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Posted at 1:00 PM ET, 02/ 1/2011

Super Bowl Media Day live: Steelers' James Harrison wants to put a pillow on the field

By Cindy Boren

The second half of the Super Bowl Media Day soulsuck continued with the Pittsburgh Steelers meeting the media (including Ines Sainz, Vic the Brick and Pick Guy). Earlier, the Green Bay Packers had their turn.

James Harrison, fined repeatedly for hard hits this season, had a message for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell: "I don't want to hurt nobody. I don't want to step on nobody's foot or hurt their toe. I don't want to have no dirt or none of this rubber on this field fly into their eye and make their eye hurt. I just want to tackle them softly on the ground and if you all can, we'll lay a pillow down where I'm going to tackle them, so they don't hit the ground too hard ... Mr. Goodell."

Hands-down winner for top Media Day quote. Harrison also talked about his decision to retire during that flurry of fines. "At the time, it was something that was really serious for me. Stepping back and having time to look at it and evaluate the whole situation, it was a heat-of-the-moment decision, not well thought out, not planned out. After having time to sit back and look at it and think about the whole situation, it was just not the thing to do."

Ben Roethlisberger, smiling, laughing and relaxed, shot video with his cellphone as he approached the podium, where he faced a barrage of Nerf questions from the media.

Roethlisberger discussed his relationship with his teammates. "I'm very close with a lot of the guys. One of my best friends is sitting over there next to me. I knew that I always had -- there was a big group of guys I always had their support. There were just a couple that I wasn't as close to as I wanted to be and needed to be and I have really worked hard to be closer with and be a better teammate with."

On his style of play: "I don't know where a lot of the things I do came from. I think it's just playin' the game, I guess. Obviously, you do drills where you practice things like that, but a lot of those things, it's just havin', we call it the clock, that clock that goes off in your head and says it's time to get out of here, you know, get out of the pocket, run, scramble, do what you've got to do."

Roethlisberger was asked whether, with a win, he'd join QBs like Tom Brady and Troy Aikman: "I'm not pretty when I play the game. I'll be the first to admit it, but I don't try to be. When I say these things, I'm not trying to knock on any of those guys. I've said they're the best. I just play the game to win it. Like I said, I'll probably never ever win a passing title. I'll probably never win MVP of the NFL and I'm okay with that. Really, I am. People may think I'm crazy, but to me at the end of the day it's about wins and losses and championships."

What game would Roethlisberger like to play on the big giant screen at Jerry Jones' stadium/palace? "I was caught between Tiger Woods and Call of Duty."

On how he's different this time at the Super Bowl: "Just being calmer. Just waking up and counting your blessings. Just thanking God for letting you wake up and enjoy the day. I was going to bring a Twix bar up here [on the podium] if I needed a minute if I ever got a tough question. To still just enjoy this, because how many people ever get this opportunity? Like I said, this could be my last time to ever sit on this podium in front of you guys and if it is, it is. That's what the plan is supposed to be."

Roethlisberger was asked again about Brady and other elite quarterbacks: "Maybe it's my way of keeping me as the underdog? ... It drives Coach Tomlin crazy because he wants me to put myself in that category and I don't know, I guess I like being the hunter and not the hunted. That's my best explanation, I guess."

Hines Ward dumped the cowboy hat and giant belt bucket he was wearing when the team arrived Monday and was asked about a Dallas Morning News report that had him and other players at a local strip club Monday night. "I went out," Ward said. Where? "It's none of your business where I went."

Ward addressed the possible lockout of players: "This is a huge thing. This may be our last game. A lot of people don't understand. Come March 4, we don't have insurance. They're stripping away our insurance, so if you get a major injury in this guy and you've got to have surgery. At the end of the day they aren't going to pay for rehab. This is a serious matter. I think it's flying under the radar. A lot of players are real concerned."

Ward talked about his controversial comments in GQ on concussions. "I'm not insensitive to concussions. This is a violent game. We know what we signed up for. I think Aaron Rodgers has had two concussions this year. You think he's going to miss the Super Bowl game? No, I don't think so. Guys know what's at stake. I'm pretty sure Aaron Rodgers knows if he gets another concussion ... I'm pretty sure he's not thinking about what's going to happen 10 years from now. We as players just play this game. We know it's a violent sport. You don't have to play football if you don't want to."

Ryan Clark put on a Polamalu-like wig and yelled: "Can I get a [shampoo] deal?"

Troy Polamalu said he's a big fan of Cher. And then he proceeded to kind of sing, "Do you believe in love [sic] after love?"

By Cindy Boren  | February 1, 2011; 1:00 PM ET
Categories:  Super Bowl XLV  
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Next: Maurkice Pouncey says there's a 75-percent chance he'll play in Super Bowl


Harrison should come out for the game carrying a pillow with "Goodell" scrawled across it, ala Jim McMahon's infamous headband.

Posted by: freakzilla | February 1, 2011 3:18 PM | Report abuse

That would be awesomely awesome.

Posted by: CindyBoren | February 1, 2011 3:41 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: PracticalIndependent | February 1, 2011 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Very funny article on the Hines Ward strip club story at

Basically claims that the reporter who broke the story was laughed at by a room full of reporters when Texas Governor Rick Perry questioned his ethics.

Posted by: wrongflorio | February 1, 2011 9:50 PM | Report abuse

awwww, Ben is so charming! when do you think he was more charming: at the Super Bowl suck-up, or that night in Milledgeville? see

Posted by: butchgrabowski | February 1, 2011 11:18 PM | Report abuse

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