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Old 02-08-2009, 08:34 AM   #1
mesaSteeler
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Default Steelers' 92 is a 'softie,' mother says

Steelers' 92 is a 'softie,' mother says
http://www.ohio.com/news/cardwell/39277017.html
Family's support, in life or on field, a constant for James Harrison Jr.

By Jewell Cardwell
Beacon Journal staff writer

Published on Sunday, Feb 08, 2009

Akron's James Harrison Jr. the Associated Press' 2008 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, the first undrafted player to earn that title was a real game changer in the Pittsburgh Steelers' Super Bowl victory over the Arizona Cardinals. But Mildred Harrison resists the label of ''fan.''

''I'm just Mom,'' the Akron woman said during a telephone interview from her hotel in Hawaii, where her son will play today in the Pro Bowl.

Still, Mildred Harrison acts like both mom and fan whenever she's watching her son do his thing on the football field.

''I scream and yell so much that I get absolutely hoarse,'' she said. ''I guess that just comes from being a mom.''

And she's understandably defensive if anyone in the stands tries to heckle ''my baby.''

Her husband, James, on the other hand,
tends to be a little more laid back, she said.

The Harrisons were in Tampa last Sunday to witness their son's stellar performance. That's when he intercepted a pass thrown by Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner and ran for a 100-yard touchdown at the end of the first half. It was the longest play in the history of the Super Bowl.

It was a play that Mildred Harrison literally got caught up in albeit in the stands.

''My husband and one of our sons started hugging each other and jumping up and down. They forgot I was in the middle of them,'' she joked.

The Harrisons attend all of the Steelers' home games and as many away games as possible.

But even when they're home watching on TV, it's virtually impossible for them to take the action sitting down.

''Everybody in the neighborhood can hear us,'' Mildred Harrison said.

That fact probably has as much to do with the Harrisons' unbridled enthusiasm as it does with the large number of family members huddled together watching.

The Harrisons are the proud parents of 14 children, compliments of two families becoming one. They range in age from 30 (James, the youngest) to 51.

Mildred Harrison also reared her deceased sister's six children.

Mildred Harrison, like her son and her husband, is no stranger to hard work. Retired now, she formerly worked at a machine shop, but spent most of her working years in retail. Her husband worked at Portage Broom & Brush until it closed, and retired from the Cuyahoga Valley National Park Association.

James the Steelers' No. 92, a linebacker is 6 feet tall and weighs about 240 pounds.

He can be mean on the field. (Harrison was called for a personal foul during the Super Bowl for punching Cardinals' safety Aaron Francisco in the back while he was already on the ground and repeatedly pushing him as he was trying to get up).

Even so, his mother says he's a real softie off the field.

''He has a real heart of gold. He loves animals, children and old people,'' she said. ''He puts on football camps for children, and their parents just love him.

''When he was at Kent State, he worked at a nursing home (Wayside) in dietary and spent a lot of time with the patients there. He often reminisces about going back for a visit.''

James Jr. was a walk-on at KSU his freshman year. He had played football at Coventry High School and had been recruited by a number of major college teams: the University of Notre Dame, University of Nebraska and Ohio State among them.

They all backed off when assault charges were brought for a BB gun incident in the school's locker room involving him, several players and a coach during his junior year. Ultimately, the coach was charged and Harrison pleaded to disorderly conduct.

''I always thought it was strange that they waited until his senior year to bring changes,'' his mother said.

That whole episode was a bitter pill for James and everyone close to him to swallow, she said. ''It was a real uphill climb after that,'' she noted.

Even so, her son found a way through hard work and perseverance to make it work, to make what truly seemed impossible possible.

He was signed by the Steelers as an undrafted free agent for the 2002-03 season and with the Baltimore Ravens in 2004. He has been with the Steelers since 2004. And now he has two Super Bowl rings: XL and XLIII.

According to his mother, Harrison, who has a son, James III, born in 2007, enjoys his family and his mother's home cooking, and likes to bowl and fish. ''Just anything competitive,'' his mother said.

So, he's good at a lot of things.

But mostly, his mother said knowingly, at being a good son.

Jewell Cardwell can be reached at 330-996-3567 or jcardwell@thebeaconjournal.com.



Akron's James Harrison Jr. the Associated Press' 2008 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, the first undrafted player to earn that title was a real game changer in the Pittsburgh Steelers' Super Bowl victory over the Arizona Cardinals. But Mildred Harrison resists the label of ''fan.''

