Wide receiver Marvin Harrison #88 sits on the bench during the game against the Green Bay Packers on October 19, 2008 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay Wisconsin. The Packers won 34-14.
(October 19, 2008 – Source: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images North America)
Number 5: Nothing’s Wrong With Being Quiet
Not only did Marvin Harrison make the headlines, but he made them for all of the right reasons in his playing days. While some of his future Hall of Fame contemporaries, namely Randy Moss and Terrell Owens, would make noise for their “extracurricular activities”, both off-the-field and between the whistle, Harrison would keep to himself and played the game the right way. He wasn’t the most amicable to the media given his reserved nature, which probably has hurt him in the voting process, but he was paid to play…not preach.
It was refreshing to see one of the NFL’s greatest wide receivers play with a “team mindset” rather than a “me mindset”. After spectacular catches and dazzling touchdowns receptions, Harrison wouldn’t pull out a Sharpie from his sock or moon the crowd, he’d simply jog to the sideline:
"“That’s a rare characteristic to see in a person,” his former Indianapolis Colts wide receiver teammate Brandon Stokley said. “It’s nice to see someone be so humble and be the best at his position.” “When I came here, I wanted to come and see how this guy gets open,” Stokley added. “But every play, he does things with his body that you can’t duplicate.”"
"“I think Marv’s approach is, ‘This is what I do. It’s my job. I come here and do my job and then leave,’ ” Indianapolis defensive end Dwight Freeney said. “I guess some guys take advantage of the opportunities, because we are in the entertainment business, so people like to know more about you. But it’s not a right, so therefore you get to choose. Marvin just chooses to keep everything private.”"
However, Harrison has always taken his introverted persona in-stride, as it relates to the NFL limelight. He may be a “quiet cat”, but he’s always been comfortable in his own skin:
"“As athletes and, I guess, sort of superstars or professional athletes, everyone has their own different outlook on how you should act, perform, whatever the case may be,” Harrison said. “If it was up to me, I’d just have a normal life. But I think it is different. Some guys want the limelight. They want to be a superstar. But to me, it doesn’t matter.”"
Just because someone’s different, but plays the game in the most professional way possible, that shouldn’t be held against him. In fact, in his day of diva NFL superstar wideouts, it was quite refreshing.
It’s time to put Marvin Harrison in the NFL Hall of Fame. Even though the selection committee got it wrong last year, it doesn’t mean they have to this year.