Rodney Harrison: Patriots Hall of Fame means more than Pro Football Hall of Fame

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Former Patriots safety Rodney Harrison will enter the team’s Hall of Fame, thanks to a vote of the fans. And that makes the honor more rewarding to Harrison than a bigger honor in which the fans don’t have a voice.

“I’m very grateful for the fans,” Harrison told reporters during a conference call on Monday. “The fact that the fans voted me in, it means more to me than say the Pro Football Hall of Fame because the fans got a chance to see me play every week. They got a chance to see the story and see the injuries and the adversity and the comeback and the plays that were made and the passion that was shown. They’re not going by reputation or rumors or anything like that, so it really meant a lot to me, the fact that the fans voted me in.”

Harrison was asked to clarify his position that, to him, the Patriots Hall of Fame means more than the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

“I’m not saying it like that in any disrespectful manner,” Harrison said. “But what I’m saying is when you get a chance, as a fan, to sit down and watch, whether you’re watching on your couch or in the stadium, you get a chance to see a person for who they are. You’re not going, ‘OK, hey man, what do you think about Rodney? He’s a dirty player.’ No, they’re not going on reputation. They’re going by all the blood and everything that I poured my heart out on that field, and that’s what I love because I didn’t have to worry about if they would respect the way I would play or if they would listen to someone else instead of putting on some film and watching me play. That’s why it meant so much to me, so much more to me, because it’s not going by reputation. You don’t have to have a certain reputation — good, bad or indifferent. The fans knew that I loved football. I gave everything for the organization, for my teammates, and for the fans and my family.”

Harrison has on multiple occasions in the past expressed concerns regarding the procedures for determining the inductees into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Although some former players now have a voice, it’s predominantly a vote controlled by sportswriters. And Harrison knows he may never get enough support from that body to get in.

From his perspective, that’s OK. He got the award determined by those who watches him the most carefully, and who most greatly appreciate what he did for the Patriots.

26 responses to “Rodney Harrison: Patriots Hall of Fame means more than Pro Football Hall of Fame

  1. Arm broken and escaped the locker room to cheer his teammates on from the sideline. We care about that kind of thing, Pro football HOF won’t.

  2. I hear you Rodney. I have no idea how HOF voting is done, and I’m talking about every sport, not just football. It would be nice if HOF voters actually put the best people in, then it would be much more meaningful. HOF voting makes replay look like an exact science.

  3. He’s right. The Patriots Hall of Fame has collected the best players in the game for close to 20 years. When you have a run like they do, he can say something like that

  4. I liked Rodney as a player, and love him as a commentator, but his road to Canton might be too much of a hike. He made three Pro Bowls in his sixteen seasons. That doesn’t really cry out “Hall of Fame” to the people who make these decisions.

  5. Lots of political goings on in the current HOF voting especially football and baseball. No Pete Rose because he’s a bit of a scum bag but what a player. Not many better, ever.

  6. OK that’s just excessive to the point of ridiculous.
    The Patriots way is NOT necessarily to get the greatest talents of the NFL.

  7. jeremycrowhurst says:
    May 6, 2019 at 7:46 pm
    I liked Rodney as a player, and love him as a commentator, but his road to Canton might be too much of a hike. He made three Pro Bowls in his sixteen seasons. That doesn’t really cry out “Hall of Fame” to the people who make these decisions.

    Pro Bowl is picked by what, 1/3 the coaches, 1/3 players and 1/3 fans. Rodney Harrison was the sort of player who, if he was on your side, you loved him and saw his value. If he was on the other side (and hey, with 32 teams about 96-97% of the players and coaches and fans are on the other side) you feared his hitting ability and quite probably thought he was dirty. He wasn’t out there winning friends on other teams, so he didn’t get his due in terms of trips to Hawaii.

    However, he is one of two NFL players, Ray Lewis being the only other one, who has amassed both 30 interceptions and 30 sacks in their career.

  8. I agree with him. Pro HOF’s are as much political appointments as anything. And why are they called Hall of FAME. Shouldn’t it be Hall of Achievement or similar? They’re are plenty of FAMOUS players who aren’t in the Hall of Fame.

  9. And I have been saying this for decades “Why do sportswriters get to determine the HoF inductees? I have probably watched as much if not more football than 99% of them”. I’d love to have a few beers and argue stats with them but alas I did not get into the reporting profession.
    Florio, you seem to know a little:) Your vote is not worthy? Big Kat, etc., you get my point (I hope).

  10. That’s an obviously self-serving and fairly ridiculous contention on his part, but I can understand the sentiment he’s attempting to express there regarding fan appreciation.

  11. I remember when he was with San Diego and played against the Pats. I hated him, because I listened to the announcers say “some people say he’s a dirty player.” He hit our guy hard. Maybe a little head to head, but it was the 90’s/early 2000’s and the rules were different. When he came to the Pats I got to watch him more than 1x every 4 seasons and I only once saw him deliver a hit that I wish he didn’t. He wasn’t a very dirty player. He was just very physical and very enthusiastic about it. He patrolled the middle and stuffed the run. He was a big reason for back to back Super Bowls. Loved having him on the team.

  12. How many HOFers have said they would rather have a ring than the jacket. Dan Marino has said that and his reasoning behind it was “team accomplishment” so Rodney saying that he appreciates being voted in by the fans isn’t that hard to understand.

  13. I can only comment on Rodney from when he started with the Patriots, quite honestly I didn’t follow the Chargers (why would I??). From day one he was a hard working tough SOB and I mean that in a good way. He was a locker room leader and a leader on the field. In many ways he was face of the Patriots for a few seasons, he was tough, intelligent, discarded and disrespected. He played with the biggest chip on his shoulder and was a loyal teammate and player. He played hurt and do whatever it took to get back on that field which is why he found himself with his ONLY black mark in Foxboro when he was pinched for using HGH to heal up faster. I can’t judge him or blame him for that, and neither should you. HGH is not steroids and I can’t blame players on the Injured reserve for using it to help them recover. I don’t remember any “dirty” plays from his Patriots days I just remember the Lombardi’s !!!

  14. Hot rod was a true do it all saftey the pats hall of fame is proud to welcome him in !

  15. jeremycrowhurst says:
    May 6, 2019 at 7:46 pm
    I liked Rodney as a player, and love him as a commentator, but his road to Canton might be too much of a hike. He made three Pro Bowls in his sixteen seasons. That doesn’t really cry out “Hall of Fame” to the people who make these decisions.
    ———————————–
    Yet his playmaking stats as safety are better than his contemporary John Lynch who is a finalist every year…look it up.

  16. “I listened to the announcers say “some people say he’s a dirty player.”

    He was not. What he did do was play every snap of every game as hard as he could right up until the whistle. It didn’t matter if his team was down by 4 scores with 3 minutes left, he still played full speed and hit as hard as he could when most other players on the field lightened up and just tried to finish off the game as fast and easily as possible

  17. Harrison deserves to be in the HOF…Unfortunately, his headhunting hits created the defenceless receiver penalties that have softened the game to this day…Like the Mel Blount rule, referees knew they had to change the rules so that receivers wouldnt go out in body bags, so they singled out Harrison as well, which also cost him Pro Bowls.
    A great warrior, champion and teammate, who should have been MVP of the 2005 SB

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