Void of any real news from the NFL despite ongoing labor talks (Zzz) sports media outlets have been hammering out nonsensical lists of just about everything imaginable related to the NFL. Most recently we’ve been presented with the The 25 Least Valuable Players in the NFL and the AFC East’s biggest future stars.
There are so many lists going around it is only a matter of time before someone compiles a list of the best lists of the 2011 NFL offseason. Pending an actual labor agreement this is all we’ve had to gone on, that is until Steelers linebacker James Harrison opened up in a Men’s Journal article. Harrison, who was fined at least $125,000 by the NFL last season targets NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, The New England Patriots and even his own quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
The Steelers reaction to Harrrison’s comments:
Team president Art Rooney II released a statement saying:
“I have not yet seen the article in Men’s Journal nor have I spoken to James Harrison about his comments. We will discuss the situation at the appropriate time, when permitted once the labor situation is resolved.”
The beautiful thing is that the Steelers and more importantly the NFL are not permitted to do shit and even when a labor agreement is reached Harrison can hardly be held accountable for comments made while he wasn’t bound under the NFL’s Third Reich type control over its players, coaches and teams. You see the NFL can fine players not only for hard hitting (as in Harrison’s case), but routinely fines players and coaches for derogatory statements about the league, the referees, whatever.
So it’s open season boys, it’s just a shame it took so long for someone to realize it. I hope NFL players see this time period as a golden ticket to say just about whatever they want about the league. It could actually serve as a good negotiation tool for the labor agreement – should the NFL want to get the players back in line and be able to punish them for exercising free speech again it would have to strike a deal!