The other day, my uncle was watching a video of Steelers linebacker James Harrison's attempt at recording his NFL-mandated drug test, and when he tried to get me to watch it, I said, "Screw him. He's an idiot."
And that's when I realized, "Holy cow, I've never really liked James Harrison."
It's true. For some reason, I've just never been a big fan. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate everything Harrison has done for the team over the years, such as his 74.5 quarterback sacks, the night he single-handedly destroyed the Ravens (and Ed Reed) back in 2007 and, of course, his 100-yard dash in Super Bowl XLIII.
We're talking about a guy who went undrafted back in 2002, bounced around the league for a few years, played for the Rhein Fire of NFL Europe, before finally catching on with the Steelers and becoming one of the best, and most popular, defenders in franchise history.
What a story, right?
Yet, I'm all "Avoid Lloyd, baby!" I'm, of course, talking about Greg Lloyd, the menacing linebacker who played for Pittsburgh from 1988-1997 and was a quarterback or two shy of owning a couple Super Bowl rings in his own right.
Lloyd recorded 53.5 quarterback sacks in his 10 seasons with the Steelers and made the Pro Bowl five times. As per his Wikipedia page, Lloyd was voted the 1994 AFC Defensive Player of the Year by UPI and is a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers All-time Team.
Lloyd was/is my all-time favorite Steelers linebacker; like most people who ever lived, because I watched Lloyd when I was a teenager, naturally, they don't make linebackers like him anymore.
Yeah, sure, maybe I'm getting older, but that doesn't explain my man-crush on Joey Porter, Harrison's predecessor at right outside linebacker who recorded 60 sacks and 10 interceptions during his eight years with the Steelers. Porter was loud, boisterous and liked to give the opponents ammo by saying, among other things, that they were soft, which is what he called the Colts shortly before Pittsburgh traveled to Indianapolis for a divisional round playoff game in January of 2006.
Heck, Porter even got tossed after a pre-game fight with the Browns back in 2004, and Harrison filled in for him, as Pittsburgh won, 24-10.
And while Harrison made history in Super Bowl XLIII with his end zone-to-end zone dash -- a play that capped off one of the best individual defensive seasons in team history, as No. 92 was voted the 2008 NFL (not AFC) Defensive Player of the Year -- Porter didn't do much of note in Super Bowl XL, other than talk trash about Seahawks tight end Jeramy Stevens during Media Day almost a week earlier.
Is there something wrong with me? After all, in Harrison, we're talking about the guy who slammed the drunk Browns fan to the turf in a game at Cleveland on December 24, 2005.
Maybe it's Harrison's defiant nature. I'm pretty defiant and rebellious myself (at least on the Internet, when I write April Fool's articles and refuse to stop writing them when people tell me I'm fat and bald), and they say you often detest the people who mirror your own flaws.
Maybe that's why I scoff at such things as Harrison video-taping his own drug test (or at least trying to).
Like most Steelers fans, I admire Jack Lambert, the gruff, menacing and defiant middle linebacker from the 1970s, who was one of the best who ever played the game.
Can't you picture a modern-day Lambert mocking a drug test on social media, making his kids give back participation trophies or calling the commissioner names in a magazine interview?
So, what's wrong with me? Why don't I like James Harrison? Am I just an ungrateful fan? Should I be slammed to the rug of my living room? Should I be subjected to a drug test?
Or maybe I should be sentenced to two years as James Harrison's tackling dummy.
Whatever the cause, if you're reading this, Deebo, you should know that if we ever meet in person, I'm your biggest fan.