mind.”
So, yeah, he’ll be getting a call from the league office.