Bengals' Mike Brown Sees PR Benefits In Returning To HBO's "Hard Knocks"
It seemed the Bengals franchise was "setting itself up for further embarrassment" by agreeing to participate in HBO's "Hard Knocks" in '09, but the team "received the type of positive image makeover that is usually scripted on other reality television shows," according to Alex Marvez of FOXSPORTS.com. Considering "how positive the experience was, it makes sense that the Bengals were willing to return" for this year's edition of "Hard Knocks," set to debut on Aug. 6. Bengals Owner Mike Brown said, "What we found when we did that show was people saw us differently. They saw us more positively. They saw us as just people. We would like our new guys to be seen that way by Bengals fans and develop a bond with our players. That’s a good reason why we did this." But Brown "does worry that a negative perception about the Bengals still exists to some extent despite the franchise placing a greater emphasis on drafting 'sound' players rather than taking greater risks on talented-but-troubled prospects like in the past." He said, "We sometimes are portrayed as almost villainous. The players are sometimes thought to be selfish or even criminal. I’m going to the far end of the spectrum there, but we get some very difficult criticism. I’d like to think we aren’t that way. It isn’t that we’re anything so special but we’re just ordinary folks if you will. If people would come and look, I think that’s what they would see. I think for the most part that’s what they did see. We surprised people a little bit.” Marvez notes "Hard Knocks" already has "started filming off-field vignettes" featuring Bengals players, and "more footage will come" after the Bengals open training camp tomorrow (FOXSPORTS.com, 7/22).