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Harrison retorts: T.O. will 'never be a champion'

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

Rodney Harrison has responded to Terrell Owens -- and not gently.

Harrison was a guest on "The Dan Patrick Show" and was asked about the angry tweets Owens has been firing off about him.

Harrison, a studio analyst for NBC's Sunday night coverage, annoyed Owens by calling him "a clown" for the way he handled his postgame news conference after catching no passes in the Buffalo Bills' 27-7 loss to the New Orleans Saints.

Owens responded by ridiculing Harrison for the four-game suspension he served at the start of 2007 for violating the league's performance-enhancing substances policy.

"He can say whatever he wants about my career," Harrison said, his voice rising, "but when it comes down to it, I'm a champion. OK? And he'll never have that on his résumé. He'll never be a champion. He'll look at his stats and say 'I was a great football player,' but he'll never be a world champion."

Harrison also said: "If you don't want to hear it, go out and play better."

The former New England Patriots and San Diego Chargers safety objected to Owens' behavior because he said players have an obligation to the media after a game.

"I've been on the other side," Harrison said. "You always have to stand up and be accountable for your actions -- as a man. As a man, you have to be accountable. As a football player you have to accountable, regardless of whether you had 10 catches or no catches.

"You have to give the media that respect. I've always been fair with the media. If I sucked, I go out there and I say 'I sucked. I need to get better.' If I played well, a couple interceptions, 12 tackles, forced fumble, I stood up there and was humble about my situation because it was never about me. I don't like me guys."

Harrison repeatedly mentioned he found Owens' behavior distasteful for being "caught up in his own stats."

I have to disagree with Harrison here. As someone who asked questions during the postgame news conference, Owens never once harped on his streak of catching at least one pass ending at 185 games.

"I've always said I have a lot of respect for T.O. as a football player," Harrison said. "The guy can play. I think he's a first-ballot Hall of Fame. But if you look at T.O., he's been on four teams. A guy with so much talent ...

"First of all, I'm not jealous. I'm very content and happy in my life. I don't need the attention. I don't need people catering to my ego because I'm a simple guy. I just tell it like it is. It's just my opinion."