Pittsburgh Steelers all-pro OLB James Harrison is leveling more nasty hits, although this time, they’re on paper, rather than on the field. The footballer ripped into not only NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the New England Patriots, but also his own teammate Ben Roethlisberger, among others, in next month’s issue of Men’s Journal.

"Up until last year, there was no word of me being dirty — till Roger Goodell, who's a crook and a puppet, said I was the dirtiest player in the league. I hate him and will never respect him," Harrison said in the interview, calling Goodell "stupid," a "dictator" and a "devil," while also leveling an anti-gay slur at him.

Goodell levied six-figure fines against Harrison last season for helmet-to-helmet hits that the NFL wants to eliminate. Harrison felt singled out by the commissioner. "If that man was on fire and I had to piss to put him out, I wouldn't do it," Harrison said. If the Steelers had defeated the Green Bay Packers in the Super Bowl, Harrison said, he would have whispered to Goodell during the trophy ceremony: "Why don't you quit and do something else, like start your own league in flag football?"

The 2008 Defensive Player of the Year said the NFL’s attempts to curb head butting was ridiculous. "I get dinged about three times a year and don't know where I am for a little minute. But unless I'm asleep, you're not getting me out of the game, and most guys feel the same way," said Harrison. "Just don't hit me in the knee, 'cause that's life-threatening. How'm I going to feed my family if I can't run?" His solution? Shorter off-seasons and a return to a 14-game regular season are the best ways to prevent head injuries.


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Harrison also gave a tongue lashing to his own team’s quarterback Roethlisberger, who threw two INTs in Super Bowl XLV when Pittsburgh fell to Green Bay. "Hey, at least throw a pick on their side of the field instead of asking the D to bail you out again. Or hand the ball off and stop trying to act like Peyton Manning. You ain't that and you know it, man; you just get paid like he does," Harrison said.

However Harrison did have words of praise for one teammate, current defensive player of the year Troy Polamalu. "He's the one guy in football I respect absolutely, 'cause he's spiritual and lives it like he talks it," Harrison said.

In response to the interview, 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."

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