''I'm just Mom,'' the Akron woman said during a telephone interview from her hotel in Hawaii, where her son will play today in the Pro Bowl.

Still, Mildred Harrison acts like both mom and fan whenever she's watching her son do his thing on the football field.

''I scream and yell so much that I get absolutely hoarse,'' she said. ''I guess that just comes from being a mom.''

And she's understandably defensive if anyone in the stands tries to heckle ''my baby.''

Her husband, James, on the other hand,
tends to be a little more laid back, she said.

The Harrisons were in Tampa last Sunday to witness their son's stellar performance. That's when he intercepted a pass thrown by Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner and ran for a 100-yard touchdown at the end of the first half. It was the longest play in the history of the Super Bowl.

It was a play that Mildred Harrison literally got caught up in albeit in the stands.

''My husband and one of our sons started hugging each other and jumping up and down. They forgot I was in the middle of them,'' she joked.

The Harrisons attend all of the Steelers' home games and as many away games as possible.

But even when they're home watching on TV, it's virtually impossible for them to take the action sitting down.

''Everybody in the neighborhood can hear us,'' Mildred Harrison said.

That fact probably has as much to do with the Harrisons' unbridled enthusiasm as it does with the large number of family members huddled together watching.

The Harrisons are the proud parents of 14 children, compliments of two families becoming one. They range in age from 30 (James, the youngest) to 51.

Mildred Harrison also reared her deceased sister's six children.

Mildred Harrison, like her son and her husband, is no stranger to hard work. Retired now, she formerly worked at a machine shop, but spent most of her working years in retail. Her husband worked at Portage Broom & Brush until it closed, and retired from the Cuyahoga Valley National Park Association.

James the Steelers' No. 92, a linebacker is 6 feet tall and weighs about 240 pounds.

He can be mean on the field. (Harrison was called for a personal foul during the Super Bowl for punching Cardinals' safety Aaron Francisco in the back while he was already on the ground and repeatedly pushing him as he was trying to get up).

Even so, his mother says he's a real softie off the field.

''He has a real heart of gold. He loves animals, children and old people,'' she said. ''He puts on football camps for children, and their parents just love him.

''When he was at Kent State, he worked at a nursing home (Wayside) in dietary and spent a lot of time with the patients there. He often reminisces about going back for a visit.''

James Jr. was a walk-on at KSU his freshman year. He had played football at Coventry High School and had been recruited by a number of major college teams: the University of Notre Dame, University of Nebraska and Ohio State among them.

They all backed off when assault charges were brought for a BB gun incident in the school's locker room involving him, several players and a coach during his junior year. Ultimately, the coach was charged and Harrison pleaded to disorderly conduct.

''I always thought it was strange that they waited until his senior year to bring changes,'' his mother said.

That whole episode was a bitter pill for James and everyone close to him to swallow, she said. ''It was a real uphill climb after that,'' she noted.

Even so, her son found a way through hard work and perseverance to make it work, to make what truly seemed impossible possible.

He was signed by the Steelers as an undrafted free agent for the 2002-03 season and with the Baltimore Ravens in 2004. He has been with the Steelers since 2004. And now he has two Super Bowl rings: XL and XLIII.

According to his mother, Harrison, who has a son, James III, born in 2007, enjoys his family and his mother's home cooking, and likes to bowl and fish. ''Just anything competitive,'' his mother said.

So, he's good at a lot of things.

But mostly, his mother said knowingly, at being a good son.
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Old 02-08-2009, 08:52 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers' 92 is a 'softie,' mother says

thats a good article bout james
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Old 02-08-2009, 09:01 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers' 92 is a 'softie,' mother says

Sounds like he has really percevered. Great guy and great player. I get so upset when the little mistakes kids make haunt them, because they all make them. I understand the big mistakes but not the small ones.
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Old 02-08-2009, 12:55 PM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers' 92 is a 'softie,' mother says

thanks for posting!
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Old 02-08-2009, 01:15 PM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers' 92 is a 'softie,' mother says

Good to see him climb out of that trouble and get to where he is.
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Old 02-08-2009, 03:12 PM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers' 92 is a 'softie,' mother says

I love reading stuff about Harrison because he talks so little.
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Old 02-08-2009, 04:31 PM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers' 92 is a 'softie,' mother says

Nice read on a great player.
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Old 02-09-2009, 10:07 AM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers' 92 is a 'softie,' mother says

That is a great read on James Harrison and thanks for sharing Mesa.
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