The Atlanta Falcons' decision to be featured in the 2014 iteration of HBO's "Hard Knocks" thrilled me. From a fan's perspective, that kind of access is rare. It was absolutely fascinating to watch my favorite team navigate training camp. That said, it wasn't good for the team. Coming off a poor campaign in 2013, the Falcons needed continuity, structure, and focus. "Hard Knocks" took away something. But alas, it's apparently hard on everyone.
Bill O'Brien and his potty mouth are now intimately familiar with the "Hard Knocks" process. His Houston Texans just endured a training camp full of cameras and intense scrutiny.
O'Brien did not enjoy the process.
"Just being mic'd up all the time and having cameras in your face all the time - that's not something a football team is used to. Although, I think our guys handled it very well. It wasn't a distraction; it was something that we handled very well, but it's something that I don't think you really need for a football team."
Obviously hindsight is 20-20. Again, from a fan perspective, "Hard Knocks" can't be beat. It's the best PR a team can get. But if it affects the bottom line, is it ever really worth it? O'Brien's Texans are now 0-2, heading into a very winnable game against the lowly Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Right about now, O'Brien is probably questioning every decision that's brought him here, the decision to take part in the show included.
Did it similarly detract from the Falcons bottom line? I don't know, because there's no way to quantify that. My suspicion is that it did. But even if the Falcons hadn't participated, they were still destined to struggle. That team just wasn't built to win a Lombardi. Your thoughts?