- Bettis opted to take less money, and 1309 yards 22 touchdowns and one Lombardi Trophy later, the Bus parked at Super Bowl XL
- Harrison balked, and the Steelers released him.
- At one point, Harrison gave signaled he’d be open to returning to Pittsburgh.
Steelers Harrison, Ending, Alternative B
Once upon a time, thanks to Hollywood, our stories ended in a neat bow-tied package. By happenstance, the world of sports followed this model
- Franco Harris finished his last year in Seattle, and that was it – no scholarship year or even Three Rivers Stadium retirement press conference
- Terry Bradshaw had his surgery and skipped town, not even to return for Art Rooney Sr.’s funeral
The rise of digital technology has once again made the shape of our stories malleable, just as they were in the age of Homer (the ancient Greek poet that is, not Simpson.)
You no longer have to travel to Japan to see Glen Close commit suicide to end Fatal Attraction – you just press a button on your DVD. Greedo, not Han Solo, fires first. If actors of an orginal franchise get too old or die, well just do a reboot.
- And something similar is happening in sports, at least with the Steelers.
- Tom Donahoe’s response was “Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out”
- Kevin Colbert’s is, “You can come home again.”
Yet as recently as two years ago, Colbert espoused a different philosophy when it came to players the Steelers had released, when he all but ruled out a return of James Farrior and/or Hines Ward during the 2012 off season.
- Yet, during 2013 off season the Steelers parted ways with Jonathan Dwyer, Stevenson Sylvester, and Will Allen only to bring them all back.
The Case for and Against Harrison’s Return
The case against bringing Harrison back would seem to be self evident. This is a defense in need of youth and renewal. While the process has been underway for two years, it is picking up steam with the departures of Ryan Clark and LaMarr Woodley.
- Why take a step back with a 36 year old linebacker?
- Nonetheless, an objective, cold-hard numbers case for Harrison can be made.
Harrison’s workout regime and game preparation are legendary. And in that right, he can set an example for a young defense, much the way that Hines Ward mentored Plaxico Burress and Bettis mentored Ben Roethlisberger.
Assuming that Harrison will take the veteran minimum, Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin would be wise to take him up on his offer to return.
Thanks for visiting. Click here for the rest of Steel Curtain Rising or here to see our Steelers 2014 Free Agent Focus.