It's official: the Atlanta Falcons are the team to be featured on the 2014 edition of HBO's Hard Knocks series this summer. The program will debut August 5th on HBO.
Obviously, this is great exposure for the Falcons and an opportunity to get the kind of national love that sometimes eludes this team. It also is going to be a sharply divisive show for Falcons fans, with some already excited and others viewing it as an unnecessary distraction after a 4-12 2013 season. I'm not 100% certain how I feel about this yet—the announcement blindsided me—but as a fan of the team, I'm at least going to enjoy getting deeper insight into the players from the show.
As far as I'm concerned, the Falcons aren't a very exciting choice. They went 4-12 last season and don't really feature a roster full of interesting players as far as I know. I guess there could have been a worse choice, but I'm just not overly compelled by this selection.
And in regards to Philadelphia Eagles connections... there aren't many. A whopping total of zero former Eagles players remain on the Falcons roster now that veteran Asante Samuel was released by Atlanta earlier this offseason. The closest thing to a Philly connection would be the fact that Falcons QB Matt Ryan was born in Exton, PA and William Penn Charter School.
While I could see why HBO would be interested in featuring the Eagles some time in the future, I can't imagine Chip Kelly or the Eagles ever being up for it. It would be fun for the fans, but not necessarily in the best interest of the team.
So will you be watching Hard Knocks this year? Vote in the poll below.