The Buccaneers reportedly are the leading candidate to appear on HBO's "Hard Knocks" this summer, and coach Raheem Morris said of participating in the series, "There are a bunch of positives, some negatives. I'm about promoting the beauty of our league. It's something out there in the air. I don't shy away from anything. I want the world to know [QB] Josh Freeman, and some of these young players who make plays for him" (TAMPABAY.com, 3/22). However, columnist Kevin Blackistone said the Buccaneers are a "bad choice" because "you need something with a little bit more sizzle" ("PTI," ESPN, 3/22).
Fox Sports Radio's Matt Smith said the Buccaneers "do have interesting personalities," but "you can't top the Jets," the team featured in last year's series ("Jim Rome Is Burning," ESPN, 3/22). Meanwhile, ESPN's Bomani Jones said, "I want to see the only NFL team guaranteed to have a training camp: 'NFL Hard Knocks Park Avenue.' Roger Goodell, Jeff Pash and the other guys that are running football right now" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 3/22).
HITTING A HOME RUN: YAHOO SPORTS' Kevin Kaduk noted MLB's "answer to HBO's Hard Knocks or 24/7 may have finally arrived" in the form of the Showtime series chronicling the Giants. An online trailer features "lots of good behind-the-scenes stuff." Kaduk: "It's apparent from this trailer that the Giants really provide the most relevant mix of great off-field characters and newsworthy on-field challenges to make this a success" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 3/22).
NOT IN THE CARDS ... RIGHT NOW: USA TODAY's Michael Hiestand notes Univ. of Louisville men's basketball coach Rick Pitino will appear on ESPN's studio shows on Thursday and Friday after appearing as an analyst on CBS last weekend. He said that he "would enjoy being an analyst on games or studio shows and does want to stay in the game in some capacity after coaching." But Pitino said a move to TV this year is "highly unlikely." Pitino: "I see myself coaching next year" (USA TODAY, 3/23).
STICKING TO THE ORIGINAL SCRIPT: Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he is "not going to appear on Mike Francesa's WFAN radio show nearly every weekday during the season, as Francesa announced earlier this month." Francesa had said that Girardi would appear briefly between 1:30-2:00pm ET "before every Yankees weekday night game in addition to his regular, lengthier spot on Thursday afternoons." But Girardi said, "The way it was announced is not the way it was talked about. It just didn't work out the way we thought it was going to work out" (NEWSDAY, 3/21).