You ever been wrong?
Well, of course, we all have been, but like REALLY wrong? Dug your heels in, defend to the death, you know you're right…
...and you're so horribly wrong?
Now, have you ever been so wrong AND made it public? To an audience? To a crowd? Written it on a website for all to see? Tweeted it to hundreds/thousands of followers? So passionate and emotional and just dead wrong where everyone could see or hear?
Consider yourself lucky if that's never been you.
It was me on April 26, 2008.
I've never been more wrong in my life and those listening and watching that day will never let me forget it (and for good reason). It was a monumental rant on draft day to many watching and listening during our coverage of the NFL Draft.
Duane Brown and J.J. Watt are representing Houston at the 2015 Pro Bowl in Arizona.
It was the day I was so awfully dead wrong about Duane Brown.
Yeah, I know. I've seen that look you have on your face and I can't even see you.
"What an idiot? This guy didn't think Duane could play."
Many others out there exist but will lie and tell you that they knew Duane was going to be a star all along. Those people are lying to you, unless one of those is GM/Executive VP Rick Smith.
But, that day, the Texans were scheduled to pick 18th in the first round. As the pick neared, there was a lot of conjecture and mystery about that pick. Then, Smith traded with Baltimore so the Ravens could draft Delaware QB Joe Flacco at No. 18, while the Texans moved on down to spot No. 26. So, we then had to wait another couple of hours before the Texans were on the clock.
About eight or nine minutes in, my co-host and good friend looked at me with eyes wide like saucers. He then showed me a text he received on his phone.
"It's Duane Brown."
Instantly, I was like, no way, that "source" is wrong. Can't be. I remembered watching him at LSU that year and saw him struggle. Watched the Boston College game that year and again rough outing. I stood ten feet away from him at the 2008 Shrine Bowl and remember writing in my notes at the time "third rounder at best".
Then, Commissioner Goodell said the words…
"With the 26th pick of the 2008 NFL Draft, the Houston Texans select…"
Well, the rest didn't go well in my head at that point and I didn't take the news well at all. Of course, there was a mic in front of me and…ugh, it's hard to even imagine being so dumb and wrong.
Let me tell you, it wasn't pretty, as you can imagine, but one thing I distinctly remember saying...
"He might be a Pro Bowler in five years and I hope he is, but I don't see it at all."
As you know, Duane made the Pro Bowl after his fifth year in 2012 and will play in his third straight Pro Bowl on Sunday.
The next year after my rant, my same buddy found Duane on the field after a training camp practice and essentially told him what happened that night and got his response on tape. So, I felt like I needed to face the music. Later, that night, the Texans had a night TC practice and I waited for him to finish some media interviews to get his attention 1-on-1.
"Duane, my name is John Harris and…"
"Oh, you're the guy who doesn't like me."
My face went flush and I knew I was in trouble. Then, I saw a sly smile emerge on his face. He had the last laugh for sure. Then, I tried to save face, in some sense.
"But, I love you now."
He laughed, thankfully, and thought it was a funny story...years later. Draft day, he could've probably body slammed me as he's done to many DE/OLBs in his great career here in Houston. And, he would've been within his rights to do so.
So, last Monday, as I walked down the NRG Stadium corridor to meet the crew to head to Mobile, who do I see going into the locker room to get his equipment to head to Phoenix for the Pro Bowl?
Pro Bowler Duane Brown.
Pro Bowler. Yeah, I like hearing that more than "I was wrong", but I'm so glad I was.