Harry Carson risked Secret Service wrath
At 12:30 p.m. Sunday SNY will replay its sitdown with Harry Carson, which premiered Thursday.
Below are highlights sent by the network, including Carson talking about everything from the 1986 Giants' visit to the White House to his fleeting thoughts of suicide.
Gary Apple conducted the interview. SNY sent the quotes in all caps. Not sure why. But I don't have the time or patience to de-cap them.
On visiting the White House with President Reagan:
AND SO I’M STANDING THERE WITH MY BACK TO THESE STAIRS AND I SEE THE PRESIDENT IS COMING DOWN AND ALL OF A SUDDEN I SEE THIS ORANGE BUCKET GO OVER MY HEAD, AND I’M LIKE, “UGHH, MAN, IT’S THE WHOLE GATORADE THING AGAIN. OKAY.” AND IT’S FILLED WITH POPCORN. AND SO, HE DOUSES ME WITH, YOU KNOW, THIS POPCORN. AND SO, HE BRINGS THE BUCKET DOWN AND HE’S YUCKING IT UP AND EVERYBODY’S LAUGHING AND MRS. REAGAN IS LAUGHING. AND I’M LOOKING AT THE BUCKET, AND I’M THINKING, “OKAY, THERE IS HALF A BUCKET OF POPCORN LEFT HERE, SHOULD I GET HIM BACK?” AND I SAY IT VERBALLY, “MAYBE I SHOULD GET YOU BACK?” HE DOESN’T SAY ANYTHING, SO I GRABBED THE BUCKET AND I’M THINKING, “OH MY GOD, SECRET SERVICE AGENTS, MAN, THEY GOT BIG GUNS UNDER THESE JACKETS, YOU KNOW.”
AND SO I PROCEED TO, YOU KNOW, DOUSE HIM WITH THE REST OF THE POPCORN. AND YOU KNOW, IT WAS ONE OF THOSE THINGS THAT WAS VERY SPONTANEOUS AND YOU KNOW, MAYBE I SHOULDN’T HAVE DONE IT, BUT I DID IT. IT WAS ALL IN FUN. AND I GUESS I’M THE ONLY PERSON WHO HAS DOUSED A PRESIDENT WITH POPCORN OUT OF A GATORADE BUCKET.
On Bill Parcells going from assistant coach to head coach:
BILL HAD TO MAKE SOME SERIOUS CHANGES THAT AFFECTED A LOT OF GUYS' LIVES, THAT HE HAD COME TO KNOW AND REALLY LIKE. BRAD VAN PELT, BRIAN KELLY, IT WAS AT THAT TIME WHEN THOSE GUYS HAD TO LEAVE. AND HE BROUGHT IN CARL BANKS; HE BROUGHT IN GARRY REASONS, PLAYERS THAT WERE YOUNGER THAT HE THOUGHT COULD GET THE JOB DONE.
On being depressed when he was playing:
I LIVED IN OSSINING AND WHEN YOU GET ON THE TAPPAN ZEE BRIDGE, OR BACK IN THAT TIME WHEN YOU GET OUT ON THE TAPPAN ZEE BRIDGE IN TARRYTOWN, IT CURVES LEFT. AND YOU KNOW THERE WERE LIKE ONE OR TWO TIMES WHEN I WAS LIKE YOU KNOW I SHOULD JUST ACCELERATE AND GO RIGHT THROUGH THE GUARDRAIL, AND YOU KNOW, JUST END IT.
On Joe Namath:
AND ALL OF A SUDDEN, YOU KNOW, I SEE NUMBER 12 AND WE WERE PLAYING A 4-3 DEFENSE AND I’M THE MIKE LINEBACKER AND I’M THINKING TO MYSELF, "OH MY GOD, THAT’S JOE NAMATH AND HIS EYES ARE BLUE." AND I WAS JUST SPELLBOUND. AND THE FIRST PLAY THAT THEY RAN WAS A DRAW PLAY RIGHT UP THE MIDDLE, RIGHT UP MY CHEST AND THAT WAS ABOUT IT OF BEING SPELLBOUND WITH JOE NAMATH."
On testing positive for cocaine:
WELL, FOR ANYONE WHO KNOWS ME, THEY KNOW I’VE NEVER DONE DRUGS, I DON’T SMOKE, I DON’T DRINK ALCOHOL. SO FOR ME TO GET A PHONE CALL FROM BILL PARCELLS SAYING I TESTED POSITIVE FOR SOME FOREIGN SUBSTANCE. [AND WHAT WAS IT?] IT WAS COCAINE. AND YOU KNOW, I HAD NO DEFENSE BECAUSE IF I DID NOT SUBMIT TO RANDOM…OR IF I DID NOT SUBMIT TO SUBMITTING A SPECIMEN THREE TIMES A WEEK, IT WOULD BE AN ADMISSION OF GUILT. AND YOU KNOW, IT WAS SOMETHING THAT I HAD TO DO. IT WAS AGAINST MY WILL, BUT NOT DOING IT WOULD HAVE BEEN AN ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF GUILT. AND I COULDN’T SAY ANYTHING TO ANYONE.
On the Pro Football Hall of Fame:
I ASKED TO HAVE MY NAME REMOVED FROM CONSIDERATION AND THEY WON’T HONOR IT. IF I HAD GONE OUT AND IF I HAD DONE SOMETHING, YOU KNOW, MY NAME WOULD HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM CONSIDERATION. SO FOR ME, I DON’T REGRET IT. I MEAN IT’S THE WAY THAT I AM. IT’S WHAT I DID, I OWN UP TO IT. I AT LEAST BROUGHT SOME ATTENTION TO THE WHOLE PROCESS, I THINK I WAS THE ONLY...THE FIRST PLAYER TO FORMALLY REQUEST TO HAVE MY NAME REMOVED FROM CONSIDERATION. THERE ARE GUYS WHO, I THINK, ARE GOOD ENOUGH AND WARRANT BEING IN THE PRO FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME, WHO ARE BEING PASSED OVER YEAR IN AND YEAR OUT. AND, YOU KNOW, I WAS HAPPY WITH ME JUST BEING THE PERSON THAT YOU KNOW, I’D BECOME.
GARY APPLE: THIRD SEASON IN THE NFL, ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS, OR SHOULD I SAY INFAMOUS PLAYS IN THE HISTORY OF NEW YORK FOOTBALL MAYBE THE ENTIRE NFL. THERE IS JOE PISARCIK HANDING OFF TO LARRY CSONKA. A GAME SALTED AWAY, HARRY, AND THEY FUMBLE AND HERM EDWARDS PICKS IT UP, TAKES IT IN FOR THE TOUCHDOWN. WHAT WAS THE FEELING LIKE ON THE SIDELINES AND IN THE LOCKER ROOM WHEN IT WAS OVER?
CARSON: I DON’T KNOW ABOUT THE LOCKER ROOM BECAUSE I STAYED ON THE FIELD FOR ABOUT 15-20 MINUTES JUST SORT OF IN SHOCK AND ONCE EVERYONE GOT INTO THE LOCKER ROOM, I WASN’T THERE [LAUGHS], I WAS STILL SITTING ON THE BENCH NOT BEING ABLE TO REALLY DIGEST WHAT HAD JUST HAPPENED. YOU KNOW, I WAS IN SHOCK. I THOUGHT TO MYSELF, OH MY GOD, YOU KNOW, THIS TEAM, AT THE TIME THE GIANTS SUCKED, [THAT IS PUTTING IT WELL] AND I SAID, “THIS TEAMS REALLY SUCKS.”