Now that summer’s here….5 quick hits!!

Had the opportunity to speak before Congress on the disability issues of the retired players. The Congressmen/women were very receptive to the plight of the NFL Retirees. Some radio interviewers have asked why am I so “low keyed” on the issue? Well, while I feel very strongly about the issue, I refuse to get into name calling or personal attacks because the bigger picture is to help all of the players who are in dire need as oppose to giving the media something scandalous to write about. I was honored to have been invited to testify and also honored to be an advocate on behalf of all former players.

My golf game has always and still sucks……! But I continue to play in various golf tournaments to support causes. My motto when it comes to golf is “I humble myself for worthy causes!” I wish there was an over 50, two hand touch, half speed football league I could play in instead to raise money for great causes!

There are few things better than a nice 80 degree low humidity spring or summer day!

Spent 9 weeks on Grand Jury duty in my county, if any of you have an opportunity to do the same don’t pass it up! I know that one day of jury duty for 9 weeks might be a lot for some but I felt a sense of doing my civic duty and it was a great lesson in understanding law. The big question I asked myself from all of the cases I heard or handled was…. why do dumb people who commit crimes think they won’t get caught?

This time of the year so many people ask me how I think the Giants will do this year. The team still has a good core group of players in key positions on all three sides of the ball but the fate of this team rests squarely on the shoulders of Giants Quarterback Eli Manning. At some point in the development of every player he has to step up and take ownership of his position. The quarterback has to be the leader (The Man!) who steps up and carries his teammates on his shoulders not just with his arm but with his attitude. If Manning is not ready in this his fourth season he will probably never be ready. Don’t get me wrong…. I am a huge fan of #10 and I hope this is finally his breakout season!

Some items before summer…

 A lot of activities since my last posting, some good and some very solemn….

First and foremost I want to acknowledge the passing of one of my old Giants teammates Johnny Perkins.  Johnny was a wide receiver drafted in the 2nd round of the 1977 NFL draft out of Abilene Christian University. Johnny was a solid player who played until 1983. That time period was one that many Giant or football fans don’t or in general choose not to remember very well because the team went on to win a Super Bowl in 1987. Perkins helped the team during that era when the team was looking for consistancy and an identity.  He passed in April as a result of complications from a surgical procedure. I consider any player I’ve played with on any level, as one of my guys and Johnny Perkins was definitely “one of my guys”. I attended his service in Granbury Texas to offer my condolences to his widow Debbie and the rest of his family. Others in attendance were former Giant players Emory Moorhead, Ernest Gray and Byron Williams along with former Abilene Christian running backs Wilbert Montgomery and Cle Montgomery.  Rest in Peace JP….

Thanks to all who still send their support and words of encouragement to my son Donald who continues to make excellent progress in regard to his bout with severe Aplastic Anemia. Don is completely off of all medication and has resumed living a “normal” life.  He continues to carry his supply of hand sanitizer and carefully inspects any food or drink he consumes.  He has completed his first year in the Medical Master’s Program at Hampton University in Virginia. I am trying to convince him to write a book on his journey.  Most who know about Donald only know about his bout with AA but most don’t know of his athletic career while in college.  In his senior year alone his basketball and football teams went winless.  As a proud young man it was humbling but somewhat embarrassing for him to go through those experiences. In both instances I told him that he would learn so much from each situation that he would carry with him for the rest of his life.  Little did we realize that so soon out of college he would have to rely on one those lessons of dealing with adversity so soon. Donald’s story is one that I think many young people (and old heads) can draw inspiration from.  I’m going to continue to nudge him to put pen to paper. In the meantime Donald and I will continue to do what we can to help bring an increased awareness of Aplastic Anemia to the public and seek a cure for the condition.

This past year has been interesting in that I’ve been mentoring the football team/athletes at Central High School in Newark, NJ. My long-time charity of choice MANetc, Inc. adopted Central to make a difference with for the next two years.  The school was an ideal choice for me personally because it is in that area of Newark that my mother lived in and I often visited when I was much younger man. With all of the negatives associated with Newark (murders, gangs, etc…) it makes my heart feel good to be able to connect with so many young men who have so much potential and help guide them in a positive direction. I truly feel that if I can help save one young man from the streets and prison then my visits and time spent with them would be well worth it and not in vain.  As a boy growing up there were many people who said something that stuck with me to help me make the proper choices to get down the road of life.

Thanks to all who participated in the second Harry Carson/School Foundation Golf Challenge sponsored by Honda of South Carolina. Thanks to Pro Football Hall of Famers David “Deacon” Jones, Ted Hendricks and Lawrence Taylor who was able to join my other “Crunch Bunch” linebacker mates Brian Kelley and Brad VanPelt in Florence, SC to support my cause. Thanks also go out to former NFL stars Donnell Woolford, L.C. Greenwood, Jim Stuckey, Keith Williams, Dwayne Harper, Willie Scott, Mike Friede, Mike Rozier, Ervin Parker and my guy Donnie Shell.  Special thanks to Jeremiah Trotter and his wife Tammy, Coach Bobby Cremins, Dave Henderson of the Oakland A’s and my college coach and mentor Willie Jeffries and his wife Mary. Thanks to all who gave their time to make the event even better than the one last year. 


