I wrote a column suggesting the Steelers excommunicate James Harrison in response to his tall tale about Coach Mike Tomlin handing him an envelope (presumably stuffed with cash) after Harrison got fined $75K for a questionable hit in 2010. (Click HERE to read.)
Disconnecting from Harrison should be easy to do on a lot of levels, not least because he’s not a true all-time Steelers great.
Harrison got Defensive Player of the Year in 2008 and had that epic 100-yard interception return for a touchdown in the Super Bowl victory over Arizona to cap that season. He made first-team All-Pro twice.
But he’s not top 1o all-time when it comes to the Steelers. Maybe not top 20.
Twenty Steelers are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Harrison won’t get inducted.
He’s definitely not in a class with Mel Blount, Terry Bradshaw, Joe Greene, Jack Ham, Franco Harris, Jack Lambert, Troy Polamalu, Ben Roethlisberger, Mike Webster and Rod Woodson. That’s an impressive top 10, and doesn’t include Antonio Brown, Jerome Bettis, John Stallworth, Ernie Stautner and Lynn Swann.
If the Steelers let Harrison fade away, he will. That’s why Harrison resurfaces every so often to drop some controversy: He senses the onset of irrelevance.
Put Harrison in the Steelers Hall of Honor. But exclude him from the ceremony. Put his name in the press release. Then you’re done with him. It’s that easy.
If Harrison isn’t there when the team’s all-time greats get together, nobody notices. He’s marginal in that regard.
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