Blog Entry

Steelers Won With Thugs

Posted on: February 1, 2009 11:44 pm
Edited on: February 2, 2009 12:22 am

"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.

Holmes was a chronic factor in the win

Harrison beat Fitzgerald for the score


Since: Sep 24, 2008
Posted on: February 4, 2009 8:08 pm

Steelers Won With Thugs

Yeah but everytime my Raven thugs play your sorry pathetic no super bowl trophy having selves we kick your asses all over that Dawg Pound. I guess you say that you team has no thugs but you neglect to look in the stands.

Kellen Winslow Jr. could not carry his dad's jock and Braylon Edwards would probably drop it.

Your coach looked like a dead guy walking the sidelines. Actually I give him more credit than I should. A dead guy shows more emotion.

Your team has no heart. Most of the players have started finger pointing instead of looking into the mirror. That is what drags a team down. Winners bread other winners. Loosers drag a team down.

Since: Sep 23, 2008
Posted on: February 3, 2009 5:58 pm

Steelers Won With Thugs

Pro athletes, making more money than most countries, used to be the thugs on "scholarships" at big time universities who lived in the "special" dormitories, and took the "special" courses, guided by the army of university "handlers" whos job was to keep them out of jail, and to magically keep them "eligible". Before that, they were the glorified jocks at the high school, with egos bigger than Godzilla eating Chernobyl's core.

You want altar boys? Look in a priest's closet.

Since: Sep 9, 2006
Posted on: February 3, 2009 5:48 pm

Steelers Won With Thugs

Okay, now that I reread that...

I don't have a problem with it if voters used penalty on Harrison to not choose him for the MVP for the SB.  He exhibited poor judgement in a game where it got magnified.  But in 18 other games this year, he hadn't had an incident. If you can name me one person in the course of their nfl career who hasn't let his emotions get the best of him in a game, then by all means put Harrison in front of the firing squad.  My guess that every linebacker does something stupid on the field at least once in the course of their career.


Since: Sep 9, 2006
Posted on: February 3, 2009 4:57 pm

Steelers Won With Thugs

Actually scorpionbites...Harrison wasn't the MVP of the SB.  Harrison was DPOY for the regular season.

Holmes was the MVP of the SB.

Since: Jan 9, 2008
Posted on: February 3, 2009 4:23 pm

Steelers Won With Thugs

mom, your Steeler fandom is well known, so let me start off with a hearty congratulations on a fantastic season and another championship! I'm not going to add to the ridicule of character issues that are rampant amongst athletes, but something sure rings odd. James Harrison was the MVP of the Super Bowl, but his dirty hit on Francesco when down on the punt play bordered on ridiculous in the biggest game of the year. My feelings are that hit was flagrant, and cost Harrison the MVP trophy.

Since: Sep 9, 2006
Posted on: February 3, 2009 4:10 pm

Steelers Won With Thugs

I think your point about domestic abuse and athletes as role models is a good issue to bring up and blog about.  Perhaps you should follow up with a blog that would actually discuss the topic in a manner that would produce a less knee jerk reaction.

Can I also make a suggestion...what could be an awesome addition to your portfolio, since you're actually on a college campus and may see this first hand.  How about expanding it in to an actual article like blog which examines how college athletic programs may promote or enable the attitude that some athletes seem to hold that they can get away with whatever they want.


Since: Jan 18, 2008
Posted on: February 3, 2009 10:51 am

Steelers Won With Thugs

Hey cheeks -

You really stirred the pot this time (no pun intended). Just don't let the number of responses to this blog get to you, otherwise you'll become the next Pete Prisco - just posting stuff to get people talking. You're a smart guy and I admire the fact that you wore your heart on your sleeve with this story, fully expecting the onslaught of responses slamming you around (again, no pun intended). The only thing I'd say has already been said; that every team has it's bad element or it's share of players most decent human beings would not feel comfortable being associated with. You've handled the criticism well, I might add. Just hang in there, this too shall pass.


