A Pirate's Life For Me? HBO Reportedly Targeting Buccaneers For Next "Hard Knocks"
The Buccaneers are the "leading candidate to be the next team featured" on HBO's "Hard Knocks" series this summer, according to two sources cited by Pat Yasinskas of ESPN.com. The sources said that the Buccaneers, HBO and officials from NFL Films, which produces the series, "have had talks about this season's version." However, "no deal has been finalized and players are currently locked out in a labor dispute." A league source indicated that the Saints, Raiders and "four other teams also are in consideration for the show." An official decision "is not expected until later in the spring." Yasinskas noted the Bucs are "seeking attention after a surprising 10-6 year, and hoping to sell tickets after a season in which they did not sell out for a single game" (ESPN.com, 3/21). Buccaneers co-Chair Joel Glazer yesterday said, "We're listening. I don't know if we would do it or not. I think we have a good story to tell based on a lot of the characters and on [coach Raheem Morris]. I think people could get a closer look at us." Glazer added, "There are a lot of pros and cons. I think it would be fun as long as you knew what you were getting into" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 3/22).
COME & KNOCK ON MY DOOR? In New Orleans, Mike Triplett reported the Saints yesterday "quickly refuted an ESPN report that they are one of a handful of teams being considered" for this year's edition of "Hard Knocks." Saints VP/Communications Greg Bensel said that the team "gets approached every year but that they 'politely decline' every time" (NOLA.com, 3/21). ESPN.com's Bill Williamson wrote it "would be intriguing to see the HBO cameras work the Raiders’ training camp in Napa, Calif." With Owner Al Davis, "energetic coach Hue Jackson and a young, interesting roster, the Raiders would be compelling television." But the team is "notoriously private, and the training-camp setting in Napa is very controlled" (ESPN.com, 3/21).