Now that James Harrison is officially hanging up his cleats (again), he'll have time to take a step back and look at his career as a whole. He'll also have a chance to fully assess the damage he did when he burnt every bridge on his way out of Pittsburgh last season.
When Harrison decided to sign with the Patriots after he was cut by Pittsburgh, he was deemed dead to Steeler Nation. Jerseys were burnt, teammates declared his legacy tarnished, and that was that.
At least for the time being.
It may take some time, but James Harrison will one day be forgiven by Pittsburgh Steelers fans.
In the end, time heals all wounds-- even the kind that are created due to a player's words and actions on his way out the door.
When James Harrison is thought of in a few years, he won't be remembered for his time as a New England Patriot. He'll be remembered for the Defensive Player of the Year award he won back in 2008. He'll be remembered for the 193 games in which he suited up in black and yellow. He'll be remembered for the two Super Bowls he won in Pittsburgh.
Even if he was brazen and disrespectful on his way out of town, it doesn't erase the things he did for this franchise.
Did James Harrison "erase" his Steelers legacy by leaving on bad terms and signing in New England?— Andrew Fillipponi (@ThePoniExpress) April 16, 2018
Think about players who played for rivals in the past. Deion Sanders went from being a Cowboy to playing his last season with the Redskins. Brett Favre ended up playing against the Packers as a member of the Vikings. It took time, but both of those legends were welcomed back home with open arms.
No grudge will outlast the difference Harrison made when he donned the black and yellow at Heinz Field. It will take a few years, but you better believe Harrison will eventually be honored back in the Burgh once again.