Photo by @fritzphotos // Words by @petergwin New England Patriots linebacker James Harrison (@jhharrison92) knows about pain—KNOWS about it. For nearly two decades he has been delivering and receiving devastating blows on NFL fields. This afternoon, at age 39, he will step onto the field for today’s AFC Championship Game as the oldest defensive player in professional football. (His teammate @tombrady is a year older and among the oldest offensive players.) Last spring, he let photographer Fritz Hoffmann and I visit him in Arizona #onassignment to document his workouts (lots of power lifts) and meticulous health routine (no alcohol, refined sugar, or processed carbs). In between weightlifting sessions, we asked him his secret for playing such a violent game at such a high level for so long. “Ain’t no damn secret, man. HARD WORK, lots of hard work!” Well that, and a lot of attention to caring for his body. Harrison spends about $350,000 a year employing a team of specialists, including massage therapists, acupuncturists, and chiropractors, who help manage the punishment his body endures. One of them is Codi Hoos, a massage therapist who uses cupping, an ancient therapy practiced for centuries in China, to reduce muscle soreness. I mentioned to Harrison that scientists are skeptical about cupping some of the other treatments he uses. Harrison shrugged. “All I know is before I get treated, I HURT, and after, I feel better.” #NFL #Defense #Cupping #Patriots #Newengland #footballer
No wonder Deebo and Tom Brady instantly became best friends like they’re off to go do karate in the garage and watch “Shark Week” and he took to New England like he’s been playing here his whole life. He and Brady are soulmates. Warrior Spirits. Obsessed not only with winning, but with reversing the aging process. Both men are doing pioneering work in cheating death by pushing the limits of science.
It’s incredible how much they have in common. Brady invested in TB12 Fitness and Alex Guerrero pliability massages; Harrison invests 350 grand in a sort of holistic treatment pit crew. Brady is swearing off nightshades and inflammatories; Harrison swears off booze, sugars and carbs. Brady sleeps in ceramic lined pajamas; Harrison puts ancient Chinese breast pumps all over his back. The only difference is Brady is a resistance band guy and Harrison prefers to do squats holding two garbage trucks connected by a highway overpass support beam. But that’s what’s so beautiful about it. Two geniuses pushing each other with their different scientific theories, like the Edison and Tesla of football longevity.
Mainly, they both have their detractors. Of course the same skeptics who think The TB12 Method is junk science will question Deebo for The Pop-o-Matic Method. It’s like Einstein said about how great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. And when Brady and Harrison are still winning championships together into their late 40s, who’ll be laughing then?