Last week, Tommie Harris had a strange, incoherent exchange with a few gathered media members. Upset over what he interpreted to be a misquote in the Sun-Times about whether Harris blamed the secondary for the Bears' issues against the Tennessee Titans two Sundays ago, Harris got sort of angry, sort of bemused ... it was strange. There's really no other way to describe it.
Harris' main point, if we had it correctly, was that he didn't like to be misquoted in a way that might affect his relationships with teammates. Understandable. But then Harris veered off into other weird, semi-hypocritical bounds. He started talking about how players were drafted to Chicago, that they didn't choose to come here, even though Harris signed an extension. It was implied that maybe Harris didn't want to be in Chicago because he thought the Chicago media was out to get him, even though that's really not the case.
Anyway, in a hard-hitting interview with Mouthpiece Sports' Kendahl Damico, Harris attempted to explain last week's comments. The verdict? Those media folks aren't so bad after all:
TH: It does give them the right to do it because that’s their job. Like I said, Chicago media are like superstars. It’s one of the biggest stages of media, and you have to look forward to it. But, the way that you fix that is to play well, that’s how you get them off your back. It’s one of those things that you try to get a positive out of somehow. I’ve never had to deal with the media until this year when we [the Bears] started going down…I don’t care what they say, I just don’t like when people put words in my mouth, but I also know that when you’re a professional athlete that comes with the territory, the scrutiny and criticism.
TH: Yea, but see, I love the media. I’m not one of those guys that hate the media, because you need the media. I do a lot of foundation stuff—I do a lot of stuff outside of football. As athletes, we are walking billboards, so it goes hand in hand; you take the good with the bad. But, you have to know as a professional that there’s going to be some good articles written about you, there’s going to be some bad articles written about you, but you have to take all of it because you need them just as well as they need you. If I was just a person who played football and didn’t do anything outside of that, it wouldn’t matter. I could be relentless with what I say, but I try to have respect when I talk with them because I need them just as much as they need me.
In other words, Tommie gets it. He doesn't want to be misquoted. He doesn't blame the media for doing their jobs. And he gets that it's part of his job, that the relationship is symbiotic, and that criticism comes with the territory.
Phew. I'm glad that's over. Now we can get back to worrying about important things, like Kyle Orton's neckbeard. Is it appropriately groomed? Only you, dear reader, can decide.