SBD/Issue 237/Sports Media

Brady, Belichick Not Watching Jets On HBO's "Hard Knocks"

"Hard Knocks" Featuring Division Rival Jets
Not Appealing To Brady, Belichick

Patriots QB Tom Brady during his regular Monday morning appearance on WEEI-AM yesterday revealed he has not been watching HBO's "Hard Knocks," which is featuring the Jets this season, according to Glen Farley of the Brockton ENTERPRISE. Brady: "You know, I haven't turned it on. I hate the Jets, so I refuse to support that show." Patriots coach Bill Belichick said of the show, "I missed it. ... I'm sure I'll probably see some of it. I don't even know when it's on." Belichick did say, "Anything NFL Films does is probably worth watching. Nobody does it better than they do in terms of making things interesting, making football interesting. ... If NFL Films does it, I'm sure it'll be good, entertaining, interesting, but I haven't seen it." Meanwhile, Patriots and former Jets LB Marquise Murrell said that it was "'not shocking' to learn that the dialogue on the HBO show, particularly when the lips of the Jets head coach are moving, can get rather colorful." Patriots LB Tully Banta-Cain "can't help but wonder if there might be some embellishment involved in the show." Banta-Cain: "I've seen the show before. I haven't seen this year's, but it's a cool show. It gives you a little in-depth look. I think the players and coaches kind of play it up a little bit." Farley writes, "Don't plan on seeing the show filmed in Foxboro." Banta-Cain: "I don't think that's a possibility. We don't allow that" (Brockton ENTERPRISE, 8/24).

CLEANING UP ITS ACT: In N.Y., Mike Hale noted during the season premiere of "Hard Knocks," Jets coach Rex Ryan's "language -- common on the field, uncommon in primetime -- was distinctive enough that the same producers who had edited the show to highlight it felt the need to make preemptive excuses for it." Jets Owner Woody Johnson during the second episode was "seen addressing the profanity issue by telling Mr. Ryan on the sideline: 'You know what, I love it. Whatever you're doing, do it again. Keep doing it.'" But Hale noted Ryan in the second episode "didn't keep doing it." He "still swore, but there was a qualitative difference from Episode 1 to Episode 2: the A-list words were replaced by B- and C-listers." The "sleight-of-mouth" is "emblematic of the NFL's careful tending of its image and the role that NFL Films plays in generating the league's self-constructed mythology" (N.Y. TIMES, 8/21). NFL Films Senior Producer Ken Rodgers said of Ryan, "His whole credo is not to spend any energy on being anything but himself." In L.A., Sam Farmer notes there are six "softball-sized 'robocams' positioned in the offices" of Ryan and Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum, as well as the team's meeting rooms. No one "but those operating the cameras know when they're activated, and the sound is picked up with microphones hidden in the rooms." Ryan: "The technology is such that you really don't notice it. It hasn't been difficult at all. ... I hope it's an accurate picture of who the New York Jets are, how we do business and how we also have fun" (L.A. TIMES, 8/24).

REALLY REAL: USA TODAY's Michael Hiestand noted Jets CB Antonio Cromartie last week said that "Hard Knocks" staffers "had him redo a take in which he noted the names of his eight children -- and appeared to have difficulty doing so." But HBO Sports VP/Sports Publicity & Media Relations Ray Stallone Sunday said that that there was "only one take and he 'emphatically' denied Cromartie's claim, adding 'Knocks' was 'the most real reality show on TV'" (USA TODAY, 8/23).

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