“Hard Knocks” On The Horizon?January 26th, 2014
In a way, it’s a shame HBO couldn’t have forced itself on the Bucs for its “Hard Knocks” annual series of hanging out inside an NFL team’s training camp for rarely seen behind-the-scenes information.
With Chucky and Bruce Almighty running things, Nancy Pelosi had a better chance of joining the John Birch Society than those two had of letting NFL Films crews have access to everything. The chance to have Warren Sapp, John Lynch, Keyshawn Johnson, Booger McFarland and Chucky mic’ed up would have made for priceless television.
NFL coaches have become so paranoid of having cameras everywhere that it has gotten to the point that the NFL can all but force a team to participate in the wildly-popular late-summer series. And it is the belief of Woody Cummings of the Tampa Tribune the Bucs could be that team, if they don’t make the playoffs soon, since the Bucs have never been the subject of “Hard Knocks.”
Though the league can force a team to subject itself to HBO’s invasion of privacy, there are three criteria that exempt a team from such scrutiny and the presence of a new head coach is one of them.
There are also exemptions for teams that have been in the playoffs in one of the two previous seasons and for any team that has appeared on the show in the last 10 years.
Since the Bucs have never been on the show, it would behoove them to make the playoffs in 2014, particularly if their wish is to remain out of the eye of HBO cameras. That will make them exempt next year, as well.
Sometimes, Joe thinks that NFL — and football coaches as a whole — are beyond paranoid. Look, this is football, it’s not like coaches are building a football version of the Manhattan Project. Football, at its core, is really all about blocking and tackling.
Former Bucs commander Greg Schiano was one of those who believed One Buc Palace was a southern version of Langley. How’d that work out? Scott Pioli tried to turn Kansas City into a Midwestern headquarters of naval intelligence and it blew up in his face.
Teams that had subpar seasons after being featured on “Hard Knocks” missed the playoffs not because NFL Films was everywhere in the summer, but because the teams stunk. It’s really no more complex than that.