"A little integrity is better than any career." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Take a moment to consider that statement by American-born philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson. Reaching the summit of any career or job pales in comparison to the core values of integrity and honesty. For Pittsburgh linebacker James Harrison and Super Bowl XLIII MVP Santonio Holmes, these words mean absolutely nothing.
Harrison made arguably the defining play in Sunday's Super Bowl win over the Arizona Cardinals. On a would-be touchdown pass from Kurt Warner to Anquan Boldin, Warner misjudged the Steelers linebacker which resulted in a 100-yard interception returned for a touchdown. The play came at the end of the half, and derailed a Cardinals team heading full steam into halftime with hopes of drawing the deficit to 3. Harrison's pivotal pick was arguably the most important play of the first half.
Look no further than Santonio Holmes' TD reception with 0:35 seconds left for the defining play of the second half. With former Steelers great and Hall of Fame receivier Lynn Swann looking on, Holmes showed the acrobatics of his counterpart, and came down with the go-ahead score which proved to be the difference in the game.
The Steelers could not have won the Super Bowl without Harrison and Holmes.
That brings me back to Emerson's statement about integrity.
Both men have none.
Last year, James Harrison was charged with assaulting a woman he claimed to be his girlfriend. After a heated argument, Harrison repeatedly threatened a woman named Beth Tibbot. Fearing for her personal safety, Beth locked herself in a bedroom and attempted to call 911. Harrison broke down the door, shattered her phone by thowing it to the ground, and then allegedly hit her across the face.
Around the same time, Santonio Holmes was charged with his second misdemeanor marijuana possession after being pulled over while driving. Police found lit cigars in his car which most likely indicated he used the drug while driving. Holmes' reckless actions endangered the lives of those on the road, and demonstrated severe irresponsibility.
So congratulations, Steelers fans. Your team won the Super Bowl on the efforts of a womanizer and a drug dealer.
A little integrity is better than a career's worth of accomplishments.
Unfortunately for you, those two players have none.