View Full Version : James Harrison Hopes His Kids Don't Play Football

Atlanta Dan
08-25-2012, 10:31 AM
Long article on the NFL and concussions, including what I regarded as some surprising quotes from James Harrison, who IMO comes across as very thoughtful rather as the sort of violent cartoon of a NFL player that has been his image in other interviews

Changes coming in quest for more perfect violence

Many players, particularly on defense, are not thrilled about how the NFL’s rules are trending. A prime example would be Steelers linebacker James Harrison. One of the game’s most intimidating hitters, Harrison has felt unfairly fined by the NFL, knowing the league has been under increased pressure to make the game safer.

Harrison understands looking for ways to protect defenseless players and closely monitoring helmet-to-helmet contact. However, Harrison also believes he, and other players, have been fined in error, or sometimes excessively.

“Believe it or not, some of the changes being made are good,” Harrison says. “But I believe they are trying to make a rule for every incident, and you can’t do that. There are things that happen on a football field that you can’t control. It’s the assumption of risk. Everything you do has risk. If you want to be a cop, it has risks. If you want to be doctor, it has risks. If you’re not willing to accept that risk, you need to change your profession.”...

“If my kids want to play football, I’ll let them play, but I’m going to make sure they have the best protection available,” Harrison says. “But I would hope that they didn’t want to play. Because all the research out there shows this is dangerous. The CTE—the traumatic brain injury that’s related to football. It’s real. For years, they denied or didn’t want to recognize the fact that it was an issue. Now they’ve got the scientific proof it’s an issue, and they’re coming down hard on it. I don’t know if it’s to protect us, or to protect the NFL, considering they’ve got so many lawsuits against them. But guys are thinking more about the risks now. They realize there’s a strong possibility that you could have (health) issues later on in life.”


This article is part of a series of articles on concussions and the NFL


tony hipchest
08-25-2012, 10:41 AM
great find. im assuming it wasnt ed bouchette interviewing him for this piece... :chuckle:

Ricco Suavez
08-25-2012, 10:44 AM
Now the safety issued conveyed by JH was plain and clear. The NFL needs spokespeople like this instead of the corporate mouthpieces. The way he expressed himself was eye-opening to me, maybe others will realize he is not a injury seeking type of player and the point of the risks of a dangerous sport was spot on. I am all for rules that reduce injuries to players of my favorite sport, but like James says they are trying to make changes wholesale while if they would just be consistent in regulating what they already have in place would help greatly.

Fire Arians
08-25-2012, 12:02 PM
i hope they do, and i hope they're our left and right outside backers of the future lol

in all seriousness i probably would prefer my kids not play football also, head injuries are no joke

Atlanta Dan
08-27-2012, 12:14 PM
Well - 2012 clearly is The Year Of The Concussion in the NFL

Another concussion story, this time at ESPN.com on Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, with a Steelers angle

There is something new in Canton: a presentation about brain health and a neurological questionnaire. Madden finds someone with the Hall of Fame and requests they announce where to turn the survey in. Lynn Swann had asked him, and he didn't know.

"He said it's a little personal," Madden explains. "You can't just drop it anywhere." ...

Me: Was it worth it?

Dermontti Dawson: It was worth it. I wouldn't change anything. I have a lot of people ask me, my son played football, knowing what you know now, with all the concussion stuff that's going on, I said I still would play; you play for love of the game. That's just a risk. It's gonna happen. I may feel good now, but give me 10 more years and see where I am then.

Me: I saw your helmet on display in the museum.

Dawson (laughing): Oh, man. You see the gouges?

The black Steelers helmet, in a display case just outside the circular room filled with busts, is cut, smashed and lined with rough creases. The top of the four-barred face mask, around the temples, is now bare metal, the plastic coating ripped off by helmet-to-helmet hits. The damage is mostly to the part that covered Dawson's forehead. The yellow stripe down the middle is torn, the 6 and the 3 partially ripped away. Even one of the plastic brackets holding the face mask in place has been hit so often, and with such force, that it's crooked. But if you walk around the display and look at the back, it's smooth. From the back, it'd be hard to tell that this helmet had been used. ...

One hour in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the NFL's conundrum becomes clear: The game was born out of violence, and its mythology not only tolerates that violence, it celebrates those who survive it. The damaged men in the hotel lobby aren't legends in spite of their limping.

In many ways, they are legends because of it.


Mods - I am going to change thread title to cover the earlier story quoting James Harrison and this story quoting Dermontti Dawson

08-27-2012, 12:20 PM
Nice read! And Dan, you ARE a moderator. :chuckle:

Do what you see fit.