Originally posted on Awful Announcing  |  Last updated 4/12/12

Atlanta Falcons have been offered the starring role in this season's version of Hard Knocks. Team not usually announced until May.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 12, 2012

Being one of our favorite shows on television, we were disappointed when HBO's Hard Knocks became the victim of the NFL's prolonged labor unrest. While most NFL teams are ranking players and making their big boards for the draft, behind the scenes HBO and NFL Films go through a similar drill of making their own wish list in terms of what NFL team they'd like to open the kimono on.

Compelling television, chatter on the web, and ratings are at stake as HBO and NFL Films work their way down their list. Sometimes the talks remain secret but in most years and especially as the fall gets closer, you'll often catch wind of what might be going on behind the scenes. This year, the intrigue surrounding who would be selected to appear on Hard Knocks reached fever pitch.

Today, Adam Schefter of ESPN tweeted what ESPNNY had earlier reported - the starring role in Hard Knocks would be offered to the Atlanta Falcons. This doesn't confirm that the Falcons will appear, but it should be a mere formality unless the franchise has some reason to turn HBO down. The Falcons have made the Playoffs in three out of the last four seasons, but don't offer the off-field intrigue that choices like Denver, the Jets, New Orleans, or possibly even San Francisco would have offered. Schefter's tweet seemingly ends weeks of speculation over who would be featured in this season's Hard Knocks return.

Fox's Adam Schein reported that the Broncos were the first choice and after being rebuffed, HBO then flirted with the Jets who were still kicking around the idea despite Rex Ryan's misgivings about added media attention. Schein's report then tappped two teams as the next wave of targets on the radar.

"If Rex wins the power struggle, HBO has interest in featuring both the Niners and Ravens, focusing on the Harbaugh brothers.

The Jacksonville Jaguars, ranked last in the latest Harris Interactive Poll for league popularity, have told HBO they would love to do the show."

This unleashed a swarm of local beat reporters to beat the bushes to see if their local team was being courted or at very least giving a sexy stare towards HBO in hopes of being HBO's next target. With the Jaguars basically putting it out there that they can be a Situationesque 4am "come over now" drunk dial booty call, HBO evidently passed.

While buzz surrounded the Niners, Ravens, Jaguars, and Jets being linked as possibilities, the Falcons were HBO's choice. It seemed as if HBO was definitely chasing ratings with big personalities and going after Denver and the Jets and even the Harbaugh brothers. It's hard to see that on the Falcons roster. Head Coach Mike Smith is a fiery personality, but QB Matt Ryan doesn't have the pedigree of names like Manning or the celebrity of names like Tebow. That doesn't mean the Falcons don't have an incredibly talented roster, but the storylines therein may not be as sexy to the general public.

Some other teams I was keen on seeing would have been the Lions, Colts, Chargers, Eagles, Saints and Texans although I'm sure some of those teams would prefer to lay low this coming year. As opposed to some of those teams with bigger question marks, we pretty much know who the Falcons are at this point. 

At the end of the day Hard Knocks is dependably good television as evidenced with seasons following the Bengals and the Chiefs. As long as someone takes the plunge, I'll be happy as it really extends the excitement of the football season a couple of extra weeks as preseason football really doesn't get the blood flowing. I'm sure as the show progresses, there will be interesting storylines that emerge from Falcons camp.

This article first appeared on Awful Announcing and was syndicated with permission.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

John Wall trying to recruit Paul George to join Wizards

Report: Saints looking at ways to recoup guaranteed money owed to Nick Fairley

Martellus Bennett thinks Rodgers is better than Brady?

Fairley expected to miss 2017 season due to heart condition

Cousins could get more than $30 million per year in free agency?

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Charlie Sheen puts Babe Ruth trade contract, World Series ring up for auction

Miguel Tejada's home burglarized, suspect arrested

Report: Nationals players privately grumbling about bullpen woes

Dwight Howard responds to those who think he's washed up

Report: Red Sox interested in Sonny Gray

Jermichael Finley opens up about lasting effects of injury

Big3 brings summer festival feel to basketball with barnstorming tour

The 'Tonight, we settle the Beard vs. Brodie debate' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The 8th Man Award for most overlooked player this year

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Disappearing Act Award for player who came up small

Getaway Day: Welcome back to the world, AL Central

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

Players who need to turn around their season to save their teams

Sports & Politics Intersect: Washington gets a rare win

Three Up, Three Down: Flouting the written and unwritten rules of baseball

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Big3 brings summer festival feel to basketball with barnstorming tour

The 'Tonight, we settle the Beard vs. Brodie debate' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The 8th Man Award for most overlooked player this year

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Disappearing Act Award for player who came up small

Getaway Day: Welcome back to the world, AL Central

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Billy King Award for worst trade

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker