ATLANTA - AUGUST 13: Sean Weatherspoon #56 of the Atlanta Falcons looks on from the sidelines in the final minutes against the Kansas City Chiefs at Georgia Dome on August 13 2010 in Atlanta Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Let me get this out of the way: I'm not going to sermonize about the evils of Hard Knocks. It's a reality show, and reality television isn't all bad. Storage Wars and Sons of Guns have gotten me through many hours at the gym, even if I'm mildly ashamed to admit that.
The team is rumored to be in the running for the latest season of HBO's popular and occasionally epic look at the off-seasons of NFL teams. You may remember past versions like the extremely entertaining 2009 Cincinnati Bengals, with Chad Ochocinco up to his usual brand of crazy shenanigans. You may be more partial to Rex Ryan's monologues from 2010, or even the 2001 Baltimore Ravens, which put the series on the map. It's entertaining television.
It's also not a great fit for this Falcons team, at least in this jaded blogger's eyes. While the coordinator changes should make them a more aggressive, in-your-face team on the field, it's not going to change the low-key way they do business off of it. I don't know that this team needs the distractions that cameras entail, or the potential that someone might say something boneheaded, or any of the things that come along with the show. I say that knowing full well how entertaining guys like Roddy White and Sean Weatherspoon would be.
Last year I wholeheartedly endorsed the idea of Hard Knocks, which I'll readily acknowledge. What's changed in a year? In 2011 I thought the Falcons were knocking on the door and could use the exposure after three years of flying under the radar. After a second straight disastrous playoff loss, an overhaul of the coaching staff and the team's commitment to being low-profile this off-season, I think what's needed is absolute focus on implementing changes and growing as a team. I don't expect them to suddenly plunge into chaos if they accept and become the latest team to take up the Hard Knocks mantle, but I just don't see a significant upside.
If the Falcons really want Hard Knocks to cover their off-season, that's fine. I'll watch and be entertained, and I don't think it would torpedo the team to do so. I'm just not nearly as fond of the idea as I was a year ago.