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Falcons are a curious choice for Hard Knocks

Falcons AP

Two years ago, the NFL wanted the Falcons to be the subject of HBO’s Hard Knocks.  The Falcons passed.

This year, the Falcons could have passed again.  They didn’t.

The decision to relent to persistent pressure from the league office comes at a time when it’s unclear whether 2013 was an aberration or the start of a trend.  The folks running the organizatio may be feeling an extra sense of urgency to have a big year.

For coach Mike Smith (pictured), it’s old hat.  He worked for the Ravens in 2001, when they submitted to the first season of the show.  Three years later, Smith worked for the Jaguars when the league produced a Hard Knocks-style training camp series for NFLN.

There will be plenty of story lines in Atlanta, especially with the Falcons quietly switching from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4 defense and hoping to improve an offensive line that struggled at times (or more often) and trying to get receiver Julio Jones healthy and possibly regretting the decision to give quarterback Matt Ryan a monster contract in 2013.

In addition to dealing with the potential for distraction and embarrassment, the Falcons will be the latest team to give the general public a front-row seat for the process of terminating the employment of multiple workers.  Even though Commissioner Roger Goodell has said the league would like to make the process of cutting players more humane, that aspect of Hard Knocks surely won’t land on the cutting-room floor.

It possibly happens largely because most of the people who decide what is and isn’t compelling can’t relate to the realities of being fired.  Or because they don’t care.

“That’s not their kid getting cut, that’s not their husband getting cut, that’s not their friend getting cut,” a league insider has said regarding the topic.

Inevitably, it will be someone’s kid, husband, and/or friend being fired.  Multiple times.  And it will happen within the context of a football organization that could be handing out a lot more pink slips if things don’t turn around quickly.

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21 Responses to “Falcons are a curious choice for Hard Knocks”
  1. sasattack says: Jun 12, 2014 1:24 PM

    Thankfully it wasn’t Pit!

  2. KIR says: Jun 12, 2014 1:28 PM

    Is there another Quarterback more over paid than
    Matt Ryan? Postseason record 1-4.

    Six-year, $113.75 million contract $59 million guaranteed!!!

  3. thelastwordyaheard says: Jun 12, 2014 1:29 PM

    I gave HBO a pink slip a long time ago..

  4. kane337 says: Jun 12, 2014 1:29 PM

    The Falcons are a great choice. I’ll be renewing my HBO subscription. Looking forward to this show.

  5. hogue34 says: Jun 12, 2014 1:31 PM

    The overly critical, terrible ATL sports media will have a field day with this

  6. bmorepositive123 says: Jun 12, 2014 1:35 PM

    It wasn’t a curious choice, they volunteered to be on the show. No where do you mention that multiple teams volunteered, too. If they did, and there was a possible more juicy storelined team, then yes it’s a curious choice.

    Your article and headline don’t match. Help us fill in the blanks… (pun intended)

  7. dethsupport says: Jun 12, 2014 1:36 PM

    I bet Matty Ice is boring as hell.

  8. atlfan31833 says: Jun 12, 2014 1:37 PM

    If being in a story on this website numerous times, ESPN, FOX, and AJC is “quietly switching” then I just don’t really know what “quietly” means.

  9. 4thquartermagic says: Jun 12, 2014 1:39 PM

    Matty Ice. Because he goes ice cold when it counts.

  10. northlandwi says: Jun 12, 2014 1:50 PM

    Falcons (insert any team) on Hard Knocks > No Hark Knocks

  11. 12strikes2 says: Jun 12, 2014 1:52 PM

    “That’s not their kid getting cut, that’s not their husband getting cut, that’s not their friend getting cut,” a league insider has said regarding the topic.

    So with that logic I guess that games should not be shown because its
    not their kid getting hurt during a game, or their husband getting hurt during a game, or their friend getting hurt during a game.

  12. arcuesta730 says: Jun 12, 2014 1:54 PM

    I was hoping for a more dynamic choice. ATL is rather boring…or at least its main characters.

    And while the league insider’s statement IS true; “That’s not their kid getting cut, that’s not their husband getting cut, that’s not their friend getting cut”, it certainly doesn’t prevent the organization form taking such actions….so why should HBO not present it!
    I don’t want a pollyannic view of the process, I prefer the complete perspective…warts and all!

  13. nfloracle says: Jun 12, 2014 2:04 PM

    Getting cut isn’t any worse than getting fired and these days there are few of us who haven’t been fired already or in danger of getting fired so someone can take our place for less money.

  14. themonkeyman says: Jun 12, 2014 2:13 PM

    Is there another Quarterback more over paid than
    Matt Ryan? Postseason record 1-4.

    Six-year, $113.75 million contract $59 million guaranteed!!!

    Maybe Mike Vick with his 2-3 career record in the playoffs & Atlanta gave him more than $130M.

  15. chc4 says: Jun 12, 2014 2:21 PM

    Why on earth would the Falcons regret giving Ryan that contract? First off he won’t see $120mill… that’s an inflated # as all contracts are. And he hung in there last year while getting creamed behind an awful OL. Matt Ryan is the least of Atlanta’s worries. And I guarantee you…. had the Falcons not given him that money several other teams would have.

  16. djshnooks says: Jun 12, 2014 2:26 PM

    You failed to mention how YOU and every other media personality will be all over said player when he IS cut…whether it’s done on tv or reported by Adam Schefter…everyone will know that player got his pink slip and was cut from the team.

    These guys know what they are signing up for when they go into it. It’s not “American Idol,” where being sent home could come as a surprise…not to mention, most the guys cut during then are not good enough football players for the NFL anyways. Everyone knows it, and why they would be surprised is beyond my comprehension.

    But yeah, blame it on the tv series. Lmao.

  17. jetsjetsjetsnow says: Jun 12, 2014 2:41 PM

    Falcons are a perfect team for hardknocks. Being a Jet fan who lives in Atlanta The team & fans here live & die more by the media more than what it takes to be a championship organization.

  18. iamkillerfin says: Jun 12, 2014 2:44 PM

    Again should just dump the show it is NOT that great!!!

  19. dfpoor says: Jun 12, 2014 5:15 PM

    I’m sure Matt Ryan is a cool dude. But this is big boy football. You need to make passes longer than 15 yards. Does anyone remember Matty Miss completing a go route? When he throws deep he misses his receiver by 10 yards. Yes, his completion percentage is great, yes, his td/int ratio is great, but this is real football not fantasy. You gotta score to win the game. Falcons gave away Favre. They could have had Rodgers. Do you think there is a single DB in the league who fears Ryan? What were the Falcons brass thinking???

  20. mrlaloosh says: Jun 12, 2014 5:25 PM

    Now Mike Smith & Dumbitoff can point to hard knocks for their continuing failures. ” boo-hoo, my players were so distracted by the cameras they couldn’t play big boy football” Boo-Hoo.

  21. dretwann says: Jun 12, 2014 6:55 PM

    If you’re selfish and care only for your enjoyment and entertainment, you watch the show and wait eagerly to see who will be cut and then laugh and harangue the poor guy who didn’t make it.

    If you have an ounce of empathy in you, you refrain from watching such shows because it glorifies a deeply personal and painful experience that should not be played out for the world to see.

    Equating a written report on the players who were cut to virtual live TV of the event only points to ignorance and immaturity.

    Players know they are potentially on the cutting block. What they didn’t sign up for is having that experience blown up for millions to watch their world come crashing down.

    Unfortunately, the masses are completely selfish and without an ounce of empathy and relish in the other people’s failures and shortcomings, so shows like this will unfortunately continue. Long gone are the days where producers and writers where required to be creative. SMDH.

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