According to Drew Brees, the NFL Lockout is almost over. According to Chad Ochocinco, it’s far from over. Either way, while the NFLPA* and team owners met into the late hours last night, James Harrison’s big mouth continues to be the top NFL news because that’s all we’ve got. Well, except for Hines Ward’s DUI, and he must be absolutely loving Harrison right now.
Harrison recently sat down for an interview with Paul Solotaroff of Men’s Journal, which I once read on an airplane, and he sounded off about everything from his hatred of Roger Goodell to his problems with his own teammates. And if you haven’t already read the article, Harrison really sounded off. Most notably, he called out Ben Roethlisberger for some mistakes in the Super Bowl and pointed out that he’s not Peyton Manning, he labeled Rashard Mendenhall as a “fumble machine”, he said that Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing is “juiced out of his mind”, and he called Roger Goodell many things, including (allegedly) a f*ggot. Harrison also defended his reputation, most notably as a thug, but… hey, did I mention that banner pic is the lead image from the article?
And with all of that on paper, published and available on magazine racks, Harrison claims he was misquoted and Solotaroff, the guy who says he has notebooks full of other quotes and hours of digital interviews, agrees.
“We talked about 11 o’clock yesterday morning,” Solotaroff said on Thursday. “Look, James is the guy who’s got to live with Ben for the next three years. . . . So as I told James, ‘Listen, whatever you’ve got to say to mend fences is perfectly fine with me.’” (Via Pro Football Talk)
That’s the quote that really should stop the story. Solotaroff is an admittedly big fan of Harrison, which moves this article from “insightful interview” to “sloppy knob polish” and renders it irrelevant, as far as journalistic integrity. Essentially, Solotaroff told Harrison that he can say whatever he wants and he’ll manipulate and fix it after the fact. As I learned in one of the few journalism classes I stayed awake during, that’s not kosher.
But what is relevant is that Harrison has a big mouth and he said a bunch of things that he can’t take back. Cushing has since said he would pray for Harrison, whatever that means, and it has been reported that Roethlisberger and Mendenhall will take Harrison at his word (translated: they’ll share some “What the f*ck”s in private). Goodell, though, is a different story. While he has his hands full trying to make sure that Harrison and the rest of the players have a job this season, I can’t imagine that he’s going to look to favorably upon a guy that he has never looked favorably upon.