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Hard Knocks conflicts with Goodell’s desire for “humane” cuts

The HBO and NFL Films series Hard Knocks becomes its most compelling when a player is getting bad news from the coach or the G.M.  Whether it’s Chad Johnson being cut by Joe Philbin or Vontae Davis learning from Jeff Ireland that Davis has been traded to the Colts (and asking if he can call his grandmother), the oxymoronic concept of reality TV truly gets real when someone hears something they don’t want to hear in the presence of cameras and microphones.

But as former Patriots V.P. of player personnel and former Chiefs G.M. Scott Pioli explained on Monday’s PFT Live, plenty of teams don’t want to expose such inherently private and personal moments to the public.

With Commissioner Roger Goodell saying last month that he’d like to see the process of cutting players become more “humane,” it’s fair to ask whether the video and audio of these human moments should be captured and shown on television.

It’s a dilemma for the league office.  Omitting these scenes makes the series less interesting.  Acknowledging the disconnect highlights that the team inviting HBO and NFL Films to town is willing to expose up to 37 of its up to 90 employees (i.e., 41 percent of the roster) to the embarrassment of being fired on national TV.

The debate flows directly from the unexpected declaration from Goodell that a more feel-good approach should be taken to an exercise that, by definition, will make the player who is released feel bad.  Since not much can be done to change the basic outcome of the release of a player, the easiest way to make the process more humane is to not film it and show it to millions of strangers.

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24 Responses to “Hard Knocks conflicts with Goodell’s desire for “humane” cuts”
  1. brianjoates says: Jun 18, 2013 7:50 AM

    Time to end Hard Knocks.

  2. t8ertot says: Jun 18, 2013 7:57 AM

    You can’t make cuts more humane, cameras or no cameras. The best way to cut someone, and I learned this from Moneyball, is to not beat around the bush. Tell them what they need to hear and that’s it. If not, you’ll hear their sob stories

  3. allnflfan says: Jun 18, 2013 8:23 AM

    The reality is that Jeff Ireland is among the Top 5 d-bags in professional sports, and HBO exposed it. He as no respect for himself, let alone the players; he’s as big of an unprofessional turd as they come. If anyone other than possibly Bill Belichick fired me while wearing a hoodie, I’d slap him in his weasel face.

  4. vincentbojackson says: Jun 18, 2013 8:31 AM

    Mike Brown could care less about embarrassing a few guys in front of the camera. It’s free publicity and there’s nothing in the world Mike loves more than getting someone else to pay his bills.

  5. kadeeu says: Jun 18, 2013 8:35 AM

    Am I missing something, but isn’t the NFL entertainment? Don’t try out if you don’t want to be on TV. Isn’t that why they all went to college so if they don’t make it in the NFL they have something to fall back on?

  6. marvsleezy says: Jun 18, 2013 8:35 AM

    Danny Amendola and Danny Woodhead were both cut on Hardknocks as I remember.

  7. sonofsamadams says: Jun 18, 2013 8:35 AM

    There is only one solution. Fire Goodell on Hard Knocks first.

  8. i10east says: Jun 18, 2013 8:50 AM

    Humane cut = Euthanization.

  9. Schrammbo says: Jun 18, 2013 8:53 AM

    Nerf the world…

  10. osiris33 says: Jun 18, 2013 8:57 AM

    Time to end Roger Goodell. He’s doing for the NFL what Obama is doing for the economy.

  11. stickershocker says: Jun 18, 2013 9:02 AM

    “Everybody is a winner, there are no losers. Here’s your participation trophy”….Give me a break. Being cut is a good litmus test that tells whether you have what it takes to make it in this league.
    If you take it like a man and vow to work harder to acheive your goals then you are the kind of player I would want on my team. If you get emotional and ask that the cameras get turned off so you can have a good cry, then you don’t belong in the NFL anyway.

  12. larrydavid7000 says: Jun 18, 2013 9:20 AM

    If I know they are gonna cut me when I enter the door I would give them the play book and turn around and head the other direction. No need to hear some coaches BS. Call my agent and go from there.

