December 2, 2012;Baltimore, MD, USA;Baltimore Ravens running back Bernard Pierce (30) runs with the ball while being chased by Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison (92) at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison’s playing days are over. On Saturday afternoon, James Harrison announced through Facebook that he is hanging up his cleats for good because of family reasons.
The Steelers just could not come to terms with Harrison last year and the two sides parted ways. Many speculate that there was pride and bitterness from both sides that kept the two from agreeing on a new contract. However false or true that may be, it seems that Harrison has nothing but respect for the Rooney family and the Steelers organization. From his Facebook post, Harrison said,
"I am sincerely thankful to the people who have supported me over the years, first and foremost my family, the Rooney family and my Steeler family… and last but FAR from least, Steeler Nation. Thank you."
My hope, as I’m sure it is with every single citizen of Steeler Nation, is that the Steelers can also see through the muck of the business of the NFL and sign Harrison to a one day contract. Harrison has earned the honor or retiring a Pittsburgh Steeler. Period.
Four time Pro Bowler, Defensive Player of the Year, and perhaps keeper of one of the greatest plays in Super Bowl history, James Harrison will live on in Steelers lore for many years and along the likes of guys like Joe Greene. Harrison was an intimidating hard hitting machine. He worked incredibly hard and never backed down when it came to speaking his mind – such as letting the world know that if NFL Commish Rodger Goodell were on fire, he wouldn’t even use his own piss to put him out. He was a Steeler through and through.
Even though Harrison made his announcement through social media, the team should allow him to visit the South Side facilities, sign a one day contract, and then hold a press conference allowing him to announce that he will retire as a Steeler. It’s the classy way to go, and aren’t we all about the “Steeler Way?”
My hat off to you, Deebo. Best of luck in your retirement.