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James Harrison Talking About Tom Brady's Leadership is Electric

James Harrison. James goddamned Harrison. Nobody has gone from supervillain to the side of the angels in less time since the end of Empire Strikes Back. And Tom Brady is the Luke who saved him. I mean, just listen to the reverence in his voice. The respect. A lifelong Steeler and chapter president of probably a half dozen I Hate Brady Clubs, and he was won over as soon as he started working with the man. In Pittsburgh they see this as the worst heel turn ever (RIP, Mean Gene) and still piss Iron City onto the ashes of the No. 92 jerseys they burned. But it’s really a story of a man seeing the error of his beliefs and having the strength of character to admit he was wrong.

The clip is a little cut off, but the story about Brady leading the team out onto the practice field is from Christmas week of 2017. It was snow mixed with sleet changing to freezing rain:

Pretty much the worst possible combination for going out and playing a game, never mind just getting ready to play a game. We talking practice.  But Brady would listen to none of it. “Hey, stop complaining,” he told them. “Let’s go.” Then ran out to the practice field with nothing but Under Armour under his pads and got to work. Like “the ultimate teammate.” Treating the Practice Squad guy like they’re 12-year veterans. Those are Harrison’s words, not mine. And they mean a lot coming from a veteran All Pro, Super Bowl champion and former DPOTY who never had to practice in those conditions in his life:

The game he refers to in that first clip that was “2 below” was the Jets game of Christmas Eve day, which was in fact 13 degrees with a 14 mph wind. And was fricking tropical compared to the crap Brady led them out into a few days before. And the result was a 26-6 win in what was probably the easiest game they had all year. Which is just about the best definition of “leadership” I can come up with.

And yet, it gets better. Deebo’s candor and honesty actually broke Shannon Sharpe, one of if not THE leading Brady hater in the national media. A guy who’s been trolling the Patriots since before the term was invented and who has blocked more New Englanders than all the MA State Police DUI checkpoints combined. But Harrison got him to drop the facade and admit he can’t hate Brady; he just hates all the winning:


It takes a big man to admit he’s just being petty. That his resentment is born out of frustration and jealousy of a better man’s accomplishments. And I respect that, I really do. So thanks to Shannon Sharpe. Thanks even more to James Harrison. And obviously, thanks most of all to the GOAT himself. If he keeps winning hearts and minds like this, there’ll be nobody left to hate.