Since: Dec 28, 2008
Posted on: February 2, 2009 10:31 pm

Steelers Won With Thugs

Are we really OK with celebrating such atheletes?Hmmmm, so should we all discourage our children from wanting to become Presidents to????? Seems like i remember a President from the 90's that smoked a lil wacky weed and did a lil womenizing himself, thats right ol' Bill Clinton!!! Do yourself a favor and climb down off the ol' high horse and put up a post that will inspire the team you like, instead of posting a piss poor attempt to tarnish what the Steelers have worked so hard to accomplish!!! MY KIDS CAN WEAR ANY STEELER JERSEY THEY PLEASE AND THEY CAN STILL STRIVE TO BE THE PRESIDENT OF THE USA!!!!!     

Since: Mar 12, 2007
Posted on: February 2, 2009 9:54 pm

Steelers Won With Thugs

If an athlete with legal troubles played for the Browns, I would be upset and embarrassed for my team.Go back and check the threads on the Steelers board from the morning in October when Santonio Holmes was pulled over for marijuana possession.  Trust me, we were upset and embarassed.

But how long are we supposed to crucify the guy?  He was immediately suspended for the next game and has since shown much better behavior.  Are we never allowed to cheer for him again?

beach is right -- the timing of your blog post and the fact that you only singled out Steelers players reeks of bitterness (not unlike Geno excluding Harrison from his All-AFC North Team while allowing Ray Lewis on the squad).  I know that you used Steelers because of the timeliness with their recent success...but the way you present it assumes that this doesn't happen with any other team.

Since: Sep 7, 2006
Posted on: February 2, 2009 9:45 pm

Steelers Won With Thugs

There's a reason draft stock rises and falls with troubled NFL prospects - character matters in the NFL.

Don't kid yourself, cheeks.  The reason that a college player's stock falls if he has questionable character has nothing to do with a team's moral conscience and everything to do with money.  Drafting a player who has shown an inability to handle himself and his life responsibly is a risk teams will hesitate to take when there is big money involved, but those players, if talented enough, will still find their way on an NFL roster.

This is a business, plain and simple.  If a man is talented enough and driven enough he will play for somebody.  Should we, as fans, hold those players to a higher standard because they are role models?  I think so.  At the same time, I can respect a man who makes a mistake and owns up to it, makes amends and tries to improve himself.

Using your two examples...James Harrison had a single offense that he apologized for, the charges were dropped by his ex and he took anger management classes to try to control the behaviour.  For me, that's enough as long as there isn't another incident.  So yes, I would be alright with my children wearing his jersey...and both my children are girls.

Santonio Holmes...this is a bit different now, isn't it?  Here is a young man who has had several different run ins with the law.  Twice he was arrested after being drafted, once for a domestic disturbance and again for disorderly conduct.  Then, just this year, he was arrested for possession of marijuana.  The sheer number of instances is enough to put me off, but I think its important to look at each incident individually before judging him.  The domestic disturbance charge was dropped within 24 hours and was not violence related.  He was arguing with the mother of one of his children, but there was no violence from what I understand.  The disorderly conduct was a minor offense in Miami that seems to have been overblown.  Neither of those incidents put me off Santonio in any way.

The marijuana charge is the big one to me.  When it happened, I was furious.  He hurt his team and that is unacceptable.  He put people in danger, he was selfish and childish.  He too made an impassioned apology to his teammates and the fans.  He promised it would never happen again.  Is that enough?  I don't know, I'm still unsure about it.  I think that there needs to be some tolerance for this type of behaviour because when you come right to it, these are young men, kids really, who are bound to make mistakes.  If they can learn from them and grow into better people then I can forgive them.  If not, if they continue to make the same mistakes over and over again, then they should obviously be cut loose.

Its obvious that you made this post out of anger and with little regard for anything other than your hatred, but it isn't a horrible topic for discussion.  I just think you certainly chose a horrible time to bring it up!

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or