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Football, hard? Try owning a club or two

By ROGER MILLS

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 25, 2001


Ravens free safety Corey Harris is a revolutionary spirit with nine seasons under his belt. Here he is basking in the Super Bowl limelight and sounding off on an array of subjects with staff writer Roger Mills.

RM: What's the best way to handle all this hype?

CH: It's just another week. Any time you treat it any different and get caught up in the sideshow and other things, you go out with other things on your mind. You have to remember that it's a football game with a 100-yard field, referees, field goals, tackles, the whole nine. RM: Everyone says the final score is going to be 6-3. CH: First of all, you started out giving them points. We never go out on the field expecting the other team to score. That's been one of our focuses. It's been to go out and play great defense. RM: Still have the R&B/jazz club?

CH: I had it for three years. It was a multilevel entertainment club called Somethin' Live. But I recently sold the business to go in with another guy on a New Orleans-styled club. It's going to be another one of those multilevel things. But the first stage is going to be a New Orleans-styled spot. Kind of patterning ourselves in the atmosphere of Bourbon Street. RM: Heard you make money off the Titans.

CH: Yeah, I own a sports bar called Sports Cafe on the Water, and ironically it's right across the water from the Titans' practice facility. I get their business.

RM: It must be difficult to manage your business during the season. CH: First of all, my wife is there and most of the people who have been working for me for years are still there. It's not the first thing that I have done. I had a performing arts center in 1993. Actually, the off-season is busier than football. So, when I come to practice I'm like excited because I'm not worried about which employees are doing what.

RM: What's harder, playing safety or running the clubs?

CH: I'm in control of being a safety. But in business, you have to motivate your staff. You have to get people to come to your club, so I have to be a promoter. I have to make sure my staff is in the serving mode. I have to make sure that they are comfortable giving me all their effort because they know they are going to be rewarded.

RM: The word is, you have put a new meaning into the phrase, "The clothes make the man." CH: My clothing, hmm. It's nice to some people. My wife likes it. Some of the guys look at me like I'm crazy. I might wear platinum pants and a see-through shirt. I wear what I feel. My clothing is just as versatile as I am. On the field and off the field I do a lot of different things, and that's how I feel my clothing reflects.

RM: Do you realize your 12-year-old daughter is going to start thinking about boys soon?

CH: We just started talking about that last week. She was joking, I wasn't. I don't think there will be any problems. I'm going to have to loosen up a little bit because I'm a bit like my dad. My dad was a minister.

RM: So, she's going to be on lockdown as a teenager?

CH: I also know a lot of girls who were on lockdown, and when they got to college they got crazy. I've got to find that line where she would be spending more time with me as she gets older.

RM: What do you think about athletes' preoccupation with diamond jewelry?

CH: It's not just ballplayers. It's society in general. You have a younger generation and they have things. Hell, Ray Lewis just got old enough to legally rent a car; think about that. So, we see the music videos with the diamonds and the 20-inch rims and that's what they shoot for. That's the standard. It's not necessarily bad. But, when you're preoccupied with it and not have anything else, no other options, it's misleading.

RM: What's up with hair?

CH: I change my hair all the time. I'm a versatile person. I've had it bald, had an Afro, braided it, twisted it. Usually, the hair is good for a four-game streak and it's been three in a row, so I need one more.

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