(Photo originally from SI, I believe.)
I realize that outside of New England, Rodney Harrison is pretty much persona non grata. But the thing is, we love the guy around here. Every team has a guy like that. In every sport. There’s always someone whom you love, but who you fully admit you wouldn’t be able to stand were he on another team, especially that of your rival. I feel that way about Josh Beckett some days. And I’m pretty sure Dustin Pedroia’s Napolean-complex would be more annoying and far less endearing were he a Yankee. Also? Bill Belichick. Think he’s loved by fans of other teams? Or other teams? Or other coaches? I highly doubt it.
So that’s how we feel about Rodney. We take his badassery and we make a thing out of it. We print up “Talk Shit, Get Hit #37” shirts. We wear it like a badge of honor. And Harrison? Well, he just keeps hitting people.
There’s obviously contention about Harrison’s so-called cleanliness or lack thereof as a player. Some of it warranted. But the fact remains that he is the only player in NFL history to record 30 sacks and 30 interceptions. And he played his ass off for the Patriots when he was here. That, we’re going to miss.
Evidently Rodney is going to join NBC’s broadcasting team which is just delightful. I imagine him as the NFL’s answer to Dennis Eckersley. Spouting off about “cheese” and “junk” and occasionally warranting FCC fines. Plus also, it’s not completely out of the question that he’ll get so frustrated that he’ll strap on a helmet, rush out of the booth and sack someone his own self. Also, Rodney did a stint reffing in NFL Europe, I believe, which is both hilarious and ironic. So he’ll surely have something to say about the officiating.
Of course, the NBC gig means he won’t start his smooth jazz radio show which thing I totally invented but which I also think would be exceptionally fantastic. Though I suppose there’s always time. A girl can dream.