Artcetera Logo



Find breaking news, concert updates and people news in the arts and entertainment world

NBC's Rodney Harrison pulls no punches on Vikings future and price of playing football



Rodney Harrison (far right) mingles with fans at Minnesota Historical Center/photo by Neal Justin

Rodney Harrison has been a football analyst for eight seasons, but it's fair to say he's not one of TV's highest profile broadcasters. Maybe he should be.

The former All-Pro safety, in the Twin Cities to work the Cowboys-Vikings game, was at the Minnesota Historical Center Wednesday in conjunction with "Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame," an impressive traveling exhibit that celebrates America's most popular sport. But the 43-year-old veteran, who still looks like he could suit up, didn't exactly serve as the NFL's ideal cheerleader.

In an onstage Q&A with Jill Hornbacher, director of external communications for Comcast's Twin Cities region, Harrison spoke directly and eloquently about the ramifications of playing the sport, referencing the suicide of his long-time mentor Junior Seau who killed himself in 2012 after years of struggling with chronic brain damage.

"If you're not way into it, don't get into it," said Harrison, addressing the young boys squirming in their seats at the front table. "It's not all about dancing in the end zone and the glory. There's pain and long-term effects."

Harrison also didn't sugarcoat the current quality of games, admonishing coaches for spending too much time on razzle-dazzle plays instead of fundamentals.

"You've got a lot of bad football on Sundays," he said.

Harrison may work for NBC as a commentator, but his living depends the success or failure of the NFL, which made his critique somewhat startling -- and completely refreshing.

He wasn't done. When asked to name the greatest quarterback of all time, a true company man would select a current superstar like Tom Brady, especially if he was your QB on the way to two Super Bowl victories. Not Harrison.

"Brady is pretty overrated," said Harrison who spent five years in a Patriots uniform. He then went on to sing the praises Peyton Manning, who retired last season. "I didn't sleep a wink for a week before I played him. Best I ever played against. By far."

Even though he was addressing a partisan crowd, one he mingled with long after his scheduled time, he slammed the Vikings for being too cautious with Sam Bradford and "guaranteeing" that the team would not make this season's Super Bowl.

Despite his skepticism, Harrison did predict the Vikes would pull off an upset Thursday night in what is expected to be one of the most watched TV events of the month.

Harrison's blunt talk and dark sense of humor -- at one point he told Hornbacher that he's so competitive while in the spotlight that he wanted to hit her right now -- may be holding him back from becoming a more prominent TV personality.

But if I had to invest in either the Vikings' short-term prospects or Harrison's long-term possibilities? I'd go with the Patriot.

Bon Jovi returning to Xcel, and charging over $500 for best seats

Jon Bon Jovi performed at a Clinton Campaign rally on Nov. 7 in Philadelphia. / AP Photo, Matt Slocum

Jon Bon Jovi performed at a Clinton campaign rally on Nov. 7 in Philadelphia. / AP Photo, Matt Slocum

With last month’s release of their 14th album, “This House Is Not for Sale,” Jon Bon Jovi and his namesake band are returning to the St. Paul arena they’ve made a home in the new millennium. They will roll into Xcel Energy Center again on March 27, a Monday night, with some tickets costing in the vicinity of an average house payment.

Seats to the show go on sale Dec. 10, priced $19.75-$542.50 via Ticketmaster and the arena’s box office. Pre-sale offers begin Tuesday.

This will be the second Bon Jovi gig at the X without original guitarist Richie Sambora, who split with the band in 2013, the year they last performed there. “This House Is Not for Sale” is the group’s first album without him. It debuted at No. 1 in Billboard last month ago riding a decent wave of radio play for its title track.

Still not recognized by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and generally disfavored by music critics – both grievances often voiced by its frontman – Bon Jovi remains one of rock’s all-time top-selling bands with more than 130 million albums sold worldwide off of such '80s radio and roller-rink staples as “Livin' on a Prayer” and “Wanted Dead or Alive.” The group’s Circle Tour in 2010 was that year’s top-grossing tour with over $200 million in ticket sales.   

Event Calendar
  • Today
  • Sat
  • Sun
  • Mon
  • Tue

No Events Available.