#4: Not Really the Kind of Hell We Were Hoping For
Not sure why these last two ended up in the top 5. I suppose the bad quotes stick with me (and everyone else, too) for longer. They have staying power. In all seriousness, this is very beautiful poetry. As I said earlier, Tomlin is a well-read dude, and the beginning of this little gem is stolen from a famous Dylan Thomas poem, written for Thomas’ father, an ex-military official, who was nearing the end of his life. All kinds of cool double-meanings in there. Tomlin felt the season slipping away, and as Thomas wrote:
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Well, we all know how that worked out. Hell was unleashed in December, alright. Only, it was the Steelers and the fans living in Hell. Not really the response Tomlin was looking for from his team.
#3: Chuck Noll, Building a Winning Team
“In order to win the game, you must first not lose it.”
The man who started the habit of winning in Pittsburgh had an approach unlike most of the coaches in the NFL. He drafted skinny, fast Linebackers to counter the extremely heavy and slow Off Offensive Lineman that most teams favored. He draft big, physical Cornerbacks opting for slower, stronger players. The rules on hitting WR’s weren’t very developed yet and Noll took advantage. He was smart in developing a devastating defense that ruled the NFL for a decade. And it all started with this frame of mind, this type of thinking.
#2: James Harrison Hurts People
“I don’t want to see anyone injured, but I’m not opposed to hurting anyone. There’s a difference. When you’re injured, you can’t play. But when you’re hurt, you can shake it off and come back. I try to hurt people.” – James Harrison
I love it when players talk and then back it up with the way they play. There is nothing better than someone saying they are going to do something, and then seeing them actually go out and do it. James is actually a pretty quiet guy, so when I first heard this quote, I must say I was a little surprised. Given what was going on with all of the fines and the victimization of James Harrison as a hitter in the eyes of the NFL, it makes total sense that he would say something like this. I just love that he kept his head down and kept playing the way he always played until the refs started to leave him alone near the end of the season. There were a few games in there where I thought we might be seeing the last of the Silverback, just based on the way the NFL has been trying to change their hit rules and how Harrison has responded (or not responded) to those proposed changes. If nothing else, Harrison goes out there and kicks ass week in and week out. He is hitting to hurt you, not to injure you. No one wants to see anyone injured, but we sure as hell want to see some big hits. Harrison provides us with those hits consistently.
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