Friday, August 31, 2007

Rodney Harrison: Cheat

When I was in high school, I had a history teacher who used to say "a cheater is a liar and a thief."

Meet Rodney Harrison. Cheater, liar, thief.

In announcing that he was about to be suspended--reportedly for using Human Growth Hormone--Harrison attempted to mitigate the damage:
I want to make it clear that not once did I use steroids. I did admit to the commissioner that I did in fact use a banned substance. My purpose was never to gain a competitive edge. Rather, my use was totally for the purpose of accelerating the healing process from injuries I sustained playing football.
Liar. Oh, I suppose it's technically accurate. But "making it clear" that he didn't use steroids blurs the fact that he is reported to have used HGH, which is at least as bad, if not worse, than anabolic steroids. And I don't see how "accelerating the healing process" is not a competitive edge.
I understand that I’m a role model to high schools, colleges, young kids. I don’t condone my decision, my behavior. I’m very, very embarrassed by it. I’m disappointed in myself. And to any young person, any high schooler, any college athlete, I sent the wrong message with my actions and I would want to be the example to them to never jeopardize what they believe in, never jeopardize their health. And they always have to love themselves.
Thief. One can make the argument that athletes aren't role models, but to his credit Harrison doesn't try that. However he does acknowledge taking on the trust of many young athletes and frittering that away. (And I have no idea what the whole "they always have to love themselves" stuff has to do with anything).

As a Patriots fan, I hope he helps the team succeed as he has for the past four seasons. One of the nicest moments of the win in Super Bowl 38 was seeing Harrison with his broken arm in a sling, tears of joy streaming down his face as he is engulfed by confetti.

But he's cheated the game, and I have no use for that. I'm not rooting for him anymore. I'm rooting for the laundry.

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