this is Rodney Harrison ..."
It all started in game 4 of the 1997 season. The Chargers played the
Seahawks in Seattle. In the second quarter, Rodney returned an interception
75-yards for a touchdown to give the Bolts a 10-3 lead. Although we
lost the game 26-22, Rodney played like a pro-bowler. His performance
as a defensive leader, alongside Junior, was the motivation for THE
the week following the Seahawk game, I left a note for Rodney at
the Fortress - the Chargers' training facility. I congratulated
Rodney for his interception and offered to create a gameday banner
for him. However, I needed his help to design it. I suggested several
options for him, including Beware the Hit Man and Hit
Man Harrison, and I asked him to call me if he liked the idea
for the banner.
was then very kind and classy to call back. He left a message which
began, "Hi, this is Rodney Harrison ..." I couldn't believe
it. This was Rodney Harrison on my answering machine! This was not
your everyday message. I replayed it several times to make sure
I got the message straight. He liked the idea for a banner, and
he chose Beware the Hit Man. This marked the beginning of
The Hit Man!
banner debuted in game 5, Ravens vs Chargers. Rodney played like
a monster. He devastated the Ravens' receivers that day, including
a knockout across the middle that left Rodney standing over another
victim. Final score: Chargers 21-Ravens 17. Rodney finished with
a team-high 12 tackles.