Around the NFL:07/15/11

Around the NFL is a weekly offseason feature on Foxboro Blog offering an irreverent (and sometimes humorous) look at some of the top news stories from the NFL. Read at your own risk!

  • NFL players and owners are closer than ever to a new CBA after agreeing in principle on a salary cap and rookie wage scale this week. Most onlookers expressed shock and amazement that an agreement is coming together around the same time that both parties are facing the loss of up to $200 million in revenue from preseason games.
  • Ya know, I realize that if it weren’t for stupid, immature, overgrown children in the NFL, this column would be as dry and uninspired as Rebecca Black lyrics. But no player I cover in this space has proven to be quite as stupid, immature and childish as Steelers LB James Harrison. He gets top billing in this space again this week. And this time, it’s not for beating up a woman. His recent interview in Men’s Journal included enough silliness to fill this entire column.
  • Of greatest interest to Patriots fans were his claims that he should have won another Super Bowl in 2004. “We were the best team in football in 2004, but the Patriots, who we beat during the regular season, stole our signals and picked up 90 percent of our blitzes. They got busted for it later.” Harrison’s completely unsubstantiated accusations are troubling, but not for the reason you’d think. After all, the Pats gave up more sacks per passing attempt in that game (1 sack for every 11.5 dropbacks) than the Pittsburgh defense averaged all season (1 sack for every 13.4 dropbacks). If the Patriots were stealing signals, the only logical conclusion must be that all of Pittsburgh’s other opponents that year were also illegally videotaping signals. It’s clearly a league-wide conspiracy against Harrison and the Steelers. Somebody get Jesse Ventura on the phone!
  • Also, if having the best record in the regular season somehow entitles a team to a Super Bowl win no matter how bad that team shits the bed in the playoffs, I’m sure Harrison wouldn’t mind giving up his 2008 Super Bowl ring to a member of the Titans. I’d suggest mailing it to Lendale White so he can subsequently pawn it for $2000 worth of McBucks.
  • Harrison also had choice words for his own team’s quarterback, criticizing Roethlisberger’s two interceptions in the Super Bowl. “Hey, at least throw a pick on their side of the field instead of asking the D to bail you out again. Or hand the ball off and stop trying to act like Peyton Manning. You ain’t that and you know it, man; you just get paid like he does.” This one isn’t even worth a sexual assault joke. I’m no fan of Big Ben, but how much of a sniveling little bitch do you have to be to throw your own quarterback under the bus after you were nearly invisible for the entire game? Harrison had one freakin’ tackle in the Super Bowl. One. That’s the same number as Packers kicker Mason Crosby. Harrison played for a defense that couldn’t force a single turnover, gave up 338 yards and allowed four scoring drives that started in Green Bay territory. He also characterized RB Rashard Mendenhall as a “fumble machine,” further endearing himself in the locker room. He’s got be one wrong word away from being the next sketch in Dave Chappelle’s “When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong.”
  • I’m done talking about Harrison for today. If I keep going, I’m going to end up challenging him to a cage match. And I can’t win in that scenario. Even if I beat his ass, he’d find a way to blame Roger Goodell, the Patriots, the lighting, his teammates or maybe even the dimensions of the cage. He has the same sense of personal responsibility you’d expect from a belligerent spoiled teenager.
  • Kenny Britt was NOT involved in any police incidents this week. I found that item to be more newsworthy than Pacman Jones’ latest arrest.
    I kinda miss the days when I could type “Pacman” into a Google search box and the first predictive text suggestion was for a little yellow guy chasing ghosts and eating pellets instead of stories about strip club arrests.
  • Dancing With the Stars phenom Hines Ward was arrested in Georgia this week for a DUI. I feel for Hines. If I had to deal with all of the
    Big Ben jokes down there in Georgia, I think I’d need a few stiff drinks too.
  • And finally, Eagles WR Desean Jackson is in hot water this week after launching a string of anti-gay slurs during a radio show that would make the most ardent neo-Nazi blush. He was immediately indignant about the backlash, saying on Twitter that he was “standing tall” against people who want to “bring him down” (presumably the roughly 95% of the human population who cares about bullying, gay rights and/or common decency).