Steelers linebacker James Harrison should not have been fined $75,000 by the National Football League for his hit on a Cleveland Brown. There, I said it... along with every other human being not employed by the NFL.
Harrison is a monster on the football field, but a softy off of it. He aims to hurt people, as he plainly said after the game on Sunday. But so does every other defensive player. You want your opponent to feel pain, but you do not want them to suffer an injury.
As for Harrison's fine, it makes no sense. Mohamed "Image Redacted" Mossaquoi turned to catch a pass that slipped through his fingers. The minute he turned to look, he saw Harrison barreling downfield on the verge of a monster hit. So Mossaquoi ducked his body into the fetal position and put his head in line with Harrison's shoulder. How could James Harrison ever pull back or change his direction to miss Mossaquoi's head?
Now Harrison is threatening retirement because the game has changed. Say what you want about that suggestion, but I think "Silverback" should do whatever makes him happy. If playing football and earning $8 million a year doesn't do it for him, then so be it. The boys on ESPN's "Pardon The Interruption" couldn't believe Harrison would trade that money for a job as a bus driver, which he previously said in a news interview would be his profession had he never made it to the pros.
Now, I don't know James Harrison personally, but I do believe he would be happy being a bus driver making pennies. Because that seems to be his personality. He has always scrapped his way into the lineup ever since permanently catching on with the Steelers in 2004 after linebacker Clark Haggans broke his hand while weight lifting. Had Haggans never broken his hand, Harrison would be working full-time for public transit.
And I think he would be satisfied with his life doing just that.
So maybe we should all learn something from James Harrison. Football is fun, but we shouldn't put it on a pedestal. He knows his place in society with or without the NFL, and I commend him for willing to move on to his "life's work" before his contract and body say he should.
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