A Summer of Hard Knocks

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Chad Ochocinco will have no trouble being a TV personality once his NFL career is over, as anyone who watches HBO’s “Hard Knocks: Training Camp With the Cincinnati Bengals” can attest. The miniseries, which focuses on life in the NFL during summer training camp, shows the many different personalities and talents of the Bengals. Although “Hard Knocks” focuses on every player and coach, Ochocinco has put himself above everyone.  This time, in a good way. His wacky personality has transformed him into the star of the show. With his catchphrases “Child please!” and “Kiss the baby,” Ochocinco has proven that his creativity goes beyond ridiculous touchdown dances. Just as the T.O show presents Terrell Owens in a likeable way, “Hard Knocks” does the same for Ochocinco. Both wide receivers are often criticized for their antics on the field but the TV shows that feature them present them in ways that the NFL cannot. Just hearing Ochocinco say “Child, please” to teammates instantly makes him likeable. Honestly, what other football player makes up idiotic yet hilarious phrases? After watching this show, I have come to appreciate Ochocinco and all of his wacky antics.

But “Hard Knocks” is not all about Chad Ochocinc; it also gives fans access into the NFL that is otherwise unattainable.  “Hard Knocks” is an HBO staple just like “Entourage” and “The Wire.”  This year is their fifth season on HBO.  Once you watch it, you see why it has been around for five seasons. The inside coverage and footage the show obtains is unlike any other. Sports-Center doesn’t even touch “Hard Knocks” in terms of how up-close and real the footage is. Any fan of the NFL can appreciate this show because it shoes how hard the players that we idolize work. It proves that talent and athletic ability are not the most important aspects of becoming a professional athlete; but hard work and dedication are. Besides that, “Hard Knocks” presents the hardships of being a professional athlete, like competing every day for a roster spot and battling injuries. Could you imagine going to work every day in fear that if you make a mistake you won’t have a job tomorrow morning? That’s a reality for a lot of athletes, especially in training camp. “Hard Knocks” is the only show that shows this side of professional athletics.

Aside from the content of the show, the camera work and shots in “Hard Knocks” are amazing. If you appreciate camera work and documentaries, you will have a great respect for this show once you watch it. “Hard Knocks” is greatly produced and edited because it tells a unique story every week while still focusing on the main story: life in training camp. It is simply a very well done show. “Hard Knocks” is more than just a sports show, it’s a great show in general, it’s the best reality show on TV in my opinion.

Even if you are not a fan of the NFL, you can appreciate “Hard Knocks.” Chad Ochocinco is definitely the funniest and most entertaining reality star since Flava Flav. Sure, this show isn’t “Flavor of Love,” but “Hard Knocks” is definitely more entertaining and overall a better show. So give it a shot.  Go to Youtube and watch some clips.  I promise you will at least be entertained. If you don’t like it, then as Chad Ochocinco would say…child, please.

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