UPDATE: HBO has offered the Atlanta Falcons a chance to appear on this seasons Hard Knocks. No word on whether or not the Falcons will accept.
Here we go again, 49ers fans have seen this headline before: HBO Interested in 49ers for Hard Knocks Documentary. Last year around this time the 49ers were one of the candidates to appear on Hard Knocks but with the uncertainty if there was even going to be a season, the NFL was in lockout mode, the 49ers declined. With no teams wanting to commit to appearing on Hard Knocks before they even knew when a new season would start, HBO eventually had to cancel the show for the 2011 season.
Now the 49ers are back in the mix along with the Ravens. No, it’s not either the 49ers or Ravens HBO wants, but both teams. Of course the reason being is Jim Harbaugh is coach of the 49ers and his brother John Harbaugh is coach of the Ravens. Not to mention both teams lost in their conference championship game last season. HBO is probably salivating at the chance to feature both Harbaugh brothers.
FoxSports.com is reporting HBO wants to have the Jets again on the show but, surprisingly, head coach Rex Ryan is against doing the show for second time. The website also reported that, “HBO has interest in featuring both the Niners and Ravens, focusing on the Harbaugh brothers.”
Last year I wrote, “there are too many distractions already with a full offseason and training camp with cameras capturing your every move. With a shortened training camp and Jim Harbaugh trying to install his offense, defense and how he will coach his players, this is not the right time for the 49ers to be on Hard Knocks, maybe next year.”
I said maybe next year, but I am against the 49ers being featured on Hard Knocks this season. Coming off of the magical season the 49ers had last season and trying to get back to the playoffs this season, the distractions for the team needs to be limited. Distractions like cameras and microphones capturing coaches, players and front office personnel’s every move are not needed this season.
We all know Harbaugh is a passionate coach from the footage made available to fans of pre- and post-game talks (see after the Lions game). We also know Harbaugh likes to keep his cards close to his chest and does not like revealing much information to the media about the 49ers like injuries to players.
Last year the 49ers had a legitimate excuse not wanting to appear on the show with the shortened off-season because of the lockout. This season the 49ers only excuse is they don’t want any distractions as the team tries to repeat and build on the success from last season. Really though, no outside distractions to the team is enough on its own to reject HBO for a second time.