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Tommie Harris

BEARS Defensive Tackle

On where the Oct.16 Monday Night comeback against Arizona ranks among the craziest games he hasplayed

Number 1. We justkept getting things going our way, like we couldn't lose. It was good to have agame like that--it keeps you on your feet and makes you appreciate winning.

On making hisfourth-grade peewee football team

I was veryoverweight [155 pounds], and they told me I couldn't make the team. So I ranaround the neighborhood in a plastic bag until I dropped some weight. If youdon't have a sweat bag, you make your own. It was something I'd seen my father[Tommie Sr.] do. He had been in the military, and that's how he trained.

On growing up inTexas with Tommie Sr., a Pentecostal minister, and mother, Janie, a formermissionary

I rebelled. I ranwith the wrong crowd. I've been in juvenile detention centers, alternativeschools--everything. But I learned Christ for myself. The thing in life ismaturity. Whatever you go through, whether it's relationships, financialissues--anything--your parents can only do so much. There comes a time when youstart to realize you're embarrassing Mom and Dad.

On hissuperstition

I do everything inthrees. I eat three blueberry pancakes for breakfast every morning. I alwaysput three pieces of Winterfresh gum in my mouth. I do something else in threes,but I don't want you to think I'm, like, crazy.

On music

I have a recordlabel and a studio [in Chicago] and I sing, but for now it's just a hobby. Ising every year at the Super Bowl gospel celebration. One day maybe I'll comeout with an album. My dad had an album out a long time ago. Now he has aquartet, and they travel around and sing.

On his friendshipwith the late Reggie White

He was more than afootball figure in my life. What he stood for--he walked it more than he talkedit. If you never read a Bible in your life and you saw Reggie White'slifestyle, it was the perfect illustration of how to live. He lived a godlylife, and he showed that believers can still have fun. He clowned around andhad a sense of humor. He wasn't all holier-than-thou. It was great being aroundhim.

On being comparedto sackmaster Warren Sapp

I've been hearing alot of it. I've learned a lot from him, John Randle, Reggie White--all thoseguys. Hopefully I can take it all and put it into one player and make somethinggreat. Right now, I'm good. I believe when the mission is accomplished, I'll begreat.



photograph by Todd Rosenberg