  13. bobzilla1001 says: Jun 18, 2013 9:25 AM

    From the White House to professional football. Amazing, isn’t it, that whenever liberals become involved in something, that something immediately turns to crap.
    I’m surprised ultra-liberal NBC allows Donald Trump to utter “Your Fired” during every episode of “Celebrity Apprentice.” So inhumane!!!
    What a country.

  14. hlmatty1 says: Jun 18, 2013 9:46 AM

    Who could forget when the Bengals’ Director of Player personnel, Jim Lippincott, waking up a bengals player at 5 in the morning to cut him and have him get out of camp before everyone else wakes up. The coldest thing on this show I have ever seen.

  15. skyn6637 says: Jun 18, 2013 10:35 AM

    Is that true? “Whenever liberals become involved in something, that something immediately turns to crap?” That analogy is saying the United States along with the National Football League are now crap. I am neither liberal, nor conservative, but I don’t think the NFL is crap. And also….I don’t think the NFL is crap!

  16. deathmonkey41 says: Jun 18, 2013 10:36 AM

    Is Goodall going to issue NFL sanctioned dresses to the players too?

  17. CKL says: Jun 18, 2013 11:35 AM

    Goodell logic:

    Allow a man who tortured and killed innocent beings, and who was convicted of gambling related offenses and who filed for bankruptcy ( so this entity has no reasons to try to use inside info to help gamblers, right?)back into the NFL.

    Meanwhile, say that cuts aren’t “humane” enough and force coaches to report injuries so the gamblers won’t have as big of a chance for inside info.

    Go figure.

  18. Corey Jeppesen says: Jun 18, 2013 11:50 AM

    Goodell makes way too many changes to the NFL. He thinks he’s helping, and on paper it seems right, but its just too much. Everything needs too slow down or fans will eventually just break. The sport is looking too much like a business and less like a sport and that is never a good thing for any league.

    I do get its a business, but its execs need to continue to maintain the feeling and shape that its more for the sport. Even if its not, they need to create that feeling. All the business and executive decisions are overflowing to the fans and its clearly getting too political and corporate. Not a good direction no matter how good the changes are.

  19. nickster31 says: Jun 18, 2013 11:51 AM

    Everyone is so worried about hurting feelings, rip the band-aid off and get it over with. Right now, there are 90 people with each team, and rosters are going to have to get cut down to 53. Translation? 37 people from each team are going to have to be released. Odds are, in MOST of those cities, AT LEAST 30 of them understand that they are most likely going to get cut.

    In a world where every kid gets a trophy, we have become woosies.

    There are THOUSANDS of High School players that want to make it to the NCAA. ONLY 5-6% will.

    There are almost 9,000 players from D1-D3 in the NCAA, and only 2% make it to the NFL.

    Translation? .09% of high school football players will make it in the NFL.

    That is why, if you are LUCKY enough to get that shot at college, unless you are a 1st round pick, stay in school, get your degree, and get something out of it.

  20. winnipegwalter says: Jun 18, 2013 11:55 AM

    The Bengals are going to have a strong roster this year. Good players will be cut and national exposure should give them a better chance of getting picked up by another team. Getting cut on TV is difficult but if they are a good player, Hard Knocks coverage should give them a better chance to get picked up by another team.

  21. NoHomeTeam says: Jun 18, 2013 12:23 PM

    I don’t know why I even opened up the comments section on this one. There’s so much Internet Tough Guy testosterone circulating on this thread the stapler on my desk started growing hair.

  22. shaunypoo says: Jun 18, 2013 4:04 PM

    larrydavid7000 says:
    Jun 18, 2013 9:20 AM
    If I know they are gonna cut me when I enter the door I would give them the play book and turn around and head the other direction. No need to hear some coaches BS. Call my agent and go from there.


    I respectfully disagree. If I am being cut then that means I am not one of the best players and need to improve. I would like to hear what the coach thinks I need to do to improve because I honestly believe that it will increase my chances of making another team. I would ask the coach to be honest and not blow any sunshine up my butt.

  23. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Jun 20, 2013 10:47 PM

    OK let’s just put a dead fish in the locker of the players being released.

  24. whatevnfl says: Oct 8, 2013 11:03 PM

    Harbaalke must love this one.

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