Pittsburgh Steelers fans wish it would’ve ended differently, but after 15 seasons in the NFL, James Harrison is retiring from the game of football.
A year ago, the Steel City was rooting for their aging veteran to pound out one more season and hang up the cleats in the locker room he established himself in. But after a controversial ending, James Harrison is calling it a career in Foxborough, and you can bet no Steelers fans will be attending his retirement party.
On Monday, April 16, Harrison announced on Instagram that he’s retiring for the second and final time. After 15 seasons, nine of which were spent in Pittsburgh, Harrison is looking to spend more time with his kids than on a field.
“I’ve missed way too much for way too long,” Harrison wrote Monday morning, in a post featuring a collage of his children. “… and I’m done.”
Whether you still look at Harrison as a bigger villain than Le’Veon Bell, you have to acknowledge his time in Pittsburgh. At one point, he was one of the best parts of a defense that was unstoppable.
Could he have handled his departure better? Yes. But things happen, and football is a business. If he went to any other team the perspective of the veteran would’ve been no more than a player who wants to go out with some playing time.
Decisions were made, though, and Harrison marked himself off the list of Steelers greats. Even if the stats have him at the top, the fans will forever remember his move to the dark side (New England) over his 15 sack season or Defensive Player of the Year.
So, farewell James. If things ended differently, the Steelers would’ve enshrined you into history with highlights of your 100-yard Super Bowl interception, or some of the jaw-dropping hits you’ve put on players throughout the years.
Maybe they will, when you receive your gold jacket in Canton.