A busy 2007….

With my last post I apologized for the length of time between posts. Well, here I am again, it’s been awhile since my last post but I’m without an apology this time. Since the end of the football season I’ve been involved with a number of projects that have taken up so much of my time that I’ve hardly had the opportunity to regularly check my site. My bad!!!

I can say I truly appreciate each person who visits my site and especially everyone who signs my guestbook. I do take the time to read every entry in my guestbook. This site has been great for a number of reasons. The first is it has been a place for my old friends to reconnect with me and for us to get re-acquainted. I’ve been in touch with a number of old friends from high school and college who I’ve lost touch with. It’s been great to catch up. The site has also been a great way to let the world know how my son Donald is doing throughout his battle with the bone marrow disease Aplastic Anemia. Well for those who have been coming back looking for an update I’m happy to say that as of his last trip in January to visit his doctors at NIH (National Institutes of Health) Donald is making tremendous progress and has been taken off of his medication. He is in his second semester of graduate school at Hampton University but Don has indicated that after getting his Master’s Degree he will go on to medical school where he is looking to specialize in the field that he is effected with. In the meantime we held our first Harry Carson Scholarship fundraiser at Ben Benson’s Restaurant in New York City with all funds going to the Aplastic Anemia Foundation to help kids like Donald who have fought that bone marrow disease but whose family finances have been depleted because of medical costs. The event was sold out and raised almost $75,000 for the cause.

My next fundraiser will be my Harry Carson/School Foundation Celebrity Golf Classic to fund public education programs in my hometown of Florence, SC will take place Saturday, May 19th. I’m looking forward to the event with my old Giants teammates Lawrence Taylor, Carl Banks, Brian Kelly, Brad VanPelt and Ottis Anderson. My old teammates will be joined by current NY Giants player Michael Strahan and Philadelphia Eagles Jeremiah Trotter as well as Heisman Tropy winner George Rogers and Hall of Famer Ted Hendricks. For those of you who are real Harry Carson fans and would like to play a round with me please send me an email or go to for more information on how to register.

So, so sorry!!!

I’ve gotten a lot of emails and messages from folks (you know who you are) who’ve asked when are you going to update your site or how is Donald doing? I am so, so sorry it’s been so long to either update my blog or update Donald’s condition. As you can imagine my schedule has been “nuts” since I last posted an update here and I promise it won’t be another almost 8 months in doing so in the future.

First and foremost, in regard to the health of my son Donald. If you want to know and not deal with the details, scroll down to the bold text below. For details read on from here.

As many of you know Donald was diagnosed with Severe Aplastic Anemia in December, only 5 days after he graduated from Savannah State University in Georgia with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Biology. In those 5 days we went from the highs of life(college graduation) to a low (being diagnosed with a rare blood disorder). He was initially treated in Savannah and then recommended by his doctor for further treatment at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. His first round of treatments at NIH was for 10 days (New Year’s Eve in Bethesda), after which he was in and out of hospitals for various infections that he picked up along the way just trying to live his life. With his treatment, his immune level was almost at zero most times so he was really vulnerable to catch almost any germ to bring on an infection and make his fever start to rise. Once he noticed he had a fever he had about 6 hours to get to a hospital to receive medication intravenously to bring the fever down. Otherwise, the results could be out of the doctors hands. So, early on in his recovery, it wasn’t the Aplastic Anemia that concerned me, it was the possible complications that came with recovery. Every time I received a phone call and knew it was Donald I held my breath until I knew he was okay and had not been just admitted to a hospital somewhere because of a fever.

When Donald and I visited NIH for his 3 month follow-up visit there was a sense that the doctors were not pleased with his recovery. They indicated that they wanted to give his initial medication some additional time to boost the bone marrow to get back into the business of making the blood supply Donald needed. We gave that treatment additional time but he continued to pick-up infections and continued to need blood and platelet transfusions on a weekly basis. When we met in Bethesda for Donald’s 6 month followup examination in late June we got a sense very early that the doctors were very concerned with his recovery. It was at this point that we knew that the first round of treatment had failed. We knew that a second round of treatment was warranted, the only question was when to do it? Donald was looking at being my presenter at the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and then possibly heading to Graduate School so there was a brief thought of putting the treatment off until after the HOF Induction. But we looked at one another and I think we came to the same conclusion at the same time, there was no better time than the present to do it. We knew that it was best to go ahead and get it behind us in order to move forward. What initially started as a one day trip was turning out to be an extended visit (Fourth of July in Bethesda). It was at this time (if you remember Donald’s HOF speech) that I drove to Savannah to get his clothing (after all he’s 6’4, wow!) and to feed his $2 WalMart fish.

