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As per the tradition, the NFL Champion is going to visit the White House. And as per another tradition, James Harrison will not be attending.

You see, the talented yet sometimes puzzling linebacker skipped the team's last White House visit in 2006 with Dubya, and it looks like once again, he's prepared to sit on the sidelines:

"This is how I feel -- if you want to see the Pittsburgh Steelers, invite us when we don't win the Super Bowl. As far as I'm concerned, he [Obama] would've invited Arizona if they had won," said Harrison.

I'm pretty sure that these visits aren't arranged for the current President's favorite team to stop by on a whim, which means Harrison is absolutely right - without his touchdown, or Santonio's, Kurt Warner and Larry Fitzgerald would be shaking hands and posing for photos with President Obama next week.

In a strange twist, Harrison is the second Steeler linebacker in as many White House trips to make headlines before the visit. In 2006, it was Joey Porter who famously said, "Yeah, I got something to say to Bush, I'm going to have a swagger when I walk in there, too," Porter said, laughing loudly. "I'm looking forward to it. I have something to tell him, too. I don't like the way things are running right now. I feel like he has to give me some of my money back, so I got something to tell Bush."

In the end, Porter put on his finest Kanye West-style shades and quietly remained on his best behavior. Regardless of the outcome, Porter dealt with some level of criticism for his words. And judging from the 100+ comments in four hours on a PFT thread, it looks like Harrison's comments aren't exactly being received well, either.

NObama: Steelers' Harrison Says He'll Skip White House Visit [WTAE]

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Dave said...

Actually, the Bulls (the President's favorite team) did visit the White House while in DC for a game against the Wizards this year.

Ultimately this sounds like something Silverback uses to motivate himself. Hard to play the "No Respect" card when everyone is hailing you. I just don't understand the anger directed toward him. It obviously isn't political, and really Harrison is the one missing out. I would think that among the many perks of winning a title, visiting the White House would be up there on the list.

Maura said...

I agree with Dave. I don't think the President is trying to fool anyone into believing that he is a die-hard fan of EVERY championship team that visits the White House. It's merely a tradition and an honor for the winning team to visit the leader of the free world. Love or hate President Obama, Harrison should be happy to have such an honor and stop complaining.

Unknown said...

Silverback is not the most eloquent guy around, we know this........ something tells me the opportunity to meet the President of the United States is just not that high on his list.

Steve said...

I'd probably be just as thrilled if I were in his shoes. Going to the White House for some pre-planned ceremony to be surrounded by a-hole politicians that could care even less then me about the whole thing.

Unless you're inviting me because you want to and not because tradition says you have to, I'd rather sleep in.