Falcons Reportedly The Latest Team To Decline "Hard Knocks" Appearance
The Falcons have “declined the opportunity to appear” on HBO’s "Hard Knocks," according to a league source cited by Pat Yasinskas of ESPN.com. The source said that the Falcons had “extensive discussions at every level of the organization about appearing on the show, but eventually decided they wanted their focus for the 2012 season to be exclusively on the football field.” With the Falcons “out of the picture, HBO could look again” at the Jets and Jaguars, who have “both shown previous interest in appearing on the show.” A league source said that the Ravens and 49ers are “also being looked at as options” for this season's show. Yasinskas noted the Jaguars have “historically struggled to sell tickets and market the team in the Jacksonville area,” and an appearance on "Hard Knocks" could “jump-start their fan base” (ESPN.com, 4/21). CBSSPORTS.com’s Josh Katzowitz wrote the Falcons on “Hard Knocks” could have been “interesting with new offensive and defensive coordinators, with general manager Thomas Dimitroff, and with the receiver duo of Roddy White and Julio Jones.” Katzowitz: “Instead, you have to wonder if HBO will shift its sights back to the Jets” (CBSSPORTS.com, 4/21). In Tampa, Tom Jones writes it “seems no NFL team wants to be” on “Hard Knocks.” Jones: “A part of me understands why teams aren't interested. The show can be a distraction, and in the ultraparanoid, extremely secretive NFL, teams don't want anyone (i.e. other teams) getting a peek inside their organization.” Jones writes he would "like to see" the Broncos on the show, but he “might be sick of Denver by season's end.” After last season's coverage of former Broncos QB Tim Tebow and this season's planned coverage of new team QB Peyton Manning, the Broncos “have become the NFL's most-followed franchise” (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 4/23).
INSIDER ACCESS: MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro noted a 30-minute preview episdoe of Showtime's "The Franchise," featuring the Marlins, aired Saturday night, and the episode “was entertaining, enticing and enlightening.” With “full access to private meetings and phone conversations,” the preview had “plenty of drama.” In “great detail, the episode showed the inner workings that led to manager Ozzie Guillen being suspended for comments he made to Time magazine about Cuban leader Fidel Castro.” The franchise is “in the public eye like never before.” (MLB.com, 4/22). Marlins Owner Jeffrey Loria in the episode said of the comments made by Guillen about Castro, “My initial reaction was, ‘Wow, this is not the Ozzie I know for all these years.’ But I realized we had to deal with this and deal with it quickly.” Marlins President David Samson: “This is about as bad as it can get without getting to termination.” Loria said he stated “unilaterally” the suspension is going to be five games and “that’s that.” Guillen told Samson, “I feel terrible.” Loria added, “Commenting on political things is just not a very smart thing to do” (“The Franchise,” Showtime, 4/21).