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Georgetown's John Thompson III Gave A Fake Pre-Game Speech For TV Cameras, Gave Real One After They Left

Having TV cameras in a locker room before a game is commonplace in today's sports world. Many people find it captivating to watch a coach or a player give a pre-game speech or pep talk.

Have you ever wondered, though, is this real? Does the player or coach actually mean what they're saying, or are they just doing it for the television audience? 

John Thompson III has an answer. 

During an interview with ESPN 980 in Washington, D.C., Thompson III was asked about HBO's NFL program, "Hard Knocks." The Cleveland Browns recently turned down the opportunity to have the show detail their summer. Thompson III said he understands why coach Mike Pettine decided against it. 

"As a coach, I don’t want ‘Hard Knocks’ anywhere near me, whether I’ve got Johnny Manziel, Joe Namath, I don’t want that,” Thompson told 980′s “Inside the Locker Room” program. “Trust me, he’s got such personality and such hype coming in that I don’t think that organization needs it to sell tickets. That’s going to happen, with jerseys or anything else. Personally as a coach — and the world is changing — but I don’t want to be miked. I don’t want people in the locker room, I don’t want people in training camp, I don’t want people in meetings, because I want to be able — sometimes — to talk in those tongues I learned growing up that you can’t do when the cameras are there.

“Now, the world is changing,” Thompson continued. “I just rattled off I don’t want to do all that, but I had people come in our halftime room this year. I had people come in for a pregame speech. The world is changing, and as coaches you have to adapt. But you just asked me do I want that? Absolutely not. Absolutely not.”

Last year, before one of Georgetown's nationally televised games, there were cameras in the locker room. 

“I maybe shouldn’t say this, but I’m gonna say it,” Thompson said. “I’m miked for pre-game talk. So I tell the team, ‘Look fellas, the cameras are coming in.’ I said: ‘I’m gonna make up something to say, all right? We’re gonna sit here, let them stay with us for about five minutes, then we’re gonna kick ‘em out, then we’re gonna have our real talk. Don’t start laughing.’

“So the people from Fox come in, and I’m going through my spiel. And we write a speech for this. I’m sitting there going through my spiel, and the team was just looking at me, snickering. At one point, I had to turn my back to the camera, because I was getting ready to break out laughing. 

“And that’s why I don’t want it,” Thompson said. “I’ll even break it down even further, even with letting people come into practice. I know I talk differently, I coach differently if I have a mic on. I know I talk differently, I coach differently if there are people sitting up in the stands in practice.

“And so it’s not like everything is always ‘Oh, there are these secret walls up around Georgetown.’ There is some of that, don’t get me wrong. But to create the best learning environment for our kids, I think sometimes we don’t need to be miked. we don’t need to be putting on a show 24-7, 365 for the audience. We need to be helping this group that’s in front of us grow up, get better, and become young men.”

What game was it? Georgetown had double-digit games on FOX in 2013-14. 

[DC Sports Bog]