The Falcons have decided to decline the invitation to partake in this year's version of the show, according to ESPN.com. Atlanta reportedly wants its focus to be solely on the football field this season, which is understandable considering the Falcons got bounced in the first round of the playoffs by the Super Bowl champion Giants last season.
But as welcomed as the denial might be for enthusiastic Falcons fans who care more about their team's success than the glitz and glamour of a reality series, Atlanta passing on the offer is equally as awesome for football fans everywhere.
Call me crazy, but following last season's series that featured Rex Ryan and the dysfunctional Jets with a season headlined by Matt Ryan and Mike Smith doesn't exactly have me running to set my DVR. That's not to take anything away from the Atlanta organization, but it seems as though HBO has consistently tried to pinpoint franchises that feature intriguing storylines and potential. And while the Falcons could very well finish on top in the NFC South this season — especially considering the whole Bountygate/Drew Brees contract fiasco down in the Big Easy — there isn't anything that really pops when it comes to the Falcons.
Unless Deion Sanders is bringing back "The Dirty Bird" or Eugene Robinson shows up and starts soliciting prostitutes like it's 1999, there are far better options available for HBO.
Obviously, a team's participation has to be agreed upon by both sides, and surely there are other franchises that would also decline the offer in order to keep focus solely on the task at hand, but one has to wonder why the Falcons were on the top of HBO's list in the first place.
Ryan is one of the league's quieter signal callers, and a typical dinner coversation with Smith is probably riddled with cliches.
Instead, the obvious — and best — choice would be for the Jets to return to the show for Round 2. It'd be understandable if the network wanted to switch things up to avoid alienating any viewers, but with the Tim Tebow Circus getting added to a team that's already in disarray, Jets and Hard Knocks just seem like a perfect marriage.
You'd be hard-pressed to find another option in which there exists the realistic possibilty that the head coach goes bonkers over Dunkaroos or that a legendary quarterback shows up looking to lay one on Suzy Kolber.
But if the Jets were to deny an opportunity to appear on Hard Knocks for the second straight year, there are other options that could make for intriguing television as well — at least more intriguing than a potential Falcons series.
Peyton Manning has proven he can be a pretty funny guy when he lets loose, so following him around as he gets acquainted in Denver would have a few eyes glued to TV sets. In fact, even Manning's former team could be interesting. Not only would following Andrew Luck's first season as the most hyped rookie in the history of sports — I'm exaggerating a little bit — be fun to watch, but Colts owner Jim Irsay has proven time and time again that he's a little wacky.
And when it comes to Hard Knocks, wacky is good. The Falcons just weren't wacky enough.
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