You Can't Come In: Bucs Turn Down Offer To Appear On HBO's "Hard Knocks"
The Buccaneers revealed yesterday that they have "opted to decline an invitation to appear" on HBO's "Hard Knocks" this year, according to Stephen Holder of the ST. PETERSBURG TIMES. In announcing their decision, the Bucs in a statement said they want to "keep the focus on the field and what we hope to accomplish in 2011." Team officials told the NFL that they "would consider doing the show at another time if approached again" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 5/17). ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas noted "as far back as March, the Bucs were considered to be a strong candidate to be profiled in the annual reality show that provides an in-depth look at a team during training camp." The Bucs, who failed to sell out a home game last season, "pondered how the exposure on 'Hard Knocks' might help them" (ESPN.com, 5/16). Yasinskas wrote turning down "Hard Knocks" is the "right call because the Bucs do need to stay focused on the field right now." They are a "team that seems to be on the rise after last season’s 10-6 record," but are "not a finished product yet." Yasinskas: "Maybe in a year or two, 'Hard Knocks' will work for the Bucs" (ESPN.com, 5/16).
BAY WINDOW? ESPN.com's Bill Williamson noted the Raiders earlier this year reportedly were "one of seven teams HBO was considering" for this year's version of "Hard Knocks." But fans should not "expect it to happen." The Raiders are an "intensely private team," the only NFL franchise with a "closed training camp." Williamson: "I don’t see the Raiders suddenly changing course and allowing a slew of cameras to take over their camp" (ESPN.com, 5/16). Meanwhile, HBO drew critical praise for last year's edition that featured the Jets, and ESPN's Tony Kornheiser said of the show, "It's very intrusive. Rex Ryan and the Jets should do it every year" ("PTI," ESPN, 5/16).