After multiple years in which the Atlanta Falcons have been rumored to be in consideration to appear on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” television series, the two sides have finally struck up a partnership.
— Atlanta_Falcons (@Atlanta_Falcons) June 12, 2014
Here is a snippet from the official release from the team:
The Falcons, HBO Sports, and NFL Films will team up for an all-access, behind the scenes look at what it takes to make it in the National Football League when HARD KNOCKS: Training Camp with the Atlanta Falcons debuts on August 5.
The sports-based reality series kicks off its ninth season, presented in HD on Tuesday, Aug. 5 (10 p.m. ET), exclusively on HBO. Subsequent hour-long episodes debut on Tuesdays at the same time, with an encore replay every Wednesday in August at 11:00 p.m., culminating in the Sept. 2 season finale.
“We are excited about the opportunity to give our fans a behind the scenes look at what it takes to prepare an NFL team for the rigors of a 16-game regular season and beyond,” said Falcons Owner & Chairman Arthur M. Blank. “This marks the first time that our franchise will be featured on HARD KNOCKS and we look forward to showcasing our great players and coaches to football fans all across America.”
At first glance, there are some mixed reactions to this announcement. First, the Falcons are seemingly a team that could use some media attention in the wake of a 4-12 season in 2013, but on the other hand, Mike Smith and company have prided themselves on being an understated, matter-of-fact bunch, and this decision is the opposite of that.
It is important to note that this decision likely came from on high, i.e. Arthur Blank and Rich McKay, but the fall-out will be directly attributed to the football operations and coaching staff, and it will be interesting to see if the show becomes a distraction. For entertainment purposes, keep an eye on wide receiver Roddy White, who is always an “interesting” figure in the media, and the fact that HBO is filming more than 1,500 hours of footage likely means that something noteworthy will take place.
Stay tuned for coverage as the season approaches.