Colts dodged bullet with Marvin Harrison

June 17, 2010
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Let’s start with this; Marvin Harrison may be the most innocent guy in the world—who just happens to like pearl-handled weapons.

Problem is, most people in this city (or I imagine this country) don’t want their kids looking up to people who routinely tote firearms. And I'm not talking about a hunting rifle here.

Harrison is again entwined with the law. Police seized a firearm in Harrison’s vehicle following a traffic stop Wednesday in Philadelphia. Harrison hasn’t been charged, but Philadelphia police officials said Harrison’s gun could be tested in connection with a 2008 shooting.

The victim of that shooting initially survived and accused Harrison of being the gunman. But the victim died three months later after being shot again. Again, Harrison has been questioned in that incident, but not charged.

Anyway you slice it, you can’t help but conclude that the Indianapolis Colts dodged a serious bullet while Marvin Harrison was on the roster for 13 years. His time here was relatively quiet off the field—literally and figuratively.

I’m sure Harrison doesn’t give a hoot about his status as a role model here or elsewhere. But the Colts certainly do care about the image of their players in this community.

They’ve seen—close-up—what a couple of gun-carrying (and firing) players can do to a team’s image and fiscal fortunes.

Certain types of off-the-field (court) behavior are not forgotten in this community when it comes time for a professional sports franchise to ask for financial support, a stadium deal or simply ask the public to buy tickets and patronize the team.

It’s pretty clear to see now that the Horseshoe Kingdom was pretty lucky when you consider the kind of damage Harrison could have brought to the team’s pristine image.

Sure, Harrison’s productivity was going down, but you now have to wonder if the Colts didn’t see Harrison’s life beginning to unravel and showed him the door.

And you have to wonder too if Harrison didn’t get blackballed by the entire NFL. How else do you explain one of the most prolific NFL receivers not getting a sniff from anyone after leaving the Colts following the 2008 season?

Football insiders said Harrison wanted too much money. You’d never know that from talking to Harrison. He doesn’t talk to the media, or much of anyone else outside his immediate family.

Now the Colts have to be concerned how they honor Harrison and associate with him going forward. Not that anyone would ever expect him to come back to Indianapolis for any kind of induction ceremony or other honor. If Harrison ever is convicted, all bets are off, and a good many ties to the Colts will be cut.

There’s no good time for a person’s life to come unglued. But as far as the Colts are concerned, it’s better that Harrison do it on his own time and not while he’s on their dime.
 

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  • Marvelous Marvin
    Innocent until proven guilty. I would think they would have come after him long ago if they had a connection. As crazy as it seems, he probably needs a firearm in the neighborhood where he has his businesses. The real question is, why with all of his money, is he still there? I guess it is his life. I want to remember the great catches and how he was integral in building the Colts into the winning franchise it is today.
  • court of public opinion
    When it comes to the world of professional sports teams and athletes, the court of public opinion matters. A lot. So from a practical business standpoint, there's more to it than being innocent until proven guilty.
  • Simple Solution = Wait
    Why can't the Colts front office just wait? They don't have to honor Harrison right away. So why not sit back for the next 3-5 years and see if Marvin takes a legal fall then decide if honoring him outweighs the court of public opinion. I admit I'm a bit jaded against Harrison after reading the GQ article about his shoot-em-up antics in Philly. Now he's busted again for packing heat illegally. There's a trend there that doesn't bode well for Harrison's moral character. And I do think Colts should be honored for their actions on and off the field.
  • Not illegal
    Technically, I don't think the gun Marvin had was illegal. As I understand, he produced a permit for it. He did, however, lie about having it to the police officer who pulled him over.
  • Marvin was never nice
    It's interesting that Marvin kind of got a free pass in Indy over the years despite the incident he had with fans at the Pro Bowl and the incident he also had in the Circle Center garage. If you were one of the few people that came across Marvin off the field in Indy you probably know that Marvin has issues.

    Now, I've read the GQ article on Harrison too. I'd strongly urge anyone interested in this case to do so. After reading the article, I'm convinced that Harrison was guilty in the first shooting and that he was either the shooter in the second shooting or had someone do it for him. At any rate, I think Marvin Harrison is either a murderer or an accomplice to murder and should be in prison for a long time.
  • guns
    sure sounds like anthony has a thing against guns all together.
  • Don't you remember?
    Does anyone remember when Marvin got into an altercation with the Mall cops downtown when one of his buddies had an issue with Marvin's Escalade? Can't remember the details, but it was ugly, and I recall thinking Marvin had a quick trigger on his temper.
  • Anthony,

    Do you really think the league that welcomed back the likes of Michael Vick, Ray Lewis, Rothlesberger and any number of convicted and accused hoods would worry about Marvin possibly having a run in with a gun? i think Marvin set a price and no one wanted to meet it.

    if Marvin did the crime. And if he is stupid enough to not have that gun melted down and the remains thrown in the deepest trench in the pacific ocean, then he deserves to go to jail.

    Not sure he would face serious charges if it is the same gun. No proof he did it. Victim, dead in another shooting, was total slimeball. only people who really care are the Philly cops and prosecuter because they looked like fools. Don't expect this to go anywhere and expect Marvin to be in the Ring of Honor and Hall of Fame.
  • reply
    Indyman, You make some solid points. But I'd be amazed if Marvin shows up for either ceremony, especially the one in Indianapolis. Ren, I only have a problem with gusn when they are pointed at people.

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  1. Great article and post scripts by Mike L (Great addition to IBJ BTW). Bobby's stubborn as a mule, and doubt if he ever comes back to IU. But the love he would receive would be enormous. Hope he shows some time, but not counting on it.

  2. When the Indiana GOP was going around the State selling the Voucher bill they were promising people that the vouchers would only be for public charter schools. They lied. As usual.

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  4. Jim, your "misleading" numbers comment is spot on. This is the spin these posers are putting on it. News flash, fans: these guys lie. They are not publicly traded so no one holds them accountable for anything they say. The TV numbers are so miniscule to begin with any "increase" produces double digit "growth" numbers. It's ridiculous to think that anything these guys have done has awakened the marketplace. What have they done? Consolidate the season so they run more races on consecutive weekends? And this creates "momentum." Is that the same momentum you enjoy when you don't race between August and March? Keep in mind that you are running teams who barely make ends meet ragged over the summer to accomplish this brilliant strategy of avoiding the NFL while you run your season finale at midnight on the East Coast. But I should not obfuscate my own point: any "ratings increase" is exactly what Jim points to - the increased availability of NBC Sports in households. Look fans, I love the sport to but these posers are running it off a cliff. Miles wants to declare victory and then run for Mayor. I could go on and on but bottom line for God's sake don't believe a word they say. Note to Anthony - try doing just a little research instead of reporting what these pretenders say and then offering an "opinion" no more informed than the average fan.

  5. If he's finally planning to do the right thing and resign, why not do it before the election? Waiting until after means what - s special election at tax payer expense? Appointment (by whom?) thus robbing the voters of their chance to choose? Does he accrue some additional financial advantage to waiting, like extra pension payments? What's in it for him? That's the question that needs to be asked.

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