Playing professional football for a decade takes more than luck and skill. Staying in the NFL for that long requires a keen understanding of one's body and how to care for it.
James Harrison, the longtime Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker, discussed the extreme commitment he makes to his body during his introductory press conference with his new team, the Cincinnati Bengals.
"You want to stay in this business for a while, you're going to have to take care of your body," Harrison said. "If you want to do that, you're going to have to spend money. It's not cheap."
The 35-year-old Harrison estimated that he spends between $400,000 and $600,000 on his body each year. He says he's tried 150 different masseuses and he's now down to five. He also has a chiropractor, an acupuncturist, a homeopathic doctor, a trainer and a hyperbaric chamber. During the season, all those medical professionals live with Harrison.
Lest people think that Harrison is representative of NFL players as a whole, he said he's earned the nickname "massage whore" from his teammates because of his affinity for rubdowns.
"I've always been what everybody’d like to call -- excuse my English -- is massage whore," Harrison said. "I can’t think of nothing else. They done called me it so long I’m starting to believe it."
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