Starkey: Harrison should quit complaining
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Apparently, there are at least two angry James Harrisons in the world.
One is a well-known Steelers linebacker with the Twitter handle @jharrison9292 and 46,156 followers. The other is a budding computer scientist, a self-described "geek, hacker, coder, developer and builder of many things" living in Oxford, England, going by the handle @jamesharrison with 361 followers.
Guess which one has a blog titled "Talk Unafraid — The (occasionally coherent) ramblings of a geek?"
That would be the second James Harrison, who looks nothing like a linebacker but very much like a character from "Revenge of the Nerds." He is a second-year student at the University of London (which, I believe, appears on Penn State's non-conference football schedule in 2012).
For all their differences, the two sound remarkably alike. Consider some recent tweets ...
Geek: "Whoever thought merging keyboard and mouse ports into a single PS/2 connection is an utter idiot."
Linebacker: "I'm absolutely sure now after this last rule change that the people making the rules at the NFL are idiots."
Somebody — certainly not me — should tell @jharrison9292 that the people making the rules at the NFL include his team president, Art Rooney II.
That doesn't mean Rooney was totally in favor of the latest tweaks on head shots, but he was one of the owners who ratified them by a unanimous vote of 32-0.
Truly, the latest legislation isn't much more than an affirmation of last year's crackdown on launching and head hits — which happened to cost @jharrison9292 more money ($100,000) than any player in the league. The caveat is that teams now could be fined if their players exceed a yet-to-be determined threshold of flagrant fouls.
Ejections also are possible if officials deem a hit egregious enough.
I'm all for holding teams accountable. The Steelers flipped out last season, maybe in a good way, deeming the NFL's crackdown a personal affront and using it to fuel to their improbable run to the Super Bowl. It was them against the football world. Everybody from Harrison to Troy Polamalu to Hines Ward ripped the NFL.
But the key phrase above is to the Super Bowl . The Steelers got there, proof they could thrive in spite of whatever changes the league made. The rules did not and will not change the Steelers' personality. They will remain the most physical defense around.
Somebody — certainly not me — should tell @jharrison9292 to get over himself and adjust to the rules like everybody else. His constant whining, which included the ludicrous threat to retire last season, does nothing but make him look bad and turn himself and his team into a target.
The rule is clear: Don't be a missile. Don't launch yourself head-first into a defenseless player, and don't hit a defenseless player in the head.
If the worst that comes of it is players such as @jharrison9292 passing up the occasional video-game kill shot, so be it. The game will continue to provide us with heaping helpings of the violence we crave.
Was anyone complaining about a lack of physicality in last year's Steelers-Ravens playoff game• Of course not. As I sit here, I'm looking at a photograph from that day, showing @jharrison9292 burying Joe Flacco face-first in the turf with a perfectly legal hit (I'm also looking at a tweet from @jamesharrison that reads, "Sobriety is overrated. Massively").
A week earlier, the New York Jets played one of the finest defensive games you'll ever see. They blew up the New England Patriots' blocking schemes and made Tom Brady look like a rookie — and did so without launching themselves into players' skulls. They were Jets, not missiles.
Punishing defense is possible within the parameters of the new NFL. Maybe @jharrison9292 should take a harder look at himself and realize he was the only Steelers player who had multiple issues with hits on defenseless players last season.
Somebody — certainly not me — better tell this guy to clam up and play. This isn't the end of the world. The end of the world was predicted for last Saturday, you'll remember, and did not happen, which prompted a legendary tweet from our computer scientist, heretofore known as Jimmy the Geek:
"I wouldn't really mind if it was the end of the world. At least it'd be decisive."
He sounds angry.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Safety Collins seeks to buck Alabama DB trend
- NFL Draft preview: Safety crop offers no sure-fire stars
- Steelers legend Blount to announce team’s second-round draft pick
- NFL Draft preview: UCLA’s Kendricks leads deep inside linebacker class
- Miami linebacker Perryman eager to stand tall on draft day
- Steelers open daunting season at Patriots, play 5 prime-time games
- NFL Draft preview: Running back class is deep, talented
- Steelers receiver Brown skipping voluntary offseason workouts
- Steelers wrap up pre-draft visits with four defensive players