HBO's annual episodic, award-winning series Hard Knocks is one of the staples of the NFL preseason. Finding out which team will be the subject of the upcoming season is one of the more underrated NFL moments each June.
Honestly, with as many things as the NFL is televising and monetizing these days, I'm a little shocked that there hasn't been a 60-minute Hard Knocks unveiling show concocted by the brains up at the NFL Network, formatted like the NBA draft lottery, only the GM of the team that is unveiled at the end is ultra-concerned instead of
a relative of Dan Gilbert ecstatic.
This year, there were eight teams who would have been, by rule, forced to say "Yes" if the league asked them to be the focus of the show.
However, forcing a team to comply was unnecessary, for we had one of the other 24 teams volunteer. Ladies and gentlemen, batten down the hatches and welcome in the ATLANTA FALCONS!!!
I said...the ATLANTA FALCONS!!!
///...Internet stares at me blankly...////
(tapping the microphone) ...is this thing on? Ahem....the ATLANTA FALCONS!!!
You get my point.
Yeah, Atlanta isn't really the sexiest pick in the world, especially when teams like the Bears (Jay Cutler, monster heel!), Steelers (Mike Tomlin and possible Big Ben shenanigans!), Bills (Marcell Dareus graduates to meth!), Giants (Tom Coughlin eats a random special teamer to make an example of him!) and Raiders (I mean...c'mon...the Raiders!) were all available.
So what excitement, genuine and moderately fabricated, can we muster for a 4-12 team whose alleged franchise quarterback was fully healthy last season? Well, let's see:
1. The Falcons practice with the Texans for a few days! On August 16, the two teams will meet at NRG Stadium in a preseason game, but prior to that, they will practice with each other for a few days leading up to the game. You know what that means? Yes, it means there will be fights; there always are when teams practice with each other. But it means that you might see me photo-bombing the Hard Knocks camera crew!!
2. Osi Umenyiora's wife is the most beautiful woman in the world. This is not my randomly tossing around hyperbole. Empirically, she may very well be the most beautiful woman in the world. In case you didn't know, Umenyiora is married to Leila Lopes, who in 2011 was Miss Universe. That's pretty good! Now, we need to figure out how to write her into the show, maybe have her try and seduce Jacquizz Rodgers in the tunnel leading to the locker room or something. We need something salacious.
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3. A possible Julio Jones sidekick! Wide receiver Julio Jones sustained a season-ending injury five games into last season, one huge reason why 2013 turned into a total shit show for the Falcons. It's expected that he will be back to full strength for 2014, but you never know. So to keep him company, and perhaps to distract Falcons fans, the team signed rookie wide receiver JULIAN Jones out of Arkansas State. My hope is that on Hard Knocks we see Julian gifted to Julio like when Doink the Clown was given his midget buddy, Dink, back in mid-'90s WWE.
4. Roddy White likes to make crazy bets You all remember the bet he made with that kid on Twitter during March Madness, in-game on the outcome of Mercer and Duke, right? Where he bet Falcons season tickets on the outcome?
@DHoyt77 2 season tickets, 2 SB tix, pregame sideline passes to game and a day at camp as my guest. How does that sound
— Roddy White (@roddywhiteTV) March 27, 2014
Well, here's hoping that there's a fight over a game of poker or bourré.
5. Seriously, I can't think of anything else. This team is really fucking boring. Thanks for nothing, HBO.