While Steelers linebacker James Harrison is an old hand at tweaking NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, his comments in the latest issue of Men’s Journal to scribe Paul Solotaroff’ take the (ahem) pissing match to a whole new level. Along with blasting Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger, (“stop trying to act like Peyton Manning. You ain’t that and you know it, man; you just get paid like he does”) and calling RB Rashard Mendenhall, “a fumble machine”, the invective aimed at Goodell makes gestures like Jim McMahon’s “Rozelle” headband seem downright quaint by comparison.
Six days a week, he is up at first light to train in Danney’s sweatbox gym, running in hot sand pits and doing backward hurdles after giant leg-press sets. But he is back home by 10 am, and that leaves the rest of the day to text and tweet — and seethe over last season’s insults. The fines, the flags, his branding as a thug: They try his soul long after the fact, trailing him to this posh but desolate place, where even the air burns and crackles.
“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.”