During Donald’s treatment (with rabbit serum) he experienced numerous serious side effects but eventually his body adjusted to the medication. After about a 10 day stay at NIH we were able to leave for home, but again the major concern was not the condition but the complication that could arise with Donald just trying to live his life. He took special care to avoid being in contact with people who had colds or any other kind of infection by isolating himself, wearing his surgical mask whenever he was outside of his apartment and he always carried a bottle of Purell to help keep his hands germ free after he touched something. He continued to see his doctor in Savannah but was getting restless to get on with his life. I was proud that he independently made the decision to move from Savannah to Hampton Virginia where he was accepted into the Graduate Medical Master’s Program. Personally, I wanted him to hold still and wait for the medication to kick in but more importantly I wanted him to be in a situation where the doctors and medical staff at his hospital were aware of his condition. If Donald needed to go to a hospital, he didn’t have time to sit in an emergency room and fill out papers and wait to see the next doctor available. He needed to get his medication as soon as possible! Regardless of how I felt, Donald wanted to live his life so he proceeded to make his move which was probably the best thing for him.

We met with his team of doctors at NIH again for his 3 month followup on the second round of treatments. This time the tone of the examination was much better than earlier in the year. The doctors were happy, pleased and quite satisfied with his recovery. Donald’s white blood cell counts were increasing and he was not in need of the blood and platelet transfusions that he needed before.

I’m so happy to say that Donald is progressing very well and is doing great! He still has a ways to go before he gets a clean bill of health and he still has to take precautions about the way he lives his life on a daily basis but all in all things have gotten back to “normal” for him. I want to send out “Thanks” to all of you around the world who sent cards, letters and prayers to him and our family! Your gestures of kindness were truly appreciated! I’ve also come to understand that Donald is smarter than his father and has more faith in his recovery than anyone else including “Dad”.

Now in regard to Donald’s “Old Man” Harry, as I mentioned before the schedule has been “heavy”. In some ways my election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame has been much like after winning Super Bowl XXI. Many requests for interviews and appearances on a wide range of issues and topics that didn’t necessarily relate to the Hall of Fame but more so because of the name recognition. My world is starting to settle down now and that’s by design because I’m saying “no” more often to the many requests and I’m taking back control of my time.

I will write more about the Hall of Fame experience later but as a result of my being inducted I wanted to share the honor with as many of my teammates as possible who weren’t able to come to Canton, Ohio for the induction ceremony. Since the festivities in Canton, I’ve had 3 dinners or receptions for the players I played with and the coaches I played for in high school, while at South Carolina State University and with the NY Giants. These events were special because each one gave me and each group an opportunity to reunite for a good cause and reminisce. For me on a more personal level, it gave me an opportunity to look each guy in the eyes to tell them from my heart how much I appreciated them, how much they inspired me as a player and person and how honored I was to represent them both on and off the football field. I know it might be “corny” to some who read this and I’m about to “put this to bed” for the last time but the Hall of Fame recognition is more about them than me. This might seems strange to some who’ve never played the game. But for those who have, you know exactly what I mean. It’s never ever about one individual, it’s always about the team!

Well, here we go…..

My webmaster (Gary) created a better way for me to stay in touch with fans and friends on a more ongoing basis with this new concept of a blog. I don’t know a whole lot about blogs but I’m willing to learn as I go. (You know, I didn’t know a whole lot about playing linebacker when I entered the league in 1976 but I think I learned a thing or two along the way.)

The last few weeks have been very busy and very gratifing to say the least reading all of the congratulatory emails, regular mail and getting congratulations remarks from people wherever I go. (I wish I could respond personally to everyone who emailed me.) It’s been a fun time but yet a very much surreal time in my life, especially at this stage in my life. Many who have wished me “congratulations” don’t know that I am a first time grandfather (Jamison). And while both my son (Donald) and my daughter (Aja) have some medical issues they are feeling better and are thrilled about the Hall of Fame honor for their Dad.

The one thing that I’ve taken from the honor is how it has affected so many people over such a wide spectrum, transcending race, age, gender, team loyalty, income status, etc…. This whole Hall of Fame thing has blown me away because it is bigger than me, the honor is truly about so many others.

I hope that you will share your thoughts here (whatever they are) and come back to my site often because even though I’ve been away from the game (as an active player) a very long time I love communicating with the fans and my friends who take the time to share their thoughts. Whenever I speak with my “Crunch Bunch” linebacker mates Brian Kelly, Lawrence Taylor and Brad VanPelt I share with them many of the stories I hear from many of you.

So, I’m going to give this blog thing a shot and see how we can all have some fun with it.