James Harrison Hates HBO's 'Hard Knocks,' Becomes Show's Biggest Star

Gabe ZaldivarPop Culture Lead WriterAugust 13, 2013

LATROBE, PA - JULY 29:  James Harrison #92 of the Pittsburgh Steelers walks down to the field during training camp on July 29, 2011 at St Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

The cameras absolutely love James Harrison, despite the fact that the Cincinnati Bengals' linebacker cannot stand the sight of them. 

NFL.com's Gregg Rosenthal reports that Harrison has taken his obvious hatred for all things Hard Knocks to the next level. He's quoted as saying cameras shouldn't even be around the team. 

The 35-year-old spoke with Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer on Monday in a report that seemed to have been taken down for a time. 

Thankfully, sites like NFL.com, Deadspin and ESPN managed to maintain the pertinent part of the report, more specifically what Harrison had to say about HBO's hit show. 

I don't feel they deserve to be here. They did nothing to be here, other than want to be here. They didn't put no blood, sweat and tears into none of this. All these men in here, they did that. They (the cameras) did nothing. No one deserves to see this, to come inside of this unless you're a part of this. That's why.

Really? So you are going to disrespect cameramen, producers and countless others who work hard to bring a rare spotlight to an organization that gets largely overshadowed?

It's unfortunate Harrison isn't embracing the cameras, because fans certainly love to see him on their television screens. 

The most engaging part of the 2013 series highlighting the Bengals camp was Harrison doing anything possible to shun the spotlight, essentially bringing far more attention to his frustration. 

It doesn't take a genius to understand that you merely have to be boring for the cameras to leave. Instead, Harrison gets into a nearby car to get away from cameras (some NSFW language). 

As Rosenthal points out, Harrison wasn't even sure the guy was a fan before he essentially hijacked a ride. Harrison explains:

It's kind of like this: Everybody knows I'm getting into the car with him. There's a bunch of cameras watching me get in the car. It wouldn't be too smart. They've got his license plate and everything else. And plus, I think I can kind of handle myself. He's driving and I'm behind him, so I think I'd be all right.

The NFL is undoubtedly filled with "warriors" who make the game what it is. There is no denying they are the sport and should be commended for their effort and sacrifice.

However, things get pretty dull without actual coverage of the players.

The cameras aren't there to take your job, steal your thunder or make you look bad. If you don't want to have them there, take it up with management who thought it would be a good idea. 

Rosenthal makes a strong point: "NFL Films founder Ed Sabol, his son Steve and countless others put in the work for decades to help promote the sport to where it is today."

In many respects, Hard Knocks has overtaken meaningless games as the fans' favorite part of the preseason. It gives them access into the training, budding personalities and camaraderie behind the scenes—access they wouldn't otherwise be granted. 

It would be one thing if the cameras were intrusive, barking questions at Harrison and destroying every last ounce of his privacy. 

But they aren't. They are merely flies on the wall, giving fans exactly what they want. Well, Harrison doesn't like flies, walls or cameras. 

We fully expect him to whine, pout and slam doors on the cameras for the rest of the season. Nobody tell him that means he instantly becomes the most interesting part of the show. 

Something tells me he wouldn't like that either. 


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