Jed York recently Tweeted that the San Francisco 49ers were passing on the HBO Series Hard Knocks. Let me tell you why this is a good idea for this franchise at this time.
Aside from the obvious distractions and problems involved in having a film crew follow you around and film everything about you and your team for 3 months, this 49ers team (owners, coaches, and players alike) has something bigger than a show on HBO on their minds, a Super Bowl. I am not saying that being on Hard Knocks guarantees that your team is not going to win a Super Bowl (even though no team to have been on the show has gone past the AFC Championship) but it hasn’t helped yet. Of the five teams that have been on the show, only the Jets have made it to their Championship game. The Ravens made the Divisional round and the Bengals were eliminated in the Wild Card round. The Cowboys (twice) and the Chiefs both failed to make the playoffs. Aside from these facts, the reason I think reason the 49ers passed on Hard Knocks this season is because of what is at stake in 2012. Coach Jim Harbaugh and his staff, along with Jed York and the York family, are building something in The City by the Bay, they are building a team, a team that has one common goal and puts that goal above all else including personal gain.
In building this anomaly in modern sports, the 49ers have gone after players that are hungry to win, that believe in a team dynamic and that most importantly, buy in to what Harbaugh is trying to do. So often in major sports now days, individual players are put ahead of the team either by themselves, their coaches, or the media. The 49ers are trying to avoid this by passing on having the circus that is Hard Knocks invade their sanctuary and soil what they are trying to build. Don’t get me wrong, it is a very entertaining show Hard Knocks, but it isn’t for this team. This team is more focused than any team I have seen in the NFL in recent memory and inviting the circus that is that show could be detrimental to the dynamic that has been created in San Francisco.
Without thinking about the cameras, the press, the other cameras, and all the interviews and questions that come with a show like Hard Knocks, I think about the message that it sends to the other teams in the NFL. Look at the absolute drama that surrounded the teams that have done Hard Knocks, and you can probably instantly see why the 49ers are not interested.
I personally think that this is a great move the 49ers made by passing on Hard Knocks. This allows the team to focus on what is really important… winning. This 49ers team has some pretty lofty goals, and they also have a chance to do something special in the 2012 season, the 49ers have a chance to continue their rise to power in the NFL. Last year they began the journey turning a 6-10 team in to a 13-3 team and ending up one play away from the Super Bowl when no one picked them to do much of anything. A plethora of TV cameras, and unbelievable scrutiny could only be a detriment to that and create drama in a locker room where (knock on wood) there is none at this time.
Kudos to the 49ers organization for not becoming the next team to take part in Hard Knocks. The right move.