Thomasville Times Enterprise

Local Sports

June 12, 2014

Kramer: Falcons dealing with HBO could lead to 'Hard Knock' life

THOMASVILLE —

The Atlanta Falcons have made an out-of-left field agreement to become the subject of HBO’s voyeuristic series ‘Hard Knocks’ during their preseason camp this August. 

Pumped? If so, ponder.

Keep in mind that the Falcons are a team whose front office is oft revered among the more reputable in the NFL. That track record could take a serious blow with (what appears to be) an impulsive move.

My first query to owner Arthur Blank and company is:  How is this a good thing?

Here’s what the grey-whiskered team chairman and co-founder of The Home Depot had to say to reporters on Thursday:

“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 ...We look forward to showcasing our great players and coaches to football fans all across America."

Not one word in Blank’s peripheral statement addresses what should be the primary concern of a team with a ‘Super Bowl or Bust’ mentality: winning.

Please explain how a horde of cameras shoved in defensive coordinator Mike Nolan’s face is going to help his lofty shift to a base 3-4 defense?

Or how the backseat worry of missing a block and getting an profanity-filled earful on national television will help first round pick Jake Matthews’ confidence?

Not to mention the ebb and flow of scrutiny and praise head coach Mike Smith and general manager Thomas Dimitroff will weather with every passing decision.

“We are looking forward to connecting with our fans across the country as the program chronicles our 2014 training camp,” Smith said in an statement via email. 

Do you really think a coach who declined HBO’s offer in 2009 and 2012, and admittedly hid from the ‘Hard Knocks’ cameras as an assistant with the Ravens all of the sudden had a change of heart? Or was this some PR-conjured praise? (Note the delivery method of Smith’s words.)

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