What I Learned About Football This Week That I Didn't Know Last Week
Acupuncture is big on the Steelers.
One night last week, I was with an NBC crew in Pittsburgh linebacker James Harrison's home north of Pittsburgh. He was talking about staying in one piece during the physical NFL season, and he said he owed a lot to acupuncture.
Specifically, 314 needles per session, twice a week. That's how many he has stuck into his body, from his head to his feet ... and they're not pin-pricks either. "They're put in there pretty far,'' Harrison said. His story, and the story of other players in the NFL gutting out the season, will be told by Andrea Kremer on our NBC Super Bowl pregame show Sunday, between 1 and 6 p.m. ET.
Harrison said acupuncture has made a dramatic difference in his ability to play the game at a high level. He usually takes the 314 needles on Tuesday and Thursday nights and doesn't feel the full result 'til two days after the sessions. "What it does is get me back to feeling as close as I can to how I felt at the beginning of the season, before I take the normal punishment of a season," he said. He gets the treatment at his home, and several other Steelers show up to get poked along with him.
I know the research Kremer has done for this story, and I strongly recommend you tuning in Sunday to see it. If I find out approximately when it will air, I'll let you know later this week on SI.com.
Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only Me
Last Monday night, Steelers president Dan Rooney attended a dinner in Washington on the eve of the inauguration, a get-everyone-on-the-same-page fete thrown by the president-elect honoring John McCain. Rooney brought a football from the AFC Championship Game with him and gave it to Barack Obama, who promptly began throwing it around to aides and others in the room. Rooney, who introduced Obama at a couple of campaign rallies in and around Pittsburgh, loves the 44th president.
"I love his energy,'' Rooney said. "I love the fact that we've got so many young people interested in the political process again. It's great to be in Washington and see so much youth back there again. That's one of the things we really need in this country.''
Enjoyable/Aggravating Travel Note of the Week
What is wrong with this picture?
a. You cannot mail a letter in Terminal C at Newark Liberty International Airport. "Security reasons,'' one of the TSA employees told me Sunday. "They took out the mailboxes after 9/11.''
b. You can use a regular knife in first class on Continental. For the past -- oh, I don't know -- year or so, I've noticed when my frequent-flying gets me upgraded that they have real knives in first class now. Whatever happened to the edict that the airlines were taking metal knives off airplanes permanently because they didn't want them to possibly be used by terrorists in the future?
I have two words for you, Continental: Sleeper cells.
Does this mean we're safer on the ground than in the air? Or does the left hand simply not know what the right hand is doing?